Microsoft Surface Laptop: Power, battery & storage
Although the Surface Laptop isn’t built with power users in mind, it is available with Intel’s latest 7th Generation Core i5 and i7 processors i.e. the Kaby Lake chips you’ll find in Apple’s latest MacBooks. Not that you’ll have much of a chance to push your Laptop to its limits. The years-old Asphalt 8 ranks as one of the most intensive gaming downloads from the Microsoft Store, and a lack of Adobe’s Creative Suite also rules any intensive video or photo editing.
The real reason why this Surface Laptop uses those latest chips? Efficiency. You should be able to be leave the Laptop's charging kit at home and tour your hometown’s coffee shops for the day before needing a battery top-up. Microsoft claims this device will trundle on for a whopping great 14.5 hours of video playback and according to our own testing that's not far of the mark - in our own video-rundown test it lasted for a full 13hrs with the display set to half brightness. Simply put: this machine is built to last.
Thanks to the apps-only approach of Windows 10 S, you’ll also a hard time filling up the Surface Laptop’s 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD, especially if you’re already a Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive user. In an age of streaming, the only real use for that internal storage is for managing your photo library and the odd email attachment. And that means you can safely opt for this laptop’s cheapest configuration, which gives it an i5 chip and 128 SSD.
Microsoft Surface Laptop rivals
Honestly, the best thing the Surface Laptop has going for it right now is its price. That's not to denegrate its eye-catching aesthetic, sturdy build and admirable performance, but thanks to a combination of Brexit and generally inflated prices, it's hard to get a premium laptop for under a grand these days. If you're happy with the idea of Windows 10 S, there's very little that should should dissuade you from the Laptop.
Want the extra flexibility of Windows 10 or macOS? There are plenty of great options kicking about right now, but I'll cut yours down to three for the sake of simplicity.
Dell’s XPS 13 is the best Windows 10 machine for both power and design, but its base model does cost a minimum of RM4999 and that's almost MacBook money. At that price point you're faced what is very much a head vs heart dilemma: get the most possible bang for your buck or an impossibly pretty machine. I'm a vain sort, so would go for the MacBook, but the XPS 13 ranks higher in our Top 10 Laptops list. Told you it was a dilemma.
For the kind of keyboard warrior the Surface Laptop is aimed at, Asus’ Zenbook UX310 is an altogether more affordable alternative. A well-specced, lightweight machine that's extremely good value, it's the laptop I end up recommending most to friends, family and readers of this fine website.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Verdict
Fair play to Microsoft, the Surface Laptop might sound like a mess on paper but in the cold light of day it's a unique joy to behold.
From its classy carpeted aesthetic to its new Windows 10 S operating system, there's a lot that's different about this Surface - but this is all to its credit. Want to get your work done? You've got both the apps for that and ample battery life to be getting on with. Want to unwind? For a simple spot of Netflix, the Laptop’s screen is a beaut.
Whether you need to spend such so much to flit between those two uses is worth considering, but few other premium laptops hit this sweet spot quite so well.