Microsoft has recently been making a name for itself when it comes to desirable and high-end devices, such as the Surface Book, and it now looks like its turning its attention to low-cost laptops with the rumored Surface Laptop.
With the popularity of Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks, which offer affordable devices that have been embraced by students and developing countries in particular, it would make sense that Microsoft would be eyeing up this popular market.
The fact that Microsoft is also assumed to be releasing a lightweight version of Windows 10, known as Windows 10 Cloud, that would suit running on low-price and low-powered devices, adds credence to the rumors swirling about an upcoming Surface Laptop. Here’s what we know so far.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A new low-cost and low powered Chromebook-like device from Microsoft
- When is it out? Could coincide with the launch of Windows Cloud, expected later this year
- What will it cost? Expect a reasonable price, maybe around the $400/£350/ AU$500 range
Surface Laptop release date
Microsoft is holding an event today, May 2, which looks like it will be used to reveal Windows 10 Cloud (you can find out how to watch the livestream here). With buzz surrounding this event, it would make sense for Microsoft to reveal new hardware that will make use of it, so we could see an official reveal as soon as today.
As for when the Surface Laptop will be released, Microsoft would be wise to release it in the run up to the back to school season after the summer holidays, which will be around August and September.
This is because low-cost Chromebook devices – which we expect the Surface Laptop to compete against – are particularly popular in the education sector.
However, if the hardware has been finalised, we may be surprised with an even sooner release date.
Surface Laptop price
So far, there have been no solid rumors on what the price of the Surface Laptop could be, but because it looks like it is taking aim at Chromebooks, we can take an educated guess.
Chromebooks range in price from around £200/$250/AU$340 to £800/$1000/AU$1200, with Google releasing the ultra-expensive Chromebook Pixel.
That experiment didn’t really work out, with Google dropping the device last year.
While a premium (and expensive) Chromebook wasn’t popular, low-cost Chromebooks have gone from strength to strength, so we’d imagine Microsoft will position the Surface Laptop towards the lower end of that price spectrum.
However, Microsoft probably won’t release the cheapest device on the market, so we think it will sit around the $400/£350/ AU$500 range.
Surface Laptop rumours
The strongest hint of the existence of the Surface Laptop came earlier today when a series of tweets showed off the device.
It gave us a good look at the laptop, and suggested it would come with a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a ‘flocked Alcantara’ material – the same microfiber fabric found on some Surface keyboard covers – surrounding its keyboard and trackpad.
The tweets also suggested that the Surface Laptop will come in a range of colors including Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Graphite Gold.