At its educational event held this morning in New York City, Microsoft unveiled Surface Laptop, its $999 MacBook rival available for preorder beginning today ahead of its planned release this summer.

The device runs the new Windows 10 S operating system, the company’s answer to Google’s Chrome OS, and features a clamshell body weighing at 2.76 pounds and measuring 14.47mm at its thickest point and tapering down to 9.9mm at its thinnest point at the front.

Taking on MacBooks

Surface Laptop runs either Intel’s seventh-generation i5 or i7 processor and sports vapor chambers integrated into the anodized aluminum finish on the rear to help keep it cool.

It’s got a 13.5-inch PixelSense LCD touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio featuring 3.4 million pixels (withCorning’s Gorilla Glass 3 for protection) and supporting the Surface Pen stylus. “This is the thinnest LDC touch model every created and put into a laptop,” says Microsoft’s Panos Panay, who took to the stage to unveil the new products today.

Say hello to Surface Laptop

Watch a reveal trailer for Surface Laptop below.

The laptop is outfitted with a 14.5-hour battery.

That’s “up to four more hours of battery power than a 13-inch MacBook Pro” and “more battery life than any MacBook Air on the market today,” says the Windows maker in another comparison between its new notebook and Apple’s MacBook line. The Windows maker claims you can watch as many as fourteen episodes of your favorite TV show in one sitting, without ever plugging in.

The device’s keyboard has a 1.5mm travel, with the backlit keys made from the same material used for premium Surface Pro covers, called Alcantara fabric. The speakers are integrated underneath the keyboard, but there are no speaker grills or holes.

In terms of connections, Surface Laptop comes outfitted with a regular USB port, mini DisplayPort and the conventional Surface power connector, but no USB-C.

Windows 10 S or Windows 10 Pro?

Because it runs Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop can only run apps offered on Windows Store.

Google Chrome is not found on Windows Store and Spotify’s app with support for Surface Dial will be coming to the store early this summer. If you want to run apps not found on Windows Store, you can optionally upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a one-time $49 fee.

Because Windows 10 Pro is the full version of Microsoft’s operating system, upgrading may result in reduced battery life and performance, cautions the Windows maker.

If you need to use an app that isn’t in the Windows Store, in just a few clicks can go to the Windows Store and switch to Windows 10 Pro. But you shouldn’t. This device, this OS, they’re made for each other, and together they offer so much. It’s everything you love about Windows, Office, and Surface, made pure and elegant in an unbelievably thin and light package.

Microsoft now has three families of Surface devices in its lineup: the Surface Pro 4 notebook/laptop hybrid, the all-in-one Surface Studio and the new Surface Laptop.

Availability and pricing

Surface Laptop is available for pre-order via Microsoft Store starting today.

The entry-level $999 model uses Intel’s seventh-generation Core i5 processor with Intel HD Graphics 620, four gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of flash storage. The $1,299 model uses 256 gigabytes of flash storage and eight gigabytes of RAM.

The more powerful $1,599 model comes outfitted with Intel’s seventh-generation Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, eight gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of flash storage. The flagship $2,199 model upgrades your storage and RAM to 512 and sixteen gigabytes, respectively.

Surface Laptop comes in four colors: Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Graphite Gold.

The notebook will start shipping this summer on June 15. For a limited time, Surface Laptop comes with an offer for one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal and one terabyte of free storage on OneDrive, giving you full access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

  • Chinch07

    They also have the SurfaceBook don’t they? so they have four types of surface devices. Surface Pro, SurfaceBook, Surface Laptop, and Surface Studio

    • Gil

      True

    • Christopher Lim

      Pretty sure they also sell the Surface 3 (non-pro)

  • João Almeida

    hahahhaa looks exactly like a macbook.. even the video
    MS, not today

  • burge

    And every time you turn it off it will want to install updates.

  • Iskren Donev

    Windows 10 S is pretty much Windows RT 2.0. I am a fan of the concept, so I wish them the best of luck.

    Something curious: I believe I cracked the inspiration behind the ‘S’ label – it just so happens that ‘S’ is between the letters ‘R’ and ‘T’, hence Windows RT 2.0.

  • GUY

    Wow! Didn’t you see that in the video at 1:14? The girl is sliding her finger at the bottom of screen while the screen shows a colorful yellow/red smoke pretty much like the one used on the MacBook pro , this is definitely Microsoft throwing shade at Apple’s tough bar … Funny and smart move from MS

    I’m a Mac and I’m a PC : the surface strikes back.

    • ravinigga

      Yep but the slider make more sense on the touchbar so u see full content on the big screen(in my opinion)

  • So after spending up to $1,500 you find that “If you need to use an app that isn’t in the Windows Store, in just a few clicks ” [and $50 more dollars] ” you can go to the Windows Store and switch to Windows 10 Pro. But you shouldn’t. This device, this OS, they’re made for each other, and together they offer so much. ” [except for all the apps that aren’t in the App Store] ” It’s everything you love about Windows, Office, and Surface, made pure and elegant in an unbelievably thin and light package.

    So apparently, making hardware so cheaply that it actually comes with a warning to only run the stripped down version of your OS (if you want that long battery and performance you bought it for) is a feature now?

    • Iskren Donev

      In all fairness, the advertised 14.5 hours of battery life is indeed impressive if it turns out to be correct.

      Full Windows and macOS counterparts cannot even come close to having this long a battery life, maybe 10-12 hours at most.

      • True, however as Microsoft points out, installing a full OS on the new laptop will hurt battery life. My MacBook Air gets about 12 hours of battery life, and while 2.5 hours of additional life would be nice, it’s not something that I would want to sacrifice OS functionality for.

        It’s a personal reason, but since I need my laptop to do more than basic tasks like word processing, email and internet I need a full OS. I need my graphic design software, and my video editors, and all my other “pro” apps. Sadly such a laptop would give me around 2 hours of extra time but at the cost of becoming unusable for day to day business work. And if the hardware is already known to suffer in performance going to a full copy of windows I can’t imagine how sluggish editing a 4k video might be on it…

        I’m sure this laptop will have a market, but at the same time I would have to imagine that if you need a computer for lighter tasks spending up to $1,500 on something so limited would be a tough ask. But IDK, honestly it’s been a while since I went shopping for a PC so maybe it’s a great deal?

      • Iskren Donev

        I completely agree, the Surface Laptop is not for everyone. Currently it’s geared towards the education market, so the target audience would take notes, watch lectures, maybe play the occasional game. It’s definitely not positioned as a Pro machine.

        As for the high price, I think this has more to do with the brand that Microsoft wants to establish. You can get a cheap netbook for less than $200 and still accomplish all of those education-focused tasks. What Microsoft wants to do with the Surface line of products is to be the new Apple – selling only premium hardware and not competing in the lower segments of the market. (That said, I do agree that paying $999 for a laptop in 2017 that comes with only 4GB of RAM is not a good deal.)

    • Anonymouse

      Man is destined to repeat his mistakes. Windows RT 2.0

  • David J Delgado

    So it’s a handicapped Surface, made to resemble and compete with a MacBook, but running a crippled version of Windows 10 that only runs Store apps and, if you want to install other apps, requires a $49 upgrade to Windows Pro which, for the record, “Microsoft can’t guarantee battery performance.”

    Hmm….

    It also looks a lot like a MacBook.

  • Natalie

    Anyone catch how they compared this new $1000 to a 2015 MacBook Air saying how its 50% faster than a 2 and a half year old computer? lol

    • hkgsulphate

      i think the problem with apple is, they updated the macbook with just a slightly faster CPU and staying the same design, while still having only 1 usb-c port

    • Oscar

      Yeah well, the latest version of a MacBook Air is the 2015. Apple still sells it so I guess it’s fair to compare. #fairtocompare.

      • Yeah, it’s fair to compare. But like, isn’t it kinda low for MS to aim at a 2 and a half year old computer? And for it to only be 50% faster at that? Just feel like they could have marketed/presented it better imo

  • Cerberus The Wise

    4 gigs of ram starting at $1000

    • Blip dude

      Nor should we start giving them that idea either.

  • Alex Wilson

    I find some irony that the headline today from Microsoft was this, while the headline for Apple was Tim once again involved in a social issue. While I think it’s great they auction off lunch for a charity, I keep coming back to where is Apple going.