Wednesday, 03 May 2017 09:35

Windows 10 S and Surface Laptop – a new lightweight version Featured

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As part of the “one Windows on every device”, Microsoft has launched a “lite” version called Windows 10 S and it will be available on the new Surface “clamshell” Laptop aimed at students and typical home users.

While the one Windows concept is an ideal, the reality is that there are forks – Windows 10 Mobile, a version for Xbox, HoloLens, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro and a range of enterprise versions including servers. The ideal is one code base.

Windows 10 S (W10S) is not “crippleware” and nor is the Surface Laptop – it will do everything the Home version does, run every Win32 app (in its Windows store) like Office 365, and it can be inexpensively upgraded to the Pro version for network domain use.

blog post from Microsoft’s Panos Panay, corporate vice-president, Microsoft Devices, said, “We built Surface Laptop to do two things: refresh the classic laptop form factor that our customers, especially college students, have been asking for; and make a Surface that works seamlessly to showcase the best of Windows 10 S.”

“The result is the most personal and balanced Surface we’ve ever made. This Surface perfectly blends fabric and function, power and portability, beauty and performance. It does all of this without compromising on the things we know are important to higher education students: battery life, display quality, storage, and portability.”

Australian specifications

  • Screen: 13.5” PixelSense, 2256 x 1504, 201ppi, 3:2 ratio, touch, Surface pen and dial enabled
  • Processor: Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 or i7, TPM enabled
  • Graphics: Intel HD graphics 620 (i5) or Intel Iris Plus 640 (i7)
  • RAM: 4, 8 or 16GB models
  • SSD: 128, 256, 512GB
  • Sound: Dolby Audio stereo
  • Battery: 14.5 hours’ video playback
  • Ports: USB 3.0, 3.5mm audio, Mini DisplayPort, Surface connect
  • Camera: Windows Hello compatible front 720p camera and dual mics
  • Comms: Wi-Fi AC, MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Dock: Surface Dock compatible (uses same Surface Ribbon charger)
  • Colour: Australia appears to be getting Surface Platinum only
  • Keyboard/trackpad: Full sized chiclet keyboard (Surface quality) and oversized trackpad (one swipe from top right to bottom left of the screen) with Alcantara surround
  • Size/Weight: 308.1 x 223.27 x 14.48 x 1.25kg
  • Price/Availability: US price is from $999 and pre-orders start today. Delivery approx. 15 June.
  • Opening offer: a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal with 1TB OneDrive storage; must activate within 180 days. Offer ends 15/10/2017

Other devices

W10S will be available pre-installed only a range of low-cost laptops from major makers including Dell, HP, and Acer starting at US$189. The W10 Pro upgrade costs US$49.

Update 3/5/17 from Microsoft release

The base unit i5/4GB/128GB is A$1499 and is available 15 June from Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi

Surface i5 Laptop is available in four rich tone-on-tone colours: Platinum, Graphite Gold, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue beginning in the US at launch - Australia will have Platinum to start.

With Windows 10 S in the edication field, applications are downloaded from the Windows Store where they are first verified for security, and then locally they each run in a safe “container” – ensuring consistent performance of the system.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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