The $799 Surface Laptop makes Microsoft's sleek MacBook Air rival more affordable

But upgrade the operating system for free while you still can!

Credit: Dan Masaoka

Microsoft pitches the Surface Laptop as an ideal companion for students, but when the sleek, stylish MacBook Air rival debuted in June it carried a very student-unfriendly price: $999 for the entry-level Core i5 model. No more. On Friday, the Microsoft Store quietly introduced a new $799 Surface Laptop, as Windows Central first noticed.

The new Surface Laptop includes an Intel Core m3 processor with integrated Intel HD 615 graphics. Its configuration otherwise matches the specs of the Core i5 version, with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, but unlike the other models, you can’t pay to get more memory and storage. The $799 Surface Laptop is one size fits all. Hardware like this will blow through basic productivity tasks, including Microsoft Office work, though you might want to pick up an external hard drive to supplement the miniscule solid-state drive.

We found a lot to like when PCWorld reviewed the Surface Laptop, particularly its luscious display and long-lasting, lightweight portability. Our biggest gripe? The operating system.

The Surface Laptop comes with Windows 10 S preinstalled, an education-focused version of Windows 10 that restricts you to software from the Microsoft Store app. It’ll work fine if all you need is the Edge browser and Office apps, but if you want to use Chrome, Steam, and other traditional desktop programs, you can opt to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. The upgrade costs $49, but if you buy a Surface Laptop, Microsoft will let you make the move for free if you do so by the end of March.

The Core m3 Surface Laptop muscles in on the turf of the 2017 Surface Pro, which also sells a Core m3 version for $799 on the Microsoft Store. The tablet matches the memory and storage capacities of the new Surface Laptop but—crucially—lacks a keyboard and touchpad. Microsoft sells the Surface Pro Signature Type Cover separately for $160.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftSurface Laptop

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?