Microsoft isn't leaving the Chromebook-competition market to its OEM partners only.
On May 2, the company took the wraps off a new line of Surfaces, called Surface Laptop. Pre-orders begin today. The devices will start at $999.
As information leaked by "The Walking Cat" on Twitter revealed, the new devices come with Windows 10 S (the version of Windows 10 formerly known as Windows 10 Cloud).
The new laptops feature 13.5-inch PixelSense displays, come in four colors (Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, and Graphite Gold) and include an Alcantara-covered keyboard, the Walking Cat unearthed.
Surface Laptop weighs 2.76 pounds, has a 3:2 aspect ratio, and supports existing Surface Pens. The devices will come with a choice of Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and up to 512 GB of storage. Microsoft is claiming 14.5 hours of battery life (though, as we know, marketing claims vs. real life use are usually quite different). If earlier leaks are correct, the Surface Laptop will not offer USB-C, which may be a deal breaker for some.
Update: Here's the preorder link. The 4GB version is the one that's $999 (not including Pen or Dial). The 8GB version starts at $1,299.
Microsoft is positioning the new laptops against the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but officials are claiming Surface Laptop is starting to define a new category.
These Microsoft Surface Laptops are not the budget Windows 10 PCs -- the specs for which recently leaked -- that are meant to go head-to-head with existing Chromebooks. The Surface Laptop is meant to be more of a premium device, similar to the recently discontinued Google Chromebook Pixel.
The Surface Laptop is aimed at students after high school moving on to the next four years of their lives after K-12, said Microsoft officials.
The Windows 10 S edition of Windows 10 is a full-featured version of Windows which is locked down so that it can run Windows Store apps only. It will be upgradeable for $49 to Windows 10 Pro for those who don't get it via the education channels (and a free upgrade to Pro for students and teachers).