Microsoft’s Surface line of devices is in dire need of an upgrade, with the tech giant’s recent financial reports revealing that the company’s revenue has taken a significant hit this year, partly due to the lack of new devices it has unveiled. If a series of new leaks is any indication, however, it appears that Microsoft would be ending its dry hardware spell soon, as it might release the largely rumored but never confirmed Surface Laptop, the Redmond-based tech giant’s possible response to Google’s massively popular Chromebooks.
The leaks, posted on Twitter by notable Microsoft leakster WalkingCat, has revealed seemingly official images of what appears to be Microsoft’s next Surface device. Unlike the highly-anticipated hybrids, the Surface Book 2 and the Surface Pro 5, the recently-leaked machine appears to be a conventional laptop. While the authenticity of the leaks remains in question, the quality of the images and the sheer number of photos the Twitter leak hunter has uploaded has managed to get many Surface fans excited.
From what the leaks suggest, the Surface Laptop would be both light and portable, weighing in at just 2.76 pounds and measuring just 14.47mm thin at the back. The upcoming device is shaped like a wedge, with the front being thinner at just 9.9mm. According to the Twitter leak hunter, the Surface Laptop would also be sporting a 13.5-inch display with 3.4 million pixels. The upcoming laptop would also be offered in four color options, Platinum, Cobalt Blue, Graphite Gold, and Burgundy.
According to a report from The Verge, what is rather interesting about the Surface Laptop is the fact that its design would carry cues from both the Surface Book and the Surface Pro series. While the device would feature a conventional notebook computer design, the upcoming laptop would also include an Alcantara keyboard, the same fabric used in the SP4’s critically-acclaimed Surface Keyboard.
The Surface Laptop is expected to run Windows 10S, a cloud-based variation of the popular desktop operating system that is akin to Google’s Chrome OS. With Windows 10S, the Surface Laptop could be a device that is incredibly easy and simple to maintain, unlike machines with full-fledged Windows 10 operating systems that require a lot of effort to keep in shape.
Overall, the recent image leaks of the Surface Laptop appear to suggest that the upcoming device would be a machine that is designed as a direct competitor to Google’s hugely popular and massively successful Chromebooks, which simply run an expanded version of the search giant’s Chrome browser. While Chromebooks debuted to much skepticism among IT purists, the simple, underpowered and affordable devices eventually carved a niche for themselves in the U.S. education market. Currently, Chromebooks are the devices of choice for numerous U.S. schools, in no small part due to their affordable cost and simple maintenance.
While the Surface Laptop appears to be Microsoft’s Chromebook killer, however, many tech aficionados have already noticed a number of concerning design aspects of the upcoming laptop. The most prominent of these is the Surface Laptop’s lack of USB-C ports. From the leaked images, it appears that the upcoming low-cost Surface device would be utilizing a traditional USB-A port instead. Needless to say, this particular design choice has managed to polarize fans of the tech giant.
Nevertheless, the Surface Laptop’s USB-A port would make perfect sense if the device is meeting Chromebooks head-on in the U.S. education market. Schools across the country, after all, are about a couple of generations late in terms of tech. Thus, the standard port would most likely suit the upcoming devices better with regards to its target niche. Otherwise, the Surface Book might end up triggering yet another dongle problem, just like the MacBook Pro 2016.
Pricing for the Surface Laptop remains unknown, though speculations are high that the device might be the most affordable Surface-branded machine yet. With Microsoft expected to hold an event on Tuesday, it would only be a matter of time before these recently-leaked images of the Surface Laptop would be proven accurate, or not.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]