Microsoft Surface Laptop: New Entry-Level Model Now Available In U.S. For $799

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Consumers looking for a more affordable version of Microsoft’s Surface Laptop can now check its latest version, which was released this week in the United States at a price of $799, or $200 less than the previous entry-level configuration.

According to a report from Windows Central, the new Surface Laptop model was released Friday on the Microsoft Store, where the unit is currently available only to U.S. customers. Basic specifications include an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage with Windows 10 S as the operating system, while other key features and specs include a 13.5-inch Pixel Sense display with 2256 x 1504 resolution, a 720p front camera, and Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Audio Premium. The new laptop replaces the original entry-level model, which came with the same amount of RAM, but was powered by a faster Intel Core i5 processor.

While it’s not clear why Microsoft launched a new Surface Laptop at a cheaper price point, The Verge noted that the model appeared on the Microsoft Store mere days after the company announced an unsatisfactory 1 percent year-over-year increase in Surface revenue during the 2017 holiday quarter. The report added that Microsoft’s revamp of the Surface Pro line and introduction of the Surface Laptop in 2017 didn’t seem to do much to increase revenue in the fourth calendar quarter, when holiday shoppers normally gravitate toward newer products.

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Although the introduction of a more affordable Microsoft Surface Laptop could potentially help the company improve its Surface line’s sales and revenue figures, Ars Technica opined that the new configuration might not be for everyone, due to the fact that it only comes with 4GB RAM, with no option to add more memory. Nonetheless, the publication added that most users might not notice the slower processor performance in comparison to the original $999 entry-level edition, thus potentially giving it “much better value” for its price tag.

The new entry-level Microsoft Surface Laptop isn’t the only cheaper option the company introduced this week, Ars Technica added. Microsoft also launched a 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 2, which costs $1,199 and comes with a seventh-generation Intel Core i5 processor paired with 8GB RAM, a 3000 x 2000 display, and 128GB internal storage. But with the configuration lacking the discrete GPU found in higher-end versions of the two-in-one PC, Ars posited that the new Surface Book 2 is “hard to recommend,” adding that there are other similarly-priced options, such as the HP Spectre x360, that offer better specifications.