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Microsoft unveils Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S

Handout: Surface Laptop
Microsoft

Microsoft is launching a new Surface-branded device today: the Surface Laptop. While the device leaked last night, Microsoft's Panos Panay took to the stage at the company's New York City event to unveil it officially today. It's a 13.5-inch laptop that's designed to work with the company's new Windows 10 S operating system.

Panos Panay, Microsoft's devices chief, says Microsoft has focused this hardware on students who are just about to leave high schools. "We talk to a lot of them... they're asking for a laptop, they're asking for a Surface laptop," says Panay. "So we built a laptop, and it's beautiful."

Microsoft's true Surface Laptop uses a fabric alcantara keyboard just like its premium Surface Pro 4 keyboard, with a 1.5mm travel for the backlit keys. A teaser video for the device shows it's clearly designed to be a high-end device to promote this new Windows 10 S operating system. As it runs Windows 10 S, the only apps available will be from the Windows Store unless you opt to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

The Surface Laptop is a clamshell device, a true laptop unlike the Surface Book 2-in-1. As is tradition, Panos Panay handed out the Surface Laptop to an audience member to demonstrate the new burgundy color. The Surface Laptop will ship in four colors: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold, and it's under 3 pounds in weight.

Microsoft is using a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. "This is the thinnest LDC touch model every created and put into a laptop," says Panay, complete with 3.4 million pixels. The screen even supports Microsoft's Surface Pen, so you can draw on the display just like other Surface devices.

"The performance on this device is absolutely amazing," says Panay. Microsoft is using the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, and claims the battery life will last for 14.5 hours as a result. Microsoft claims the Surface Laptop is faster than the i7 MacBook Pro, and it has "more battery life than any MacBook Air on the market today."

Microsoft has integrated vapor chambers into the aluminum finish on the rear of the device to help keep the Surface Laptop cool. "It allows us to pack everything we need in there," says Panay. There are no speaker grills or holes, and Microsoft has integrated the speakers underneath the keyboard so the sound comes from under your fingers.

Microsoft is starting preorders for the Surface Laptop today, priced starting at $999 for the Core i5 version with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. The Surface Laptop will start shipping on June 15th.