The Microsoft Surface: It's a laptop? No, It's a tablet? What is it!?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface' started by Mr Mod, Aug 14, 2017.

By Mr Mod on Aug 14, 2017 at 3:18 PM
  1. Mr Mod

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    Maybe it's all of those things to everyone. After all, the device is classed by the Microsoft marketing department as a family. That's a colloquialism that covers a multitude of product placement sins. Perhaps it's best to start over by attaching a branching flow chart to the Surface line. In one branch, the new Surface Pro 5 is a gifted tablet with aspirations of becoming a laptop. It's got three-mode reconfigurability built in, so the kickstand and type cover disappear in a flash. Once detached or tucked away, the Surface Pro 5 takes on the form factor of a tablet.

    Then, set somewhere between the two transformative modes, there's the studio layout, a configuration that adds the Surface Pen to the mix. Built for creative types, the accessory list also incorporates the Surface Dial, a small magnesium-hued disc with a rubberized contact layer. That contact coating is designed to be directly placed on the Surface Pro screen, at which point it acts as an interface tool. Intuitive by design, a twist of the dial or a press of its featureless aluminium body is all it takes to conjure up a radial menu, an interface that frames the rubberized base.

    In this first branch, Microsoft is beating Apple at its own game by adding a wow factor to its products. The Surface Pro 5 changes shape and uses a physical keyboard or a virtual keyboard. In studio mode, the options extend further. The pen tool, a touch-capable, screen, and the magnetic dial attachment all add intuitive control features to the computing experience, so your creative spirit is unleashed. At least that's the theory. Then, on top of the versatile nature of this malleable computing platform, there's enough power under the proverbial hood to drive a full version of the Windows 10 OS, which is something Apple's iOS can't match.

    In the meantime, over on the second branch of our flourishing Microsoft Surface tree, the Surface Laptop again shadows Apple's computing ecosystem. There's a check mark against the premium build, plus a whole column of checks that tick off everything from style to performance. For example, the newest Surface Laptop isn't blue, it's cobalt blue. Likewise, there are no silver or red variants, they're platinum or burgundy tinged, which is a fair style-centric strategy since these colour schemes practically radiate metallic elegance. Arguably, the injected style and cool looks are intended for hipsters and those that can pull off a man-bun, but anyone with an ounce of fashion sense is going to drink in this eye candy.

    After enjoying the streamlined case geometry for a predetermined period of time, you'll feel the compulsion to turn your newly purchased Microsoft Surface laptop ON. The power is there, with the 7th generation Intel i5 or i7 processor providing the number-crunching engine. The RAM capacity unchains that processor by coupling up to 16GB of memory to the CPU, then an SSD (128GB, 256GB, or 512GB) taps into the speed of solid state data storage, so near instant OS booting is part-and-parcel of all of the Surface Laptop configurations. Again, drawn in living colour across the 13.5-inch PixelSense display, a full Windows 10 OS completes the tech specs.

    Logically, the Microsoft team has split their approach towards the computing paradigm in half. On the first branch and its many sub-branches, the Surface Pro 5 changes shape and adds new interface tools, including the Surface Dial, a device that incorporates haptic feedback. Away from there, over at the familiar footprints we've come to associate with all modern mobile computers, the Microsoft Surface Laptop turns the style and power dial up to a room-vibrating eleven. In terms of power, the latest 7th generation processor pair with fast SSD storage and a 2256 x 1504 display. As for the style metric, well, an Alcantara layer (a type of suede) coats the keyboard while several metallic hues advertise this device's elegant persona.

    In short, power and fashion, creativity and versatility are all happily married together in this premium computing line from Microsoft. That line fills the laptop and tablet pigeon holes, then breaks out of them to produce something entirely new, a computing class that satisfies every computer user, from casual gamer to professional design type.
     
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