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Surface Laptop and Pro surface at Microsoft Sydney Store

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Microsoft's new Surface computers arrive, we go hands-on

Last month, Microsoft hosted a New York City education event to announce its new Surface Laptop device, which runs the new Windows 10 S operating system designed for students or others wanting a more locked-down environment. This new Windows 10 S is created to offer better battery life, security, and performance on even the cheapest laptops.with one big tradeoff. This is important as devices running Windows 10 S are restricted to using apps from Windows Store, and also because Microsoft hopes other developers will follow suit porting their apps.

Let's get one thing clear: you're still getting Windows 10, and it will run all the things Windows 10 will run, but there's a catch, and it's a mighty big one.

Convertible devices are sometimes a little lacking in the battery department, but that's not the case here.

I say unfortunate, not because I disliked the i7 Pro's performance, but because this spec is likely to represent a very small proportion of Surface Pro sales. With the advances that Microsoft made with the Surface Pen and the power of the processor in the Surface Pro, I was able to dodge and burn images, retouch skin and genuinely build final pieces while sitting on the beach listening to the ocean.

Microsoft was one of the many companies attending London Tech Week, and its dedicated "Studio Space" welcomed some people over from the firm's Redmond headquarters to showcase the new Surface Laptop and Surface Pro devices, in addition to Surface Studio, Surface Hub, and the slightly older Surface Book. It's too bad, then, that its performance isn't mind-blowing and neither is its design. Microsoft has pretty much nailed the flawless design for a detachable hybrid - as evidenced by the legions of companies that have since copied it - and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. PC superusers call this " bit rot", and reinstall Windows on their machines periodically just to clear it out.

I've used the Surface Pro series since the third generation and there's no doubt this Surface Pro is the best one yet. That same limitation also means most viruses and malware aren't able to worm their way into your system, either.

But Gavin discussed much more than just Windows 10S.

The Microsoft Edge browser, while still not up to the same level as Google Chrome, is way better and faster than its predecessor Internet Explorer.

There are some key differences on Office available from Windows Store in comparison to the desktop suite. This refined device, with its sturdy kickstand and quiet guts, is what the Surface Pro always should have been. One USB jack doesn't really cut it for me and I've had issues with USB hubs not working reliably.

Panay attributes the lack of bundle options to the need to maintain as much choice (color options, basically) as possible across the keyboard and pen lines.

The battery life is said to be 13.5 hours of video playback, and we found it to be pretty much "all day use" even when tasked with something more processor-heavy, such as retouching in Adobe Photoshop.

It's not restricted in any noticeable day-to-day way (you can even mess with drivers, disks and group policy, just not the registry), apart from where you can install apps. If you don't game, you may not need a dedicated GPU at all. But because that plugin didn't come from the Windows Store, it won't open. To be honest, when I saw the announcement stating that the new hinge lays almost flat on a table to make sketching easier, I thought I would never use it. Windows 10 S customers will be protected from malware by default with Windows Defender and can use additional anti-virus software available in the Windows Store if they choose.

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