Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

A picture of a laptop on the classroom desk

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE is a laptop designed for the classroom.
Pictures: Microsoft

Today Microsoft announced the first real Chromebook competitor we saw with the $ 250 Surface Laptop SE, a cheap Windows 11 laptop with entry-level space. It is Perfect for students, and it’s the kind of machine Google and Chrome OS device makers have been churning out for years. Why now?

Let’s back up for a second. Surface Laptop SE Sports a 11.6-inch display with 1366 x 768 resolution, with a slight 135 ppi. However, it is a 16: 9 Laptops, which typically go beyond the conventional 3: 2 ratio on portable PCs like Microsoft tablets. The change in proportions suggests that it is a laptop for doing things. Keyboards and trackpads are similar to Microsoft Go to the Surface Laptop.

Unfortunately, the screen seems too small for you to lose yourself in your work. Compared to the crisp display on rival Chromebook laptops like Lenovo’s upgrade Chromebook Duet, It is a relatively low-resolution screen. The Duet has a smaller 10.1-inch full-HD OLED display with a 1920 x 1200 display resolution, with a higher pixel density of 224 ppi.

The processor inside the Surface Laptop SE is quite underpinnedDebt, too. You can configure SE with any one Intel Celeron N4020 or N4120 processor, with 4GB or 8GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB eMMC storage. There is also an embedded 720p front-facing camera for online schooling (if anyone still has it).

A picture of the Surface Laptop SE

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE runs Windows 11 SE.
Pictures: Microsoft

But that screen is still so small, which is why you might end up docking the little Surface Laptop SE. The device has a single USB-A port and one USB-C port, so you could hook up a hub with an HDMI connection to get the screen mirrored on a larger display. The laptop also takes a barrel-type DC connector, which feels a bit old-fashioned, especially as Microsoft’s been pushing its proprietary magnetic Surface Connect charging port.

Hopefully, the battery life makes up for the middling specs. Microsoft promises up to 16 hours of battery with typical device usage. The fine print in its press materials indicates that testing is done with 150 nits of screen brightness, which is much dimmer than our battery tests, which start at 200 nits. In reality, most people crank up that brightness when there are things to get done.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop SE is an affordable way to get a feel for Windows 11. The laptop ships with Windows 11 SE, which was developed based on feedback from teachers and school IT administration teams. Windows 11 SE will likely be rolled out on other education-oriented devices from manufacturers like Dell, Acer, Asus, and Lenovo.

Repairability was a top concern for those managing the wallop of laptops turned in at the end of each school year, so Microsoft made the Surface Laptop SE easier to update and take apart, down to the display, battery, keyboard, and motherboard components. This falls in line with Microsoft’s latest Oath To make more devices user-serviceable.

This is an exciting time for Microsoft considering the education-centric laptop market Chromebook sales slump. As the rate of vaccination Increasedly, such low-end devices are being sold As the fall begins, however, the patterns seem to be primarily concentrated in the United States and Western Europe, where Chromebooks fill the market. Asia / Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa are still increasing demand for classroom-specific devices. The equivalent of an affordable, repairable Microsoft laptop and running Windows 11 SE may see some sales success in that particular field.

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