Microsoft introduced a new Surface Laptop that was heralded as, 1) a MacBook Air killer, or, 2) a MacBook killer, or, 3) a Chromebook killer. Based on the hefty price tag and anemic hardware specifications, don’t expect a funeral any time soon.
The problem with Windows-based personal computers should be obvious. They all run Windows so they’re not easily differentiated one from another, regardless of hardware specifications. They’re all variations on a theme and only the hardware competes with Apple and the Mac. You’ll be surprised at what HP’s new notebook wants to kill.
PC’s Hidden Success
Let’s face it. Microsoft missed the mobile device revolution, Google and Apple own the future, but the Windows maker isn’t giving up the past without a fight. But who is fighting whom?
The Surface Laptop has a good starting price at $799 which barely competes with Apple’s seven-year-old, nearly end-of-life MacBook Air line, but once you bring it up to specifications that match, where’s the competition?
HP says they’ve had success with the Spectre line, and the new Spectre x2 seems better than the old Microsoft Surface Pro 4 which is being replaced by a Surface Pro 5 but it seems to me that all these Mac-like Windows-based PCs are competing against each other. Microsoft’s Surface sales have been going down, while touchscreen PCs have been going up but not enough to keep overall PC sales from going down. Confusing, no?
Meanwhile, the Mac sells at record numbers. Again. Go figure, right?
Look. Up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s an HP hybrid tablet notebook with a touchscreen and stylus.
I’ve read the reviews of all these iPad killers and MacBook Air killers and MacBook killers and MacBook Pro killers and I’ve figured out what they’re all just trying to kill each other. The Mac doesn’t seem to be impacted at all.
HP’s new Spectre x2 has all the hardware Mac customers might want. There’s a 12.3-inch 3000×2000 Retina-like display. Pen technology is built in to match the touchscreen. Th IR camera is in front to take advantage of Microsoft’s Windows Hello authentication feature.
Speakers are in the front, where God intended them to be, and I’m sure all Mac notebook users want a kickstand instead of that ancient hinge from the last century (). It comes with a couple of USB-C ports, one on each side, but no Thunderbolt 3 like you find in the MacBook Pro line, and likely will see in the upgraded MacBook in a month or so.
Gordon Mah Ung decided to forget about the Mac killer considerations and blatantly calls this a Surface Pro Killer.
If looks could kill, right? And if only it ran macOS Sierra. You can’t actually buy this HP yet, but it will start life at $999 with a Core i5, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD, so it’s price competitive with all the other expensive Windows-based PC touchscreen notebooks that don’t sell all that well.
The thing I see with all the killer machines is obvious. They’re killing each other. Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 5 starts life with a Core m3, a newer version of the MacBook’s entry-level CPU, but quickly advances to Core i5 and i7 at a more advanced price tag.
Don’t worry about these clever hardware gimmicks. They’re all still Windows PCs and the only thing they’re killing is the same thing they’ve been killing for a decade. Each other.