The latest to hit the streets is aimed right at Apple’s heart. The Mac. In this case it’s the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2, packed with all sorts of hardware specifications, and priced to make Apple’s anemic entry-level Mac look, well, anemic.
Let’s face the facts. The entire personal computer industry is in the doldrums and has been for years. Microsoft completely missed the mobile device revolution re-started by Apple’s iconic iPhone, but that didn’t stop the Windows maker from working diligently to hold on to a massive revenue stream.
Microsoft’s Surface line of notebooks– the Windows company calls them laptops; so 1999– were designed for one reason. To spur the PC industry into a new era of innovation which would lead to greater sales. Microsoft’s Surface is something of a reference PC; not designed so much to make money as Apple does with the Mac, but to set the standard.
That strategy worked. But it took a few years for the Surface to catch on, and today’s crop of laptops carry much of what traditional Windows PC users want. A list of specifications.
The latest is the Surface Laptop 2 which starts with a version that comes with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and a new Intel i5 Inside. $999. Compare that to the anemic and aging MacBook $1,299 (no Core i5, but double the SSD storage, same RAM) at $1,299, and the entry-level MacBook Air with similar specifications as Microsoft’s Laptop but at $1,199.
In fact, the Surface Laptop 2 is more like a MacBook Pro. Trick it out with 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and a Core i7 from Intel for $2,699 and you’ll save money over a comparable 13-inch MacBook Pro at $2,899 at roughly the same size and weight.
Microsoft’s Surface line has accessories and features you can’t get on a Mac. Touchscreen, Surface Pen, and USB Type-A ports come to mind.
So, what isn’t the latest Surface going to kill the Mac?
Anandtech’s review has plenty of user comments and that tells the tale. Anemic battery life, crappy trackpad, nothing is user serviceable (“built out of glue“), Surface Connect Port instead of USB-C, no option to install Linux (Macs can run Linux and Windows and macOS– all at the same time).
Fortunately, the budget conscious PC customer can look elsewhere as Microsoft and the company’s so-called partners have Windows-based notebooks at half the price. Think cheap. An area where Apple never bothers to venture.
Except maybe with MacBook keyboards.