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Microsoft Tips Education-Focused Surface Laptop

In the market for a new laptop to bring to college this fall? Microsoft might have just the thing.

At an education-focused event in New York this morning, Redmond introduced the Surface Laptop running a new version of Windows 10 for students called Windows 10 S. Aimed at those in college, the Surface Laptop starts at $999 for a Core i5 version; it's available for pre-order right now and starts shipping June 15.

The Surface Laptop runs Windows 10 S and comes in four colors: platinum, graphite gold, cobalt blue, and burgundy. It works with the Surface Pen and Surface Dial, both of which are sold separately.

Microsoft Surface boss Panos Panay promised that the Surface laptop will last from the moment a student "walks into orientation to the day they walk across stage for graduation." He added that it's thinner and lighter, and has more battery life than any Apple MacBook. It's also 50 said to be percent faster than the MacBook Air.

The Surface Laptop weighs just 2.76 pounds and measures less than 14.5mm at its thickest point. It sports a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 3.4 million pixels. Panay said it has the thinnest LCD touch module ever used in a laptop.

You can open it with one finger, and it "sounds good when you close it," Panay said. In terms of aesthetics, there's no visible hinges, screws, or rubber bumper around the screen. The backlit keyboard is surrounded by Italian fabric that matches the color of the outside metal shell.

The Surface Laptop is powered by a seven-gen Intel Core processor; Panay said it will start up and turn off quickly, and last for 14.5 hours on a charge. Confirguration options include a Core i5 or i7, up to a 512GB SSD, and up 16GB of RAM.

"Leave your charger at home and then go to school, then to the library, then go home and binge watch Netflix," Panay said. "And then cram a little, then charge it."

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If you're rushing out the door for spring break, just close the laptop; when you return, the device will have the same amount of battery it did before you left, he added.

Meanwhile, Windows 10 S, also announced today, is essentially a streamlined version of Windows 10 for education. Everything that runs on Windows 10 S is downloaded from the Windows Store, and verified by Microsoft for security and performance. If you want to download an app that's not in the Windows Store, you still can, but you'll first need to download Windows 10 Pro. On Windows 10 S, "login happens in less than five seconds," Microsoft Windows and Devices Executive Vice President Terry Meyerson said.

The announcement comes as Microsoft is competing against Google's affordable, internet-based Chromebooks, which have gained a foothold in schools.

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