Microsoft is going after Chromebooks and ChromeOS at the same time with its latest release. The software maker has announced a new OS and laptop combination that is aimed at students and classrooms.
The Surface Laptop SE is the cheaper sibling of its premium Surface family. It features an 11.6-inch TFT display and an all-plastic body. The bezels surrounding the screen the thick and the whole laptop is bulkier than the more premium Surface machines. The keyboard and trackpad are taken straight from the $550 Surface Laptop Go.
The singular camera at the top of the display is a 1MP shooter capable of 720p video recording. The ports on the sides include one USB-A, one USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, and a DC connector for charging.
Under the hood, you get 4 to 8GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB eMMC storage options with the Intel Celeron N4020 processor. Microsoft promises 16 hours of battery life for work and classroom purposes.
The laptop boots Windows 11 SE, a toned-down version of Windows 11 with less functionality and features. There is no Windows Store or a large number of third-party apps available, but the laptop is optimized for Windows apps like Edge, Office, and Drive, and also comes with Zoom and Chrome browser. The split-screen feature has also been simplified for class and work purposes.
Furthermore, you can easily repair the laptop and swap out different parts like the display, battery, keyboard, and motherboard. These replacement parts will be widely available from Microsoft.
The Surface Laptop SE has a starting price of $249 but can cost up to $329 with more memory. Microsoft plans to launch more Windows 11 SE laptops in the future with its manufacturing partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, Fujitsu, HP, JK-IP, Lenovo, and Positivo.