Microsoft Surface Laptop: Microsoft’s latest feels like more laptop, less Surface

The original Surface products from Microsoft — the first-gen Surface Pro and Surface RT — had everyone asking at the time: “Why is Microsoft making a tablet?” The latest Surface has everyone asking a different question: “Why is Microsoft making a laptop?”

The rationale for the original Surface tablets was that no one was making cool touchscreen devices for Windows 8, Microsoft’s controversial tablet-first/touch-first operating system. But the Surface line showed the way: After a few generations — and a much better version of Windows — it became the best-in-class two-in-one, a position it arguably retains today, even with the barely evolved 2017 version of the Surface Pro.

But, it turns out that not everyone is ready to abandon the classic clamshell for a life of clip-on keyboards. Laptops remain popular, from Apple’s MacBook Pro to Dell’s XPS 13 to Lenovo’s iconic ThinkPad (although several of these brands now offer 360-degree hinge hybrid versions of some of their systems). That appeal to the familiar may be why Microsoft’s newest addition to the Surface family ended up being such a traditional-looking laptop.

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