Historically, one of the biggest barriers to entry in the Surface range has been the high asking price. Microsoft recognised that with the Surface Pro line, releasing an affordable alternative in the form of the Surface Go.
However, there’s no equivalent product when it comes to laptops. The Surface Laptop 3 currently starts at £999/US$999, while you’ll pay at least £1,599/US$1,599.99 for the high-end Surface Book 3.
That leaves a gap in the market for Microsoft to launch a more affordable clamshell laptop, and it looks to be doing just that. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Microsoft Surface Sparti?
According to Windows Central, “Sparti” is the codename for Microsoft’s upcoming affordable Surface laptop. The device is expected to retain the same core design and features as the Surface Laptop 3, hence being dubbed the “Surface Laptop Go”.
The key difference is expected to be price. While you’ll need to spend at least £999 to pick up Microsoft’s current cheapest Surface laptop, Sparti may cost as little as half of that.
Microsoft Surface Sparti release date
Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, the chief architect of the leaks so far, suggests the Sparti will form part of Microsoft’s late 2020 hardware lineup:
Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop 4, and Surface Studio 3 are not coming this fall. I’m told they’ve been pushed back to 2021. This fall is new Surface Pro X, Surface ‘Sparti’, and accessories.
— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden)
September 16, 2020
Microsoft typically holds a hardware event each October, so that seems like a likely time for the device to be launched. However, the company might forgo an event altogether, particularly as it’s not holding in-person events until at least July 2021.
Whenever the device is unveiled, expect it to go on sale a few weeks later, ahead of the busy Holiday season.
Microsoft Surface Sparti price
This will be the key differentiating factor between the Sparti and Microsoft’s other laptop lines. According to Windows Central, the new device will start somewhere between $500 and $600 in the US, meaning even more expensive configurations will undercut the Surface Laptop on price.
Microsoft Surface Sparti spec rumours
The same Windows Central article mentioned above suggests the entry-level model will come with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
It’s also set to have a 12.5in screen, which will presumably also support touch input. The resolution of said display isn’t yet known, but this is noticeably smaller than the 13.5in and 15in options on the Surface Laptop 3.
The device will be targeted towards students, so is expected to ship with Windows 10 in S mode. This will be quite limiting for many people, but it’s easy to upgrade to the full version.
Sparti is expected to be a direct rival to Google’s Pixelbook Go, further intensifying Windows’ rivalry with Chrome OS.
A new Surface Pro X is also expected before the end of 2020. Here’s all you need to know about what we assume will be called the Surface Pro X 2.