Leaked: Surface Laptop images, specs suggest a low-cost machine for the masses

The leak comes ahead of a Microsoft education event in New York City.

Microsoft's Surface Laptop received an unofficial unveiling of sorts Monday night, as images and some of the specifications leaked in advance of a Microsoft education-themed event in New York on Tuesday morning. At that event, the company is expected to unveil what's being referred to as Windows 10 Cloud or Windows 10 S, a somewhat limited version of Windows 10 designed for the education market.

It's not clear whether the leaked Surface Laptop is the so-called Cloudbook that Microsoft may launch at the same event. Because the U.S. education market is currently dominated by low-cost, easily-managed clamshell laptops powered by Google's Chrome OS, Microsoft is expected to announce devices with similar price points and features. Windows 10 Cloud or Windows 10 S is also expected to be more easily managed than the regular Windows 10 operating system.

Walking Cat, a Twitter account with a track record of obtaining confidential Microsoft information, published a series of images of the device dubbed the Surface Laptop, which looks somewhat like a cross between Microsoft's existing Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

Walking Cat tweeted that the Surface Laptop is built around a 13.5-inch PixelSense display, with a 3.4MP display of undisclosed resolution. It weighs 2.76 pounds, with a tapered base that narrows to just under 10mm at the front. Interestingly, though the Surface Laptop looks more like a Surface Book than a Surface Pro, it uses the same Alcantara material used for the Signature Type Covers for the Surface Pro machines, the account tweeted.

According to WalkingCat's information, the Surface Laptop will ship in four colors: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold.

Why this matters: If the Surface Laptop is indeed real, it opens up a new market for Microsoft: a general-purpose piece of Surface hardware priced (hopefully) for the masses. It's too early to tell, though, whether this is actually designed for the education market, or is a solid, Surface-quality general-purpose laptop. We'll find out more on Tuesday.

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