It’s been nearly five years since Microsoft launched its first Surface devices on the market, and you can’t deny that the company has been consistently pushing boundaries with category-defining products. The Surface Pros are the best 2-in-1 PCs that you can find on the market today, and the new Surface Studio also raised the bar for what we can expect from all-in-one PCs in 2017.
However, Microsoft’s didn’t always have a forward-thinking approach with latest Surface products, and this was pretty obvious last year. For those unaware, both the Surface Studio and the Surface Book with Performance Base skipped Intel’s 7th gen Kaby Lake processors, and the new Surface Laptop features one full-size USB port and Microsoft’s Surface Connect Port but no USB-C ports. This is quite disappointing in 2017, considering that the fully reversible USB connector is now used by an increasing number of PC and phone manufacturers.
Microsoft probably choose to keep its Surface Connect port on the Surface Laptop to maintain compatibility with old Surface accessories, though it seems that the company planned to replace it with USB-C ports at some point (via The Verge). In a Surface marketing video published yesterday, you can clearly see the base of a Surface Laptop prototype with 2 USB-C ports on the right side (you can see it briefly at 1’00)
Answering a question about the absence of USB-C ports on the Surface Laptop, Microsoft designers told The Verge that the technology is still a bit immature:
The responses all pointed to a lack of maturity in USB-C with power and cable issues, and just a broad lack of market adoption. Microsoft felt its target audience for the Surface Laptop would be more likely to make use of a mini DisplayPort and traditional USB port than the new USB-C connections.
This still feels like a missed opportunity for Microsoft: it’s good that the Surface Laptop kept one full-size USB port, but the addition of one USB-C port would have definitely make the premium notebook more future-proof. And unfortunately for Surface enthusiasts, the Surface Pro 5 will reportedly skip the new USB connector too.
Do you think the absence of USB-C ports on the Surface Laptop could be a concern for consumers, or do you think Microsoft is right to say that the technology is still immature? Let us know what you think in the comments below.Further reading: Microsoft, Surface Laptop, USB C, USB Type-C