Microsoft Floor Laptop computer SE evaluate

Whether or not the scholar in your life is again within the classroom or nonetheless studying remotely, having laptop computer for schoolwork is as necessary as ever. The $249 Floor Laptop computer SE is the newest try at delivering simply that, distilling Microsoft’s flagship pocket book right into a extra compact, reasonably priced and streamlined bundle that’s designed for Okay-8 college students to have the ability to decide up with ease.

The Laptop computer SE does quite a bit proper, packing a good-enough show, respectable efficiency and a student-friendly model of Home windows 11 right into a compact design that’s good for each day commutes to class. However given its restricted availability and slender focus as a tool for educators to purchase for his or her lecture rooms, it’s not the perfect selection for somebody who needs to each do homework and hop on some after-school digital hangouts.

Questioning if the Floor Laptop computer SE is smart for the scholar in your life? We labored on it for one week. Listed below are our ideas.

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE

The Floor Laptop computer SE is an honest reasonably priced laptop computer for Okay-8 educators trying to outfit their class with computer systems, however particular person customers are higher off with a Chromebook or conventional low-cost Home windows laptop computer just like the Floor Go 3.

”Wow, this factor is lovable.” That was my first thought when unboxing the Floor Laptop computer SE, which is a extra compact, just-the-basics model of Microsoft’s glorious Floor Laptop computer collection. The pocket book’s all-white design is straightforward and chic, and it feels sturdy for a largely plastic machine. I particularly love how light-weight this 11-inch laptop computer is at simply 2.45 kilos — good for throwing in a bag on the best way to high school or rapidly lugging between rooms when it’s time to do homework. And whereas the keyboard isn’t as satisfyingly snappy as that of the dearer Floor Laptop computer 4, I finally obtained comfy typing on it for hours at a time.

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE

I usually wouldn’t reward a laptop computer for having solely two ports, however the Floor Laptop computer SE has simply the precise connections for many younger college students. You get a USB-C port (ideally suited for contemporary equipment and storage drives) and a USB-A port for connecting to the overwhelming majority of mice, keyboards and webcams you might have mendacity round your property or classroom. Most premium laptops have lengthy ditched USB-A, however it’s a worthwhile port for legacy equipment, and one which’s particularly helpful on a school-focused laptop computer. There’s additionally a headphone jack to hop on a Zoom class or watch a presentation with minimal distraction.

The show, audio system and efficiency are simply ok

The Floor Laptop computer SE’s 11.6-inch LCD show isn’t going to wow anybody at its low 1366 x 768 decision — particularly with these big bezels — however it’s greater than serviceable given the pocket book’s function and value. An 8K nature video regarded decently detailed on Microsoft’s small display, and the oranges and greens of assorted wildlife and foliage had been vibrant sufficient. The Laptop computer SE’s bottom-facing stereo audio system had been adequate, pumping out audio that wasn’t tremendous loud however clear sufficient to let me get pleasure from my each day music playlist or hear my colleagues throughout a video name.

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE

The identical could be stated concerning the Laptop computer SE’s efficiency, which is completely positive for a machine designed for mild schoolwork. The SE’s Intel Celeron N4120 processor isn’t constructed to deal with heavy multitasking or intensive video enhancing, and even throughout primary use, I seen some slowness and stutters when leaping between Google Chrome tabs or switching apps in multitasking mode. However the Laptop computer SE was largely dependable for my each day routine of writing in Google Docs, checking e-mail and sending Slack messages, and people searching for one thing for doing homework or hopping on distant studying classes needs to be simply positive.

The Floor Laptop computer SE runs Home windows 11 SE, a streamlined model of Home windows 11 that’s designed to remove distractions whereas being simpler to make use of for youthful college students. For instance, the Home windows Begin menu solely reveals as much as 4 Really useful apps directly, as to not overwhelm college students with selection. Many apps open in fullscreen mode by default to offer college students the most effective viewing expertise potential, and since not all youngsters are multitasking consultants (and likewise as a result of the Laptop computer SE’s display is tiny), the Home windows Snap characteristic solely allows you to break up the display between as much as two apps directly. My evaluate unit of Microsoft’s scholar laptop computer got here preloaded with Microsoft Workplace necessities like Phrase and PowerPoint in addition to just a few extras like Minecraft: Training Version and Zoom, which all appear helpful for a youthful person logging into class day by day.

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE

Home windows 11 SE definitely isn’t the working system for me — due to the strict permissions arrange on my unit, I couldn’t obtain the third-party apps I take advantage of each day, together with Slack, Spotify and Discord (although I used to be ready to make use of these companies on an internet browser). Whereas that’s inconvenient for me, it makes good sense for the educator (or dad or mum) who needs to limit what their college students can obtain to maintain distractions at a minimal — and to maintain youthful customers protected from doubtlessly inappropriate or dangerous content material.

Solely IT directors can obtain apps to the Floor Laptop computer SE, and the laptop computer is constructed to get automated updates outdoors of faculty hours by way of Microsoft’s Intune for Training. It’s additionally designed for straightforward repairability, with a backside panel you can take off to swap out elements after eradicating only a handful of screws with a screwdriver. So whereas the Laptop computer SE definitely isn’t constructed for typical private use, educators searching for one thing they’ll simply handle for his or her college students might discover quite a bit to love about Microsoft’s scholar laptop computer.

The webcam and battery life aren’t nice

I wasn’t anticipating an incredible webcam from a $249 laptop computer (heck, even the cameras on some $1,000-plus fashions are dangerous), however contemplating how prevalent distant studying has change into, I must name out the Laptop computer SE’s puny 1-megapixel shooter. Whereas I obtained by way of a video name with no complaints, the photographs I captured on Microsoft’s laptop computer had been extraordinarily pixelated and blown out. It’ll get the job accomplished for primary check-ins, however in the event you or your scholar need to look as clear as potential throughout digital classes, you’re higher off plugging in certainly one of our picks for the most effective webcams.

Microsoft guarantees as much as 16 hours of battery life on the Floor Laptop computer SE, however the pocket book fell manner in need of that in my testing. This reasonably priced laptop computer tapped out after about six hours of typical workday use, which included leaping between just a few dozen Chrome tabs and hopping on a 30-minute video name, the latter of which gave the impression to be further laborious on the system’s battery. That is likely to be sufficient to get youthful college students by way of a full college day, however for everybody else, I’d suggest retaining the charger helpful once you’re on the street.

The Floor Laptop computer SE and its distinctive tackle Home windows are perfect for a managed classroom setting, however it’s definitely not a laptop computer you’ll purchase off of the shelf for a child. Actually, you may’t — the one strategy to buy this laptop computer is to contact a Microsoft Training specialist or get in contact with a Microsoft Licensed Reseller and hash out what number of models you’ll want on your college.

Those that need one thing that may be simply purchased for a person and used for each schoolwork and private playtime are higher off with a Chromebook just like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet or a full-fledged Home windows machine just like the Floor Go 3. Higher but, each of these units double as tablets for sketching and taking notes.

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE

In the event you’re within the very particular area of interest the Floor Laptop computer SE is focused at — educators searching for an reasonably priced set of laptops for his or her classroom — there’s quite a bit to love about this uniquely student-focused pocket book. Its show, efficiency and keyboard are completely ok for Okay-8 college students, and it gives a streamlined model of Home windows 11 that has full, uncompromised variations of apps like Phrase and PowerPoint (slightly than the web-based variations you’ll have to make use of on a Chromebook).

However except you’re shopping for in bulk for a enterprise, the Floor Laptop computer SE isn’t for you, and there are many worthwhile sub-$300 choices for individuals who need to purchase the scholar of their life a dependable all-purpose work and play machine. In the event you’re cool with utilizing primarily Google companies and Android apps, the $299 Lenovo Chromebook Duet is among the finest Chromebooks we’ve examined. And in the event you’re prepared to pay a bit extra for a full-fledged, unrestricted Home windows expertise full with higher battery life and digital camera high quality, the $399 Floor Go 3 will higher serve you.

Microsoft Surface Laptop SE


11.6-inch 1366 x 768 LCD

10.5-inch 1920 x 1280 PixelSense contact show

10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS touchscreen


Intel Celeron N4020 / N4120

Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y / Intel Core i3-10100&

MediaTek Helio P60T










USB-C, USB-A, headphone jack

USB-C, MicroSDXC card reader, Floor Join, headphone jack



11.17 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches; 2.45 kilos

9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches; 1.2 kilos

9.64 x 6.66 x 0.71 inches; 2.03 kilos

Software program

Home windows 11 SE

Home windows 11 Residence (S mode)

Chrome OS


1-megapixel 720p

5-megapixel 1080p entrance digital camera with Home windows Hi there; 8-megapixel rear digital camera

2-megapixel entrance digital camera; 8-megapixel rear digital camera





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