Microsoft is reportedly working on a low-cost laptop with a new Windows 11 version
Microsoft is preparing to launch a new low-cost laptop geared towards younger students in an attempt to compete with Chromebooks. The information comes from Windows Central‘s Zac Bowden, who also claims that this device, codenamed Tenjin, is only the beginning of Microsoft’s efforts to compete in this space. Microsoft’s Surface brand has typically been more premium-focused, but the company has been trying to expand its audience with affordable devices like the Surface Go 3 and the Surface Laptop Go.
Tenjin is meant to lean even further into that expansion, being a device with the bare minimum features for K-12 students. According to the report, the laptop will be powered by an Intel Celeron N4120 processor, 8GB of RAM, and an 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768. For ports, it’ll have one USB Type-A, one USB Type-C, a headphone jack, and a barrel-type charger port, meaning you won’t see something like the Surface Connect port, either.
Another important bit of information from this report has to do with the operating system. Apparently, Tenjin will run a specialized version of Windows 11 referred to as Windows 11 SE. This version will be tailor-made for low-end devices like this, and it could be Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS. With Windows 11 significantly increasing the system requirements for most PCs, a specialized version could be the answer to enabling solid PC experiences on entry-level laptops such as this one. We’ve actually seen references to Windows 11 SE prior to the launch of the operating system, but that SKU hasn’t materialized as of yet.
As for what the final name for Microsoft’s low-cost laptop will be, the report suggests it may take after the OS itself, with a name like Surface laptop SE, though this seems to be up in the air.
According to Bowden’s sources, the device is basically finalized and planned to be announced before the end of the year. Of course, plans may change. Pricing information wasn’t provided, but many of the cheaper Chromebooks are in the $200 to $400 range, so it should fall somewhere around there. Seeing as the Surface Go 3 already costs $399, Microsoft probably wants this low-cost laptop to be even cheaper.