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Microsoft may release a smaller Surface Laptop to counter Apple’s rumored 12-inch MacBook

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release an entry-level version of the Surface Laptop, following the success of the budget-friendly Microsoft Surface Go.

Unlike the hybrid Surface Go, Windows Central reports that this incoming Surface device, code-named ‘Sparti’, will arrive in the form of a lightweight clam-shell PC that has its sights set firmly on Google Chromebook devices.

In terms of specs, the device – which the report claims could arrive as the Surface Laptop Go – will allegedly sport a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage for entry-level systems, and it's expected to ship running Microsoft’s stripped-back Windows 10 S operating system.

The report also claims the laptop will  pack a 12.5-inch screen, smaller than the 13.5-inch display on the current entry-level Surface Laptop. This could see Microsoft also position the laptop as an alternative to Apple’s rumored 12-inch MacBook,  which will reportedly arrive later this year as the company’s first ARM-powered laptop.

The budget Surface Laptop could stack up to the MacBook in the design department, too. Sources that have allegedly seen engineering samples of the device claims it looks and feels like a typical Surface product, which hopefully means Microsoft  hasn't compromised on build quality to achieve a lower price. 

It's also very lightweight, according to the sources, and its smaller display means the overall device size is more compact. 

Windows Central reports that the so-called Sparti will be priced between $500 and $600 (about £383/£460, AU$690/$830), and will be positioned as a more affordable alternative to the flagship Surface Laptop 3. 

The Microsoft Sparti, or Surface Laptop Go, is expected to make its official debut in October, alongside a handful of other Surface products and accessories.