Microsoft launches new Chromebook rival and other devices for students

Surface Laptop SE
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has launched its Surface Laptop SE and this new student laptop aims to take on Chromebooks in the K-8 education market.

First announced in November of last year, the Surface Laptop SE is the software giant's most affordable device yet starting at $249 in the US and £229 in the UK. This slim and sleek laptop features a long-lasting battery, an HD camera for video conferencing and a modern processor to load apps and files quickly.

Microsoft is also launching a new version of Windows 11 called Windows 11 SE that will power this new device and optimize performance with curated, education-first apps designed for budget-friendly devices according to a new blog post. At the same time, students can get the best of Microsoft 365 including Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and Minecraft Education Edition to help them build the skills they'll need for the future in a secured and simplified environment designed to limit distractions.

Students will be able to access files for school and productivity apps both online and offline with built-insecurity while IT can manage downloads, deployment and security settings. However, unlike the rest of Microsoft's Surface devices, the Surface Laptop SE will only be available for schools to purchase through authorized Microsoft Surface Resellers like CDW, Staples, Verizon and Insight in the US and Softcat, BT and Computacenter in the UK.

Surface Laptop SE accessories

To complete the Surface Laptop SE experience, Microsoft's partners will offer a number of accessories for the device that can be purchased separately.

These include gumdrop cases and headsets that are tough and designed to withstand heavy use and the JCPal keyboard protector with easy-to-read large print letters and color-coded keys to improve key contrast and recognition. To improve device security, the Kensington Nano Security Slot controls physical access when the Surface Laptop SE is closed. These new accessories join a range of mice, adapters, display cables and more to help round out the Surface Laptop SE experience.

Meanwhile, commercial customers will be able to order spare SSD doors, kickstands and covers for a selection of devices in the Surface portfolio which will enable IT technicians to service devices onsite.

In addition to the Surface Laptop SE, Microsoft also highlighted how the Surface Go 3, Surface Pro 8, Surface Pro X and the Surface Laptop Studio are ideal solutions for educators and high school students that need additional performance, reliability and a modern design. 

We've also featured the best student laptops, best Chromebooks for kids and best school tablets

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.