READING

performance made personal

performance made personal

as a design blogger and freelance pr consultant, i spend a lot of my time on the go – always in and out of coffee shops, co-working spaces, design shops, galleries – you name it. and pretty much everywhere i go my laptop comes too!

the beauty of blogging – or any contemporary business built to run online – is that you really can work from anywhere these days, but the downside of that is having to carry your “office” with you wherever you go. so i was delighted when john lewis got in touch recently asking if i’d like to trial the new microsoft surface laptop (£1,249 with a 2-year guarantee); a harmonious balance of sleek elegant design aesthetics and powerful performance features, with a luxurious signature alcantara® material-covered keyboard that provides a soft warmth beneath your fingertips and a gentle light spring that makes typing a breeze.

i’ve been putting the laptop through its paces this week as i traverse the landscape of london from east to west and back again during the london design festival, and my new laptop has certainly been garnering a lot of attention along the way!

for starters, it’s not a run-of-the-mill black or silver number, oh no. my limited edition burgundy version is a little bit of a show-stopper – perfect for pairing with new autumn colour palettes and slipping in seamlessly in with all my black leather working-wardrobe accessories. compact and slim, the surface laptop slides easily into my trusty black leather backpack i’ve become wedded to in the past year, and at just 1.25kg doesn’t weigh to heavily on my mind throughout the day as i carry it securely on my back (seriously – if you’re not yet a convert to backpacks vs. shoulder bags you really need to try one out!)

one of the biggest concerns for me when working remotely is the battery life of my laptop, since carrying a power cable adds extra bulk and weight to my backpack and trying to find a power outlet in crowded london cafes – or better yet, a purpose-built design fair space – is a nightmare. happily though, the surface laptop just keeps in going, with an all-day battery life of up to 14.5 hours – fantastic! 

the laptop also boast intel’s 7th-generation i5 processor, which is designed to make your laptop faster and more efficient, alongside a ‘turbo boost’ which allows it to handle more programs and intensive tasks without the usual slowing down of processes. this busy design week what’s been most noticeable to me has been the fact that the laptop starts up almost instantaneously when its opened, which has allowed me to get into my email inbox as quickly as possible, and not waste precious moments between shows waiting for programmes to start up and files to load. well, time is money as they say..

i’ve also been pretty ecstatic about the touchscreen navigation on the surface laptop, which feels slightly alien to begin with but very quickly becomes second nature and far more intuitive that you might initially think, providing a user experience that feels far more in line with what i’ve become accustomed to with my smartphone and tablet in recent years. the screen also has a vibrant edge-to-edge 13.5″ pixelsense™ display and 3:2 aspect ratio, meaning its a tad taller than other laptop screens on the market, which not only offers more screen room when working, but also an enhanced netflix viewing experience at the end of the day when i’m in dire need of a relax and recharge session after pounding the pavements for hours on end, and indulging in one too many glasses of complimentary fizz!

i’m very happy to report that the luxurious alcantara® material-covered keyboard has been specially treated to resist spills, stains and absorption, and can easily be wiped clean in the event of any crumbs from hastily eaten cakes and sandwiches consumed greedily between events!

it’s also important to note that the luscious burgundy shade – which is really a very sophisticated plum/wine hue – contrasted perfectly with yinka ilori‘s fabulous playground installation in the festival’s shoreditch design district, further enhancing it’s en-trend and oh-so-cool credentials (unlike my attempts at posing naturally on a swing)..

so, what do you think of the new surface laptop design? i certainly feel that it’s managed to strike that fine balance of something that looks both beautiful and luxurious, whilst being fully functional and effortless to use – making it a total winner in my book!


this post is in collaboration with in john lewis. the new microsoft surface laptop in burgundy is available at john lewis and microsoft, retailing at £1,249.00 with a 2-year guarantee. all opinions and photography my own. portrait imagery shot on location at ace hotel shoreditch, with thanks to cate st hill


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  1. I love the colour – definitely a nice change from the standard black and silver laptops (I used to have a red laptop, so have a soft spot for a nice colour!) – and the battery life sounds excellent. Is it nice and lightweight to carry around all day?

    • kate

      25 September

      Yes, pretty lightweight in deed – one of the lightest on the market I think in fact x

  2. lucy

    22 September

    Wow it sounds like they’ve thought of everything. Burgundy as well? Amazing. I’m interested in this as I’m looking for something for my daughter! x

    • kate

      25 September

      Such a gorgeous hue! They also have a blue and a silver/gold option, so something for everyone x

  3. Kimberly Duran

    22 September

    Oh my goodness, this laptop looks amazing! Love how stunning it is of course but a 14 hour battery and so light as well? Amazing! I just lugged my laptop to London and it weighs a tonne so now I just need to find the £1300 to buy one! Ha! Love the pics too, you are too cute xx

    • kate

      25 September

      Yes, being lightweight is an absolute must for me given how much I carry my laptop around during the day. My previous one was light, but the battery was a bit pathetic and the system always ran so slow once the battery dipped below 50%. The Surface is so much better, for sure!

  4. Juan Sandiego

    22 September

    I’ve heard good things about the alcantara material. I should really pop in the shop and a look (and touch). To be honest, my eyes are on the Surface Studio. Have you tried it?

    • kate

      25 September

      I haven’t yet, but would definitely love to try it! The alcantara keyboard is definitely a fab design feature and so much more robust than I’d have thought initially. Let me know how you get on with the Surface Studio when you get the chance to trial it x

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