Microsoft got into the laptop business with the Surface Book. On October 6th, during the Windows 10 Devices event in New York City, the software giant slowly become a key player in the hardware market by introducing the Surface Book — the ultimate laptop.
It’s the first laptop built from Microsoft and it’s the most beautiful computing device you will ever own. At first glance when you look at the laptop, you can tell the company is building this Windows 10 PC to take on Apple’s MacBook Pro.
The performance of the Surface Book is unmatched by any other device in its class. It’s twice as fast as the MacBook Pro, it’s configurable to up to a 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and up to 1TB of storage, and you can get with an optional discrete NVIDIA GeForce graphics.
The design of this 13.5-inch PixelSense display laptop is very sleek, as it shares a lot of characteristics found in the new Surface Pro 4 and previous Surface Pro 3 with a magnesium body, and unique vents to keep the system cool. Even more interesting the Surface Book also converts into a tablet (clipboard), thanks to the “muscle wire lock” mechanism invented by Microsoft that releases the display from its base when an electrical charge is applied.
Similar to the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro the Surface Book features a unique hinge design, which the company calls “dynamic fulcrum hinge”, which basically means that the hinge will look like it flexes as you open and close the screen. You also will notice that there is a gap between the screen and the base, according to Microsoft, the design was built in purpose to offer the perfect balances for “lapability”.
Now let’s get a closer look at the technical specifications of the Surface Book, as this laptop is the ultimate powerhouse that will deliver amazing performance.
|Operating system||Windows 10 Pro|
|Dimensions||Surface Book: 12.30” x 9.14” x 0.51 - 0.90” (312.3mm x 232.1mm x 13.0 - 22.8mm)
Surface Book with Performance Base: 12.30” x 9.14” x 0.59 - 0.90” (312.3mm x 232.1mm x 14.9 - 22.8mm)
|Weight||Surface Book: Starting at 3.34 lbs (1,516 g) including keyboard
Surface Book with Performance Base: 3.68 lbs (1,647 g) including keyboard
Physical buttons: Volume, Power
|Storage||Solid-state drive (SSD) PCIe 3.0:
|Display||Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense Display
Resolution: 3000x2000 (267 ppi)
Contrast ratio: 1800:1
Aspect ratio: 3:2
100 percent sRGB color, individually calibrated
Touch: 10-point multitouch
|Processor||6th Generation 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5-6300U processor with Intel HD graphics 520
6th Generation 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6600U processor with Intel HD graphics 520
Core i5: Intel HD graphics 520
Core i5 & Core i7: NVIDIA GeForce dGPU with 1GB GDDR5 memory
Surface Book with Performance Base:
Core i7: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 memory
|Keyboard & Trackpad||Full-size, integrated backlit keyboard with 1.6mm key travel
Precision trackpad with glass laminated trackpad (7,350 sq. mm)
Five-finger contact recognition with full Windows 10 support
|Security||TPM chip for enterprise security
Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity
|Network||802.11ac 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth 4.0 LE wireless technology
|Battery||Surface Book: Up to 12 hours of video playback
Surface Book with Performance Base: Up to 16 hours of video playback
|Cameras||Windows Hello face-authentication camera (front-facing)
8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera, with 1080p HD camera
5.0MP front-facing 1080p HD camera
|Audio||Dual microphones, front- and rear-facing
Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby audio
|Ports||Two full-size USB 3.0
Full-size SD™ card reader (SDXC compatible)
Two Surface Connect ports
Compatible with Surface Dial Off-Screen Interaction
Ambient light sensor
|Power Supply||36W power supply with USB charging port
65W power supply with USB charging port (discrete GPU SKU)
|In the box||Surface Book
Quick Start Guide
Safety and warranty documents
128GB 6th Generation Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM $1,499
256GB 6th Generation Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM $1,699
256GB 6th Generation Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor $1,899
512GB 6th Generation Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM $1,999
256GB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 8GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor $2,099
512GB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor $2,699
1TB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor $3,199
Surface Book with Performance Base:
256GB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 8GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor $2,399
512GB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor $2,799
1TB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor $3,299
Microsoft is aiming Surface Book for gamers, engineers, professionals, and those individuals with big performance demands.
Using the Surface Dock users can connect up to two external 4K monitors, while still powering the Surface Book 3000 x 2000 pixel display.
The software giant designed the tablet to have a 13.5-inch display because it offers the same size of an A4 paper with a 3:2 aspect ratio, and it’s also the size of a clipboard. So, when you remove the 7.7mm thin display from the keyboard base, you get a clipboard.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind, when you detach the tablet part of the laptop, the battery life will dramatically decrease as the majority of the battery is located in the base. In theory, you will probably get up to 3 to 4 hours of battery life on tablet mode with the Intel 520 graphics chip, but when you dock the tablet to the base for a full laptop experience, you will get the claimed 12 hours of battery using the discrete NVIDIA GeForce graphics.
Now, let’s talk about pricing, because this could be a little confusing for some people at first. The Surface Book starts at $1,499 for the base model with the Core i5 processor, but you have to notice that the entry model doesn’t include the discrete NVIDIA graphics — only the Intel 520 graphics chip located inside of the tablet.
If you’re looking to get the NVIDIA graphics with the Surface Book, you will need to spend $1,899 for the entry model, which includes a Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Of courses you can always max out your credit card to get the Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage for $2,699.