Microsoft has surprised a captive audience during its Windows 10 devices event by introducing its first laptop, the New Windows 10-powered Surface Book. The announced specifications and marketed performance from the hardware are as impressive as the event itself has been. The machine also packs a few small surprises that should immediately make it a serious contender for those looking for a new, powerful laptop in the premium space.
So just what exactly will the new Surface Book bring to the premium laptop space? Extreme competition for Apple’s range of MacBook Pro hardware it seems. The portable computer features a 13.5-inch 267 ppi PixelSense display just like the Surface Pro 4, albeit with two critical distinctions – the display resolution on the Surface Book is 3000 x 2000 pixels, with the panels being optically bonded, which should make for a better display than the new tablet. With battery life being a point of concern these days, Microsoft has promised to keep that display turned on for approximately 12 hours.
The main grunt of the hardware is provided by Intel’s sixth-generation (Skylake) Core processors, accompanied by 16GB of RAM. That’s not all, there’s also the presence of an accompanying Nvidia GeForce GPU if you really wanna push the machine, but at the cost of some battery juice of course. In a similar fashion to the recently announced Surface Pro 4, consumers will also be able to configure the Surface Book to come with a 1TB SSD drive.
The machine carries an 8MP primary rear-facing camera, capable of 1080p video recording. On the front is a 5MP camera for Skyping and other purposes.
Executives of the company are very confident about Surface Book’s performance by labeling it the “most powerful laptop in its class”. It wouldn’t be an official demonstration without comparing the hardware to the competition. It seems that the Surface Book offers twice the performance of Apple’s MacBook Pro in a smaller chassis at just 7.7 mm of thickness.
One of the defining areas of the Surface Book is its loyalty to how other Microsoft Surface products function. The keyboard on the hardware is actually detachable, as well as reversible, which Microsoft is hoping will put it in a class of its own when it comes to being a truly portable laptop computer. The keyboard on the Surface Book is said to be one of the best in the market right now with a 1.6mm key travel. What about the trackpad? The Windows-maker has thrown in a glass trackpad with “5 points of touch.” What’s that? No fingerprint scanner? The Surface Book has instead opted for a built-in iris scanner supported for use with Windows Hello.
The Surface Book is also compatible with the new Surface Dock which brings an additional 2 USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot as well. As for a stylus, the Surface Book is compatible with the Surface Pen unveiled alongside the Surface Pro 4 today.
As part of the announcement, the company revealed that its intention with the Surface Book was to bring desktop class graphics and performance into an extremely thin, light and portable package. We’d have to see and experience this thing for ourselves in the real world, but it certainly looks like the company’s hardware division has achieved that goal.
Pre-orders for the new Surface Book will begin October 7, with shipping starting October 26. Pricing starts at $1,499.