Microsoft announces the Surface Book, a 13-inch laptop that becomes a Surface tablet
If you like how the Surface Pro 4 looks, but aren't interested in a tablet for some reason, you might just love the Surface Book. The hybrid laptop is built out of aluminum and very much resembles the MacBook Pro's iconic design, only there is a hinge on this laptop that you've never seen anywhere — not even on borderline alien-looking devices, such as Lenovo's Yoga line. The "Dynamic Fulcrum" hinge allows for the laptop's screen to be fully detached from the body (by pressing a dedicated button), but you won't be able to rely on the discrete NVIDIA GPU in this mode of operation. Still, this design is quite innovative!
In addition to its detachment superpowers, the Surface Book features a glass-covered trackpad with five-point multitouch. There are two USB 3.0 ports, Mini DisplayPort, an SD card reader, and SurfaceConnect ports available as well.
Dimensions-wise, the Surface Book measures 12.30” x 9.14” x 0.51 - 0.90” (312.3mm x 232.1mm x 13.0 - 22.8mm) and weighs at least 3.34 pounds (1,516 grams) including the keyboard. The more expensive models are presumably heavier.
The Surface Book has a 13.5-inch display with a pixel density of 267 pixels per inch, achieved with an extra-high 3000 x 2000 resolution. The display is touch-sensitive and is able to work with the Surface Pen, which can, once again, be docked to the top of the screen via magnetic connection.
Touting it "the fastest 13-inch laptop anywhere on the planet", Microsoft packed a lot of powerful internals in the Surface Book to be able to afford this claim. The computer is powered by Intel's 6th-gen Core series Skylake processors and runs with the chipset's integrated HD Graphics 520 GPU, or the discrete Nvidia GeForce GPU. Memory-wise, the laptop comes with up to 1TB of SSD storage and up to 16GB of RAM. There's also a built-in TRM chip for enterprise security uses. Battery life on the Surface Book is rated at 12 hours.
Additionally, this powerhouse has a 5MP front-facing camera, an 8MP rear cam, two microphones and front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby audio. There are also a bunch of sensors - ambient light, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer.
Price and release date
The Surface Book starts at $1,499 for the base model (Core i5, no NVIDIA GPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD), while the most expensive model goes for $2700 and includes a Core i7 chip, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The Surface Book will start shipping on October 26.