When it comes to tablets and laptops, Apple has undoubtedly been at the head of its class with its innovative and stylish offerings of the MacBook and iPad. And despite their best efforts, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba and the like – as excellent as their products are – just cannot seem to keep up with the Apple juggernaut. But Microsoft’s Surface Book might just be the device to break Apple’s hold on laptops and tablets.
— CNET (@CNET) October 11, 2015
Microsoft is a company mostly known for focusing on software rather than hardware, so the unveiling of its first attempt at a formal laptop caught everyone by surprise. That’s not to say this is the company’s first foray into portable devices, as its Surface product line has been steadily gaining ground as a tablet with the power of a laptop year after year. But the ground it has gained is apparently not enough for the Redmond, Washington-based company, prompting Microsoft to get in the ring to counter Apple with a laptop.
The Surface Book is an amalgamation of the best features that Surface Pro tablets offer and what laptop users are clamoring for. Plus, it has one thing that consumers will undoubtedly love – a detachable screen.
Since the Surface Book is Microsoft’s first ever laptop, it makes sense that the company went all out with the specs. The company has even gone as far as calling it “the fastest laptop on any planet.”
The Surface Book has a 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display and boasts of having a 3,000×2,000 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
The laptop’s power will depend on what the consumer wants, as the Microsoft Surface Book can be powered by either an Intel Core i5 or a Core i7 processor and an i5 or i7 NVIDIA GPU for a better gaming experience, faster rendering, and unmatched video editing. It runs Windows 10 and boasts up to 12 hours of battery power. Consumers also have the choice of 128GB, 256GB, or 1TB storage options.
The Surface Book weighs in at 3.34 pounds with a keyboard especially designed for ease and comfort. What’s more, the laptop’s “dynamic fulcrum” hinge allows it to swivel all the way round. But if the Surface Book is detached and used as a tablet, it weighs in at only 1.6 pounds. It also has two 2 USB ports, a MicroSD slot, and a Mini DisplayPort to make connecting to a traditional monitor easier.
However, high-end specs automatically mean high-end prices. The company does admit that this first stint in formal laptops is also on the pricier side, with the base model costing at least $1,500. For that price, consumers are already assured of a 128GB drive, 8GB RAM, and an Intel Core i5 processor. Adding $400 more will get a buyer 256GB and a dedicated graphics processor.
It’s obvious that the Microsoft Surface Book is the company’s answer to the Apple Macbook Pro, as its specs are not far behind this frontrunner. Based on what Microsoft VP Panos Panay is peddling, the Surface Book is geared towards a specific set of people.
“This is for the gamer who plays League of Legends; this is for the architect who’s building a building right now, or designing a bridge and needs to compile and press the system; it’s for the scientist who’s thinking about the cure for cancer and needs to push the machine as far as they can; it’s for the coder using the latest Visual Studio where they can compile using the GPU and CPU at the same time and not lose a minute,” explained Panay.
The Surface Book appears to have been assigned another mission as well, and that’s to convince consumers that personal computers are still the way to go. But whether or not Microsoft’s laptop can make people believers again remains to be seen.
[Image via Microsoft]