Microsoft debuts Surface Book hybrid, could give the MacBook notebooks a run for their money

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Date: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015, 08:37
Category: Hardware, News


Microsoft has come a long way with its Surface tablet.

The Surface Book, which debuted earlier this week, is built more like a traditional notebook and a recent New York press event showed the unit appearing like a variant of the classic 13-inch white MacBook made of metal, not polycarbonate plastic.

The hinge is unique in that it’s based around a “dynamic fulcrum” design that moves smoothly without much effort.

The Surface Book features a glass touchpad with multitouch as well as backlit keys that are quiet and comfortable.

The big surprise here is that the screen pops off, making this a notebook-first hybrid, rather than the Surface Pro 4, which is a tablet-first hybrid.

The Surface Book has a 13.5-inch diagonal PixelSense, 3,000×2,000 pixel display, with 6 million pixels at 267 pixels per inch. The screen supports touch and you can write on it with the included Surface Pen.

It’s equipped with a 5-megapixel front-facing Windows Hello face-authentication camera to unlock the laptop, plus an 8-megapixel rear camera that can record 1080p HD video.

The tablet by itself weighs 1.6 pounds (700 grams) and is just 0.3 inches (7.7mm) thick. Add the keyboard and it goes to 3.3 pounds (1.5kg) and between 0.5-0.9 inches (13-22.8 mm) thick.

Inside, the Surface Book has a PCIe 3.0 solid-state drive, with either 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB of storage space. There’s also an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor depending on the model you choose, an Nvidia GeForce GPU with dedicated high-speed GDDR5 16GB of storage and 8GB or 16GB of RAM.

The 128 GB model retails for US$1,499, while the 1TB option goes up to US$2,699 . The lower-end model doesn’t have the Nvidia GPU, which keeps costs lower.

The Surface Book’s battery can last for 12 hours while playing video. When the lid is closed, it allegedly won’t drain battery, so you it can last for several days with a single charge, as long as you don’t use it too much.

It’s an interesting machine that essentially takes a shot at the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks, promising better battery life and more power and better performance for gaming and watching video.

And it’ll be interesting to see where this goes.


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