Microsoft unveils Surface Book laptop & Surface Pro 4 tablet with new Surface Pen

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
Microsoft took direct aim at Apple's MacBook Pro and iPad Pro at a press event Tuesday, revealing the Surface Book -- its first-ever laptop -- and the Surface Pro 4, an updated tablet matched by a redesigned stylus.


Surface Book

The Surface Book sports an optically-bonded 13.5-inch display, with 3,000 by 2,000 screen rated at 267 pixels per inch. The screen section can actually be removed for use as a pure tablet -- alternately, a flexible hinge lets users bend the display all the way back, with the keyboard section serving as support.

The Book's backlit keyboard is claimed to be almost completely silent during typing, and comes paired with a glass trackpad with five points of touch sensitivity.

Microsoft's biggest selling point however is performance, as buyers will have access to Intel Skylake-based Core i5 and i7 processors, plus an Nvidia GeForce graphics chip with GDDR5 memory. The Book is claimed to be the fastest 13-inch laptop ever made, and twice as fast as Apple's MacBook Pro -- its Nvidia GPU is located in the keyboard section however, which means that users will need to keep the computer together to get maximum performance.

Bundled with the computer is a new Surface Pen, also included with the Surface Pro 4, which has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and an "eraser" on top. Holding down a button on the Pen triggers Cortana voice commands.

Preorders for the Surface Book start Oct. 7, with prices beginning at $1,499 for a Core i5 model with 128 gigabytes of storage and 8 gigabytes of RAM. The computer should ship Oct. 26.

Surface Pro 4




The Surface Pro 4 has a 12.3-inch display and occupies the same gereral footprint as its predecessor, but is also said to be thinner and lighter, despite improvements like faster Intel processors and new storage and RAM options. While the cheapest configuration includes an Intel Core M chip, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and 128 gigabytes of storage, buyers can scale up to a Core i7, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and/or a 1 terabyte drive. Microsoft claims that the Pro 4 can be up to 50 percent faster than the MacBook Air.

Separate keyboard cases, meanwhile, come with enhancements like built-in fingerprint sensors.

Preorders for the Pro 4 launch today. Prices start at $899, but range up to $2,699 for a fully-equipped configuration.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 251
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    I don't understand their products. Surface Book Laptop? And its not the same thing as the Surface 4? What?

    Make a laptop.
    Make a tablet.

    For crying out loud make ANYTHING that is good at being ONE THING, Microsoft.
  • Reply 2 of 251
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    The Surface Pro 4 has a 12.3-inch display and occupies the same gereral footprint as its predecessor, but is also said to be thinner and lighter, despite improvements like faster Intel processors and new storage and RAM options.

    If AnandTech's preliminary iPhone 6S-series benchmarks are anything to go by, the iPad Pro with an A9X ARM chip will be a much better value than this MS Surface Pro* with an Intel chip.

    * They call it a Surface Pro but are they even still making the MS Surface with the ARM processor?
  • Reply 3 of 251
    There we have it.
    Microsoft is making it's own hardware.

    Now they just need to stop making everything into a PC.
  • Reply 4 of 251
    Don't put that Surfacebook in a backpack that hinge will flatten out in no time. nothing to keep that from getting crushed. Poor design.
  • Reply 5 of 251
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,880member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post



    I don't understand their products. Surface Book Laptop? And its not the same thing as the Surface 4? What?

     

    Yeah, I was baffled by this too.  If it was just trying to be a laptop, then I'd say it has pretty decent specs for the price.  But then they throw in a stylus and make the screen detachable (at the expense of graphics performance, which is exactly what's needed for a fluid stylus experience in drawing apps).  That's where they lost me with it.

  • Reply 6 of 251
    Good work Microsoft! The competition is strong with these two.
  • Reply 7 of 251
    The hardware is actually kinda nice. The biggest problem is Windows and "Metro" or whatever it is they call it these days. The thing is maddening. One of the biggest benefits of these tablets is supposed to be backwards compatibility with existing Windows software, yeah, good luck using Word or Visual Studio on that small screen with 267dpi.
  • Reply 8 of 251
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,283member

    I'm impressed. Apple is losing its edge to these competitors. Light, thin, elegant.... no longer Apple-defining characteristics.

  • Reply 9 of 251
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post



    The hardware is actually kinda nice. The biggest problem is Windows and "Metro" or whatever it is they call it these days. The thing is maddening. One of the biggest benefits of these tablets is supposed to be backwards compatibility with existing Windows software, yeah, good luck using Word or Visual Studio on that small screen with 267dpi.



    Not sure what you are referring to... 13" screen is plenty big enough (same as a MacBook, which runs MS Office just fine), and 267dpi would make for a very crisp screen. I'm no Microsoft fan, but your response does not match reality at all.

  • Reply 10 of 251

    Anyone know if these are "hard" prices, like Apple?  Or MSRPs that are almost certain to be discounted on, say, Black Friday in the US...?

  • Reply 11 of 251
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,880member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

     

    I'm impressed. Apple is losing its edge to these competitors. Light, thin, elegant.... no longer Apple-defining characteristics.




    I wouldn't exactly call this elegant...

     

  • Reply 12 of 251
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    coolfactor wrote: »
    I'm impressed. Apple is losing its edge to these competitors. Light, thin, elegant.... no longer Apple-defining characteristics.

    I don't see how Apple is losing their edge. In fact, I'd argue that Apple's lead is increasing each year due to their veridical and lateral integration, that no one else is even coming close to replicating. How long before we see anything that comes close to 3D Touch on another device due the use of at least 3 different HW components, and an OS with frameworks and APIs that need to be developed to make it a useful and convenient feature.

    auxio wrote: »
    I wouldn't exactly call this elegant...

    [image]

    Are those air vents on the top edge?
  • Reply 13 of 251
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by auxio View Post

     



    I wouldn't exactly call this elegant...

     




    Can you say "CrushGate"

  • Reply 14 of 251
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    An example of someone trying to out-Apple Apple, poorly.

     

    The competition still doesn't get that vertical integration requires superior implementation of the basics. And it is THAT on which everything else is built. 

     

    If you keep building on the wrong paradigm, you're only going to throw good money after bad. 

  • Reply 15 of 251
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

     

    I'm impressed. Apple is losing its edge to these competitors. Light, thin, elegant.... no longer Apple-defining characteristics.


     

    You're impressed that someone is trying to out-Apple Apple?  Where have you been for the last decade or two?

     

    [Edit: Quadra610 beat me to that turn-of-phrase...]

  • Reply 15 of 251
    I still find it strange that MS is pushing the touch screen laptop form factor. Having your hands in front of you in the flat plane, resting on the keyboard, is natural, since it takes little to no muscle to type on the keyboard. But once you have to touch the screen, you're then needing to hold not just your hand (unless you have strangely long, alien-like, fingers) and your arm up, which then makes your hand and fingers less stable, in order to touch the screen. It's just really really poor form and a bad idea.
  • Reply 17 of 251
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,540member

    The hinge looks interesting.  Pretty thick though.

  • Reply 18 of 251
    schlackschlack Posts: 673member
    Impressive hardware and design. one of the first times I've felt like MSFT might have an edge on apple from a hardware/design/performance perspective. Hope Apple can continue to outpace MSFT going forward. They need to release redesigned skylake versions of their macbook pro laptops ASAP. They are beginning to feel a bit dated...having been last redesigned in mid-2012.
  • Reply 19 of 251
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auxio View Post

     



    I wouldn't exactly call this elegant...

     




    Oh shoot, the Laptop can't close?  Elegant my *ss ?

  • Reply 20 of 251



    No Way I would put that in a backpack....

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