Object of Desire: Microsoft Surface Book

January 20, 2016

By Greg Scoblete

Microsoft’s Surface tablet was an ambitious product, seeking to merge high productivity with extreme portability in a tablet that could double as a laptop. With the Surface Book, Microsoft has taken a slightly different approach, creating a high-performance laptop that can double as a tablet. It’s a subtle distinction, but one that’s most evident in the keyboard. Where the Surface tablet has a less sturdy, kickstand-style keyboard case, the Surface Book has a full-sized, backlit keyboard with a detachable, 13.5-inch touchscreen display. If you don’t want to separate the two, a hinge on the keyboard lets you fold the Surface Book so that the back of the display meets the back of the keyboard. The display has a photo-editing-friendly resolution of 3000×2000 with 267 pixels per inch. Microsoft says the screen has improved latency so it’s more responsive if you want to sketch or edit using a stylus (which we’re all calling “pens” now). The Surface Book runs either an Intel Core i5 or a Core i7 processor with up to 12 hours of battery life, 8/16GB of RAM and up to 1TB worth of SSD memory. It has a separate GPU to take advantage of hardware-accelerated graphics processing to speed video editing and rendering. Like the Surface tablets, the Surface Book runs the full version of Windows 10, so you can run Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop without resorting to their mobile counterparts. There are two full-sized USB 3.0 ports plus an SD card reader built into the keyboard. The Surface Book weighs 3.3 pounds, though that will increase if you upgrade components. It measures 12x9x0.9 inches fully assembled.

PRICE: Starting at $1,499


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