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In an October 5 Webcast, Microsoft made their anticipated announcement of the Surface Pro 4. But, the star of the show was another new product that caught everybody off guard: The Surface Book.
Surface Pro 4
The Surface Pro 4 continues the 2-in-1 line of thin, light Surface Pro tablet/notebook computers, with upgrades, of course. The Surface Pro 4 incorporates the new Intel Skylake processor, making the Pro 4 faster than previous versions, while reducing power consumption at the same time. It also sports an incredibly sharp 12.3 inch, 5 million pixel display.
Like previous Surface Pro models, it has a Surface Pen, but this one is magnetic, snapping to the side of the tablet for safe keeping. The Surface Pro 3 had a cheap-looking fabric loop for storing the pen, and the Surface Pro 2, which I own, had no pen storage mechanism at all.
With all the power and features packed inside, it weighs a mere 1.69 pounds, making it the ideal travel productivity machine.
The Surface Pro 4 is not cheap. Price ranges from $900 with an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage to a whopping $2,700 for a top-of-the line customized version with Core I7, 16GB RAM and 1 TB storage.
In the technology arena, it’s hard to keep secrets. Most upcoming products get leaked ahead of time. But the appearance of the Surface Book was a complete shocker.
In Microsoft’s words, the Surface Book is the ultimate laptop. Like the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book has a detachable 13.5 inch touch screen. But while the focus of the Surface Pro models has been a tablet with an attachable keyboard, the Surface Book emphasizes the laptop with a detachable keyboard. That may be semantics, but it’s clear that the Surface Book is targeting the laptop market.
First, it is bigger than the Surface Pro 4. It has a 13.5 inch display vs. 12.3 inch for Surface Pro 4. It’s heavier, weighing in at 3.34 pounds, vs 1.69 pounds for Surface Pro. The Surface Book has a full sized, backlit keyboard for easier typing. And the Surface Book has more built-in ports. But those side-by-side comparisons so understate the pizzazz of the Surface Book.
It’s as stylish as it is powerful. It’s “dynamic fulcrum” hinge lets you fold the keyboard back behind the screen. And, of course, you can remove the keyboard entirely, if you wish. Power? It’s basic version comes with an Intel Skylake Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The top of the line delivers a Core i7, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage and a separate graphics processor. There are several configurations in between these two extremes.
Speaking of extremes, the basic model goes for $1,500. The top-of-the-line will set you back $2,700.
To get the full story on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, see Microsoft.com.