Could it be that what Apple couldn’t do with the MacBook Pro, Microsoft succeeded in doing with the Microsoft Surface Book 2016 version? There’s something peculiar about the new Surface Book. It’s sleek design, intuitive features, better graphics, a detachable touchscreen and the USB 3.0 ports Apple had done away with on their new MacBook Pro are just some simple features that draw one’s attention to the ultra-portable yet stylish convertible laptop which weighs just 3.6 lbs. And acts like a large screen “clipboard like” tablet when it’s detached.
The laptop body is made using magnesium and has a shiny silver color that makes it look beautiful on the desk.
Sporting a 3000x 2000 13.5-inch touchscreen display with the 3:2 aspect ratio, the laptop comes in with these configurations
- 4GHz (can be Turbo boosted to 3GHz) dual-core Intel Core i5-6300U with the 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 965, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD
- 6GHz Intel Core i7-6600U processor with 16GB RAM, 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 965 and 1TB SSD. This model is called the “Performance Base” model.
Other standard features on the laptop include its SD Card reader, a rear facing 8MP camera on the back of the detachable tablet display alongside the front facing 5MP camera with Windows Hello, the lovely Surface Pen, as well as its fantastic keyboard and a glass touchpad. The storage and processor are located on the tablet itself alongside a battery which powers the tablet when it’s detached, so you still get to do your tasks at fantastic speeds.
The battery life on the Surface Book lasted 16 hours using the media playback test with brightness set at 65% – the battery life on the tablet when it is detached is lasts just about 4 hours.
On the laptop’s chassis is the Microsoft magnetic charge connector, alongside the two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot to the left, while the MiniDisplay port connector sits on the right. The hinges in the Surface Book aren’t as convertible as that on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga, but in spite of that, it still turns out to be a good table top when inverted. The tablet is released from the laptop by simply pressing a button.
Using the Surface Pen on the laptop even when it’s in laptop mode is cool, as it’s sturdy enough to withstand the slight pressure from the pen when you’re using it.
Microsoft offers memory upgrades for the Surface Book with its 512GB and 1TB SSDs, but, that upgrade could possibly see the price go up higher than expected. More so, playing games such as Heaven, Valley as well as Fire Strike Extreme are a breeze for the device at “ultra” graphic settings.
Generally, the Microsoft Surface Book models are a quite expensive, starting out at $1,900 for the lowest version, unlike the 2016 Apple MacBook Pro whose lowest model retails at around $1,500.
The 2016 Microsoft Surface Book is a tad better than the 2015 version but still needs more upgrades at a lesser price to be able to find its way into homes.