Microsoft Surface Book is the company’s first ever laptop

Microsoft has just announced its first ever laptop, and it’s called the Surface Book.

Unveiled at the company’s product launch event today, the Surface Book was described as “the ultimate laptop” by Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Surface and Lumia VP.

The notebook has a 13.5-inch PixelSense screen – that’s the same display technology featured on the new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – with a 3,000 x 2,000 pixel resolution, a 3:2 aspect ratio, and 10-point multi-touch.

The display has an impressive pixel density of 267-pixels-per-inch, which works out at about 6 million pixels.

In terms of performance, you’re looking at serious graphical potential courtesy of an optional dedicated Nvidia GeForce GPU, as well as integrated Intel HD 520 graphics. It’s also got 1GB of dedicated high-speed GDDR5 RAM and new Skylake i5/i7 processor options.

Memory options available are 8GB or 16GB, while SSD storage is offered in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB variants.

Panay also claimed that the processor and dedicated GPU ‘fundamentally

makes Surface Book two times faster than the MacBook Pro’.

With any portable device, battery life is a concern. Fortunately, it sounds respectable enough, with Panay claiming a solid 12-hour charge cycle with video playback – we’ll have to wait for a review unit to verify this.

The trackpad is built from glass and offers five points of multi-touch. The keys are backlit, and have a neglible 1.6mm travel distance. Oh, and the keyboard is detachable – not bad for a powerhouse notebook.

That last bit is where it all gets interesting, because the Nvidia GPU is actually built into the dock. So you won’t get high-grade graphics performance unless the keyboard is attached.

Related: Five things things that will make you want a Surface Book

Surface Book

Device dimensions of the laptop are 232.1 x 312.3 x 13.0-22.8mm, while tablet dimensions are 220.2 x 312.3 x 7.7mm.

The laptop sans the Nvidia GPU weighs 1.515kg, rising to 1.579kg with the GPU. As a tablet only, the Surface Book weighs 726g.

On the camera front, you’re looking at an 8-megapixel rear-facing sensor, and a 5-megapixel front-facing selfie snapper.

There are dual microphones – front- and rear-facing – as well as frong-facing stereo speakers equipped with Dolby audio.

The Surface Book also works with Microsoft’s new Surface Pen, which comes in five colour options and offers up a range of interchangeable tips for varying use-cases.

In terms of connectivity, there are two full-size USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, Surface Connect for power and docking, a 3.5mm audio jack, a Mini DisplayPort, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO Wi-FI support.

Related: Windows 10 features guide

The Surface Book starts at a price of $1,499, and is available to pre-order starting October 7. It’s available to buy outright on October 26.

What do you think of the Microsoft Surface Book? Let us know in the comments.

Surface Book 5

Related: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review

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