Exclusive: Microsoft finally reveals why Surface Book is missing Intel RealSense

Intel’s depth-sensing camera seems to be everywhere these days, but it’s absent on the Microsoft Surface Book.

Microsoft has explained why the Surface Book doesn’t feature Intel RealSense technology.

Dan Laycock, the Senior Communications Manager for Microsoft Surface, told us that the development team initially considered including RealSense, but scrapped it for aesthetic reasons.

“We did [consider Intel RealSense], but the thickness got in the way,” Laycock said, speaking exclusively to TrustedReviews.

He added: “So it was a consideration, but [the Surface Book] is very thin, and you can only do so much.”

surface book

Intel RealSense is a camera platform that allows for facial and gesture recognition, depth-sensing, and 3D object scanning.

A number of third-party Windows laptops offer RealSense technology, including devices from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo.

It’s an increasingly common feature thanks to its support for the Windows Hello facial recognition unlocking feature introduced with Windows 10.

There was initially some debate over whether the Surface Book would be able to make use of Windows Hello, due to its eschewing of RealSense.

windows hello

However, Microsoft confirmed that the Surface Book’s camera technology is capable of supporting the new feature.

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Related: Microsoft Surface Book vs Apple MacBook Pro

Let us know what you think of Microsoft’s design decision in the comments.

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