Microsoft Surface Book The Microsoft Surface Book packs high-end components, including new Intel processors and optional Nvidia graphics, into a smart, slim body. Some components and most of the battery are hidden in the base, so the tablet half is lighter. The high-res screen looks great, and the included stylus pen is excellent. The Surface Book has 13.5-inch display offers 3,000 x 2,000 resolution for 267ppi. Microsoft also uses its new PixelSense technology which essentially means a very thin, closely bonded, glass screen for super responsive touch and stylus controls. The Surface Book, also all metal, offers a detachable screen that doubles as a tablet. But this has meant a slight increase in thickness to nearly 23mm when closed. The Surface Book display offers sixth-gen Intel Core i5 and i7 chip 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. While the tablet part of the Surface Book is limited to the Intel HD Graphic 520, there is a separate GPU in the keyboard section. This is an Nvidia GeForce processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The Surface Book offers plenty of connectivity options that vary and may appeal to different people's needs. The Surface Book offers two USB 3.0 ports and full microSD. The MacBook features an HDMI port where the Surface Book is limited to a Mini Display Port and using a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Surface Book is no ordinary Surface, sporting a sleek, all-silver, magnesium design with a unique, flexible hinge designed to keep the laptop's removable display from getting too wobbly. But while Microsoft mostly knocks it out of the park with its first laptop, the device is still a bit top-heavy, and opening the lid is more difficult than we'd like. Microsoft’s Surface Book offers SSD storage options of 128 GB/256 GB/512 GB/1 TB. It also comes with a microSD slot. The new Microsoft tablet cum laptop hybrid bears an 8 MP rear camera and a 5 MP primary camera and will run on latest Windows 10. Microsoft is downplaying the Surface Book as a tablet by calling it "clipboard mode," but you can remove the Surface Book's screen to use as a humongous slate. This should be a big upgrade over the , as both the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 have big glass trackpads – a lot like Apple's MacBooks. Battery life
Battery life on the Surface Book is both pretty good and surprisingly disappointing. While Microsoft has promised 12 hours of continual usage and other outlets report getting even more juice out of the machine, our best time for the device was 7 hours and 39 minutes. As for the Clipboard on its own, the tablet can last for 4 hours.
While these are more than respectable numbers considering all the hardware inside the Surface Book, I honestly expected a much longer run time. The good news is this notebook recharges quickly, going from zero to 100% charge in under two hours.
But,Configurations with the optional Nvidia GPU and more storage get very expensive. There are some first-generation quirks, including an awkward gap between the screen and base when closed.
VS Microsoft Surface Pro 4
There's a new reigning king of Windows tablets and its name is the Surface Pro 4. Building on everything the last iteration got right, this new slate introduces a larger screen more sensitive touchscreen perfected for everything from penning documents to painting images. Thanks to a newly redesigned island keyboard, tapping away on the Type Cover feels almost as good as a real laptop and the glass trackpad feels simply superb. Internally the Microsoft's latest also features a faster processor and storage, all in a shell that's actually lighter and thinner than the Surface Pro 3. Overall, these improvements make the Surface Pro 4 an affordable Windows tablet that really can replace your laptop.The Surface Pro 4 fits a larger screen with a higher resolution into a slightly slimmer body than last year's model. The pen and keyboard cover are also improved, and this is one of the first mobile systems shipping with Intel's latest processors. Design The Surface tablet line set out its basic design rules with the very first generation of products and has largely stuck to its guns since. What we've seen, instead of wholesale reimagining, is a steady march of improvements to the display and chassis, helping the product feel just a bit more premium with every generation.
The earliest Surface Pro models were 13mm thick, while last year's Surface Pro 3 shaved that down to 9.1mm. This year, we're down to 8.4mm, despite increasing the size of the screen. Both the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 are 1.7 pounds (771 grams) by themselves, or 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg) with their keyboard cover and stylus pens attached. One of the biggest improvements to last year's Surface Pro carries over here: the highly adjustable kickstand, which can be adjusted to nearly any angle between 22 and 150 degrees. The kickstand, which runs the entire width of the system, is stiff enough that it will stay where you put it, and hardly moves at all, even when using your fingers or the pen on the touchscreen.
Missing from the black bezel surrounding the screen this time around is the capacitive Windows logo touch button. In previous Surface models, this moved around from the long edge to the short edge of the system, but always served the same purpose: to take you back to the Windows 8 tile interface. As we're now operating in the Windows 10 world, having a physical home button isn't necessary, although the Windows 10 "tablet mode" is still very similar to what Window 8 looked like.
Performance Microsoft is offering the Surface Pro 4 in sixth-generation Intel Core M, Core i5 and Core i7 options. The M version comes with Intel HD graphics 515, while the i5 comes with slightly more powerful Intel HD graphics 520. The top i7 variant comes with Intel HD graphics 540. Adding further complexity to the mix, you can also load the Pro 4 with 4GB, 8GB or 16GB of RAM. I tested the Core i5 model with 8GB of RAM.
The model benchmarked fairly well. The Surface Pro 4 ran in with a 6,727 multi-core Geekbench score. On the graphics intensive 3DMark: Cloud Gate, it scored a solid 6,019. Neither scores are groundbreaking, but they put the Pro 4 on a par with most top-end 2015 convertible tablets and well above its 2014 predecessor. By comparison, the Surface Pro 3 scored 3,491 in Geekbench.
The benchmarks proved accurate with real-world use, and the Surface Pro 4 delivers solidly impressive performance. Using the unit as my primary tablet and laptop, I didn’t notice any serious performance jitters. The Surface loaded web pages instantly, ran applications smoothly, and proved capable of playing Steam games, such as Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion and Divinity Original Sin, chug free – if the graphics settings weren't maxed.
Battery life Microsoft touts a battery life of up to nine hours of video playback – that's the same figure given for the Pro 3 so there's no official benefit on this front. We're still testing batter life and will add our results very soon. But,Microsoft still refuses to include the Type Cover keyboard by default, forcing a separate purchase. Battery life still isn't enough for a full day. The Bottom Line A host of small refinements cements the Surface Pro 4's position as the best-in-class Windows tablet -- so long as you're prepared to pay extra for the required keyboard cover accessory. Spec sheet
- CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 3GHz with Turbo Boost)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
- RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
- Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display (Contrast ratio: 1,300:1, 100% sRGB color, 10-point multi-touch, 3:2 aspect ratio)
- Storage: 256GB SSD (PCIe 3.0)
- Ports: 1x USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader (UHS-I), headphone/mic jack
- Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy)
- Cameras: 8MP rear-facing, auto-focus camera (1080p HD); 5MP front-facing, 1080p HD camera
- Weight: 1.73 pounds
- Size: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 inches (W x D x H)