Microsoft impressed the tech-loving world with a world class presentation launching the latest generation Surface Pro tablet and the company's first laptop, the Surface Book. The Surface Book is actually a 2-in-1 convertible that is a fully functioning laptop with a 1.6 lb. tablet that pops off. Surface Pro 4 gains improvements like a slightly larger display, Skylake Intel 6th gen processors and a Type Cover with a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello. This is our first look, and we'll have full reviews of both products around the October 26 launch date.
Both have updated N-Trig active digitizers that increase pressure sensitivity to 1,024 levels rather than 256, just like the Vaio Z Canvas that launched several months ago in Japan and just last week in the US. The hover distance is greater and inking is more silky and fluid. The new pen (included with both Surface Book and Surface Pro 4) adds a rubbery eraser on the end and a quieter pen nib (tip). It has one side button rather than two like the older pen model.
The Surface Book has a 13.5", 3000 x 2000 PixelSense IPS display-- nice for those who found Surface Pro's screen a bit too small. The Surface Pro 4 display has increased in size from 12" to 12.3". Both maintain Microsoft's beloved 3:2 aspect ratio.
As ever with Surface products, these aren't cheap. The Core M Surface Pro 4 with 4 gigs of RAM and a 128 gig SSD is $899, but the Core i5 and i7 models will cost a pretty penny in desirable configurations. The Core i5 with 8 gigs of RAM and a 256 gig SSD is $1,299. Go for a Core i7, 16 gigs of RAM and a 512 gig SSD and you're pushing the $2,000 mark. As ever, the Type Cover is sold separately.
The Surface Book starts at $1,500 for the Core i5 with integrated graphics. It uses U series Skylake dual core CPUs throughout the range. The Core i7 with 8 gigs of RAM, 256 gig SSD and undisclosed custom NVIDIA dedicated graphics with 1 GB DDR5 VRAM is $2,100. Both will be available on October 26.
Here's our hands-on Microsoft Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 First Look: