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Surprise! Microsoft unveils Surface Book, its first laptop

The display can be disconnected from the base to allow the Surface Book to morph into a tablet.

Now playing: Watch this: Microsoft reveals first-ever laptop, Surface Book

Microsoft has unveiled its first-ever laptop, a 13.5-inch Windows 10 device dubbed the Surface Book .

The Surface Book is "the ultimate laptop," said Microsoft's head of devices, Panos Panay, announcing the device Tuesday. It is also, he added, the "thinnest, most powerful PC ever created."

Microsoft's Surface Book. Sarah Tew/CNET

Never before has Microsoft ventured to create its own laptop, leaving that to hardware partners who have for years created PCs running the company's Windows software. For its first foray into the space, Microsoft has equipped what is clearly intended to be a flagship device with high-end components and a flashy design.

The Surface Book's screen packs 6 million pixels and boasts the same Gorilla Glass and PixelSense touch technology as the Surface Pro 4 tablet, which was shown off shortly before the Surface Book at an event in New York. With 6 million pixels, the display promises to blisteringly sharp.

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The display can be disconnected from the base to allow the laptop to morph into a tablet. The benefit of this, Microsoft said, is that it can be used like a clipboard for sketching with the dedicated Surface Pen stylus.

Microsoft emphasized how quiet the keys on the laptop would be. The Surface Book has backlit keys and a glass trackpad.

Inside are sixth-generation Intel processors and an optional Nvidia GeForce GPU. Microsoft claims the Surface Book is the fastest 13-inch tablet ever made, double the speed of Apple's MacBook Pro. It will harness the gaming abilities of the Xbox One. Microsoft promises up to 12 hours of battery life for the Surface Book.

The Surface Book starts at $1,499 and will be available on October 26. Preorders begin Wednesday.

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