CNET First Look
The Surface Book is Microsoft's first draft of the ultimate laptopA new hybrid that's more laptop than tablet, and even offers some unexpected gaming chops.
Microsoft's newest surface was one of the big tech surprises of the year. I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is the Microsoft Surface Book. Now as opposed to the Microsoft Surface Pro, that system is basically a full-time tablet, with a clip-on keyboard cover that makes it a part-time laptop. The Surface Book on the other hand is a full time clamshell laptop, with a detachable screen, that makes it a part-time tablet. So how do I know that it's supposed to be a full time laptop and part time tablet? Partially it's because they take the battery and they cut it into two pieces. 75% of the battery capacity is built in here into the keyboard base while 25% of the The capacity, maybe about three hours worth, is behind the display here along with the CPU and a lot of the other components. So they want you to use it most of the time like a traditional premium, high end laptop. And then if you want to, you can pop the screen off. If you want to share something, or you want to go read a book for a while. Or just kind of walk around with it, and then you plug it back in. There's even a higher end configuration that includes a new custom GPU from Nvidia that sits right here in the base along with most of the battery. So when you have it plugged in, you can use that graphics card for video editing or some light gaming. Then when you just take the tablet screen off, the graphics card gets left behind because you don't really need it when you're walking around with just the tablet. There are a lot similarities between the surface book and the surface pro, they both have 3x2 aspect ratio touchscreens that matches up with a piece of A4 paper, so if you're working on a design for something that's going to be printed eventually that makes a lot of sense. They both include This excellent stylus, Microsoft calls it a Pen and it attaches magnetically to the side right here. Works with a whole bunch of different drawing, and sketching, and note taking apps, including, of course, One Note from Microsoft. And they both use Intel's new sixth generation of Intel Core i series processors, Core i5 and Core i7 processors. After years of saying the Surface Pro series is the tablet that can replace your laptop, Microsoft now says they've gone and built what they call the ultimate laptop. It's certainly very nicely done. If I were building the ultimate laptop, it wouldn't have this strange unsightly gap in the middle when you have it closed and in clamshell form. It also wouldn't weigh close to three and a half pounds. It's a little hefty for kinda just picking up and casually carrying around the house. That said, with all these features built in the touch screen, the stylus, the new Intel processors this guy starts at 1499, but if you want to trade up to the graphics card that's going to be several hundred dollars more. I'm Dan Auckland, and that is the Microsoft Surface Book. [MUSIC]