The new Surface Books are more like standard laptops than other Surface hybrids (like the Surface Pro), in that their keyboards are solid–not fabric–and contain batteries and other components. The keyboard base, however, detaches from the display or folds all the way back behind the display for “tablet mode.”
The new machines are targeted at creatives, Microsoft says, and contain enough processing and graphics power for doing things like video editing, CAD drawing, mixed reality, gaming, and illustration. They can be used like a tablet (with a pen stylus), or like a regular laptop (with the keyboard folded back or attached), or with the Microsoft Dial controller resting on the display or sitting on the desktop.
The 13.5-inch model uses an Intel dual-core processor, and the 15-inch model uses an Intel quad-core. Their NVIDIA graphics processors, Microsoft says, give the machines five times the graphics performance compared to the original Surface hybrids. (You can see the full specs here.)
The 15-inch model has 45% more pixels per square inch of display than Apple’s MacBook Pro, Microsoft’s Panos Panay told reporters at a product briefing earlier this month.
At the briefing, Microsoft demonstrated how the new Surfaces could power a virtual reality experience using a third-party VR headset and controllers. It also demonstrated the new accessibility and design features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Notably, Microsoft claims the new machines have enough battery power to run for 17 hours–significantly more than Apple’s MacBook Pro computers. Both computers offer both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports.
The 13.5-inch model starts at $1,499 and the 15-inch model starts at $2,499. Preorders start November 9, and the on-sale date is November 16.