Microsoft Infuses Surface Book With More Horsepower

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What’s better than a Microsoft Surface Book? A Microsoft Surface Book with twice the graphics performance and 33 percent longer battery life. Yes, please!

Microsoft recently unveiled the new Surface Studio PC and Surface Dial, and a new and improved Surface Book at a media event in New York. I’ve had the opportunity to use the new Surface Book with Performance Base for the last week, and I’m impressed.

Form

Determining whether a Surface Book is first-generation or one of the new Surface Book with Performance Base models isn’t easy at first glance. The overall unit has the exact same dimensions as its predecessor. It is 9.14 inches long by 12.3 inches wide, and ranges in thickness from 0.51 inches to 0.9 inches as it slopes down while closed.

There are a couple notable changes in the form of the new Surface Book, though. It weighs 3.63 pounds—a bump of just over four percent from the former model. There is also a slight, but noticeable difference in the performance base part. It has a slightly thicker bulge at the top of the keyboard to allow for a larger vent. Inside, the Surface Book with Performance Base has a larger battery and dual fans to provide the power and cooling necessary for the improved graphics capabilities.

Function

Most of the functions and capabilities of the new Surface Book with Performance Base are the same as the original. It has an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. The base model has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It also comes with 16GB of RAM with either 512GB or 1TB of storage. The model I reviewed is the 1TB Surface Book with 16GB of RAM.

The tablet portion of the Surface Book is unchanged. In fact, Microsoft representatives explained that it is literally interchangeable. You can swap a tablet from the original Surface Book with a tablet from the Surface Book with Performance Base—and vice versa. The display is the same 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI).

One thing that many expected to change was the processor, but that actually stayed the same as well. Although the new Intel Kaby Lake processors are available and are starting to roll out in new laptop and hybrid models, the new Surface Book still has the same 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor.

What has changed is the graphics processing power and battery life. The higher models of the original Surface Book included a discrete Nvidia GeForce GPU, but there was no model number or specifics provided. The new Surface Book with Performance Base has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Microsoft claims the new model has more than twice the graphics performance of the previous version.

Read the full story on Forbes: A Week With The New Surface Book With Performance Base.

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About Author

Tony Bradley is Editor-in-Chief of TechSpective and Community Manager for Tenable Network Security. Tony has a passion for technology and gadgets--with a focus on Microsoft and security. He also loves spending time with his family and likes to think he enjoys reading and golf even though he never finds the time for either.

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