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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

ARTICLE: Microsoft's Surface Book


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Microsoft surprised everyone today when it announced the Surface Book, Microsoft's very own convertible laptop. There's no mistaking who the shots it fired were aimed at, with Microsoft comparing the Surface Pro directly to the MacBook Pro, claiming its laptop is 50% faster than Apple's.

Microsoft also made much of the Nvidia GPU and $1500 price tag, but those two things seem to be mutually exclusive, at least according to the pricing and specs shown in Microsoft's own online storefront.

 there is an Nvidia GPU inside some versions of the Surface Pro. The Maxwell-architecture based GPU sits in the base of the laptop, but only on units starting at $1900. A $1700 version, along with the $1500 version touted today by Microsoft, don't have a dedicated GPU and therefore rely on onboard graphics pushed by Intel's 6th generation i5 processors. This puts the lower tier models of the Surface Book inline with the MacBook Pro.

Directly comparing it to the MacBook Pro is kind of apples-to-oranges, since the 13" MacBook doesn't have a dedicated GPU option, but the base MacBook doesn't look so hot compared to the base Surface Book. The Mac is a 100 bucks cheaper, sure, but it weighs twice as much, doesn't have a detachable screen, and the Surface Book comes with a higher native resolution, too.
Still, if you want a discrete GPU for a MacBook Pro, you'll need to shell out $2500 for the i7 powered 15" Retina model with a Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The $1900 Surface Pro has a smaller screen and is powered by an Intel i5, while also sporting a dedicated GeForce card inside.

The other available configurations are an i7 version with 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and a dedicated GPU for $2100, followed by a version with 512GB of storage, 16GB of RAM, and an i7 and GPU for $2700.
On paper, the Surface Pro looks to be a worthy competitor for Apple's MacBook Pro line-up, but specifics aren't quite as, well, specific, on Microsoft's site. But as far as base models are concerned, the Surface Pro is more machine for only slightly more money.







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