Best overall

Microsoft Surface Book

See at Microsoft Store

The Surface Book is the best laptop Microsoft makes, and it is our choice for the best overall ultrabook you can buy, if money is no option. The 13.5-inch touch display detaches from the keyboard, and the Surface Pen makes inking a breeze. The keyboard is comfortable to type on, the touchpad is precise, and the battery will last you a full day. What more could you want from a laptop?

Bottom line: If it's a modular desktop replacement you're looking for, the Surface Book's incredible display and powerful hardware will treat you well.

One more thing: Grab a Surface Dial if you're interested in using your Surface Book for artwork and design.

Why the Surface Book is the best

Lightweight and powerful, the Surface Book is the Microsoft laptop that's best for most people.

The Surface Book comes in plenty of configurations to better fit what you're looking for in a laptop. The top model comes with a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB solid-state drive (SSD), 16GB of RAM, and a dedicated NVIDIA GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM, making it a powerful, multipurpose machine. Despite the hardware within, the Surface Book sits at about 3.35 pounds (1.52kg).

When you open the Surface Book, you'll no doubt first notice the unique touch display with 3:2 ratio. It has a taller stance than other laptops, so you can fit more onto the screen, which is great for multimedia editing and drawing with the Surface Pen. The display has a gorgeous 3000x2000 resolution with high contrast and deep color. Don't forget, you can detach the screen and use it as a tablet.

The Surface Pen is an indispensable addition to the Surface Book. It has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, multiple shortcuts built in, and it works with the Surface Dial for an unprecedented design experience.

If it's a durable, powerful Microsoft laptop you're looking for, you'll love the Surface Book. Configurations start at about $1,300 and go up to about $3,200 for the top configuration.

Best performance

Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base

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The standard Surface Book is a fantastic machine, but some of you might need a bit more power, specifically in the graphics department. Rather than the 1GB dedicated GTX GPU, the Performance Base comes with an NVIDIA GTX 965M with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. You can still get up to a sixth-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, and you get the same brilliant 13.5-inch, 2000p display. Due to the extra hardware, this model is a bit thicker and a bit heavier at 3.63 pounds (1.65kg).

Bottom line: If you love Surface Book but need the most power possible, have a look at the Surface Book with Performance Base.

One more thing: You can sign in with Windows Hello using the IR front-facing camera.

Best thin and light

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

See at Microsoft Store

The Surface Pro 4 has been around for awhile, but it's still a top choice thanks to its stellar hardware and beautiful display. You can choose a configuration based on your needs, up to a sixth-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. That's some decent hardware in a device that weighs just 1.73 pounds (0.78kg). The keyboard can be removed from the 1824p touch display, and you can use the included Surface Pen for awesome inking while in tablet mode.

Bottom line: If you want a Microsoft laptop that weighs the least while still remaining a powerful contender, check out the Surface Pro 4.

One more thing: The Surface Dial can further augment your overall design and art experience when using the Surface Pen.

Conclusion

If you need the absolute most performance from your Microsoft laptop, you have to go with the Surface Book with Performance Base. If you want the lightest option, go with the 2-in-1 Surface Pro 4. For most people, though, the standard Surface Book will be the best option when it comes to Microsoft laptops.

Best overall

Microsoft Surface Book

See at Microsoft Store

The Surface Book is the best laptop Microsoft makes, and it is our choice for the best overall ultrabook you can buy, if money is no option. The 13.5-inch touch display detaches from the keyboard, and the Surface Pen makes inking a breeze. The keyboard is comfortable to type on, the touchpad is precise, and the battery will last you a full day. What more could you want from a laptop?

Bottom line: If it's a modular desktop replacement you're looking for, the Surface Book's incredible display and powerful hardware will treat you well.

One more thing: Grab a Surface Dial if you're interested in using your Surface Book for artwork and design.