Hands-on with the Microsoft Surface Book

One of the new devices that Microsoft announced today in New York City is a larger Surface. We're talking about the Surface XL, featuring a 14-inch display with 4K resolution. We got to play with one immediately after the announcement. Watch our hands-on video!

Surface Book specs

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Operating SystemWindows 10
Display Size13.5-inch PixelSense Display
Display Resolution3000x2000 (267 ppi)
Processor6th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7
RAM8GB or 16GB
Internal Storage128GB to 1TB
Rear Camera8MP with 1080P HD video
Front CameraWindows Hello face-authentication & 5MP camera
BatteryUp to 12 hours battery life for video playback
Dimensions as laptop9.14 x 12.3 x 0.51-0.90 inches
Dimensions as tablet8.67 x 12.3 x 0.30 inches
Weight as laptopNon-GPU: 3.34 lbs., GPU: 3.48 lbs.
Weight as tablet1.6 lbs.
PriceStarts at $1,499


Oh, Surface Book...you are the oddest of the odd. That is not a bad thing either as I only got to spend about five minutes with the device before Microsoft closed the event for the day (don't worry, we have plans for a review).

The Surface Book was certainly the A-bomb of product announcements today. Not only was it unforeseen - even if we did say a "14-inch Surface" was coming - but Panos delivered a double shock when they showed it turning into a tablet.

The Surface Book reminds me of how a Sci-Fi movie depicts a laptop in the year 2035. It's like it has to be a laptop, yet different. The hinge and the way it expands plus the general look is just...well, out of this world.

How does it feel? It's not the lightest laptop I have felt, but it is very far from heavy either. This experience is because it's like solid metal, and there are no air gaps in the thing. So imagine a thin, dense slab of metal and you can understand how it does not feel light but not heavy. It feels substantial. It means business.

The display was fantastic, and the keyboard felt perfect from the few moments I had with it.

At this point, I hesitate to say more if only because I truly need more time with it. But let's not make a mistake here, Microsoft did create something entirely new here. It's unique. It's functional. It's beautiful.

Surface Book

Pricing and availability

Microsoft is now accepting pre-orders of its recently announced Surface Book in the U.S., with prices ranging from $1499 to $2699 depending on your configuration preference.

The base model offering 128GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor for $1499. The next bump up replaces the hard drive with a 256GB SSD along with 8GB of RAM and Intel's Core i5 for $1699. Above that is where you will see the new discrete GPU, which Microsoft claims will help big time with performance. For $1899 you get the discrete GPU, 256GB SSD, Intel's Core i5 and 8GB of RAM.

If you are looking for Intel's Core i7, pricing starts at $2099, which gets you a 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and the dGPU. The top of the line model comes in at $2699, which offers 512GB SSD, 16GB of RAM and the discrete GPU. You can pre-order your Surface Book now directly from Microsoft at the link below.

Pre-order the Surface Book from $1499 at Microsoft

So, how do you feel about this new device from the Surface team? Is the Surface XL too big or is it the right size for you? Let us know in the comments!

For the rest of our NYC #Windows10Devices coverage head here:

  • Lumia 950
  • Lumia 950 XL
  • Surface Pro 4
  • Surface Book
  • Microsoft Band 2
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.