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Surface Book UK price and release date confirmed

Seth Barton
5 Jan 2016
Microsoft Surface Book
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Microsoft's surprise Surface Book laptop is the ultimate Windows 10 hybrid, but you'll need to pay big to get one of your own next month

Microsoft's very first laptop, the Surface Book, finally has a UK price and release date. Originally unveiled last October at Microsoft's Windows 10 event, the new device is arguably one of the most impressive laptops we've ever seen, but with prices starting at a massive £1,299, you'll need to dig deep into your bank account before you can call one your own.

Pre-orders for the Surface Book are now live on the Microsoft Store and four models are available, all shipping by the 18th February 2016. The basic £1,299 model comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but you can also get the same spec with 256GB of storage and a dedicated Nvidia GPU for £1,599. 

The Core i7 models are even more expensive, with the 256GB of storage, Nvidia GPU and 8GB of RAM model costing £1,799, and the top-end model, which comes with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM costing a whopping £2,249. 

The new device came as a total surprise when it was first unveiled at the end of last year and looked pretty impressive from the outset. Its silver magnesium body, caterpillar-like Fulcrum hinge and some very impressive specifications set the scene, before Panos Panay pulled the device in half - revealing it as a fully-fledged laptop-tablet hybrid. Admittedly, we've seen plenty of hybrid devices before, including models that split in two and flip round into a rather hefty tablet mode. 

What sets the Surface Book apart, though, is that its hinge loks far more sturdy than its flimsy and fragile competitors. In fact, you can't even tell it's a hybrid until you pull it apart. It then can be used as a standalone tablet, or docked back to the keyboard section the other way around and folded flat, much like a Lenovo Yoga in reverse.

Microsoft Surface Book flucrum hinge

So why has Microsoft decided to launch its own laptop after all this time? We reckon it simply decided it couldn’t wait on its partners any longer to produce a true flagship device for Windows 10. A device that takes everything Microsoft has packed into the new operating system and make the absolute most of it. The Surface Book looks to be just that device.

It’s powerful too, with Microsoft claims it’s far more powerful than the equivalent-sized MacBook Pro 13-inch – and it’s easy to believe too. Using the latest Intel Skylake chip, which we believe to be an Intel Core m7 6Y75 dual-core design with Hyperthreading giving it four processing threads. That runs at 1.2GHz, turboing to 3.1GHz – though that will depend on the cooling on offer. All that is backed up by up to 16GB of memory.

Microsoft Surface Book hybrid

Amazingly there’s a dedicated GPU included too, an unspecified Nvidia GPU, which we reckon is probably a GeForce GTX 960m or 950m. This sits in the base unit of the device, along with a portion of the battery cells, which provide up to 12 hours of battery life. It’s an ingenious design, adding graphics power when you need it, but without the bulk when you don’t.

The Surface Book is also using lightning-fast Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs, the fastest storage currently available from the South Korean memory giant. Plus there’s a 3:2 13.5in display with a resolution of 3,000x2,000, giving it a pixel density of 267 pixels-per-inch to top it all off. To date, all the displays on Microsoft’s Surface devices have impressed us with their contrast and colour accuracy, so we have high hopes for the display on the Surface Book as well. 

Microsoft Surface Book

It was a barnstorming launch, and a huge statement of intent that Microsoft is going seriously into hardware. The price is a big one, though, but we'll bring you our full and final verdict as soon as we get our hands on a review sample. 

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