So you know about Microsoft, right? The software giant started by Bill Gates, one of the biggest names in technology? Yeah, well, even though Microsoft has made one of the most popular operating systems for personal computers, they’ve never actually made a laptop themselves. The Surface Pro 3 was the closest they had ever come but that all changes: Microsoft now has pre orders open for their first ever laptop. It’s called the Surface Book and it has an incredible trick up its sleeve. Let’s dive in!

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Looks

Unlike many of Apple’s competitors, Microsoft is making a conscious decision to not just copy and paste the design. The Surface Book is clearly  a Microsoft product, it just wants to cash in on the consumer’s love for the premium quality of Apple products. Opening the Surface Book reveals an oddly proportioned screen; it has a 3:2 aspect ratio instead of 16:9 or 16:10. It’ s an interesting decision made for productivity reasons; the extra vertical real estate means being able to fit more of a web page onto one screen and reducing the amount of scrolling necessary.

The keyboard and trackpad are excellent on the Surface Book. The trackpad is large and precise with a glass surface which gives an excellent scrolling experience. The keyboard doesn’t have a ton of travel but it’s solid and gives plenty of feedback; the keys are well spaced and all the keys you want are included. And, if you’d rather have a tablet, just pop the keyboard off and there you go, you now have a Surface Pro of sorts. In case having a convertible laptop tablet wasn’t enough, the Surface Book all supports the new Surface Pen, which is amazing. All in all, the external hardware looks to be a hit. What about the rest of the Surface Book?

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What It Does

Well, the Surface Book certainly isn’t a slouch. The lowest end model comes with an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM which is pretty excellent specs. It comes in assortments of up to the i7 processor with 16GB so you can find what works for you. Battery life is also pretty excellent, you’ll definitely be able to browse and work all day if you need to.

The hidden trick is only available on some of the Surface Book models: the discrete GPU. Basically, you’re getting desktop level graphics in a laptop…almost. You’re getting the best graphics performance out of any non-gaming laptop possible. Is the Surface Book for you?

Meet Weston Lanpher

Weston is our professional gadget reviewer. Nothing thrills him more than being able to get his hands on the latest and greatest in electronics.