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  • zeeBomb - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Surfing on my surfacebook. Reply
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Hey anandtech why does the reality distortion field not extend to the Microsoft surface? MacBook Pro goes north of 3k easy. Apple Watch 15k lol. Funny how we never hear how overpriced apple products are because they are so 'wonderful', but here u have a magnesium shelled beauty being compared to plastic acer ultra books.

    but here's the thing, how much does an iPad + amacbook cost? Oh that's right, forgot that didn't you. Welcome back to reality.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The SB with dGPU starts getting closer to 15" MBP pricing than 13". *Shrugs*. Reply
  • Solandri - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    A 13" MBP with i5 (no option for i7), 512 GB SSD, no dGPU is $1799
    A 15" MBP with i7 (quad), 512 GB SSD, and R9 M370X GPU is $2499

    So the i7 SB is actually $100 closer to 13" MBP pricing than the 15"

    Interestingly, it looks like the M370X and SB's 940M-ish GPU perform about the same in benchmarks. My question though is, since MS has developed this dockable GPU in the keyboard, why not go whole hog? Why not make an optional bigger keyboard with a 980m and 8GB DDR5 (and a cooler to match) for the gaming enthusiast market? Having owned gaming-capable laptops for 10 years and buying a real gaming laptop this year (14" 970m), that type of option would really interest me. I don't need to lug the full power of the 970m everywhere I go, but it was either that or get two computers. If I were able to buy a keyboard without GPU and keyboard with hefty GPU, and just bring along whichever one I wanted that day, that would neatly solve my problem.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Using "i5" and "i7" without any indication of the clock rate, TDP, or model number is erroneous. The Surface Book uses a 15W CPU while the MBP's is 35W. That make a big difference in performance. If, for some reason, you are fine with a weaker CPU and need a beefier GPU than what the 13" MBP offers, then this would be a better fit, but I doubt it would be a better fit for those that would simply buy a real Ultrabook that isn't trying to pretend it's a tablet with a 3 hour battery life. I'm sure there are some use case specifically for the Surface Book over any Ultrabook + tablet, Ultrabook convertible, or Mac notebook + tablet, but I'd wager those cases are very niche. However, I'm certain MS will sell plenty, but they will be selling based on emotion, not on the best device for the job. Reply
  • Solandri - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The top-end i5 on the 13" MBP is a i5-5287U with 28W TDP. The higher TDP is to accommodate Iris graphics. The CPU performance is actually worse than the SB's i7-6600U (3MB cache vs 4MB cache, 3.3 GHz tubo speed vs 3.4 GHz turbo). The MBP is still on Broadwell as well, while the SB is Skylake. Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Right, because Skylake isn't available for those machines right now in the quantities Apple needs. We see it every year, the OEMs that need the lower quantities get to do the "me first," albeit this against other "me first" OEMs as they almost always do an announcement of a CPU upgrade months before the actual release. Reply
  • djboxbaba - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You might want to double check that.. 13' rMBP are actually using skylake processors. The 15' rMBP are still stuck on haswell.

    "njoy incredible performance from the fifth-generation dual-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. Your 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display comes standard with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. You can upgrade the processor up to a 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i7.
    Intel’s fifth-generation dual-core processors house the processor, L3 cache, Intel Iris Graphics 6100, and fast 1866MHz memory controller on a single chip. " - 13' rMBP
    Reply
  • djboxbaba - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    broadwell not haswell** Reply
  • djboxbaba - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    ignore my comments im mixing up generations. Reply
  • zeeBomb - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - link

    Let's go for 200. Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Ah, you are correct, djboxbaba. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The current 13" Macbook Pros are Broadwell, not Skylake. 28w Skylake parts aren't out until Q1 2016. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Solandri, now you're talking about the 13" MBPs CPU, after giving the 15" with dGPUs pricing...The 15" which we were talking about has a full wattage laptop quad. Your points are starting to look a little suspect as you mix and match a lot. Surface Book without dGPU pricing compared to the upgraded 15" MBP with GPU for price, and then the 13" MBPs CPU when that's convenient to talk about...

    Look at the Surface Books price WITH the dGPU, which I already specified before, and then match the storage and RAM of the 15" MBP, and the prices start to look similar, except with a quad core vs a dual. And the baseline Iris Pro gets close to the 940M performance as well.
    Reply
  • Solandri - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    tipoo, how am I mixing and matching? I looked at the top SB which has a dGPU at $2099, and compared to the top 13" MBP and top 15" MBP (with dGPU), and the SB pricing is closer to the 13" MBP. If you compare models without dGPU, it's even closer to the 13" MBP.

    Lowest-end 13" rMBP on Apple's website - $1299
    Lowest-end SB w/o GPU - $1499
    Lowest-end 15" rMBP w/o GPU - $1999

    And the Iris Pro 6100 performance doesn't come anywhere near the 940m (except for OpenGL, which is important for OS X, but not for Windows or games). The 940m is roughly 2x as fast.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards...
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Lap...
    Reply
  • Darkstone - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You can't compare processors with different TDP's by their clock speeds. My 45W CPU isn't able to sustain it's turbo clock under most 100% workloads, on rare workloads it will even drop below it's stock clocks without using the GPU. On those rare workloads it's slower than an on paper lower specced i5 desktop CPU purely because the TDP is higher.

    The i5-5287U in the MBP will require about 21W to sustain turbo clocks under AVX workloads (according to notebookcheck's stress test). Any 15W part will be significantly slower regardless of what intel claims what the clock speeds are.
    Reply
  • Riley-NZL - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Your also comparing an OSx device with a Windows device, the later being infinetly more valuable regardless of hardware specs :P Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You can run both on the former. But anyways, the value of the OS is subjective per user, that's a meaningless thing to say. Reply
  • theuglyman0war - Wednesday, December 02, 2015 - link

    true considering the first thing I do when I demo the newest Surface at the Brick n Mortar is to see how accurate and responsive the pen pressure is.
    During these arguments I think the army of creative types who hunger for the niche these products offer are hugely ignored.
    Reply
  • Billie Boyd - Friday, November 27, 2015 - link

    While the Microsoft Surface is truly fantastic , there are higher rated ones, believe it or not (see http://www.consumerrunner.com/top-10-best-tablets/ for example..) Reply
  • jessedegenerate - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    FYI, you clearly poorly attempt to make one look worse than the other. Talking single core performance when comparing dual and quad core chips?

    Mentioning the i7 was a generation back while knowing about kaby lake quad core availability, there's nothing to call you, but a liar, and a shill.
    Reply
  • nikon133 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I wouldn't be surprised to see, down the path, something like Surface XBook. Goes well with XBox. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    "A 13" MBP with i5 (no option for i7), 512 GB SSD, no dGPU is $1799"

    Which is exactly what I said once you *add the dGPU*, the prices are similar at the same storage/RAM tiers. And then the MBP 15" has a true quad instead of a ULV dual.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    "A 13" MBP with i5 (no option for i7), 512 GB SSD, no dGPU is $1799
    A 15" MBP with i7 (quad), 512 GB SSD, and R9 M370X GPU is $2499"

    Proving my point, not going against it. I said once you add the dGPU, and then match the storage and RAM. And then the 15" MBP has a quad core full fat i7, not a ULV dual core.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You also went for the MBP with a dGPU despite getting the SP without one - the Iris Pro is already near 940M performance. The GDDR5 variant in the SB may be 20% above it. Reply
  • digiguy - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    A 980m or even 970m in the keyboard would not make sense as it would be bottlenecked by the dual core CPU in quite a few games (even this underpowered GPU is to some extend bottlenecked by the ULV i7 according to this review) Reply
  • brian540 - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    definitely agree here however the CPU wouldn't be able to keep up with an 980M Reply
  • jessedegenerate - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    lol @Solandri, the 13" starts at $1499, you're literally lying for one companies product to look better than anothers. I don't mean to be rude, but that's pathetic. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    3K for a high end 15" laptop is one thing, 3k for an ultrabook is a very different thing. A high end 15" laptop will have nearly double the performance, plus larger screen, etc.

    The problem with the surfacebook is it sucks as a tablet. The screen portion is very heavy for a tablet, its not something you want to hold for more than a few minutes. So if you are going to use it for any length of time, its in laptop mode. So you may as well just save a ton of money and get a conventional laptop.
    Reply
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Neither of you addressed the fact that a macbook + ipad costs just as much or more and is less portable, especially if you want more than 16gb storage lol. Just watch the ipad PRO is going to be the greatest AT/Apple collusion of all time LOL.

    Point is Anandtech likes to ignore apple price points, praise the product regardless of merit, or at least hold them to a different standard, which is exactly how apple marketing is designed to work. It's sad AT journalists fall for it too, but even worse promoting this thinking to the general public.

    I mean seriously that apple watch review pissed me off, 15k for a smartwatch with no GPS. Are you F**cking kidding me??? The whole point is that you are supposed to use it for fitness, but you still need to run holding your iphone, or alternatively hope it can 'guess' the distance traveled. The iwatch is a face palm, no matter who you slice it.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    "I mean seriously that apple watch review pissed me off, 15k for a smartwatch with no GPS. Are you F**cking kidding me???"

    You're trying to argue that the Apple Watch starts at $15k or that the cost of 18k gold has no impact on cost. Shameful. You might as well claim that Swiss watch makers are all thieves when a $5 digital watch from China is both considerably less expensive and more accurate.
    Reply
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    pfft, so if there was a gold plated surface book, don't you think this review would be asking why it even exists/laughable?

    Yet apple, all good.

    Even 200 bucks and no gps is a ripoff. Component costs for modern GPS are miniscule. As a runner, distance and fitness tracking is really the only legitimate use case i can see to buy a smartwatch. Music+biometrics+gps on your wrist, so you dont have run with your iphone.

    Jobs would have made the watch do it all, cook let it slide and AT gave them a huge high five.

    But OMG surface costs over 3k, which sucks compared to an ultra book and the macbook.....its failed, biased, logic, and im calling BS
    Reply
  • Appanage - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You should probably call a psychologist instead. Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    "Even 200 bucks and no gps is a ripoff. Component costs for modern GPS are miniscule."

    Your error is thinking that the lack of a GPS chip was due to component cost.
    Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    "pfft, so if there was a gold plated surface book, don't you think this review would be asking why it even exists/laughable?" yeah they would. Because gold plated laptops are not a thing. But people have been wearing gold watches for a long long time. It's not weird to have a gold watch Reply
  • bronopoly - Monday, December 07, 2015 - link

    > that the cost of 18k gold has no impact on cost.

    My rolex has more gold and costs less. So sure, it has an impact but it gets the apple markup like everything else does.
    Reply
  • bronopoly - Monday, December 07, 2015 - link

    Oh I should also point out that the build quality on the apple watch edition (or whatever the hell they call it) is total shit compared to watches of similar price. It's basically an expensive casio. Reply
  • Solandri - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The screen portion is 1.6 pounds. The first gen iPad was 1.5 pounds. Reply
  • mhannigan - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    That's a seriously heavy watch! Reply
  • zogus - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - link

    Please take it from a former iPad 1 owner that that thing was too heavy to be held with one hand for a prolonged period. Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    I can double that, though I personally never saw the need for one and it was a gift of my father to my mother. Reply
  • Manch - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    If you think 1.6lbs is too heavy you need to stop with the 40oz curls... Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Its not that I am unable to lift it...

    Its that trying to hold it in one hand casually while reading or surfing the web is simply not comfortable. Neither was the first gen iPad. It wasn't until the iPad Mini or iPad Air that Apple had a tablet that was light enough for this (There were of course other tablets before Apple that were fine)
    Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    You know people like to lie flat on their beds while holding a tablet to watch a movie? 1.6lbs could give you a black eye if it slips. And magnesium is slippery. Reply
  • Manch - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    IPAD PRO also 1.6lbs... Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    But how long do those 1.6lb "tablets" last on a single charge? Can you even charge the Surface Book's tablet section independent of the base? MS really let their customers down with their poor logic board design. Reply
  • samsp99 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Yes, you can charge the tablet without the base. It uses the same connector to connect to the base as the base uses to the power brick or dock. You can even use the dock directly with the tablet section. Reply
  • Manch - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    yes you can charge it separately. Reply
  • nikon133 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I think that they are really trying to differentiate Surface Book from Surface Pro tablet. Since both run desktop software and are fully compatible, differentiation is harder than between MB and iPad. I think that they have done it as good as it is possible, within given parameters. Surface Pro is primarily a tablet that can replace laptop, but if you need machine with physical keyboard all or most of the time, it is not the best solution. At least this is my conclusion after using Pro 3 half a year now, give or take. It is great without keyboard - I'm finding kickstand a real game-changer for any sort of lazy media consumption, browsing... and those few times a year when I need a laptop to do some work (usually when I travel and am away from my home desktop and my work laptop), it can deliver. But if I'd need laptop all the time, it would not be right product for me. This is where Book comes in. It is primarily laptop that can replace tablet - short turn. Should be good convergence device that is real laptop but gives owner much lighter tablet experience once in a while, or for short bursts. It also offers middle-ground with closed screen turned outwards, which looks fine for those who need tablet mode on the desk or lap (or any other scenario that does not require holding device in hand), with benefit of larger screen, dGPU and battery life better than Surface Pro can provide.

    I'm finding this differentiation (in specialization) less intrusive than, say, MacBook... where Air is kept with low resolution screens and chunky screen borders to reduce Air's impact on MBP and, recently, MB segment as well. In all the honesty, I think this task is harder for Apple, since they keep traditional laptop format which even further reduces their options.
    Reply
  • NetMage - Monday, November 16, 2015 - link

    You think 264ppi is low resolution?

    Also, there are sound ergonomic reasons for the thick bezels.
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    "A high end 15" laptop will have nearly double the performance, plus larger screen, etc."

    I'd hope both a high end and low end 15" screen to be roughly the same size.
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    anandtech has been extremely biased for years now.

    nothing new...

    on all iphone reviews, no multicore bench because crapple can't be multicore.

    when ipad pro comes out, i wonder what they would say lol
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    And mobile display test are synthetically skewed towards LCD numbers. They do a lot of good tests on here, but if there is an Apple alternative in whatever category you're looking at it's a wise choice to take Anandtech reviews with a grain of salt. :) Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    "You're reading it wrong".
    lol, jokes aside, you should read the charts/data carefully, separate the iDevice from the rest of the crowd.
    just compare iPhone with iPhone, everything else vs everything else, it makes sense too since iPhone buyers buy iPhones, other buyers can buy everything else... We're living in a "digital divided" world.
    Reply
  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I wish there was a down-voting feature in these threads to mute the trolls. Reply
  • Appanage - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    My Apple Watch cost me 249, and it has the top of the line hardware. Granted there's no bottom of line but it won't cost 15 grand to get the most capable Watch they sell.

    As for the weird little laptop plus tablet cost comparison thing you did there, Microsoft doesn't currently offer a functional tablet with a usable tablet interface so no price comparison can be made. Their keyboardless laptop is kinda cool for someone who might find that sorta thing useful while being hindered by Windows on a touchscreen.
    Reply
  • xthetenth - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Windows on a touchscreen actually works really well. There's a few places where the stylus helps mitigate programs that aren't great for touch, as opposed to the many places in iOS where nothing at all helps bridge the massive functionality gap between most real programs and apps designed to be fat fingered around. It's a pretty nice tradeoff.

    It's the iOS tablets that aren't functional tablets with usable tablet functonality. They're just souped up phones. So now we're back to two devices on the Apple end to do what one Windows device can do. At least with the iPad Pro you don't also need to take a pencil and paper.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    Wow you're stuck in the last decade. Reply
  • Der2 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Microsoft's response to the iMac Pro. And a suave review for a casual user! Great review to my man Brett! Reply
  • Der2 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    P.S no need to wait for the rise of the tomb raider...as it just dropped recently! Reply
  • EzioAs - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Not for PC. Reply
  • Teknobug - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    It's Xbox One exclusive for a year. Reply
  • cwolf78 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Actually it's coming to Windows 10 in March I believe. PS4 version is not coming out until "Holiday 2016" Reply
  • close - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    How is this MS's response to the iPad Pro? That's just an oversized tablet. This is a convertible which had 3 generations of similar products behind it. If anything, the iPad Pro is Apple response to all the ultraslim devices sporting a larger diagonal out there. Like the Surface... Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Apple isn't interested in making something is both a mediocre laptop and tablet. They prefer to make an outstanding table and laptop and thats my preference when buying. Reply
  • pixelpusher - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I use both mac and windows for a living. I would just suggest one overlooked feature of the surface book by reviewers is that the thermals are directed away from your lap, which makes it lapable in a way previously unexperienced even on a macbook, in that it does not require one sacrifice his offspring to use it for prolonged periods of time atop your pelvis when laying on a couch or bed. Moving the intel part to the middle of the tablet where fingers do not typically grip, plus away from the bottom which comes in contact with your thighs or pelvis area is a move that is most welcome. So there is something in this design that is IMO better than normal laptops (Apple or otherwise). Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    In case you don't know, you are replying to an apple troll. I suggest you ignore it, unless you want your iq to drop in half. Reply
  • ninjacut - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    yes! I was so used to heated lap from all earlier laptops the Surface Book changes the experience. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    That really depends on whether you get a dGPU variant, which can pump out a bit of heat on its own. Reply
  • xthetenth - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    If you prefer an outstanding tablet, why would you buy an oversized phone?

    Modern tablets that have learned from the past few years of development running a proper OS for the full capabilities of the tablet form factor offer a great deal more. Stylus support alone is a huge addition that brings a huge number of potential use cases, shipping without an adjustable stand is a travesty, and limiting a tablet to a task switching and app opening UI that's obsolescent even on the phones it's lifted from is beyond farce.

    On the plus side, Apple does seem to have paid some attention, and is making their first attempt at a full-featured tablet. Pity that it seems three years in the past regarding such incredibly basic things as how to design a tablet stand, and the stylus doesn't place the same functionality in the user's hand.

    At least they're trying, rather than still making supercharged relics of bygone concepts of user interaction that get by on ecosystem inertia.

    Their laptops are pretty nice, and definitely top tier though if you want just a laptop although I prefer the priorities of the XPS series. Pity that you can't get decent tablet capabilities and full functionality without having to drag both devices and totally giving up any advantage in weight. My surface is nice and light and I never have to worry about whether I should take another device because I might have to do something it literally cannot do.

    Have a great day and don't get scoliosis from dragging around two devices and a pad of paper to do the job of one!
    Reply
  • xthetenth - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    That was entirely too much fun to write, by the way. It's great when trolls make themselves such a low hanging fruit. Reply
  • osxandwindows - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I use my iPad for music production,
    I don't need a full os.
    Reply
  • xthetenth - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Ahh, okay, so you're one of the lucky few whose use cases fit inside the absolutely gutted feature set of an overgrown phone. I do things with my Surface Pro that the iPad and even the iPad and MBP combo can't every single day. It's the first device that can really do everything I want it to do at work. It's pretty cool never having to stop to ask whether I can do something before asking how I do it. Reply
  • Chapbass - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    No, your preference is to buy whatever apple sells, regardless of how appropriate it is for your use case. As evidenced by your username. Reply
  • hughlle - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Try reading the comment again ;) Reply
  • Sc0rp - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    How is the iPad Pro a response to anything with the surface line when:

    1) the iPad Line predates surface
    2) The Surface isn't even close to being a market leader
    3) The iPad had a keyboard available for it on day one as well as third party keyboard covers and styluses for years now.

    Also, Microsoft clearly made commercials to compare their surface pro to the macbook pro line because they want to make an answer to the MBP.
    Reply
  • nikon133 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    1) iPad predates Surface. iPad Pro is response to Surface. Split screen multitasking, accurate pen input, larger screen, Apple-made keyboard/stand. And the whole "pro" vibe... All inspired from Surface, though - imho - not executed as good, especially in keyboard/stand category. Not to mention software side of the whole "pro" concept.

    2) I would expect that Surface actually is, at present, leading productivity tablet. I think we will agree that previous iPads, nice as they are, are not business machines. Surface Pro, with available dock, multiple screens support and connectivity, can replace laptop and desktop for most work related tasks.

    3) iPad styluses (beside iPad Pro one) are clumsy fingertip-emulators. Keyboards, well, they had... 3rd party solutions which required separate power/charging and limited kick-stand features. Well, Pro's kickstand is also limited but at least keyboard does power from the tablet, right? Anyway... if you are willing to accept clumsy pens as acceptable solutions, then we should consider that clumsy Windows tablets were available ages before Surface, and iPad.

    Surface Pro concept is based on idea of one device replacing both laptop and tablet. Thus it makes sense that MS is comparing Surface Pro with both MB and iPad. One can like or dislike idea, but it does have merits for some people, me included.
    Reply
  • xthetenth - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    I'd contend that up until really recently or roughly now, the Surface hasn't just been leading the productivity tablet market, it has been the productivity tablet market. Reply
  • Sc0rp - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    Well, it had little competition but the reality is that Wacom has been the productivity tablet market, not the surface. Reply
  • Walkop - Wednesday, December 09, 2015 - link

    You're joking, right? Reply
  • Sc0rp - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    1) The iPad Pro is a natural evolution of the iPad line. The surface isn't the only tablet device with split-screen multitasking, accurate pen input isn't something new and Apple had an apple made keyboard since the iPad 1. Apple names ALL of their beefier products "Pro" with the exception of the iPhone. Look at the Macbook PRO and the Mac PRO for examples. Does that mean that you can't do PRO work on a macbook or an iMac? Nope,

    2) The surface isn't leading the tablet market and it is 'leading' the productivity tablet market in the same way that blackberry 'led' the smartphone market. You know, the same market that has been dwarfed several times over by iPhones and android handsets quickly after the iPhone was released and sorta put RIM out on the street. As for the surface replacing a laptop. Well, a regular laptop is still a much better choice than getting a surface pro.

    3) The original FIRST PARTY keyboard for the iPad that was released in 2010 was itself powered by the iPad but it could also be plugged into a computer or wall adapter to charge or sync your iPad. That's what what I meant when i said that the iPad had a keyboard since day one. The Styluses for the iPad aren't all 'fingertip-emulators. Quite a few of them have pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. And look, we are talking about where apple got their ideas. Keyboard cover docks were available for the iPad before the surface was ever even announced, So were styluses. yeah, tablet PC's had styluses, but those styluses didn't use capacitive technology which was the technological challenge for making a stylus for the iPad. The surface pro used to use Wacom digitizers before microsoft bought N-Trig technology to ditch wacom and save some money for the surface pro 3.

    I know what the surface pro concept is. Unfortunately it doesn't make for a good laptop or tablet. At least not in comparison to what you get from an actual tablet and an actual laptop.

    My entire point is that the iPad Pro wasn't a response to the surface. The iPad Pro is more like apple spreading to other market segments because the mainstream consumer tablet market is drying up pretty fast. Not just for apple but every other tablet manufacturer that appeals to the consumer market. There's really no reason to upgrade your iPad every year or every two years. If you own an iPad 4 right now, there's not much that an iPad Air 2 does that absolutely have to go get it and ditch your 4 and the actual demands from using the device don't necessitate an upgrade. An iPad Air 2 is a demonstrably more powerful and faster device, but the iPad 4 is great as is so far.

    Saying that the iPad Pro is a response to the surface is like saying that windows 10 is a response to Linux.
    Reply
  • close - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Or if you actually meant MacBook Pro you may be closer but still, they're different classes. Apple doesn't have anything in this class yet. Reply
  • appleimmune - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    That's about to change..
    http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/03/technology/apple-m...

    Apple, the me too company.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You took a patent as truth and then claimed Apple was a "me too" company for following a late 2015 MS product with a 2011 patent filing. Brilliant¡ Reply
  • Appanage - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    1. Patent filed in 2011
    2. Surface's CPU, chipset, and storage are located under the keyboard? That's news to me.
    3. Apple, the "me too" company as you described, was copying off Microsoft with the iPhone? And no, don't say PocketPC unless you expect laughter and discredit.
    Reply
  • Sc0rp - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    The patent was filed 2 years before the surface pro or surface book were ever announced. Reply
  • WagonWheelsRX8 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Yep definitely a nice review. Only wish he included some Apple products in his charts as well (especially the display related ones). Reply
  • Tallface - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    "Where the Surface Book is let down though is on software." ...this. Returned mine last weekend :-( Reply
  • Appanage - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Exactly. Arguing over chips and hardware superiority is overlooking half the solution, and it's not even the most important half. Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    > It’s unfortunate that Microsoft did not opt for anything with Intel’s Iris graphics line for the Surface Book like it did for the Surface Pro 4, but the optional NVIDIA GPU more than makes up for it.

    Why? Do we really want Intel to own 90% of all chip markets?
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    It's pretty obvious to me why they avoid Iris as a higher performance option. Intel has never shown any interest in keeping their drivers up to date for compatibility with new software. Nvidia is far ahead on that point. Reply
  • nico_mach - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    That's interesting and I haven't heard that. Otherwise, I think Intel would be a better choice for mobile efficiency and for long life. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    If you've never heard of Intels non-commitment to keeping their drivers up to date you've never tried to use Intel graphics for anything other that web browsing and text editing. I'm not even going to give you a specific reference because the reference is ALL gaming houses completely ignoring Intel on their compatibility lists. Because Intel simply just don't care. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    They update drivers for my Iris Pro fairly often. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I think he's talking about the Intel only options. There's no middle ground with an Iris, it's either low end integrated or the dGPU with the SB. An Iris option would be a nice middle ground, and it's giving Intel exactly the same extra marketshare as the existing chip :P Reply
  • mczak - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    IIRC Iris graphics (so GT3, twice the EUs) didn't really do much in the 15W packages. That's because even the GT2 one can't quite reach max clocks due to too high TDP. And while more units at a lower clock are a bit more efficient the difference isn't dramatic.
    I haven't seen results yet with Skylake 15W GT3e (so with edram even) graphics, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's much the same story. You might need a 28W TDP Skylake cpu to really benefit much from the improved graphics (which for this form factor might be impossible).
    Reply
  • cbf - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    "I haven't seen results yet with Skylake 15W GT3e (so with edram even) graphics ..."

    Well, that's the chip in the top model Surface Pro 4 (Core i7-6650U), so hopefully there will be some benchmarks of this soon (Brett?). I'd love to see how it compares to the discreate GPU in the Surface Book.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Read the conclusion and it's disheartening to hear that the software is lacking.

    Just like the surface pro, I'm betting that it will take an iteration or two before the price comes down and the polish goes up. Then ms will have a killer on its hands.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The software bugs and hiccups are not isolated to the Surface Book but plagues most system that is detachable. Even the lenovo's has them. Windows is just poor at handling the integration or rather the wake up from the integration. Some bugs exist even on desktops.

    With that said, if you're considering a Windows device then you should be aware and willing to accept some of the common bugs.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Part of me isn't surprised that the two in one functionality is the thing that causes the bugs since it's a relatively "new" thing.

    However, I'm a little surprised that ms didn't see this coming. I mean, Intel started their ultrabook campaign with sandy bridge and they said it would be a three year progression before the ultrabook idea was fully realized. Sure enough, haswell ultrabooks are kickass and now Intel is marketing something else.

    It's "2-in-1" and that shouldn't surprise anyone. I'm sure Intel doesn't do this stuff without at least talking with ms. So ms should be aware that two in one machines are going to get popular.

    Worse still, this is their own machine... This is supposed to be the beacon that shows what a pc can be.

    I know it'll get better in time, but it's weird that such noticeable bugs made it into this first iteration.
    Reply
  • damonlynch - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Some of the photos in this article leave much to be desired, with elementary errors such as poor white balance and no lens distortion correction. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Sorry I try to do these outside but the weather has been poor, and daylight is almost gone now. I'm not going to proclaim I'm an expert photographer (clearly I'm not) but I'll try to do better. My DSLR struggles with white balance. Reply
  • damonlynch - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Hi Brett, I suggest you shoot RAW, and process your images in a photo editing program that corrects white balance and lens distortion. It may seem daunting if you've never done it, but once you get the hang of it, it's a trivial step, and your photos will look much better! You can use a gray card to easily get good white balance. The only real trap is to watch out for the flicker from some types of light, which can cycle through different white balance settings every few fractions of a second. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Can you contact me through email? My link is on http://anandtech.com/author/166 Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    That commenter was a little abrasive with his criticism, but I want to thank you for taking it in stride and promising to do better. It's too often that even respectful tech blogger criticism yields a caustic response. I'm glad Anandtech is better than that. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    We'd never grow if we didn't listen to criticism. Reply
  • casperes1996 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Just don't listen to unwarranted criticism, or start feeling bad over the endless parade of "Anandtech is so biased" comments. Reply
  • ninjacut - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Its not an Apple product to be so careful about it Reply
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Did I miss the part about the new screen and its impact on latency/stylus input? I thought that was a new and improved feature - that it's supposed to feel as natural as actually drawing or writing. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    They did mention that it's an updated in-house pen sensor. And more or less just left it there, I think. :D
    I'm a bit disappointed at the lack of info about that too.
    Reply
  • wiz329 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I think there may be an error on page 3:

    "We see a tripling of the sequential write speed, up to 1.5 TB/s"

    You mean GB/s?
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I sure did. Would be nice if it was TB/s though :) Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Isn't that the internal bandwidth of CPUs these days, post Haswell? Imagine when storage gets that fast! Reply
  • pixelpusher - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The gap left behind when the lid is closed is to allow the gpu to vent in that flipped tablet mode. If you notice there are vents just behind the keyboard towards the top.

    Artists will also notice the lag of the cursor when using a stylus is greatly reduced from any previous windows or mac product. It would be neat to offer high speed camera comparisons of this device versus the ipad pro on that score when it ships (unfortunately, the ipad pro does not offer a cursor, so one could only measure time to ink.)
    Reply
  • Tallface - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    In my experience the pen worked great in apps like OneNote, but as soon as I got into Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC, there were definitely problems, i.e., if I sketched too quickly it would only register about 50-60% of a stroke. It was very disheartening. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I'm not a stylus expert of any sort, but aren't Adobe known for more or less only optimising their software for Wacom? Reply
  • pixelpusher - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    No, Photoshop is now using windows 10 native stylus apis not wintab. I have noticed another persons book having trouble running ps with the NVidia gpu, but fine under the intel. On mine, It works just fine with both. Not sure what the difference is, but some units seem be having issues with the NVidia part, hopefully fixed soon. I would not compare PS latency with ipad apps, as Photoshop uses the cpu to do all of its computation when painting, unlike modern apps. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - link

    How does the pen work in other software, like SketchBook or PSP? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Could you post a picture of where the GPU vents are? I haven't seen one with them in any of the reviews I've read. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Up top on the keyboard
    http://www.computershopper.com/var/ezwebin_site/st...
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Thanks. Now that I know where they are, I can see them in a few other reviews pictures; but for the most part they're almost as hidden in the shadow as in Brett's pictures here.

    I'm surprised that single line of holes is it if the clipboard has them all the way around.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Seems like more than enough given the lack of throttling. The keyboard part only has to worry about the GPU in isolation; the tablet part has to worry about both the CPU and integrated GPU getting engaged at once I guess, plus it has that large passive copper heat block, so some of the side holes are more for passive ventilation than direct fan output/input I would guess.

    It's actually quite the thermal marvel really.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Admittedly we don't have TDP numbers for the GPU; but it's similar to a 940M which is a 36W part. That's twice the TDP of the CPU and probably half again as much as the entire slate half runs at; I'd've expected it to have significantly more cooling built in; so seeing it with less than half the ventilation holes is surprising. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I read 30W for the custom one, but you're right, it does have higher TDP. But I think some of the vent holes in the top part are either aesthetic or for passive cooling, look at the MBP design that does it all through a similar keyboard vent.

    Or maybe it can change the airflow direction like older Surfaces could due to how you were holding it? Then it would make sense for the top to have added slots.

    In either case this is mostly academic, as the cooling seems to prevent throttling at all.
    Reply
  • pixelpusher - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You can see them in this picture....

    http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/1...
    Reply
  • pixelpusher - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The tablet part has to deal with thermals that change as the tablet is rotated. Early pc tablets did not use a butterfly design so could get hot as the user placed it in portrait mode for instance. Reply
  • Teknobug - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Had my hands on one of these last Friday, my goodness makes me want one even more. But gonna have to wait til after New Years. Reply
  • Jumangi - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    If their are going to be some issues I'd rather they be software than hardware. Updates can fix the issues this has, a hardware flaw is their forever. Reply
  • Appanage - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Better yet, how about none to begin? These are the PITAs that add up to a huge waste of time and constantly being ticked when your device is incapable of working as it should. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I'm curious how the Skylake Iris not-Pros with 64MB eDRAM will compare to this GPU. If they come close, the keyboard GPU loses some appeal. I think there's a SP4 coming with it too.

    I hope they offer upgraded GPUs down the line with the swappable keyboard, good opportunity there.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    It does seem Panos wasn't entirely full of it for the "twice as fast" as the Macbook Pro 13" comment though, if taken on the GPU side alone. Which he should have said, but still, a lot of us have to eat crow :P Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The Macbook Pro isn't using Skylake yet, or a version with EDRAM, so that comparison isn't accurate. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    No, but he was comparing it to the currently shipping one, which is really all we have to go on until it comes with Skylake.

    I'd love to see the MBP match this GPU performance if possible with GT3e.
    Reply
  • zepi - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    15w SKU's will suffer from lack of TDP regardless of the eDRAM or not. However, the 28w SKU's with eDRAM might actually reach some interesting performance levels in higher end laptops that choose integrate it. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Yeah that's what I'm thinking. The MBP 13" with some eDRAM strapped in, that would be interesting to me. Maybe enough to sell my 15", downgrade, and pocket the difference. Reply
  • id4andrei - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Specially on a mac, Iris CPUs are terribly inefficient from a battery power perspective in anything that needs graphics. Check arstechnica webgl tests. The mac suffers the most. Apparently the CPU runs at full TDP even when only the GPU is needed. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I second this comment. We're yet to see how the Skylake's, 15W GT3e behaves, and it would be very interesting to compare gaming performance between the Core i7 Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book with dGPU. Mainly because the theoretical performance of both is very similar. Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Where's the comparison to Apple hardware in the benchmarks? Why not have this? I don't want to hear some stupid excuse like Anand use to have, like hurrr durrr different markets. Please update the benchmarks with this info. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Look at the XPS 13 for a ballpark of the MBP 13. Intel GPUs don't get much better until they strap on eDRAM. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Actually, even better, read the CPU page

    "For comparisons, I’ve sampled several similar devices for the graphs, and if anyone would like to compare the Surface Book against anything we’ve tested, please use the Bench link at the top of the page. At the launch of the Surface Book, Microsoft compared it to the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro."
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    We haven't had anything that is recent enough to include. It would be disingenuous of me to include a MacBook Pro from 3 years ago, or a MacBook Air from 2 years ago. Reply
  • PalmKing - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Thanks Brett. What a wonderful review. Very crisp and precise, yet not too technical. Great job! Best review i have read for SB - worth the wait. Thanks.

    I am sold on buying an a SB! Though I wish I could afford the i7 with 512GB, I may have to settle with i7 with 256GB model.

    2 Questions:
    1) Is the hard drive significantly slower on 256GB than 512GB (should I be concerned)?
    2) Is there a way to tell if I am getting a Samsung versus Toshiba hard drive when I go buy from the MS store?
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    With half of the dies of a 512 GB drive, write speed is about half. See the SP4 review here:
    http://anandtech.com/show/9727/the-microsoft-surfa...

    Read speeds are still very good.

    As for Toshiba vs Samsung, the only way I know to tell is to go into Device Manager and see what you get.
    Reply
  • pixelpusher - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Something I have found as a great benefit to having the intel part in the middle of the tablet is the lack of heat in the bottom of the keyboard that normally comes from my retina macbook. MS did a great job of getting heat dispensation away from your lap, which makes it comfortable to use in bed or when laying on a couch. The trackpad rocks!!! Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The thermals impress me too. If you're not using the dGPU, the keyboard may well stay perfectly cool the whole time. Plus no throttling, in an ultrabook size, with dGPU performance. That large passive heat block for fanless cooling is neat too.

    Quite the thermal marvel really.
    Reply
  • id4andrei - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    If you think about it, the detachable hybrid factor is starting to make more sense than the traditional notebook factor.

    I mean, first it allows for hybrid use. That's a plus. Then, it allows, no, it begs for the thermal load to be split in two. This leads to efficient cooling, more battery space, and more "powah" in the form of a dGPU otherwise not possible in such a small frame. All similarly sized machines have Intel graphics.
    Reply
  • chlamchowder - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Does anyone else find it fascinating that the GPU is hot pluggable?

    Getting a PCIe device to be hot swappable sounds like a challenge, and is likely even more of a challenge with a GPU. What would happen if a program was using the discrete GPU, and then the user decides to detach the tablet? Seamlessly migrating program state over to the IGP sounds...hard.

    But maybe that's part of why the software isn't 100% solid yet.
    Reply
  • vithrell - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Yes, device alone - as unique as it is - is overpriced for what it has to offer. Technology used to make it work could be used in many other cases like GPU powered docking stations for laptops and tablets or additional displays with built-in GPU. I hope OEMs will use it in their constructions. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The GPU is using PCIe x4. Together with the ports that are present in the keyboard, I suspect that connection is actually Thunderbolt v3 under disguise. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    It's not fully hot plugable. You can only separate the two halves if nothing is using the GPU. This has been an Optimus feature from the start; I'm not sure if anyone else has sold a product that uses it, but there are nVidia demos on youtube where they stop their GPU in software and pull an MXM card out of a dev board. Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Nope, the old VAIO Z using light peak had the same feature. Reply
  • Zan Lynx - Thursday, November 19, 2015 - link

    PCIe has been hotplug since Day 1. Now admittedly, OS software and BIOS problems have made that not always work. But for everyone properly following the PCIe specs you should be able to power down the slot and remove a card. Reply
  • id4andrei - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Loved the review, so honest. Nothing like that exists anymore.

    I wonder if Chrome's shitty touch optimizations are due to lack of pointer events support. Chrome sucks(relatively) when using the touchscreen as well. I'm getting fed up with Google and its poor Windows support.

    Any word of the Surface Pro M3 and Iris i7 down at Anandtech HQ? Will we be seeing some quick comparison points?
    Reply
  • Teknobug - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    On my tablets, Edge (uGGGGHHH) works best with touch interaction, Firefox, Chrome and Opera just plain sucks. Reply
  • digiguy - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    There is a review of the M3, which is only around 10% slower than the SP3 i5 (but remember that SP4 i5 is clearly more powerful). What's interesting is that the first benchmarks of Skylake Core M7 (HP Spectre X2) show that it is essentially on par with the Haswell i5 in SP3 (quite great for a fanless device). Reply
  • watzupken - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Brilliant review. To be honest, this Surface Book got me interested for awhile, however the price is quite off the mark for me. Understandably, this is not meant to compete in the low or mid end. But I still cannot stomach the fact that the hardware is actually quite mediocre in performance but cost a bomb. Reply
  • vLsL2VnDmWjoTByaVLxb - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Anyone considering this for business use should be aware that this device has numerous show-stopping bugs involving:

    - Docking and undocking (crashes, onscreen keyboard missing, devices now showing up after dock)

    - Surface Dock + External displays (not recognized, weird DPI issues, some displays need a "reset,)

    - Devices like Bluetooth needing a re-pairing after dock/away/roaming.

    - BSOD/hangs/crashes, including display driver crashes, repeatedly getting the same driver prompt.

    This device is actually very heavy, it FEELS heavier than what it's listed at, for some reason. The tablet portion alone feels too heavy to get serious use out of it as a tablet.

    We're waiting for the next round of Microsoft patches this week before deciding on whether to return it. Right now it's not release-worthy, and I feel like we should have held off. Amazing. Microsoft is a software company and they have complete control over hardware and software, this shouldn't have been released like this.
    Reply
  • MutualCore - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    That's funny. Paul Thurott and others have said that the Clipboard section feels ridiculously light. Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Are you kidding? The tablet portion is the size of TWO iPad and weighs less than iPad first gen. It feels like you are holding real clipboard rather than core CPU device. Reply
  • nikon133 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    How about some links.

    We have been using Surface Pro 3 in our office and many of our customers are, too. With SP3 dock, one or two desktop screens... some use Surface's screen as 3rd display. Since monitors with pass-through DisplayPort are rare in NZ, we use EVGA DisplayPort hub which breaks multi-stream to separate DP ports. We had an odd few problems with some monitors, but on average system works fine. We didn't observe any significant problems with freezing and BSOD - perfectly in line with Lenovo ThinkPad or HP EliteBook machines we and our customers use otherwise.

    We use Logitech m557 and Microsoft Arc BT mice, and no we don't need to re-pair them. Didn't try many others (those few that we did try worked fine, too), we settled down on those two from the start.

    I'm finding it hard to believe - just on your word, at least - that SB is that bad. It might not be as stable on release as SP3 is today, but even if that is the case... give it a firmware or two updates and it will get there.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    9 page review and no gaming battery life chart. o....k... Reply
  • depoylinux - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    For those of us with older eyes, it would be nice to see a comparison of how the displays of the SB and SP4 perform at low brightness...The SB seems to have a brighter display and is a different panel than the SP4.....all the tests in this review were performed at normal to high brightness...however, after using computer for 30 years...I no longer want strong backlights shining directly into my eyes - especially when using high magnification glasses...Even though the SB has a bigger display, the lack of flexibility in viewing angles and concerns over brightness are making me want to get the SP4 instead (perhaps with the i7 iris graphics). Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Sorry I normally try and mention minimum brightness in the review and it slipped my mind. The Surface Book goes all the way down to 0.8 nits, which is so ridiculously low that you can barely see the display in a room with any lights of its own. Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    Wow, interesting! That's for working in the dark when the power's out lol Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I am more afraid of the hinge area of the Surfacebook breaking when closed and in a backpack or the like. A normal laptop when closed is pretty solid. The Surfacebook has this huge air gap, what is to keep the hinge from breaking with added stress? Reply
  • MutualCore - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Did you see the guy at one web site, he literally stepped on the hinge and nothing happened? Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I've not done this, but I've seen some one stand on the hinge and it didn't break. Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Does the Surface connectors break. That's the real problem. The hinge itself will not snap before the connectors when pressue is applied to the screen portion. Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Magnesium is supposed to be quite flammable. People used to have parties to burn the old NeXT workstations, which were also made of Magnesium

    I'm honestly curious how well the flammability is controlled here. Does it pose a safety risk at all?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    A number of vendors, Dell among them, have been using Magnesium in their business class laptops for many years now. I've never heard of one catching on fire. Reply
  • Manch - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Pure magnesium in powder form just like aluminum is very flammable and dangerous. In solid blocks they are less so but can still be ignited with enough heat. These however are alloys so don't worry, you're quite safe. Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Can they catch fire with the occasional exploded Li-ion battery? Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    You'd have to grind it to a powder for it to be flammable. Also: Don't light it on fire :P

    Follow these two rules and you can sleep safe.
    Reply
  • Ytterbium - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    It's magnesium alloy, which has max of 13% magnesium Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    I've seen a bicycle frame with more than 80% magnesium. Reply
  • Cobalt Wraith - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Only one huge thing is missing here, and everywhere else I've seen good benchmarks. Why is there no numbers for the i5 WITH the GPU? How much of that battery life difference has to do with what base is attached, which is where most of the batteries are located? How much of the difference in graphics capabilities is because of just the GPU, regardless of which CPU model is attached? You wouldn't even need to buy another unit to test, just hook the i5 up to the i7's keyboard and power supply and run the tests again. Is there any ways those results could please be added to this review? Those numbers haven't been recorded anywhere I can find. Reply
  • leoblaze9 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I'm really glad to see an increase in color accurate displays. Its about time!! Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    In 3:2 aspect ratio as well. The screen alone (almost) justifies the premium price. Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    You gotta be kidding me, it's just sRGB, many Ultrabooks meet the standard. What are you so excited about. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Its factory calibrat3d 3:2 13.5 display with 450 nits of brightness. Nothing ever comes close. Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    Many ultrabook displays cover the same color gamut with just as good color and greyscale Delta E They're calibrated, they just don't advertise it so much. You're fooled by MS. As for 13.5" 3:2, 14" 16:9 is similar and you could get more done on the new XPS15's 15.6" screen, with more screen and less bezel.

    450nits, yeah that's unique, however quite useless. It's like Xperia Z4's ~800nits panel, nobody needs that much and sunlight visibility ends up slightly worse than S6's panel which topped at ~600nits. I just got a new panel for my notebook because the old one leaked liquid crystal. It's much brighter and sometimes seemed too vibrant (I admit it's 95% AdobeRGB) when displaying some saturated colors, which reminded me how much the old one's backlight aged in 3 years, but when I calibrated it, Spyder showed that it was only 194nits, I couldn't believe it as I was almost sure it's over 250nits just looking at it with my bare eyes, so I'm positive that I'll never need anything past 250nits on a notebook.

    The narrow gamut on the MSB however, couldn't be made up for.
    Reply
  • ninjacut - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    After coming from Dell, Lenovo, HP I always wanted Microsoft to build their own laptop. So the Surface Book announcement was very exciting.

    The good technical part was covered well by Anandtech, with some gaps around pen, etc. with some obvious Apple bias creeping. But I don't agree with the conclusion. After the Nov 2 update, I have no issues with the unit. On the contrary, having used the device last 2 weeks made me realize how productive this device is.

    I am impressed with the keyboard, touchpad, pen very superior to any earlier experience. The display is awesome in size and richness. Biggest surprise was how light is the display unit in tablet mode, hard to realize it has a Core i7 running with 8GB and 256 SSD.

    In one of my recent meetings, I just removed the display and handed over to the client to go through some dashboards and he was flabbergasted. The meeting turned out very positive.

    This unit is a keeper, and if the updates come in regularly I never will buy any other OEM laptop for sure
    Reply
  • Cobalt Wraith - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Dito, in the same book and have not encountered any of the allegedly prevalent problems. Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Go on Amazon to read the amazing number of 1 star reviews. Some complained a great deal but gave 3-4 stars out of decency. Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    1) I'm glad to see that the trackpad feel and firmware is decent.

    2) I don't know if it comes to down to a lack of volume or a lack of expertise, but MS's horrible use of space on their logic boards repeatedly wastes a shitload of space that could reduce the device volume, reduce the weight, and/or allow for a larger battery.
    Reply
  • nikon133 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Leaving space for next gen improvements? :) Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Returning mine soon. May get thinkpad 460 instead. Reply
  • Teknobug - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Got my eye on HP Spectre x360 or Dell 13 7000, but saw the Yoga 3 Pro too. Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    x360 is a really nice device. Good build, nice screen (even 1080p), good keyboard and big battery. I don't like the weird trackpad (still usable though) and garbage synaptics pen though.

    It will be great if HP release a new x360 with 3:2 screen and wacom AES pen. I'd gladly pay $1500 if they make one.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I'm going to be "that guy".

    1) Not putting any information about the competing laptops (esp. CPU) makes the performance comparisons almost completely worthless, especially when you consider how sensitive U-series CPUs can be to their thermal solution and firmware configuration. I could of course assume that they are specced as tested in previous AT reviews, but why should I be doing that work?

    2) A “bunch of battery” doesn't just disappear (conclusions). Either the battery life indication is bad or you’re not properly conducting/controlling the test. The fact that the Book’s fans became audible and very hot when closed makes me guess that Windows detected an idle state and was doing background tasks. That further tells me that the tests probably weren’t properly controlled and have significant margins of error.

    3) I understand you no longer have review models in house, but there’s absolutely no mention of different Windows versions (or CPU/hardware differences) in your battery life tests (I know Win8/10 are almost identical, but still). Could the Book’s superior life be due to Windows 10, OS optimization work Microsoft did specifically for the Book, generational CPU improvements, or something else? Any of those could have been addressed and/or tested for, but instead we get an insipid “dunno, GDDR5?” statement. When we consider the fact that the GPU is undockable and that this device is therefore uniquely capable of a rough analysis of how adding a discrete GPU affects laptop battery life, that kind of “hell if I know” statement is even more ludicrous.

    This was an OK review when compared to the raft of “long forum post” reviews available elsewhere, but very disappointing in relation to what I expect from an AT review.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Surface book has surprisingly good cooling. I did prime95 test myself for 30 mins and CPU clock was around 2.8Ghz. Slightly less than full turbo, but still impressive for 7.7mm thin device. Spectre x360 lasts ~12 hours with 52Wh battery, so it makes sense this HiDPI machine lasts ~12 hours with larger 70Wh battery.

    And face it, anandtech is not really interested in anything non apple. I have recently seen a side-by-side blind test of 6 smartphone cameras and iPhone 6s+ one was very obviously the worst in all possible situations. And AT called iPhone 6s "the best phone ever". LOL.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    This should be the 11th review on the MSB I've read. The battery life varies greatly between reviews and I've seen 4 6-7hrs claim, 2 10-11hrs claim and 5 12-15 hrs claim including this one (in fact the 15hrs it got out of the i5 model is the longest I've read about, it was mostly 12-13hrs). I think it's just that there are still many problems with the software, and if not solved, you could get 2.5hrs minimum just surfing the web (single case of customer feedback) with the keyboard attached. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Personally i could achieve 9-10hrs with office jobs and chrome, and 14 hrs with edge. Reply
  • nyonya - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Any chance of redoing the Surface Pro 4 battery life tests post - firmware upgrade? Reply
  • vinsanity - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Which Surface Pro 4 was in these benchmarks?? Reply
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I like the Surface Book. I think it's a GREAT laptop. But I won't be buying one because I'm probably not the intended audience. I need my Quad Core CPU.

    The thing that really got my interest was the internal design. No the part where the screen comes off, but the part where the battery is behind the screen. It really was like a eureka moment.

    Microsoft's implementation has it that the batter in the clipboard is high, with a higher center of gravity relative to the hinge. They were forced to do so because they need space for the "muscle wire" mechanism. BUT conventional laptops don't need that mechanism.

    Having all or part of the battery behind the screen is such a brilliant design idea. Especially since LCD panels are extremely thin nowadays. It removes a huge strain on the internal design of a laptop, and leaves more area for active/hybrid cooling and other peripherals, while remaining relatively thin. Not necessarily lighter, but considerably thinner designs with significantly more room for much larger battery (and possibly more circuitry) behind the screen.

    NOW, I want a conventional, thin, high performance laptop with a beefy processor and GPU, and a lid that adds more battery behind the screen towards the bottom (to lower the center of gravity of the lid and make the device more balanced). The lid would be a tiny bit thicker on the bottom and tapers along the top (like a macbook air for the lid only).

    This design would be great for think, stylish mobile workstations and gaming laptops.
    Reply
  • MattL - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Good review, fair criticisms Reply
  • bluevaping - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    One of the best thing for Surface Book is fast storage. The most powerful notebook this size that is great for League of Legends or Dota 2. Ok for $1899? Give me an Elitebook 14" 745 G3 for $919+ and install $350 PCIE 512GB. $1269. They both are about 3.4 pounds. Can the Elitebook run Dota 2 with twice the storage, Yes. Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    That's not very fast. RAID0 gets you twice that speed. Don't forget you could get the bad straw and end up with an even slower drive. Reply
  • mmrezaie - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    I don't understand why anyone should be bothered with this because of all the privacy issues. According to our tests it is actually abiding the claims they made by gathering even contents of my disks and uploading them to some ip address held by microsoft. Reply
  • hlovatt - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Excellent review, well worth the wait. Also good to see MS pushing the envelope with an interesting product.

    Can't believe that a *positive* review of an MS product has bought out the Apple haters in droves, wish they would all leave the site or get a life.
    Reply
  • vLsL2VnDmWjoTByaVLxb - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Links:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/search?q=display&...

    SP4 dock supports two UHD display monitors.

    Again, you're just justifying the issues that are obviously there on release. How about you show us a setup where you have a working SPB4 working with two displayport monitors attached (supported) in a business environment. We're just trying to use the dock as Microsoft sold it to us.
    Reply
  • Houdani - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    So, that hinge -- when closed -- creates a cavity that's about the same diameter of the surface pen. They just need a little depression + magnet along the top edge of the keyboard (along the F-keys) and they'd have an obvious pen storage cradle. Reply
  • Heatlesssun - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    The gap is nowhere near as big as then diameter of the pen. Reply
  • Lavkesh - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Excellent review as always but I feel this review has completely ignored the Surface Pen. Is the lag really bad? Is there any utility to using the Pen or is it a novelty that will wear off in days. The review would have helped because I just ordered a MacBook Pro Retina 15 top of the line with upgraded CPU and 1 TB SSD. Was wondering if I should cancel and get one of these instead? Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    If you need it to take notes, go ahead. If you need it in PS, not a good idea. The hinge is bouncy and horrible for drawing and if you flip/remove the screen you end up with no hotkeys.
    Regarding the lag, I believe it's about as fast as it gets on these sorts of devices.
    Reply
  • dray67 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    i would stick with the rMbp, what that package will cost you leads me to believe you know exactly what you need it for, I recently bought a 13" rMbp and was sort of wondering should I have waited, but if I'm honest i don't really need detachable screen and I try to avoid being an early adopter.

    Who knows maybe when it's time to upgrade I might jump in as it will be on its 2nd or 3rd iteration by then.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Nothing about the horrible screen wobble? I've already seen much about that in review videos or customer feedback. And not much about functionality, like how either the keyboard gets in the way or hotkeys can't be used during pen usage? Without hotkeys it still takes notes, yeah, but then there wouldn't be much of a point stressing calibrated sRGB.
    I still hope Anandtech could review the VAIO Z Canvas though, higher performance and 95% AdobeRGB screen in a more compact form factor.
    Reply
  • gamer1000k - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    This laptop isn't for me (not a fan of the hinge design or detachable hybrids in general and this machine is too pricey) but I'm glad to see Microsoft putting pressure on the OEM's to put out better machines.

    What I would like to see is a flipper hybrid (like the Lenovo Yogas) with a dedicated GPU (or at least Iris Pro) and an active digitizer.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    I found it REALLY funny (and sad) that this 'review' completely ignored the pen that comes with the device... and AT just posted a whole article just adressing $99 optional apple pencil.

    Yeah I totally expected that.
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Sorry I covered the pen in the Surface Pro 4 review. It's all exactly the same. I should have put a link to it so I'll add one now. As far as latency and other measures, working on that. Reply
  • milkod2001 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Clicked on Amazon link posted on this review to see what are early adaptors experiences.

    http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Surface-Book-Intel...

    The amount of 1* review(25%) is quite alarming. Looks like half baked rushed product. Too bad, i have expected more from product in this price range.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Exactly. Reply
  • cashnmillions - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Yes, 13 bad or 1* reviews, 3 of which are verified purchases. Take it with a grain of salt. Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    Yeah, MS Store reviews are all "verified", they just delete all the negative ones. Those people have nowhere to go so they post reviews at Amazon instead. Reply
  • cbf - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    The one star reviews are all quite believable. Most of them say that they didn't purchase it at Amazon, so naturally wouldn't be verified.

    I played with a Surface Book at a Microsoft store (only sample they had), and it was flaky. I fully expect these glitches to be fixed in time -- hopefully with software/firmware updates (as opposed to hardware replacement). But in the meantime, you can hardly blame people who give an appropriate review to a product that doesn't work yet.
    Reply
  • pliablemoosethebanned - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    Review mirrors what I'm hearing, software half baked.

    Also, guys, has there been any discussion about just shutting down the comments altogether, seem to be the latest trend.
    Reply
  • milkod2001 - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - link

    Where is that trend of shutting down comments coming from? Comments help to keep user stay on website longer, browse through pages or posts. All that increase a chance that user will eventually see some ads which will draw his attention and will eventually click on them. That generates money.

    As user/reader you also have a chance to state your own opinion / toughs etc. in comments. If you shut down comments you will also decrease time spent on website from a few minutes to a few secs.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    I noticed some sites shutting down comments but they don't seem to be among the more popular tech sites. They also use individual comment systems and since I don't see much interesting content I don't even bother registering. Anandtech is the only place I registered that isn't using Disqus or Livefyre. Reply
  • milkod2001 - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - link

    I guess it would be OK for cheapo brands like ACER, but when you spend $2000+ on something it should work as advertised from day one.

    I just don't understand how can MS throw 1.2 billion on Minecraft without problem but cannot spend a few hundred grand on quality control: software firmawe / hardware.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    I want to upvote you, Anandtech should add the feature. Reply
  • Vicli - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - link

    Whether the surface book PCMark8 work score is improved by its dGPU?how many scores will be improved compared to w/o dGPU Reply
  • eldakka - Thursday, November 12, 2015 - link

    The configuration options seem terribly limited. Why can't the SSD options be completely selectable, 128GB-1TB, independent of the amount of RAM or CPU chosen?

    A 12.1" version (with suitably down-rated components as necessary for the smaller form-factor) with USB-C on the tablet would be tempting if priced right.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    I never reckoned this would bother someone. Anyone who only needs 8GB of RAM shouldn't need any more than 256GB of SSD, and anyone who needs 16GB of RAM shouldn't need less than 256GB of SSD, should be the norm.

    But the real reason should be to prevent people getting 16GB/128GB and swapping out the SSD by themselves ;)

    This doesn't seem possible now, but should be possible in the future with more SSD models released, also in "free" markets like China they'll be available on the web when spare parts are abundant.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    The problem with the Surface Book's top-heavy tendencies is only partly mitigated by the hinge. We have a couple at work and people who are using them say they're still pretty unstable. I think getting rid of the upper battery and removing the detachment mechanism would have gone a long way in giving the Surface Book better balance. The other problem the hinge design introduces is the gap which means that when the SB is closed, it won't have the benefit of the upper and lower halves of the system acting in a mutually supportive manner to forces accidentally applied to the top or bottom which might result in unintended bending that wouldn't have happened with a better hinge that allows the screen to rest onto the base.

    I really think Microsoft would have a better product in the second generation if they move all the electronics to the base and deepen it somewhat so the motherboard and battery can all fit. They could also recess the keyboard into the base so the tops of the keys are flush. The screen could be made thinner to make up for some of the extra base thickness and the hinge could be redesigned to remove the flaw of it's big gap that not only demonstrates sloppy design, but also is unappealing to the eye. A good target for Microsoft to model their computer after would be the Latitude e6440 laptop which is a lot more capable, suffers none of the balance problems, and has a very nice keyboard, but I don't think MS would be able to offer it at a competitive price point. The existing SB cost is extremely high for the given hardware and ought to be lower given the flawed hinge and poor design decision with the raised keyboard.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    You're absolutely right about those two issues. But since this still is a Surface, MS will have to make it part tablet no matter what, IMO.

    Instability in the lap is still reported occasionally in reviews, no doubt due to the top-heavy construction, and as I said before, they should use lithium alloy like Lavie Z only in the top portion to deal with this, but some fanboys disagree. Nothing's gonna change the design of their "ultimate laptop"!

    One reviewer made the strangest decision to step onto the hinge with the Book open to see if it held. I think he's just a fanboy trying to deceive people into thinking the design is flawless because no force IRL would be applied that way. If he stood on the middle of the *tablet* section, with the Book *closed*, and the tablet section/Surface connectors still didn't snap, that would answer the question.
    Reply
  • Total Meltdowner - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    Slowly but surely, the mutation which is a "tablet computer" is evolving back into a regular laptop. Hilarious. Reply
  • chrisnyc75 - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    Great review! But I'd like to see it updated with results vs the new Dell XPS 15 (skylake & 960m) rather than last year's Haswell model, at least on the gaming tests if not all of them (though I think it would be an apt comparison point for all of the tests as the XPS 15 is roughly the same size/weight as the Surface Book, and prominently features 4k touch-screen as a primary feature, even if it's not actually a 2-in-1. A lot of people are still going to see the XPS 15 (not just the 13) as a direct alternative to the Surface Book) Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    1. I don't think it supports pen input. Short as the battery life on the clipboard is it's useful for note taking.
    2.It's still noticably bigger, and...does it still have that big battery option from the old model? Otherwise the battery would be really small.
    Reply
  • chrisnyc75 - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    All good questions, and exactly why I'd like to see the XPS15 added to the comparison. Sure, the SB detaches, which can be useful, but the very existence of the Surface Book is owed to the fact that tablet sales have been in rapid decline across the market. Putting that bit aside (which I realize is missing the whole point of the Surface Book), they're almost exactly the same size & weight, both ~4k resolution, both touchscreens, & both Skylake + nvidia dgpu. As long as you're only pitting the SB against other detachable devices, it's ALWAYS going to come out on top because MS hit a home run with that part....but does anybody care? Enough to overlook a cheaper option (Surface Pro) or one with more power (XPS)? I personally would like to see the nitty-gritty comparison of the two before I decide. Reply
  • chrisnyc75 - Monday, November 16, 2015 - link

    And fwiw, according to Dell (and the few "legitimate" sounding reviews I've been able to find so far), the XPS15 gets "up to 17 hours" battery life with the FHD display, "a few hours less" with the 4k touchscreen QHD. If that's true, then it's not far behind the SB battery life, but with more power, more connectivity, and a bigger display (due to the edge-to-edge infinity display, you get a 15.6" of display on a 13.5" device (hence why I keep bringing up the fact that they're the same size, and thus crying out for direct comparison). Personally, I'm pretty sure I'd prefer the larger display and greater processing power of the XPS over the detachable tablet option on the SB if that's really they're biggest difference. If only a reputable expert would run the tests to find out if that's really the case. ;) (hint hint)

    And p.s., from what I'm reading on laptop forums/reviews, the touchscreen can be paired with any bluetooth stylus, it just doesn't come with it. But you don't need the connectivity port that you have to buy separately to connect the SB to just about everything, so if that's true it kinda balances out (again) IMHO.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - link

    Hmmm, I have to disagree on the size. The Dell is 6cm wider and 2cm taller, over 500g (that's one third of the MSB) heavier, though mostly thinner(yeah stupid hinge gets in the way) than the MSB. The Dell is still a ~15" device while MSB is still a ~13" device. The line is slightly blurred but not enough for them to be totally exchangable.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-XPS-15-Notebook-...
    Notebookcheck, credible and meticulous in their tests IMO, reports poor battery life. Though they didn't give 11-13hrs for MSB either.
    Reply
  • Jukens - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    In the first 60 seconds of playing with one at Bestbuy when I undocked the display using the key it BSOD'd and restarted... Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    lol if you're persistant, keep returning them and eventually you'll get a functional model. Reply
  • kaisersoser37 - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - link

    So I picked up a Surface Book 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage, and these are my early impressions:

    PROS
    + By far the best built laptop I have ever used. It looks and feels like a premium device, and I do a lot of XCode programming on a MBP 15" which was my previous preferred system/platform for serious work but this just looks and feels much better than any other MBP I have ever used before.

    + The hinge is a technical marvel and you can hold the screen without feeling afraid the rest of the system will drop off. It also feels very solid with no externally moving (or visible) parts

    + The 3:2 factor is a revelation, especially for programmers and I presume users of word processors, as it providers a much longer vertical screen space, without compromising screen width. Besides, It is a Fibonacci ratio, so it feels natural to use.

    + The detachable screen is lighter than I expected. It feels comfortable to use either in landscape or portrait mode

    + They were not kidding about battery life. I have not charged my system in 2 days, and I put in about 4-5 hours per day on my SB

    + The keyboard is excellent and makes a natural clicking noise similar to a gaming mech keyboard, giving you solid tactitile feedback as you type

    + Excellent performance. I am running Unreal Engine and Unity on it and they both work for simple demos (yes even with 8GB RAM)

    + Windows Hello is the Future. You look at your screen and it logs you in, no questions asked or answers given. If this was a Mac feature, analysts will be drooling all over it.

    CONS
    - It is heavier than I expected in general. Definately a bit heavier than an equivalent MBP 13"

    - For me, the FN key feels like it is in the way. It would made more sense to switch places with the FN key and Ctrl key.

    - I had problems with my Surface Pen (shipped with the device), which wasnt writing, but I got a replacement and now it works pretty well

    - The sound quality is good but does not seem as crisp as the sound on my MBP 15", then again, not many laptops match Macbook Pros for sound quality.

    All in all, I am in love with my Surface Book. It is by far, the prettiest, best built laptop I have ever owned. Make no mistake, this might be a hybrid with a tablet screen, but it is a laptop first and foremost.
    So if you need a tablet experience first, I suggest you look at the Surface Pro 4 instead. But if you want a workhorse that also stands out in a crowd, and you can afford to pay for it, this is for you.
    Reply
  • Eleveneleven - Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - link

    Oh wow you guys were crazy late on this review. Reply
  • ktkps - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    From the "About" section : "No AnandTech writer is ever told to be quickest to post a story, but everyone at AnandTech is challenged to be the best that they can possibly be when working on a story. Focus on quality first, then timeliness second. There's value in both but there's more value in one" Reply
  • icwhatudidthere - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    I want one for one reason: I'm tired of sweaty palms from and burned thighs from current laptops. Not sure that's worth $1499 yet though. Reply
  • Kazoo - Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - link

    Hey, guys... new poster here.

    I just picked up my i7 Surface Book, and I was checking out my own 3DMark results, and some of them are dead on what you got and some aren't. The worse seems to be Fire Strike, where I come in at a lowly 690, or so, compared to your 1900.

    Ice Storm Unlimited (1.2) comes in with similar physics scores, but a total score of 61,800 and a graphics score of around 86,000, again far below your reported numbers.

    Is there some additional setting/configuration/tweak I need to see those numbers?
    Reply
  • Kazoo - Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - link

    And... nevermind. But, comment if the urge gets you. When I got up this morning, the benchmarks all started matching the reviews. There was an additional Hardware update (even though it was not present last night), so I rebooted as requested and benchmarks improved. I also installed GoForce Experience, but I thought I had run tests after that last night, but might not have,

    For what it's worth, you guys are my go-to site for techie stuff like this. And the comments to the articles are often more illuminating than the original subject material.. (and half the time I'm totally lost in the depth of knowledge!). Keep it up, and thanks!
    Reply
  • Visual - Tuesday, December 08, 2015 - link

    Disappointing article

    Especially the GPU benchmarks - it should have been pitted against Iris and Iris Pro CPUs, to point out to Microsoft that they did a dumb thing going with a dedicated chip that's slower than top integrated ones.
    In particular, the most interesting comparisons are the new 15W Skylake Iris chips.

    Also worth nothing is the 940M tdp of 33W is not that far off from 960M 45W, so if going with dual graphics anyway, MS should have tried for the latter.
    Reply
  • raffle.177 - Monday, December 14, 2015 - link

    Why does it look so much like MacBook? Reply
  • MiraBelko90 - Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - link

    You can’t help but love the specs. http://www.interwebcom.com/microsoft-surface-book-...

    But I found the Surface Book a bit awkward while converting it from laptop to desktop mode.
    The older Surface tablets connect to the Type Cover keyboard via fabric hinge. It works pretty well, but there’s always a tiny bit of flex. Worse still is the kickstand, which Microsoft has never quite figured out how to prevent it from digging into your thighs. The hinge solves all that, holding the monstrous tablet securely. It doesn’t wiggle. Internal, toothlike hooks help secure the tablet to the base.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, August 26, 2016 - link

    "Microsoft has never quite figured out how to prevent it from digging into your thighs."

    ??? That person must have feeble thighs.
    Reply
  • Lolofly - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    Hey, has anyone tested both the battery life of i5 with dgpu and i5 without dgpu? Thank you very much. Reply
  • Guatdan - Sunday, January 31, 2016 - link

    Guatdan,

    Our staff has read your review and values your contribution even though it did not meet all our website guidelines. Thanks for sharing, and we hope to publish next time!

    Submit something new

    Thanks again,
    Microsoft Store

    Key board does not work
    Brand new product and right out of the box. The keyboard works very sporadically. There is no numeric pad nor any way to use Alt codes with a numeric pad even though there was room to put one on the keyboard. I am sending mine back right away. Avoid this product until the keyboard issues are fixed. Microsoft customer service on this product is very poor since techs do not have the product. The keyboard is either faulty or bad tech support. See www.amazon.com for other customers with the same keyboard issue.
    Reply
  • lizzy54 - Thursday, February 25, 2016 - link

    Great review! To clarify, can you charge the clipboard while it's detached? And while using it, i.e. taking notes? Reply

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