While the Surface Book i7 still sticks with the original's one-of-a-kind approach, the new flagship laptop from Microsoft significantly increases the graphics power.
Surface Book i7's Specs
The Surface Book i7 is Microsoft's second iteration of the "convertible laptop" concept. The device features a top half that is proportionate as a 13.5-inch tablet. The "PixelSense" screen comes with pen and touch support. The keyboard base of the Surface Book i7 is home to a discrete graphics chip that brings the device's performance beyond that of any other laptop in its class.
The same hinge found on the original Surface Book is holding together the two sides. Previously, there were rumors claiming that Microsoft would discontinue its "dynamic fulcrum hinge" and eliminate the gap it creates. However, the hinge is still there and this unique design remains one of the most prominent features of the Surface Book i7.
It always been not easy to figure out the right category for the hybrid tablet/laptop Surface Book. But now, with Microsoft's launch of the new Surface Book i7, this has become even harder. At least one thing is clear, the Surface Book i7 comes with an incredible speed for a laptop in its class, providing twice the performance of the original Surface Book.
According to PC World, the Surface Book i7 has also the advantage of a long battery life that is better than all other laptops tested by the publication's tech experts. According to CNET, in some areas this year's version of the Microsoft Surface Book is even more everyday-practical than the MacBook Pro from Apple. For art and creative work, the Surface Book i7 offers full tablet and stylus modes. Unlike Apple's new MacBooks, the hybrid device retains legacy ports like an SD card slot and full-size USB 3.
For all those who are looking for a Windows laptop with good performance that can also double as a tablet, Microsoft's Surface Book i7 might be the perfect choice, as long as they can afford the price. This year's model comes with a boost in graphics, processor and battery.
Surface Book i7's Design
Compared with the last year's Surface Book, the Surface Book i7 is a bit heavier. In order to improve its performance and user experience, Microsoft had to make a compromise in terms of lightness. The Surface Book i7 comes with a clear curving bulge on the base, but side edges feel the same. You won't notice much difference in the design of the two hybrid devices unless you stack them side by side.
Last year, the Surface Book weight and size was comparable to the then-current MacBook Pro models. This year, the Surface Book got thicker, while the MacBooks got thinner. The new Book with Performance Base weighs at least 3.62 pounds and it ranges from 22.8 mm thick in the back to 13 mm thick at the front. For a model with Nvidia graphics, last year's version weighted 3.5 pounds.
The Surface Book i7 comes with a slightly heavier feel than the last year's concept. Meanwhile the MacBooks have gotten lighter and smaller. This also applies to other Windows laptops. In the ultraportable niche, 3.6 pounds now counts as a heavyweight.