Microsoft Surface devices make new additions to take on Apple

Microsoft’s new Surface devices look for novel ways to take on Apple, but these will cost the company a lot of money


Microsoft has made additions to the Surface Book series of ultrabook convertibles with the Surface Book i7
Microsoft has made additions to the Surface Book series of ultrabook convertibles with the Surface Book i7

Microsoft has made additions to the Surface Book series of ultrabook convertibles with the Surface Book i7, which is more powerful and supposed to have better battery life, as well. Another product that was launched along with the Surface Book i7 and will impress designers, artists and architects is Microsoft’s first all-in-one PC, the Surface Studio.

The Surface Book i7 runs on Intel’s quad-core i7 processor
The Surface Book i7 runs on Intel’s quad-core i7 processor

Surface Book i7

Even the entry level variant of the Surface Book i7 runs on Intel’s quad-core i7 processor and not an i5 processor as was the case in its predecessor.

While it retains the looks and display capabilities of it’s predecessor which was called the Surface Book it offers a lot more in terms of graphics and battery life.

Microsoft has used a 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU which is twice as powerful as the Nvidia GeForce GTX940M GPU used in last year’s Surface Book. Ultra thin laptops running high-end graphics also tend to heat up more. Microsoft claims the new Surface Book comes with a re-designed and improved cooling system.

The bigger battery adds a bit of bulk to the new device. It weighs 1.64kg while the predecessor weighed 1.5kg. The Apple MacBook Pro weighs 1.58kg.

The other notable feature of the Surface Book i7 is the 13.5-inch display which has a screen resolution of 3,000x2,000ppi and supports multi-touch input.

Surface Book i7 will be available in three variants from 10 November onwards in the US. The 256GB SSD variant will cost $2,399 ( approximately Rs.1,60,528), the one with 512GB SSD will sell at $2,799 ( approximately Rs.1,87,294) and the 1TB SSD unit will cost $3,299 (approximately Rs. 2,20,752).

The Surface Book i7 is ideal for a power users and gamers but it comes at a high price tag. The 256GB SSD variant of Apple MacBook Pro (2016) costs just $1,499 (approximately Rs. 1,00,306).

Surface Studio’s key highlight is the 28-inch display which offers ultra-HD resolution
Surface Studio’s key highlight is the 28-inch display which offers ultra-HD resolution

Surface Studio

Starting at $2,999, this all-in-one PC is a direct competitor to Apple’s latest iMac.

Surface Studio’s key highlight is the 28-inch display which offers ultra-HD resolution, is just 13mm thin and rests on a flexible hinge that allows the display to be reclined backwards up to 20 degrees. This will come in handy for designers and artists who are used to working on drawing boards.

Unlike the Surface Book i7, this all-in-one will run on Intel’s 6th Gen core i5/i7 processor with 4GB Nvidia 965 GPU and 32GB RAM. On-board storage stands at 2TB HDD.

Microsoft has developed a few unique accessories and released a few software tools that will allow users to take full advantage of the Studio, such as Surface Dial (it is a circular scroll wheel which can help designers navigate, scroll and zoom better on the screen) and Windows 10 Creators Update (it will allow users to work on Microsoft Paint with 3D models). The 3D feature will be rolled out on Word, Excel and Power Point too by the next year.

Buyers in US can pre-order the Surface Studio right away on Microsoft.com while the product itself will be available in limited numbers from early next year. Its closest rival is the 27-inch Apple iMac which packs in a 5K Retina display, and is powered by Intel’s 6th gen Core i5 processor with 2TB AMD Radeon R9 M395 GPU and up to 32GB RAM (in high-end variants) and offers 1TB HDD storage. The high end variants of the iMac costs $ 2,299.

There is no word yet on when these devices will arrive in India, if at all.

READ MORE