Microsoft releases iPad rival

Sarbottam Bhagat

Microsoft launched its two new Lumia smartphones, announced its new Surface Pro 4 and unveiled its first laptop the Surface Book on Oct. 6 in New York City.

“This is the ultimate laptop,” said Panos Panay, Microsoft Surface leader.

The Surface Book has a 13.5 inch diagonal PixelSense, 3,000 x 2,000 pixel display, 6 million pixels at 267 pixels per inch and weighs 3.34 pounds with a detachable keyboard. These features put this product in direct competition with Apple’s MacBook Air and the Microsoft partners who make the lightweight laptops called ultrabooks. The screen supports touch and gives users the ability to write on it with the Surface Pen.

“The new Microsoft Surface Book looks very promising and its specs make it a very worthy competitor, but given the high price, we’ll have to wait and see how it will stand up against its rivals.” said Raju Thapaliya, freshman computer information science major.

The Surface Book also features a glass touchpad with multi-touch and backlit keys. The hinge, with its flexible “dynamic fulcrum” design is one of the unique design elements. The surprise is that the screen pops off, making this a laptop-first hybrid, rather than the Surface Pro 4, which is a tablet-first hybrid.

It is equipped with a 5-megapixel front-facing Windows Hello face-authentication camera to unlock the laptop, plus an 8-megapixel rear camera that can record 1080p HD video.

“We’re relentless,” Panay said. “Satya pushes us to be growth hackers. We can’t just stop. We need a fleet.”

According to the company, it’s an all-around premium device and the fastest 13-inch “laptop –tablet.” Microsoft is taking a direct shot at Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, promising better battery life, power and gaming and video performance.

“I think that Microsoft Surface Book, with all its new features, will make normal PC usage a lot better than what we are currently getting even from the premium manufacturers like Apple and Dell,” said Pratity Joshy, liberal studies graduate student.

To provide proof for this, Panay did a live demo showcasing its strength in an area where Apple’s laptops fall behind PC counterparts: gaming. He played Microsoft’s upcoming “Gears of War” while simultaneously using video editing software.

Microsoft claims the Surface Book’s battery can last for 12 hours while playing video. When the lid is closed, the battery won’t be drained, so the tablet can last several days on a single charge with minimal usage.

The 128 GB model costs $1,499, while the 1TB option increases to $2,699. The lower-end model doesn’t have the NVIDIA GPU, which reduces the cost.

The Surface Book is now available for pre-order with the model being released later this month.