Microsoft’s supercharged Surface Book has arrived

Microsoft has announced that its new Surface Book with Performance Base is now on sale over in the US, with prices starting at $2,399 (around £1,920, AU$3,160) – plus the Surface Dial has seen pre-orders go live with the accessory costing $100 (around £80, AU$130).

You can purchase the new supercharged Surface Book – which is twice as fast as the original in terms of graphics performance – from Microsoft’s online store or from select Best Buy outlets in the US and Canada.

As mentioned, the base model starts at $2,399 (around £1,920, AU$3,160), coming with a Skylake Core i7 CPU, a discrete GeForce GTX 965M GPU (with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM), 8GB of system memory plus 256GB of storage.

That’s a fairly hefty price of course, and ups the stakes considerably from the original version of the Surface Book which starts at $1,499 (around £1,200, AU$1,980).

If you’ve got the necessary wad of notes to go beyond the basic model, the Surface Book with Performance Base offers a mid-range version that doubles up the system memory and SSD to 16GB/512GB, which will set you back $2,799 (around £2,240, AU$3,690).

Top of the tree

And the top-end model keeps the same amount of RAM but doubles the storage again to 1TB, pushing up the price beyond the three grand mark to hit $3,299 (around £2,640, AU$4,350). Note that this last version isn’t actually on sale yet, with its shipping date set for November 28.

You can purchase both the other models right now, though, at least in the US (at the time of writing). As to when they’ll hit the UK, well, folks could be in for a bit of a wait (again).

Aside from the extra GPU grunt compared to the original, Microsoft’s other big boasts about this new version of the hybrid are that it benefits from a complete thermal redesign internally for better cooling, and that it offers 16 hours of battery life.

While it’s only the base that’s actually different, unfortunately you can’t buy that on its own to use with your existing Surface Book display.

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Also note that as we already mentioned, the Surface Dial accessory can now be pre-ordered from the Microsoft store for $100 (around £80, AU$130), with a ship date of December 15. Although that could move further out, as Microsoft is talking about strong demand for the circular device.

The Surface Dial is, essentially, a peripheral you can place on the touchscreen, turning it like a dial (strangely enough) to do things like choose colors in a paint palette. It was unveiled alongside the company’s Surface Studio all-in-one PC, but is also compatible with the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).