The Microsoft Surface Book will shape the future of laptops

The Microsoft Surface Book looks like a concept that teleported into reality

Beyond its fresh and original design, the Surface Book is arguably one of the best specced machine to come out in years. With a 3,000 x 2,000 resolution screen front and center, it's one of the sharpest looking laptops around while managing to avoid the scaling problems that 4K notebooks run into. It even broaches the line of desktop replacement when fully loaded with a 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM, plus a desktop GPU.

Aside from the raw performance power of the Surface Book, what makes it all work beautifully together is how the two halves complement each other. Sure you can use the tablet all on its own, but when you slot the screen into the keyboard case it connects to a dedicated Nvidia GPU for an added graphical boost while bumping up its battery life, too.

Microsoft Surface Book

Expect some of the best performance from an Ultrabook

It's not unlike the technology we've already seen in some GPU docking peripherals like the MSI GS30 Shadow with GamingDock and Alienware's GPU Amplifier solution. Microsoft has improved upon dockable graphics as the Surface Book just needs a short moment to disengage the extra parts, whereas both the Alienware and MSI solutions require the laptop to reboot completely.

When applied to an Ultrabook it might sound like overkill, but it makes a lot of sense if you want a capable notebook that doubles as a thin tablet. The concept is ingenious, really. No 2-in-1 laptop released so far has come with this GPU docking functionality wrapped into it.

Microsoft Surface Book

It's the MacBook Pro's turn to play catch up

Fire starter

There's no doubt the Surface Pro represents the cutting edge of Windows 10 laptops, but whether it's just a flash in the pan or sparks a revolution will depend on its commercial success. There were plenty who thought the Surface tablet family would fail, especially after the whole Windows RT debacle. To its credit, Microsoft stuck with the line and came up with a much-improved formula for the Surface Pro 3.

I can see the Surface Book having some problems of its own between the high-price you'll pay for adding dedicated graphics and its very large screen size – please let there be a Surface Book Mini. However, I have high hopes Microsoft's first notebook machine will change the landscape of laptops as we know it, just as the Surface did for tablets.

  • How do you think the MacBook Pro will change in response? Leave a comment below!
Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.