After unveiling a new Microsoft Surface Book with twice the graphics performance and 30-percent more battery life than the original, Microsoft is now selling the new Surface Book with Performance Base.
Prices start at $2,399, which makes the 2-in-1 laptop pretty expensive for a portable Windows computer. But for that price you get a powerful processor, a high-resolution display that can be detached and used as a tablet, and up to 16 hours of battery life, among other things.
The new Surface Book with Performance Base measures 12.3″ x 9.1″ x 0.9″ and weighs about 3.6 pounds when used as a notebook. It has a 13.5 inch, 3000 x 2000 pixel multit-touch display with support for pressure-sensitive input with a Surface Pen.
The laptop features an Intel Core i7-6600U Skylake processor and NVIDIA GeForgce GTX 965M graphics, with the GPU located in the laptop base (which means you’ll be limited to Intel HD graphics when using the Surface Book in tablet mode.
Other features include 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, two full-sized USB 3.0 ports, mini DisplayPort, a headset jack, and a full-sized SD card reader, an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera with support for Windows Hello facial recognition.
An entry-level model has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage, but higher-priced versions are available with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage.
There are a few odd things about Microsoft’s new Surface Book. It’s launching with a last-gen CPU and last-gen NVIDIA graphics instead of a Kaby Lake and NVIDIA GeForce 10 series alternatives.
But the additional battery capacity and the switch from GeForce 940M to 965M graphics were big enough changes to require a new base for the laptop, which is why Microsoft is calling this model the Surface Book with Performance Base.
Unfortunately, the company has no plans to sell the Performance Base on its own to customers who already have last year’s model and want to upgrade for the battery life and graphics improvements, even though an original Surface Book tablet works just fine with a Performance Base.
Microsoft is also now selling the $100 Surface Dial accessory which is designed to work with Surface Book laptops, Surface Pro tablets, and the upcoming Surface Studio all-in-one.