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New Microsoft Surface Book Rocks Intel Core i7 Skylake, Nvidia GTX 965M

Microsoft announced the Surface Book i7, which is the company’s most powerful Surface Book to date.

The Surface Book i7 uses an Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7 processor. Microsoft didn’t disclose the exact model number of the CPU, however, but it is likely one of the low-power SKUs due to the thermal and power limitations of the system. The Surface Book i7 also has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5.

To help keep the internal hardware cool, Microsoft said it redesigned the original Surface Book and added a second fan to improve its cooling efficiency. Microsoft also switched to a larger battery for the Surface Book i7, which the company said should last for up to 16 hours while playing videos.

By comparison, Microsoft’s existing Surface Books with Core i5 processors are limited to Intel HD graphics and have an estimated battery life of just 12 hours. The Core i5 model does have one advantage over the Surface Book i7, though, in that it weighs 0.29 pounds less.

One aspect that doesn’t change between the Core i5 and Core i7 Surface Books is the detachable display that measures 13.5-inches diagonally and has a native resolution of 3000x2000. The storage options also remain essentially unchanged, but the Surface Book with Core i5 is available with a less expensive 128GB SSD that isn’t offered on the Surface Book i7.

The Surface Book i7 is available for pre-order today with a starting price of $2,399. The system will ship on November 11.

Microsoft Surface Book i7
ConfigurationsConfig 1Config 2Config 3
CPUIntel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7Intel 6th Gen (Skylake) Core i7
GPUNvidia GeForce GX 965M 2GB GDDR5Nvidia GeForce GX 965M 2GB GDDR5Nvidia GeForce GX 965M 2GB GDDR5
Display13.5-inch PixelSense Display: 3000x2000 (267 PPI), 3:2 Aspect Ratio, 10-point multi-touch13.5-inch PixelSense Display: 3000x2000 (267 PPI), 3:2 Aspect Ratio, 10-point multi-touch13.5-inch PixelSense Display: 3000x2000 (267 PPI), 3:2 Aspect Ratio, 10-point multi-touch
Battery LifeUp To 16 Hours Video PlaybackUp To 16 Hours Video PlaybackUp To 16 Hours Video Playback
Memory8GB16GB16GB
Storage256GB SSD512GB SSD1TB SSD
Price$2,399$2,799$3,299
  • esco_sid
    Overpriced as usual.
    Reply
  • finngrace
    I'm kinda sad that they didn't choose to include a Core i5 variant with the performance base. I'm looking to upgrade to a Surface Book from my Surface Pro 2 next year, so I hope they include that option in the near future.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    The amount of video memory, 2 gigabytes, seems low for the resolution, 3000x2000.

    Better use FXAA. LOL
    Reply
  • What?
    Reply
  • Gilles_2
    what with the 3:2 ratio?
    Reply
  • anonymousdude
    Kind of wished they would have used Kaby Lake and a GPU from the 10 series, but hey R&D takes time. 3:2 is kinda of odd, but the extra height is really useful for documents, spreadsheets, and the like.
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    I wonder if its all glued together again making it impossible to replace a cracked screen or replace a SSD if it dies. Too expensive to replace every year or 2.

    Also, I would love a 3:2 30" monitor. It would be great for web browsing and documents. Widescreen still sucks for those things IMO.
    Reply
  • Emanuel Elmo
    18784146 said:
    what with the 3:2 ratio?

    google to see what is so special about a 3:2 ratio and you will see why.
    Reply
  • Xajel
    965M ? I think Mobile 1060 will be expensive for this and MS will need to adjust the clocks to lower the TDP, Mobile 1050(Ti) is not official yet so MS can't use any, + I think 1050 is just too slow compared to 1060.. 965M was the best choice for the target TDP, performance & time frame...

    Naaah, I remembered that both 960M and 965M does not have any "real" successor yet.
    Reply
  • Valantar
    18783885 said:
    The amount of video memory, 2 gigabytes, seems low for the resolution, 3000x2000.

    Better use FXAA. LOL

    Yeah, 'cause that GPU is meant for full resolution gaming at 3000x2000. Of course.

    18784146 said:
    what with the 3:2 ratio?

    ...that it's infinitely more practical for every single use case outside of gaming and watching 16:9 videos? More height = better for reading, writing, drawing, designing, pretty much everything you might do for actual work. And 3:2 closely mirrors actual paper for reading in tablet mode (in fact, the 13,5" size in 3:2 is very close to both A4 and US standard paper sizes).

    18784370 said:
    Kind of wished they would have used Kaby Lake and a GPU from the 10 series, but hey R&D takes time. 3:2 is kinda of odd, but the extra height is really useful for documents, spreadsheets, and the like.

    Not to mention useful for weird fringe use cases like reading web pages. Who does that, right? 16:9 is good for video, decent for games (although I'd argue 21:9 is better for games). 3:2 is far superior for pretty much everything else. Content is nearly always vertically oriented (and many attempts to alleviate this on 16:9 displays have been made (various reading apps and such), all pretty much failures).

    Kaby Lake I agree on (although the performance delta is minimal). Pascal? See below.

    18786111 said:
    965M ? I think Mobile 1060 will be expensive for this and MS will need to adjust the clocks to lower the TDP, Mobile 1050(Ti) is not official yet so MS can't use any, + I think 1050 is just too slow compared to 1060.. 965M was the best choice for the target TDP, performance & time frame...

    Naaah, I remembered that both 960M and 965M does not have any "real" successor yet.

    The 1060 has a 120W TDP. The 1050 and 1050 TI have 75W TDPs - and were launched the day before yesterday. The 965M has a 50W TDP. There is literally nothing that could replace this as of now. There'll probably be a 1040 at some point, but that's at the very least several months from now - when demand for the 1050s are slowing down, production has picked up, and thin-ish dGPU laptops are due for a refresh. Might not be until fall 2017.
    Reply