Review | Microsoft Surface Book: Microsoft's flagship laptop

Microsoft just released its newest flagship laptop: the Microsoft Surface Book. Since the dawn of personal computers, Microsoft has dominated the operating system industry with Windows. It never before created its own physical laptop. Until now. The new Microsoft Surface Book is the first one Microsoft has made as the company enters a new industry.

Whereas the half-laptop, half-tablet Surface Pro is mostly intended for tablet use, The Surface Book is meant to be a laptop; it features a touch screen and gives the option to disconnect that screen from the keyboard.

The Good:

Design: Milled from two solid blocks of magnesium, the Surface Book feels sturdy with a minimalistic style. From the keyboard deck to the palm rests, the interior of this laptop is a surface of metal, with a large space reserved for the glass touchpad. Its screen lid created from a slate of magnesium also puts it at the front line for innovation, and screen is a size of 13.5 inches. Unlike other convertible devices, the screen and base sections share nearly the same thickness and weight to make it perfectly portable. The design of the Surface Book is strong, built solid and meant to last; in other words, having no plastic in the design is a big plus. The Surface Book weighs 1.6 lbs.

The Hardware: Hardware obviously varies depending on what model you get, as there are a few different options. Every Surface Book has a built-in solid state hard drive, the lowest being 128 gigabytes (GB) and offering 1 terabytes (TB) as the best option. The minimum processor is an i5; the best being an i7, with the minimum RAM being 8GB /dGPU and max being 16GB/dGPU. Windows 10 comes preinstalled as well. Basically, whatever model you purchase is going to be fast.

The Touchscreen/Tablet:  The Surface Book’s cool touch screen is a great tool for any graphic design major  because the screen is bigger than one on a regular tablet and it comes with a stylist. The screen has a lot of potential for sketching, designing and other innovative options.

The Bad:

Price: There isn’t much wrong with the Surface Book. It’s a solidly-built laptop with a great design, great hardware and a good operating system. However, it is pricey; the lowest model is priced at $1,499.99 and the higher models run upwards of $3,000. If you’re a college student, slim chances you have that kind of money just laying around. Microsoft is trying to use Apple’s laptop model. Instead of paying for this new model, it would certainly be easier, and cheaper, to buy a laptop with an i7, 1TB hard drive and at least 8GB of ram for $700-$900. Instead of paying double for a brand name, do the research and seek out options that have the same hardware and processing capabilities as a laptop from Mac, Asus or Lenovo.

The Verdict:

The Microsoft Surface Book is definitely one of the better high-end laptops on the market. And it definitely has the potential to give the Macbook a run for its money. That being said, it’s still expensive. If you have $1,500 to dish out on a laptop and you don’t want a Mac, get the Surface Book—it’s by no means a waste of money; you’re buying quality. However, if you’re on a budget, I’d look around. You can definitely find a similar laptop for about half the price.

Christian Dye is a Senior Computing Major with a Business Administration Associates degree from Chicago, Illinois. He enjoys working with computers, sports, gaming, movies, weightlifting, music, and just chilling. His favorite food is a tie between Chicago style deep dish pizza and Chicago style beef hotdog. He’s very passionate about Chicago Sports. And he is also tends to get nerdy and excited when it comes to technology and electronics.