Microsoft's first laptop

The Surface Book is one neat looking laptop with a detachable screen

At a news event today, Microsoft announced a bunch of interesting and innovative new devices--a smartphone with liquid cooling, a HoloLens development kit ($3,000!), the new Microsoft Band, the Surface Pro 4...and the company's first laptop, the Surface Book.

microsoft surface book Microsoft

Of these devices, the Surface Book intrigues me the most. I've been waiting impatiently for today's announcement because I thought my next laptop would be the Surface Pro 4 (with keyboard attachment, of course), but Surface Book is a complete surprise. 

With a magnesium alloy case and backlit keyboard, the Surface Book looks like your modern everyday MacBook competitor, but it's got cool tricks up its sleeves. You can detach the display from the keyboard and write on it using the Surface pen, a la the Surface Pro tablet. It's a 13.5-inch laptop and tablet in one weighing just 1.6 pounds. You can get it with a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card--for demanding creative tasks or gaming. It comes with 6th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and up to 16GB of memory and, according to Microsoft, the Surface Book is 40% faster than the MacBook Pro.

Man, it looks awesome.

The price can be pretty steep, however, at least for the higher end models. The lowest-priced model is $1499 and comes with 128GB of storage, a Core i5 processor, and 8GB of memory. A similarly spec'ed Surface Pro 4 is $1,299 and comes with 256GB of storage--but no type cover (which costs $1230). The Surface Book is a better deal here unless you want the smaller (12-inch) size of the Surface Pro.

The highest configuration you can pre-order now at the Microsoft Store costs $2,699. That comes with 512GB of storage, a Core i7 processor, and 16GB of memory. Microsoft promises 1TB of storage will be an option, but I don't want to know how much that's going to cost.

For comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with 512GB of storage, a Core i5 processor (5th generation), and 8GB of memory costs $1,799. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with 512GB of storage, Core i7 processor (5th generation), and 16GB of memory--as well as a discrete AMD graphics card--costs $2,499.

Comparatively, the Surface Book might not be that much more expensive for what you're getting--a laptop with discrete graphics, touchscreen, stylus support, and detachable display--but there is a price premium for those features.

2-in-1 Windows laptops aren't new by any means, but what makes the Surface Book interesting is this is Microsoft's first laptop, and they look like they're going all out with it. I really don't know what laptop I'm going to buy now. What do you thnk of the Surface Book?

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon