What's New in Microsoft's Surface Book With Performance Base

What's New in Microsoft's Surface Book With Performance Base
This Looks Like the Same Old Surface Book
The Performance Boost Is Important
The Surface Pen Could Be a Selling Point
It Includes a High-Resolution Display With Touch Screen
Expand Surface Book With Accessories
It Ships With Windows 10 Pro
Battery Life Puts Others to Shame
There Are Additional Security Features
The Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge Really Matters
It's an Expensive Hybrid
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What's New in Microsoft's Surface Book With Performance Base

Microsoft's Surface Book with Performance Base does just what it advertises—boosts performance. Here's what makes Microsoft's updated system a standout in the hybrid arena.

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This Looks Like the Same Old Surface Book

The Surface Book with Performance Base won't deliver a new design to customers. Instead, it borrows its design from last year's Surface Book model, complete with a big trackpad and keyboard and the Windows logo on the back. Microsoft's Surface Book was called one of the more attractive notebook designs last year, so it only makes sense that the company didn't stray from the design with the Surface Book with Performance Base.

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The Performance Boost Is Important

The power boost in the Surface Book with Performance Base is notable. Microsoft says its new hybrid is its most powerful yet, boasting sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processors and up to 16GB of RAM. The Performance Base also comes with up to 1TB of storage and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU, making it an ideal option for corporate users who expect to find power.

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The Surface Pen Could Be a Selling Point

Since this is a Surface Book, Microsoft's latest hybrid comes with the Surface Pen stylus. With the Surface Pen, users are able to digitally draw and write on the screen. Microsoft argues the feature could be ideal for creatives and corporate users who need the additional functionality offered by a stylus. It might be right.

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It Includes a High-Resolution Display With Touch Screen

The Surface Book with Performance Base ships with a 13.5-inch, high-resolution PixelSense display, featuring a resolution of 3,000 by 2,000 pixels. In addition to Surface Pen support, the display is a touch screen that can recognize up to 10 fingers touching it at the same time.

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Expand Surface Book With Accessories

One of the nice things about Surface Book is that it can be expanded to work with third-party monitors, external drives and other accessories. The notebook achieves that with help from the Surface Dock, a $200 hub that connects directly to the Surface Book. The Surface Dock extends the Surface Book to work with two additional monitors, a separate keyboard, a mouse and a printer, among other components.

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It Ships With Windows 10 Pro

To its credit, Microsoft only offers Windows 10 Pro in the Surface Book with Performance Base instead of Windows 10 Home. With Windows 10 Pro, users will find better security, advanced features and other services that make it more appealing to corporate users than Windows 10 Home.

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Battery Life Puts Others to Shame

The Surface Book with Performance Base can survive on a single charge for up to 16 hours. That's quite good in a market dominated by lower-power Windows machines and Macs, including the MacBook Pro, that can only last 10 hours on a single charge. That said, battery life will vary depending on how owners use the Surface Book with Performance Base.

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There Are Additional Security Features

The Surface Book with Performance Base comes with security features that corporate users should keep in mind as they look for a hybrid computer. For instance, the device has a Trusted Platform Module chip for on-device encryption. The inclusion of Windows 10 Pro also means additional security features. But perhaps most importantly, the Surface Book with Performance Base supports Windows Hello, a feature that uses the front-facing camera to scan the owner's face and will unlock the machine only if it matches biometric information on the computer.

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The Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge Really Matters

Although it looks similar to the hinge in last year's Surface Book, the Surface Book with Performance Base comes with its own hinge called the Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge. While the hinge enables users to swing the screen around easily so it can be used as a notebook or tablet, it also keeps the display balanced so the Surface Book with Performance Base's display can be viewed at any angle.

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It's an Expensive Hybrid

Surface Book with Performance Base is an expensive computer. The device, which Microsoft plans to launch Nov. 10, starts at $2,399 for 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. Customers looking for the midrange option will pay $2,799 for 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. The top-of-the-line model bumps storage to 1TB—and its price to $3,299.

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