Microsoft’s first laptop knocks out the MacBook and the iPad with one punch

Yes, I know. I’m helping Matt Weinberger out by linking to his nonsense, but I think that proper blogging means showing the source.

It always occurs to me that, when someone says Microsoft makes a better product than Apple, they are either seriously delusional or need attention on their website. I think we can safely say both here and look, here I am helping this guy on the latter.

The Surface Book starts at a hefty $1,499. It rocks Microsoft Windows 10, a 13.5-inch touch-sensitive screen, a nice keyboard with solid clicky-clack action, a Surface Pen stylus, two USB ports, an SD card slot, and the best non-Apple mouse touchpad I’ve ever tried.

Anyone who thinks a laptop that “rocks Microsoft Windows 10″ is a good thing is retarded. Oh, wait! He is! I already blogged on this fool before.

It’s got a very Apple-y sense of design. Unlike Microsoft’s Surface and Surface Pro tablet/laptop hybrids, the Surface Book is a real, honest-to-goodness laptop that can, indeed, sit in your lap.

I suspect just picking up the device without using it would put to bed any chance of Microsoft designing an Apple-y design.

This sounds obvious, but even the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet/laptop hybrid (pictured here) is a pain in the butt to comfortably sit on your lap, since the screen doesn’t stay up by itself.

What? Microsoft made something that’s not ergonomic? Surely you jest! 😛

But there are lots of nice laptops on the market. To see what makes this so special as to justify that $1,499 price tag, just push the keyboard’s dedicated “detach” button and…

For $1499, breaking the screen is a feature. Ok, I seriously can see the appeal of this, though I’d rather have separate products. The downside is a bloated OS that needs to be everything for every device. El Cap (OS X 10.11) requires 8.8GB of space. Windows 10 requires 16GB of space. Not exactly non-bloat.

OH DANG, IT SEPARATES. That’s crazy! The machine gives you a palpable “click” and a light on the keyboard turns green when it’s safe to lift the screen, and another click when you put it back on.

Joe Dirt letting us know about his hemi computer’s cool click and green light. Wow. Physical items that make sounds with friction and force. YOU GO, MICROSOFT!!!!!!11111

Boosh. On the left is a full-fledged, surprisingly lightweight Windows 10 tablet. On the right is the detached keyboard portion. But wait, there’s more!

Wow. We separated one into two. That’s called halves.

The keyboard itself hides some secrets. First, it holds its own, dedicated battery, meaning that you get a claimed 12 hours of battery life when the two are docked together.

Wow. Does it do anything on its own besides hold a battery? Because you gave this its own section.

Second, the Surface Book keyboard actually holds a second, dedicated graphics processing unit (GPU), meaning that its graphics game goes into overdrive when the two parts are docked.

Ok, that’s cool. About damn time you said something worthy here.

But you have to pay for that privilege: The cheapest model Surface Book with the dedicated graphics chip in the keyboard is $1,899. The highest-end model, with an Intel i7 processor, 1 terabyte of storage, and the dedicated graphics unit, clocks in at $3,199.

All of a sudden, the “Mac”Daddy of Surface costs a shit ton more than a Mac, with all the pitfalls of Windows and, no doubt, shitty quality.

The model I’ve been testing has an Intel i7 processor and the dedicated graphics unit. It’s a total dream, even with lots of browser tabs open.

What is with you nerds espousing “a million open tabs?” I have a lot of browser tabs open and even more SublimeText tabs open.

It can play a pretty fair number of recent PC game releases — just note that “Quantum Break,” known for its super-intense visuals, ran at a crawl on the Surface Book, even my high-end model. It’s definitely not a machine for the hardcore gamer.

In other words, my 2013 MacBook Pro can still beat the pants off your machine in the majority of situations. Got it. Oh, and unlike your box, I can click on strange links and go to weird websites without worry of automatic install of malware.

But it makes up for that with a lot of productivity-boosting superpowers. If you dock the screen in backwards over the keyboard, it becomes a slightly thicker tablet that you can position how you like.

Pure preference. Not exactly a superpower. I mean, you can scroll on Samsung phones by waving your finger in front of the camera, but that’s not a superpower, either.

I use it in this super-tablet mode to take notes with the included Surface Pen stylus during Skype calls. Having both batteries and the extra computing horsepower helps.

This may or may not be useful. I suspect, with the added multitasking support in iPads, this could be done there as well. I’m perfectly content typing my notes while on Skype, but I’ll give this one some credit also.

The included Surface Pen stylus is the same one that comes with the Surface Pro. It feels good in the hands and lets you use the back like an eraser.

I’ve never used a stylus, except for the really old Windows CE type devices, where one was necessary to actually click on really small icons. Don’t have an opinion either way that’s fair to Apple or Microsoft.

Using the stylus and my finger to get around Windows has become second nature. Meanwhile, Apple still doesn’t put touchscreens on its MacBooks, of any stripe. It’s a little disappointing.

Does anyone remember that asshole that would point to something on your laptop or big screen TV/monitor and, to point, he’d have to touch your screen, as if that was necessary for you to understand where he was pointing to? Remember that guy? Yeah… fuck that guy. STOP TOUCHING my displays. On my computer and TV, don’t fucking touch my screen. I even find myself attempting to wipe away smears and prints on my iPad and iPhone, despite the absurdity. There is nothing disappointing about you not touching my screen. DON’T TOUCH. Oh yeah, I’m talking to ME, too.

Plus, it magnetically clips right on to the side of the screen. It keeps it handy even when you’re in a detached tablet mode.

Magnets – Microsoft Innovation. Seriously, is it strong enough to hold that stylus there or did it fall off a few blocks back while we were walking? I don’t trust that.

ou may have noticed that funky hinge. It’s strong and flexible, no matter which arrangement of the screen you have going. It also makes for a little visible gap between the screen and keyboard. No clamshells here.

Ugly hinge. Useful, I suppose, but ugly.

It runs Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system. That means that even if you’re using the Surface Book as a tablet, you have full and free access to the whole wide world of Windows software, past, present, and future.


That’s an advantage that even Apple’s giant-size iPad Pro can’t match, even at a comparable screen size.

Yes, Surface’s tablet advantage is that it, too, can run the Melissa Virus. 😛

Here’s a thing, though. Generally and on balance, I didn’t find myself using it in the standalone tablet mode very often at all. It’s nice to have for when I’m taking, say, a long article with me to the couch. But I barely use my existing Android tablet as it is, and Surface Book didn’t change my behavior.

So, here you are with an OS that is bloated for all possibilities and you don’t even use it or need it, but hey, hard drive space is cheap enough that bloatware works for you.

When the Surface Book came out, there were lots of reports of Windows unreliability. Truthfully, I had some of those same hiccups, and it took me three reboots to get through the initial setup. And sometimes, it doesn’t go to sleep when I close the screen like it should.

Windows? Unreliable? Another jest…

But to its credit, Microsoft keeps pushing new updates that make the Surface Book more and more reliable with each new patch. These days, it’s a joy. Stable, reliable, the whole nine yards.

Updates every 5 seconds. Rollbacks. Patches. Malware. Antivirus. Windows Defender. Rootkits. What’s not to love?

So to sum it up: Even if the detachable tablet is a bit of a gimmick, it’s a total blast of a machine. Smooth, reliable, easy on the eyes, and with a touchscreen, to boot. If you can stomach the price tag, I recommend the Surface Book without reservation.

I recommend the Surface Book, too. If you like:

  • A BRAND NEW start menu
  • WINDOWED windows
  • Windows defendor built-in, but third party antivirus STILL required
  • Blue screens
  • Registry corruptions
  • User profile corruptions
  • Strange driver problems that prevent USB mice from working
  • A shitty trackpad
  • Bloated OS
  • People touching your screen
  • Cleaning fingers off your screen regularly

…then what the fuck are you waiting for? Get rid of your reliable, well-built Mac right away? Microsoft – Where do you want to go today? Mediocrity? Right this way, sir!

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