Microsoft Bumps Surface Book with New High-End Versions

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 31 Comments

Microsoft Bumps Surface Book with New High-End Versions

For the second time since it announced Surface Book last fall, Microsoft has announced a new high-end model. And this one purportedly will satisfy the needs of gamers.

That’s been an issue for Surface Book: To date, the highest-end Surface Book has sported a dGPU with just 1 GB of VRAM, about half of what most modern games recommend as the minimum. And while Microsoft has always been very upfront that Surface Book was never meant for gaming, it’s inability to handle anything beyond the most basic titles has been frustrating for customers.

No more.

A new set of Surface Book with Performance Base models add the extra oomph that gamers and other high-end users demand. Each features an Intel Core i7 “Skylake” processor, plus 8 to 16 GB of RAM, and a new dGPU with—you guessed it—2 GB of VRAM. (More specifically, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM.)

Here’s how the models break down:

Base. Intel Core i7, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD, dGPU – $2400.

Mid-level. Intel Core i7, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD, dGPU – $2800.

High-end. Intel Core i7, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD, dGPU – $3300.

The devices are mostly identical to the previous Surface Book models, both inside and out. But the Performance Base models offer a slightly revised keyboard design, updated thermals, and, Microsoft says, up to 16 hours (!) of battery life. The previous models, all of which are still available, are rated at 12 hours.

Surface Book with Performance Base will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow.


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