Microsoft’s Surface Book with Performance Base and Surface Dial are now available for purchase. But Surface Dial is already sold out.
The Surface Book with Performance Base is a set of new Surface Book models that include Core i7 processors, bigger batteries, and a new 2 GB dGPU. The Surface Dial, which works with Surface Studio, Surface Book, and Surface Pro 4, is a new accessory that will be typically be used in tandem with Surface Pen on those devices.
“The Surface Book with Performance Base was specifically designed for those people who want more,” Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay explains. “More rendering power, faster framerates, and additional battery life.”
The Performance Base part of these new Surface Book models tells the story: The keyboard is raised at an angle when compare to the base on other Surface Books, providing room for more battery and for the new dGPU, which features 2 GB of RAM. (Where the other models have a slower version with just 1 GB of RAM.) Microsoft claims that the new Performance Base versions of Surface Book provide twice the graphics processing power of previous models while extending battery life from 10 hours to 16.
“That’s 60 percent more battery life than the new MacBook Pro 13,” Mr. Panay points out. Though I think that undercuts the advantages. And ignores the price difference, which is actually in Apple’s favor this time: Surface Book with Performance Base starts at $2400 and maxes out at $3300, depending on configuration.
On that note, Microsoft is also extending its offer to Mac customers that would like to upgrade to Surface. You can now do so with big savings through November 23.
Surface Dial, meanwhile, costs $99 and is available in the US only, and Microsoft says it is “prioritizing inventory” for those customers who preordered the accessory itself or a Surface Studio. Which means it may be a while before you actually see one out in the world. “Due to strong demand, we have sold out of our initial inventory and are temporarily out of stock of Surface Studio and Surface Dial,” Panay confirms. “We are continuing to take pre-orders for Dial for delivery later this year and for Surface Studio for delivery in early 2017.”