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Microsoft's new Surface Book i7 offers beefier hardware, 16-hour battery

By Jos ยท 21 replies
Oct 26, 2016
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  1. Microsoft has announced a new addition to its Surface Book family at its Windows 10 Event in New York City, the Surface Book i7. As the name suggests the device will pack an Intel Core i7 processor as well as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU for double the graphics performance, 8GB or 16GB RAM, and a larger battery for up to 16 hours of battery life in laptop mode.

    In terms of design the Surface Book i7 is virtually identical to its predecessor — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we just weren’t big fans of the hinge. On the inside Microsoft has designed a new thermal system with a second fan. The laptop itself still sports the 2-in-1 design with a detachable 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen, full keyboard, and Surface Pen.

    The Surface Book i7 will be available with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB configurations for $2,399, $2,799, and $3,299, respectively. You can preorder the 2-in-1, laptop-first hybrid today from Microsoft.com, with shipments and retail availability kicking off on November 10.

    The original Surface Book will still be available but now starting at $1,349 — a $150 discount on its previous price. The Surface Pro tablet starts at the same $899.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,868   +1,183

    But it looks like the keyboard is raised to make the hinge gap not so annoying?
  3. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    You're totally right, It's so ugly when not in use I wont even consider buying one. Maybe they should remove the headphone jack to make it thinner.....
    drjekelmrhyde and Kibaruk like this.
  4. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,549   +235

    Does anyone really need an i7 in this form factor? What market is this targeted for? For producers of any content, you are going to WANT/NEED A DESKTOP, then you can go with an additional portable laptop or surface. Building your own desktop would save you tons, and you can customize it to your specific needs depending on the type of content you are producing.

    I'd say an i5 at max for this type of portable form factor.

    Dont get me wrong here want and needs are different, and I can totally understand if someone just WANTS an i7 in their computer. Yes, I did for my desktop and some people would still argue that it's not necessary for anything I use it for.

    But my real point is, first you'd want an i7 in your desktop, something that is really going to live longer and be more reliable. IMO

    But I'm sure there's going to be plenty of you to converse with, that are going to quote my post and reply, if I so desire. lol
    bluto 2050 and psycros like this.
  5. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 641   +349

    OK ... I'll admit it, the 'remove the headphone jack' comment was funnier than hell.

    Can't wait for Anandtech to review this thing. 16 hour battery sounds like a major exaggeration and as always, these marketing hit-pieces do nothing to explain what efficiency factors make that possible.

    "Up to" L M A O
    psycros likes this.
  6. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    I'd love to have an i7 in this form factor if I could afford one. I'm gone for days at a time doing photo and video editing on the go. I still use my laptop with a Core2Duo in it for travel which is getting to be quite the drag. I could probably get away with an i5, but my love my i7 I have at home.

    Not to mention a desktop is kind of hard to fit in my car....
  7. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Addict Posts: 213   +59

    16 hours is under normal use, which is mainly web browsing and email.
    Teko03 likes this.
  8. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 641   +349

    I'd kindly disagree that one of these new-gen surface books can achieve 16 hours with 'that' display tech, 'that' processor and 'current' wifi technology. Even an i5 would struggle with that but would probably be more apt to hit 10 to 12 hours. But it's casual. Anandtech will put real numbers to the claims.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
    psycros likes this.
  9. tehxion

    tehxion TS Rookie Posts: 19   +9

    As an owner of the first gen Surface Book I'm interested in upgrading just the keyboard /base section to get the newer dGPU and larger battery. It does not look like any option on the MS site to do just that, I'm sure someone will try swapping the devices to confirm it is possible, just need MS to sell the base as a stand alone product upgrade.
  10. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 653   +286

    I use an i7 in my laptop to process photos in Lightroom and photoshop when I am on the go. It also comes in handy if I need to fire up SolidWorks or Fusion 360. I've been considering a Surface Book as its replacement when the time comes.
  11. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,081

    Microsoft: Solutions In Search of a Problem
    MoeJoe likes this.
  12. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 TS Booster Posts: 177   +45

    Company uses this form factor on an i7 platform. We utilize docks due to excessive traveling, and deal with giant data sets that regularly bog down excel. i7 is a requirement for us
    treeski likes this.
  13. tehxion

    tehxion TS Rookie Posts: 19   +9

    Have been using the Surface Book for a year now, the i7 is a must for the software development work I do. I will have a number of applications running and one or two Virtual Machines also spun up. Development happens in the office, at home, on an airplane, a hotel or customer site and so a desktop is not really an option. I would actually like to see the memory raised to 32 GB as an option.
  14. fktech

    fktech TS Addict Posts: 202   +53

    going from 16gb to 32gb of memory shows very little gain - per PC World and Tom's Hardware. Larger SSD or M2 is the way to go. imho
  15. fktech

    fktech TS Addict Posts: 202   +53

    I do want one when the prices go down. It's like buying last year's best smartphone for 1 cent.
  16. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,549   +235

    I am curious to see facts about Adobe's software, (or others, if you guys use others) about how they utilize hyper-threading and how much it actually benefits/decreases processing times of functions in Photoshop or video editing. I've read some stuff in forums, that it can be benefitial if it speeds up the process, but then some people say that it wouldnt speed up the process in some aspects, only certain parts of the software use hyper-threading. I guess this confuses me a little in this aspect. I DO KNOW that if I am burning a DVD or something, that each thread (virtual or not) can process a video (converting its format) At least, last time I remember doing it, it was taxing each core... I could be wrong though, it's been awhile.

    Edit: At least on my surface with an i5, it seems to use all the cores when I do some simple drawing in photoshop with a brush. Kind of looks like it just uses them evenly. IDK
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  17. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 179   +38

    Price is still too high and I know for a fact they mass produce these for peanuts so why the high price
  18. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,549   +235

    In usually right there with you. But, Research and development, customer support, just a couple that come to mind.

    And of course money hungry corporations.
    Jack007 likes this.
  19. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 653   +286

    Look for articles about build "supercomputers" out of old Xeon processors. They usually cover running photo and video editing software on it for benchmarking.

    But the long and short of it is that video editing can make use of multiple physical cores and Hyperthreading, photo editing software and CAD software cannot. This comes to the algorithms involved, and the way certain things need to be calculated. Video processing lends itself to multiple processing threads because there are so many images to process, and all the images are having roughly the same calculation performed on each one (per operation). But photo editing only has the one image to process. Lightroom might leverage multiple threads during an import or a batch edit, but really no other time. Photoshop almost never uses more than one core, let alone multiple threads. CAD software, aside from some simulations, runs almost exclusively on a single thread because you only performs one operation at a time. The exception for CAD is when you are doing something like fluids or dynamics simulation, where you are faced with n-equations and n-unkowns that need to be solved simultaneously - but these are almost always solved using the GPU, since it is better able to handle a large number of simple and identical calculations to solve simultaneous problems.

    tl;dr - CAD and photo processing can only use one core, if not only one thread, and needs something like an i7, or at least an i5, to run smoothly.
    Trillionsin likes this.
  20. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 179   +38

    corporations are always hungry. the question is if they will be sated or devour endlessly
  21. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +26

    It really isn't a big deal. Source, I have a SB.
  22. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 252   +31

    Have an HP Core i7 Elitebook that would be overpowered with a Core i5 for what it gets used for .

    This Haswell Core i5 Desktop never sweats either ,it's not a game biuld or digital content creator .

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