Microsoft Surface Book – The Ultimate Laptop

Microsoft Surface Book – The Ultimate Laptop

Adnan Siddiqui

Adnan Siddiqui

Technology enthusiast and a blogger

https://youtu.be/j7SxypblIlw

Display

Microsoft Surface Book comes with 13.5-inch display with a screen resolution up to 3000×2000. The display also supports pen and touch. You can also take advantage of Surface Pen which is claimed to be sensitive enough to detect 1024 different pressure levels. Apple must have taken a note for their next pressure sensitive hardware tech.  PixelSense touchscreen with 6 million pixel which translates into (267 ppi).

There is a dedicated GPU is in the base of the laptop and it will switch to the Skylake integrated GPU when the screen is detached from the base. In order to use the GPU at full throttle you must get the laptop docked.

The display surpasses the 1080p mark which makes it very good for watching HD videos and other graphics consuming apps.This is not a wide screen laptop, it is 3:2 which is not a favorite choice of modern laptops. I believe its more to do with your personal choice than the productivity factor.

Performance

The high end convertible is powered with 6th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GPU of the same class. You have an option of 8GB or 16GB of physical memory to keep you in game for multitasking

Storage

Microsoft Surface Book uses a Solid State Drive (SSD) as its main storage device. Please read more about Solid State Disks Performance Factor. In short, SSDs are the fastest storage medium available in the market. Microsoft Surface gives you 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB options.

Design

I am in love with the detachable keyboard. Microsoft is calling the technology as Muscle Wire which holds the keyboard and it can be easily detached by just pressing the button.

The base of the laptop includes a backlit keyboard which can be separated as I told earlier. It works in Clipboard mode or Canvas mode when detached. Here are the three modes of this convertible.

The laptop also includes 1.6mm key travel and a glass trackpad with 5-point multitouch, and there are two USB 3.0 ports and a full-size SD card slot.

Microsoft Surface Book is sleek, but when compared to other 2-in-1 laptops the Microsoft Surface Book is slightly heavier than the average of 3.08 pounds.

Battery

This laptop has great battery life and can go most of the day without having to be plugged in. Microsoft claims the Book has 12-hour battery life. You should take a note here that running graphic and resource intensive applications can drain your battery faster and may not last for complete 12 hours.

Price

Microsoft Surface Book was compared at the launch with Apple Macbook Pro and it is definitely in league of Apple Macbook Pro. Microsoft Surface Book starting price is $1,499 whereas the MacBook Pro’s pricing starts at $1,299. The top model goes up to $2,799 (roughly Rs. 1,82,500)

Overall, Microsoft has done a decent job with their first ever laptop and I am sure that its going to give Apple Macbook Pro a run for its money. Microsoft Surface Book will be launched on October 26.

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Microsoft unveiled a surprise device at their October event. People were definitely expecting Surface Pro 4 tablet and Lumia 950 and 950 XL among others. Microsoft Surface Book is an impressive laptop convertible which made this event special. The laptop is shipped with Windows 10, a touchscreen friendly version. I found that Microsoft did not do justice to Microsoft Surface Book with their new advertisement.

Microsoft Surface Book Specs

Microsoft claims it’s the “fastest 13-inch laptop anywhere on any planet,” a statement that we don’t have the means to confirm, and that it’s “two times more powerful” than the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

“We made the ultimate laptop. We made the Surface Book,” said Microsoft Surface team leader Panos Panay while presenting the new device on stage.

Display

Microsoft Surface Book comes with 13.5-inch display with a screen resolution up to 3000×2000. The display also supports pen and touch. You can also take advantage of Surface Pen which is claimed to be sensitive enough to detect 1024 different pressure levels. Apple must have taken a note for their next pressure sensitive hardware tech.  PixelSense touchscreen with 6 million pixel which translates into (267 ppi).

There is a dedicated GPU is in the base of the laptop and it will switch to the Skylake integrated GPU when the screen is detached from the base. In order to use the GPU at full throttle you must get the laptop docked.

The display surpasses the 1080p mark which makes it very good for watching HD videos and other graphics consuming apps.This is not a wide screen laptop, it is 3:2 which is not a favorite choice of modern laptops. I believe its more to do with your personal choice than the productivity factor.

Performance

The high end convertible is powered with 6th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GPU of the same class. You have an option of 8GB or 16GB of physical memory to keep you in game for multitasking

Storage

Microsoft Surface Book uses a Solid State Drive (SSD) as its main storage device. Please read more about Solid State Disks Performance Factor. In short, SSDs are the fastest storage medium available in the market. Microsoft Surface gives you 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB options.

Design

I am in love with the detachable keyboard. Microsoft is calling the technology as Muscle Wire which holds the keyboard and it can be easily detached by just pressing the button.

The base of the laptop includes a backlit keyboard which can be separated as I told earlier. It works in Clipboard mode or Canvas mode when detached. Here are the three modes of this convertible.

3 Different Modes for Microsoft Surface Book Convertible | Image Courtesy Microsoft

The laptop also includes 1.6mm key travel and a glass trackpad with 5-point multitouch, and there are two USB 3.0 ports and a full-size SD card slot.

Microsoft Surface Book Keyboard

Microsoft Surface Book Keyboard | Image Courtesy Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Book is sleek, but when compared to other 2-in-1 laptops the Microsoft Surface Book is slightly heavier than the average of 3.08 pounds.

Battery

This laptop has great battery life and can go most of the day without having to be plugged in. Microsoft claims the Book has 12-hour battery life. You should take a note here that running graphic and resource intensive applications can drain your battery faster and may not last for complete 12 hours.

Price

Microsoft Surface Book was compared at the launch with Apple Macbook Pro and it is definitely in league of Apple Macbook Pro. Microsoft Surface Book starting price is $1,499 whereas the MacBook Pro’s pricing starts at $1,299. The top model goes up to $2,799 (roughly Rs. 1,82,500)

Overall, Microsoft has done a decent job with their first ever laptop and I am sure that its going to give Apple Macbook Pro a run for its money. Microsoft Surface Book will be launched on October 26.

Nexus 5X vs. 6P: Specifications And Price

Nexus 5X vs. 6P: Specifications And Price

The wait is finally over for Nexus fans. Google recently announced Nexus device confirming most of the anticipated changes by Nexus enthusiast over last few months. This time its not only 1 but 2 Nexus devices. Nexus 5X manufactured by LG which is perceived as Nexus Essential and Nexus 6P as Premium by Huawei.

I will help you make your mind which device is best suited for you. So lets take a look at Nexus 5X vs. 6P details. (more…)

SSD Is Most Compelling Hardware Upgrade For Your PC

SSD Is Most Compelling Hardware Upgrade For Your PC

We all feel that you can’t keep up with the latest technology. You spend handsome amount to keep the best of what technology has to offer in the market and few months later you see it losing its charm due to more advanced piece of hardware gaining popularity. I feel your pain. It becomes imperative to upgrade your smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs sooner than later.

Luckily, there is a very economical way of reviving your PC or laptop by giving it an SSD gift- The Solid State Disk. Its a new generation of hard disk storage which does not store the information in traditional way.

SSD Hardware

The traditional hard disks use metal platters with magnetic coating. Magnetic coating saves your data and there is a reader which is mounted on an arm similar to gramophone. The platters spin at high speed and let this arm read the desired information on the disk.

Modern operating systems are aware of SSDs and have special code to offer enhanced performance and optimization of such disks. Apple has been using SSD in their laptops and ultrabooks for a long time.

Solid State Disk does not have any such moving parts rather they contain flash memory chips which are interconnected. Wait! It does not mean the speed of flash drive would be similar to SSD disk. SSDs offer faster performance than flash disk as they are technically different due to which they are expensive than flash disk of the same capacity.

Fast SSD

The next question is how fast it can be and is it worth? So let me share some tests ran by me on conventional HDD and SSD.

You don’t need to be a geek to reach this conclusion that Samsung SSD is 10x faster than the conventional disk. These benchmark results were achieved with Samsung Evo 850 120 Gb SSD connected to Sata III. The other disk is WD Green Caviar 2 TB on Sata III. This is pretty convincing if you were looking to speed up your machine.

SSD enhances your system performances in several ways:

  • Reduces boot time of your operating system
  • Application launches immediately
  • Overall system responsiveness is snappier
  • Save or open files instantly
  • Significant improvement in file copying and movement

How to choose SSD?

Its a technical dilemma when it comes to choosing speed or capacity since 120 Gb SSD would cost you around 5K whereas you can buy a 2 TB disk at the same price. You always need large storage and can’t fit in your large music library and movie collection in meager 120 Gb. Here is what you can do. You can install your operating system on SSD which keeps your system files and apps on faster storage device and you can keep your entertainment stuff on your conventional large storage capacity.

Which SSD brand is good? There are couple of vendors who are really good at this. OCZ which is now owned by Toshiba is great. Samsung has done some great job with their Evo series and it came very well and they are offering at a really good price. I am already using one and I have no complaints. There are few things you should consider before buying SSD:

  • It should be Sata III compatible
  • Review the Read/Write speed
  • Warranty which is usually around 3 years some of them offer 5 years too
  • Buy additional 2.5 inch enclosure for desktop machines

SSD Installation

When installing SSD on your desktop cabinet you would find it smaller since all storage devices are 3.5 inch but SSD are 2.5 inch. Hence, you should buy an SSD mount adapter which is available for additional 100 bucks.

All operating system treat SSD like any other hard disk, so there won’t be any difference when it comes to installing the operating system or applications. However, you may want to install optimization software provided by your vendor to fine tune your SSD for better performance and longer life.

I hope this article is informative for you, please let me know how did your upgrade go.

 

Apple Announced New iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

Apple Announced New iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

Image Credit: Apple

Rumor mills were busy tipping about iPhone 6S for past month or so and the wait is finally over. Apple announced new devices and software at their annual event in San Francisco, California today. The most anticipated news iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus were announced by Tim Cook. Lets take a deep dive and find out the latest offering from Cupertino techs.

Apple iPhone 6S brings a mixture of enhancement on hardware and software end where everything got a little bump. A9 chip, 12 MP rear and 5 MP front camera, sensitive touch panels on hardware front. iOS 9 offers new Apple News app, enhanced Maps, Notes and Siri.

 

Design

You can’t tell the different between iPhone 6 and 6S unless you see an S written on it. 6S would look and feel the same as iPhone 6. Although there is an additional color called Rose Gold in addition to previously available colors silver, space grey and gold. iPhone has A9 chip installed which is 70% faster for CPU tasks than the previous chip and 90% faster for graphic tasks.

Live Photos

Apple brings Live Photos with iOS 9 so when you take a photo it captures 1.5 seconds before and after frames to show a brief animation. You have heard that before? Yeah right! Nokia and HTC did that too so consider a new name for the same technology. You can use these live photos as your wallpaper. Wait! Did I forgot to tell you that you will be able to see the animated wallpaper since its a live photo. Welcome Dynamic Wallpaper with iOS 9.

12 MP Camera

There is so much love for camera lovers and photographers. There is a straightaway bump from 8 megapixel to 12 megapixel iSight shooter. Its 4 times better than 1080p HD video resolution. The front camera is equipped with new 5 megapixel FaceTime HD Camera which means you would love selfies more. They have some gorgeous sample gallery witnessing the advance technology.

3D Touch

3D Touch is the talk of the town and there was lot of focus on this during the event. Apparently everyone on the stage demonstrated that how this 3D Touch technology will soon be incorporated in our apps, games and iOS 9. So there is a sensitive tech installed underneath iPhone 6S display which observes the amount of pressure and easily distinguish what you intend to do. Apple has named it Peek and Pop. Peek lets you hold your finger onto an email with little pressure and lets you view the content of the email without opening it. Once you remove the finger you just come back to the same screen where you had left. If you apply little more pressure while peeking then it Pops out the email in foreground. You can relate some bit of it on Android smartphone when you hold onto something for longer it shows some menu or shortcuts. Here is an example of Peek and Pop for you.

Images Credit: Apple

iOS 9

iOS 9 is smarter and refined offering 3 hours of enhanced battery life. There is a Low Power Mode switch which will give you additional battery by reducing or disabling the background data sync and visual effects. Ahem! Samsung smartphone guys!

There is a new shining news app being introduced in iOS 9. Apple News does not do anything fancy. Its a regular news app like Flipboard or Newsstand. You can add categories of your interest, explore feature for suggestions for channels and search feature. Its Apple way of you not wanting any other application to read news out of the box in iOS 9.

Siri has been enhanced and now you can invoke it without holding the home button. Just say “hi siri” and take you Siri experience to the next level “OK Apple”. Maps have been improved where you can get transit information and you don’t have to rely on third party applications anymore. It would be a big relief for Apple map users as there were many issues in third party transit apps integration with Apple maps. Other changes include minor changes to the keyboard and app switcher. iOS 9 will be available on September 16 to download on iPhone.

The pre-order will begin from September 12 and will be available on September 25. iPhone 6s and 6s Plus be availalbe for the same prices as the original iPhone 6. It would be starting at $199 for 16 GB iPhone 6S and $299 for 16 GB iPhone 6S Plus.