It's personal at the Surface

20th August 2018
It's personal at the Surface

Microsoft hedges its  bets with Surface, launching classic laptop and  convertible Bangalore, August 20 2018:
'It's not  personal, it's strictly business!', says Michael Corleone,  in a chilling scene in 'The Godfather' as he  calmly plans the assassination of a Mafia rival. Microsoft seems to have taken the quote to heart -- then turned it on its  head  -- when it  created  the new additions to its Surface  devices:  the  Surface Laptop in the classic tradition of portables  and a 'touching'  convertible, the Surface Book 2  that changes chameleon-like from tablet to laptop to a couple of forms in between. The devices scream: "It's persona!" --   and incidentally,  good for business, one might add. Almost single-handedly, the Surface  series has made full-function  portable PCs  sexy again,  for a new class of buyer: the prosumer, or professional consumer.
I  got to  try out the two Surface devices at the India launch last week  and what struck me even as I  lifted them up is their extreme lightness which belies the tough build.
The  13.5 inch,   2000 x 1500 pixels  ( approximate) Surface laptop weighs just 1.25 kg even though the storage  in the 5 models varies from  128 GB to 1 TB. At 1.45 cms these are  among the world's thinnest LCD screens. The keyboard  is covered in a cloth-like material from Italy called Alcantara that is spill proof.  The  CPU varies from  Intel 7th generation Core i5 and i7  and coupled with the  Intel graphics co processor,  and the Windows 10 OS, the Surface Book 2,  makes for  good compromise between portability and performance. Between  the low-end  128 GB/ 8 GB RAM model and the top -of-the-line 1 TBV/16 GB model the price  ranges from Rs 86,999 to Rs 2,33,999.

The Surface Book 2  is an interesting crossover product from consumer to professional: Lay users  will appreciate the convenience of detaching the keyboard and using it like a tablet. The screen  --13 or 15 -- inches has the same HD plus resolution as the Surface  laptop which makes  for   a great  3-D gaming ( X Box wireless built-in)  or movie experience.  The front and back cameras shoot full HD video.
But I see a challenge here to the Apple iMac platform that has   long been   favoured by graphic designers. Microsoft drives the point  with unsubtle  pointers to how third party  imaging tools from Adobe, AutoDesk and  Dassault  work well with the Book 2. In fact it claims  to be  first to do  rendering in real time on a touch portable.|
The 7 models of Surface Book 2  range from Rs 1.38 to Rs 2.96 lakhs   -- and I can see hard core graphics professionals welcoming the ability to work and show their work while on the move without lugging a heavy bag. Key accessories like the Arc mouse and the Dial are priced extra.