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.