Surface Book, the new hybrid laptop from Microsoft

Surface by Microsoft

Surface Book, the new hybrid laptop from Microsoft

Announced at its “Windows 10” event on October 6, 2015, Microsoft has launched its first hybrid laptop, the Surface Book. This PC is optimized to run Windows 10 and has a very similar look to a tablet, even more with its 13.5-inch touch screen.

As a hybrid laptop, the Surface Book is also equipped with a backlit keyboard that can be removed in order to use it as a simple tablet with OneNote and the Surface Pen, the Microsoft stylus.

Is the Microsoft Surface Book a threat for the Apple MacBook Pro?

In recent years, Apple launched an advertising spot called “Switch” as a part of a whole campaign targeting Microsoft users and convincing them of how easy it is to switch from Microsoft OS (Windows) to Mac OS. One can say that the counter-attack of Microsoft has now begun with its Surface Book directly threatening Apple Macbook Pro.

At its conference, Microsoft compared the Surface Book to Apple MacBook Pro arguing that its newborn is twice as powerful as the one from its competitor.

With its 13.5-inch screen, the Surface Book has a resolution of 267 pixels per inch (ppi) and a screen definition of 3000*2000 pixels, or about as much as the MacBook Pro Retina screen.

Technical specifications of the Microsoft Surface Book

The Surface Book is equipped with the latest generation of Intel Core processors and with a powerful GPU graphics processor from Nvidia. Moreover, Microsoft states that “The Surface Book is designed for the most demanding creative tasks such as photo and video editing.”

According to Microsoft, its new hybrid laptop is optimized to be used with the Surface Pen and the touchscreen graphical tools from Adobe (Photoshop, etc.).

In addition, the device must not be seen as a tablet equipped with a keyboard but rather as a PC with a detachable screen. It weighs about 25.4 ounces without its keyboard and 55.3 ounces with it. Also, the Surface Book has 12 hours of battery life when the keyboard is connected.

Prices of the new Surface Book

The Surface Book is now available with a pre-order period in the US and will be available from the first quarter of 2016 in France. Prices vary depending on the chosen configuration. Indeed, for a base configuration with a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, the price is $ 1499. Any a full option version with a Core i7 processor, GPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, the price is $ 2699.

The Surface Book is already out of stock in the US

Since its release, Microsoft Surface Book has generated so much interest in the United States that it went out of stock on Microsoft stores but still available in preorder from Amazon. Apple may be worried for its MacBook Pro sales since Microsoft just launched an online guide for users that want to migrate from Apple devices to the Surface Book.

New features of the new iPhone 6S from Apple

iPhone 6s

New features of the new iPhone 6S from Apple

Announced during its keynote of September 9, 2015, and released in September 25, 2015, the two new iPhones from Apple, the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus, have many novelties to the delight of fans.

Main innovations of the iPhone 6S

  • “3D Touch” technology : a pressure sensitive screen

The biggest innovation of the iPhone 6S is the new “3D Touch” screen which makes the phone react differently according to the level of pressure on the screen (up to 3 levels). This technology was first introduced by Apple in other devices like the Apple Watch or the trackpad of the last MacBook that has more pressure levels.

  • Improved of both rear and front cameras

The second big innovation is the improvement made to the iPhone 6S rear camera with a sensor capacity increased from 8 to 12 mpx leading to a better quality photos than the former iPhone 6 generation.

Another novelty of the iPhone 6S is the “Live Photo” function allowing to take photos just before and after pressing the shutter button and, thus, making your photos look animated like a high quality GIF. This function can be activated by clicking on the screen strongly, new feature permitted by the 3D Touch.

New iPhone 6S front camera (finally) evolved with a sensor capacity moving from 1.2 to 5 mpx which allows to take better quality selfies even in dark spaces thanks to the “True Tone” new front flash.

  • Technical features enhancement

The iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S are equipped with the Apple A9 chip with an M9 co-processor. It is 70% faster than the A8 equipping the former iPhone 6 and even 90% faster for graphics performance.

  • Design, colours, dimensions and weight

The design of the iPhone 6S is very similar to its predecessor except for the apparition of a new colour, called the“Rose Gold”, expanding the possible choices of colours from 3 to 4. This new colour is very nice looking and will probably appeal to female users.

The dimensions of the new generation of iPhones remained the same as those of the iPhone 6 with a 4.7 inch screen and a resolution of 1334*750 pixels for the iPhone 6S and a 5.5 inches screen and a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels for the iPhone 6S Plus.

Both the two new smartphones are slightly heavier than their predecessors with a weight of 5.04 ounces for the iPhone 6S (+0.9 ounces) and 6.77 ounces for the iPhone 6S Plus (+0.7 ounces). This overweight is mainly due to the addition of a new pressure-sensitive layer to the “3D Touch” screen.

Prices of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

As usual, the prices of the new iPhones from Apple vary depending on their storage capacity:

  • Prices of the iPhone 6S :
    • 16 Go : € 749
    • 64 Go : € 859
    • 128 Go : € 969
  • Prices of the iPhone 6S Plus :
    • 16 Go : € 859
    • 64 Go : € 969
    • 128 Go : € 1079

Conclusion

To conclude, it seems obvious that Apple has brought many innovations to its new generation smartphones. Nevertheless, the new iPhone 6S and 6S+ still have some weaknesses, such as their limited battery life and their camera that, even though enhanced, remained below its competitors (like the Galaxy 6S from Samsung).