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October 26, 2015

Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 go on sale today


The team and I could not be more pumped today. Today Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book go on sale in the US and Canada! It’s been three years exactly since we launched the first Surface and it’s really amazing how far the product family has come in that time. We’ve seen people embrace the idea of a tablet that can replace your laptop and Surface Pro has become a hit with consumers and business.

In fact, Surface Pro 4 amassed the fastest adoption rate by businesses of any Surface device to date. As a team, we took everything we learned from Surface Pro and used it to help us think about the laptop in a fundamentally new way.

Since we unveiled Surface Book on October 6th the response has blown us away. And today we get to put both of those products in people’s hands. I hope each of you gets into a store today and is able to get a device. These devices are the most productive devices on the planet.  We know that when you use them, you are going to love them.


Surface Pro 4 is the thinnest and most powerful version of the tablet that can replace your laptop.  Powered by the new 6th generation Intel® Core™ M, i5, or i7 processors, it’s 30% faster than Surface Pro 3, which was already the standard for a fully capable thin and light Windows PC.  Even with the increased performance, the new product is thinner (8.4 mm compared to 9.1mm for Pro 3), quieter, and will run cooler. Like every Surface Pro before it, it runs Windows 10 Pro and a huge array of powerful desktop software, so you’re not limited to a simplified or ‘mobile’ version of the software you depend on. This is a tablet that is designed to do serious work.

Surface Pro 4 has the same footprint that Surface Pro 3 had. While the height and width are the same, the screen size has increased from 12 inches to 12.3 inches. The screen itself has made a huge leap forward –  we created PixelSense technology to light up every one of your senses. With 5 million pixels (a 60% increase over Surface Pro 3) and contrast ratio of 1300:1, it delivers as much content as a 13” laptop, and with 267 PPI images and text both look amazing.

The depth on the screen is something you will feel as you use it. All of this improvement happens without sacrificing anything on touch and pen performance. In fact, both touch and pen performance are upgraded with an even thinner display stack and the addition of our new Microsoft Pen and Touch sensor, our G5 chip. There are now 1024 levels of pen pressure and we’ve reduced the lag between your physical pen tip and the ink being rendered by 25%.


More than half of our customers use the Surface Pen – it’s one of the things people really love about Surface.  The Surface Pen frees you to work in ways that go far beyond what a traditional keyboard and mouse allow and we made sure that it continues to be an amazing experience with a redesigned Surface Pen that will be included with every Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

We’ve moved the eraser back to the tail of the pen and added magnetic storage – meaning you can easily carry your pen on the side of your device. We’ll also offer a range of changeable pen tips so you can customize your writing or drawing experience. With Surface Pro 3 we introduced click-to-OneNote functionality and that’s still here. Now you can also click and hold the button on the tail of the pen to launch Cortana in Windows 10, making it easy to launch your own personal assistant to set a quick reminder or ask a question.

The ability to use your Surface as a laptop has always been essential, and the factors that make that experience great – the kickstand and the Type Cover – have both been upgraded for Surface Pro 4. The friction hinge that lets you set the product to whatever angle works best in a given situation is even better having been reengineered for tolerance.


We’ve also done a ton of work on the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover to further improve the typing experience and lapability. The new keyboard is quieter, more natural to use, and boasts a 40% larger glass touchpad that supports 5-finger touch for a range of gestures that will help you fly around Windows 10.

There is a redesigned mechanical keyboard with optimal key spacing for fast and fluid typing. There is 20% more key travel in the new design. The cover still magnetically locks against the bezel of the screen, so not only will you type faster and quieter, your device will feel more stable on your lap.

We’re even offering a version of the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with a fingerprint reader so you can take advantage of Windows Hello for near-instant authentication. Because the dimensions of the two devices are the same, the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover is also an excellent upgrade for your Surface Pro 3.

The way people have responded to Surface Book has been energizing. Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to talk to customers, partners, press and fans and the excitement for the first Surface laptop has been palpable.

On our team, we’ve been clear from the beginning that we would enter this category when we could deliver something truly compelling for our customers – something that combined innovative design and technology to not only build a great laptop but to let people work in new ways. So we didn’t just build a laptop – we built the ultimate laptop.

We absolutely knew we had to deliver on the fundamentals of a high-performance laptop.  Surface Book will deliver up to 12 hours of battery life (we measure this with video playback). It has a beautiful display. It’s powerful enough for the most demanding work and the keyboard and trackpad are awesome. It’s built from the same Magnesium as Surface Pro 4 with the same meticulous build quality.


Surface Book’s 13.5” PixelSense™ Display delivers six million pixels, beating the 13.3” MacBook Pro by almost 2 million pixels, and the depth of this screen and contrast is remarkable. You’ll love the way photos, movies, and text look on this product. Like every other Surface screen, it is individually color calibrated for accuracy and the layers of the display stack are optically bonded. And because this is a Surface it includes 10-point multi-touch and full pen support with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity so the ways you work are limited only by your imagination. Like Surface Pro 4, the pen also magnetically attaches to the side of the screen for easy access.

We drew on more than 25 years of designing keyboards to deliver a typing experience where the feel and even the sound of the keys is perfect. When you start typing on Surface Book you’ll notice that the keys just fit your fingers as you work. The large glass touchpad is another element of the experience and we spent a lot of energy making sure it’s right – it will allow for seamless and precise pointing, features palm-rejection and supports five points of touch for maximum convenience.

Surface Book is powered by a 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processor, features Intel HD graphics, and up to 1TB of storage. Surface Book is also available with discrete NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU to truly let you work without limits. This is a great Windows 10 laptop.


Now to what really sets Surface Book apart. The Surface Book screen detaches to be used as a clipboard, making it the thinnest Core i7 tablet on the market at just 7.7mm. With full pen and touch support this makes the clipboard a very powerful device in its own right and an amazing fit for anyone who wants to work untethered – from the architect or designer who wants to walk a job site to the doctor making rounds to their patients .

The design implication of this might be obvious to some people – it means that the processing power and some of the battery is behind the screen, not in the base. This frees you to work with the screen as a very powerful tablet, which is awesome. It also means that the top of the device is heavier than a screen alone, and we worked hard to ensure the right balance in the product so it doesn’t tip.

You’ll notice that Surface Book has a hinge unlike any laptop you’ve ever seen. It doesn’t pivot from a single point, but lays out like an unrolled carpet as you open it. We call it the Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge. Its purpose is to lengthen the base of the product to offset the weight in the screen and allows Surface Book to work brilliantly as a laptop without sacrificing performance of the tablet.


The Surface Book keyboard base has a role to play in the processing power of the device as well. The optional discrete GPU is located in the base, so when the clipboard is attached you truly have the graphics horsepower to drive the most demanding applications, like Adobe Illustrator or other graphics-heavy programs.

To keep you from detaching the base while you’re using the GPU the detach motion is controlled by software – you’ll press a detach button on the keyboard and you may be prompted to close programs that are using the GPU in the base before detaching to safeguard your work. The detach button triggers the release of the Muscle Wire that holds the clipboard in place, so there are no awkward clasps or physical releases. You can also flip the clipboard around and reattach it to work in draw mode, which is an ideal setup for sketching or any work with the pen.


The base also holds additional battery, and the battery in the base is designed to draw down ahead of the clipboard. Likewise, we prioritize charging the clipboard – ensuring as much freedom as possible to detach the clipboard when you need to. The base also has 2 USB 3.0 ports, a full-size SD card reader, a Mini DisplayPort and a Surface Connect port for power and docking. You’ll also notice a Surface Connect port on the clipboard when it’s detached, which lets you plug just the screen in to charge or to dock and drive a desktop workstation.

Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 4 Type Cover, and Surface Dock, go on sale in Canada and the United States today with additional markets to follow in November. The initial reaction to Surface Book and early pre-order activity has exceeded our expectations, meaning we will have limited quantities in store today. If your local store sells out today we encourage you to check back, as we’ll be replenishing inventory as quickly as we can.  You can also -order Surface Book online and you’ll see estimated delivery dates on the Microsoft Stores website. We’ll have some very cool launch events in a lot of Microsoft Stores today, and if you’re in the New York area I invite you to come by our new flagship store on 5th Avenue where I’ll be part of their grand opening.

In designing these products, our team really does consider every detail so that your experience of using them is truly great.  As a team, we are so proud to bring these devices to people to use and love every day. These products are all about the people that use them.  Hopefully that is you! We want you both to use them and love them every day.  We can’t wait to hear your feedback, hear your stories, and watch you using the devices every day.  Both Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book bring the very best of Windows 10 to life and we know you’ll be inspired by the possibilities they’ll open for you.

Panos Panay