Microsoft showcases Surface Pro 4 and MacBook-rivalling Surface Book 'laptop'

The new devices will launch on October 26th
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Microsoft has just showcased the new Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book during its Windows 10 Devices event in New York City.

Surface Pro 4

The rumour mill has been bubbling up for a while now surrounding the Surface Pro 4, and today Microsoft can finally put those rumours to rest.

Panos Panay, corporate VP for Surface computing at Microsoft arrived on stage, where he unveiled the Surface Pro 4, which features a larger screen size of 12.3-inches (compared to its predecessor that came with 12-inches), along with a docking station, updated keyboard and fingerprint reader.

The screen comes with over five million pixels, plus the firm also pointed out that the glass is 0.4mm thick.

It is also 30 per cent faster than the Surface Pro 3, for example it packs 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage into its chassis. Plus, the Surface comes with an all-new stylus, which touts an eraser function and a year’s worth of battery.

The Surface’s Type Cover has also been upgraded, and will sport a chiclet-style keyboard and a 40 per cent bigger trackpad.

Panay revealed that the Surface 4 will retail with a starting price of £859.99, and will be available for order on October 26th.

Jeremy Davies, CEO of Context, said: "The Surface Pro 4 from Microsoft is not a revolutionary product. It's an evolution of the process that Microsoft began with the original Surface some years ago in redefining the laptop and tablet PC sectors.

"At first met with derision, by the time the Surface Pro 3 came along, Microsoft had created a new class of product that bridged the touchscreen and keyboard gap, and appealed to business users not wanting to move away from their Office and their Microsoft environment. With Surface Pro 4, and now Windows 10, the concept of seamless integration between PC, laptop and phone comes one step closer."

This announcement from Microsoft comes as Apple recently revealed its 12.9-inch premium iPad Pro. Now that Microsoft has unveiled its addition to the laptop/tablet market, no doubt we may begin to see an increase in sales once again, despite previous figures suggesting the tablet market is dying.

Surface Book

Previously Microsoft referred to the Surface Pro 3 as a ‘laptop killer’ and dubbed it as the ‘tablet that can replace your laptop’, but the company has gone on to compete in the laptop stakes, releasing its very first laptop device.

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Known as the Surface Book (pictured above), the Apple MacBook-esque 13.5-inch laptop will feature a PixelSense screen that boasts six million pixels, an articulated hinge and 12 hours of battery life.

Panay stated on stage that the Surface Book ‘redefines everything you expect from a laptop’, claiming that it is two times faster than Apple’s MacBook Pro. However, although the firm have called it a laptop, the screen can also separate from the keyboard, much like the Surface. 

In addition, the new laptop will come with Nvidia GeForce graphics and GDDR5 memory.

We can expect to see the Surface Book in stores from October 26th with a retail price of $1,499 (£985).

Geoff Blaber, VP of Americas at analyst CCS Insight, added: "Surface Book proves that innovation in personal computing is not just confined to Apple’s Cupertino campus. This is a highly innovative, flagship device that will act as a much needed halo product for Windows 10 and the broader PC market.

"Microsoft should be applauded for its efforts with Surface. When the first device was announced in June 2012 it was derided as a vanity project that would scare off PC makers. In fact it has injected a new wave of innovation into the embattled PC sector and has acted as a halo devices for the so-called two-in-one category."

Microsoft also announced it will make its HoloLens development kits available in the first quarter of 2016, which will cost customers $3,000 (£1,970). Microsoft revealed it will be taking applications for the device from today, however exact specs for the kit still remain unknown.

The new Microsoft Band was also shown off during the event, which offers an improved screen and elevation tracking. The new Band is priced at $249 (£164) and will be available from October 30th.

These announcements certainly prove that Microsoft is a key contender within the tablet market, and now that the firm is tapping into the laptop market, it's really going after Apple aggressively.

Check out the videos below for the new Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book from Microsoft.

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