Today, the two most common types of Windows 10 2-in-1s are tablets with detachable keyboards like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, and more standard notebooks with screens that swivel 360 degrees into tablet mode. Microsoft’s Surface Book is in its own category as a sort of hybrid between the two. It’s a more traditional notebook that morphs into a tablet, but with its own unique twist — the display detaches completely from its keyboard base via Microsoft’s “muscle wire” locking mechanism, and becomes a large yet still thin-and-light tablet.
Although it’s an innovative — and somewhat complex — approach to the notebook-oriented 2-in-1, the Surface Book provides the same basic benefits as more common flip-around 2-in-1s like HP’s new Spectre x360 15. The Surface Book is also an expensive machine, and while its 13.5-inch screen is smaller than the 15.6-inch display on HP’s machine, it’s also quite a bit larger than the 12-inch or so screens on tablets with detachable keyboards.
That makes the comparison between the Surface Book and the Spectre x360 15 an interesting one. The question is: does the Surface Book’s unique design make it better than the much less expensive Spectre x360 15?
Microsoft Surface Book
HP Spectre x360 15
|Dimensions||12.30 x 9.14 x .51 – .90 (in)||14.00 x 9.88 x .70 (in)|
|Weight||3.34 pounds, Intel HD graphics
3.48 pounds, GTX 940M graphics
3.68 pounds, GTX 965M graphics (Performance Base)
|Processor||6th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 dual-core||7th Generation Intel Core i7 dual-core|
|RAM||8GB or 16GB DDR4||8 or 16GB DDR4|
|Display||13.5-inch IPS touchscreen||15.6-inch IPS touchscreen|
|Resolution||3,000 x 2,000, 3:2 aspect ratio||3,840 x 2,160, 16:9 aspect ratio|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB PCIe SSD||256GB, 512GB, 1TB PCIe SSD|
|Networking||802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0||802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Ports||2 x USB 3.0, 1 x mini-DisplayPort, Headset, SD Card Reader||1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB Type-C, 1 x USB Type-c with Thunderbolt 3, 1 x HDMI, Headset, SD Card reader|
|Webcam||1080P webcam with IR camera and Windows Hello support||1080p webcam with IR camera and Windows Hello support|
|Operating System||Windows 10||Windows 10|
81 watt-hours (Performance Base)
$2,399+ (Performance Base)
|Availability||Available now – Amazon, Microsoft||Available late-February – HP|
|Review||3.5 out of 5 stars||4 out of 5 stars|