Microsoft Surface Book review. Form meets function.

Summary:
With the Surface line Microsoft goes head to head with Apple.
Design:
Carved out of a single block of magnesium the Surface Book is very well made. There was no flex or give when I pressed down on the body or the display.
Just under 1Kg (1560 grams to be precise, the device just about makes it into Ultrabook territory although it’s a bit cumbersome at times.
Configurations:
As the Surface Book is quite a premium device pitched at professionals and creative types it’s quite expensive. If money is no object and you want something running Windows 10 with all it’s great features it might be well worth the investment.
Starting at AUD 2299 you get a 6th generation Intel core I5 CPU, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. The second one up from that starting at AUD 2899 gives you a 6th generation Intel core I5 CPU, doubles the storage to 256GB storage, and comes with 8GB of RAM.
The system Microsoft gave me to review comes with an Intel core I7 processor running at 2.6GHZ, 16GB of RAM, and a large 512 GB SSD. The cost for this version of the Surface Book is an eye watering AUD 4200.
Touch the touch screen:
Being both a traditional laptop and touch centric device I had a lot of fun playing around with the touch screen. Both JAWS 18 and the latest version of NVDA worked well. Gestures were detected and were fluid. Most people however will be using the keyboard for productivity reasons and I found the keyboard to be excellent.
The keys have a satisfying spring with plenty of travel. A quick note on accessibility as it relates to the keyboard. Out of the box the top row of keys are set up to emulate media controls. For screen reader users, this means you must press the FN key to resume standard operation. I’m still investigating weather the change can be made permanent. A slight annoyance but I must stress after hitting the FN key all works as expected. The good thing is if one shuts down the computer or restarts the change is saved.
Conclusion and final thoughts:
For a first-generation product Microsoft has done an incredible job with balancing both portability and power within such a slick package. The combination of Windows 10 and great hardware is irresistible.
Rating:
4 stars excellent.
Pros:
Great design, exquisite hardware, Windows 10 is superb.
Cons:
Can get astronomically expensive if one chooses to upgrade specs, fan can get quite noisy under a heavy load

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