Microsoft's Surface Book Can Store A NVIDIA GPU In The Keyboard

We don't know how much it'll cost locally yet, or what model of GPU it is, but the fact that Microsoft's new Surface Book can house a discrete graphics card in the keyboard is pretty damn cool.

It's Microsoft's first-ever homemade laptop. It's driven a fair bit of chatter for a few reasons, first of which is the price: the baseline model starts at $2299. That's pretty reasonably priced given the exchange rate, with Gizmodo Australia working out that it's actually cheaper than if you bought the laptop in the United States.

But what's really intriguing about the laptop from a gaming perspective is the optional discrete NVIDIA GPU that you can buy as an add-on.

There's no word on what the cost for that is locally, but according to the US store it'll cost you US$1899 for an Intel i5 model with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD that comes with the NVIDIA GPU. An Intel i7 model with the same specs costs US$2099, while the 512GB version with 16GB RAM and an Intel i7 costs US$2699.

Converting to Australian dollars makes all of the above seem exorbitant, but the Australian store — for what's announced, at least — is only asking few hundred dollars more than the US pricing.

The Surface Pro has a 13.5-inch display with a native resolution of 3000x2000 that supposedly lasts for around 12 hours while running Windows 10. Mac's don't quite meet the same resolution, but that's because they're built around a 16:10 aspect ratio.

The 13.3-inch Macbook Pro in the same ballpark runs at 2560x1600, lasts for up to 10 hours, has 8GB RAM, an SSD ranging from 128GB and 512GB depending on the model ($1799 for the lowest, $2499 the highest) and an Intel Iris Graphics 6100 — that is, Intel's onboard graphics solution.

If you want a discrete GPU in a MacBook, you'll have to go for the top-end 15-inch MacBook Pro. That gets you a M370X from AMD, but it's only a 2GB card and the unit will set you back a staggering $3499, a pretty hefty price just to pay for extra graphics.

It's worth noting that if you want to save battery life with the new Surface Book, you can simply unplug the keyboard and use the laptop as a touch screen. That might not provide the most optimal typing experience, although it's worth noting that NVIDIA's mobile cards have come a long, long way when it comes to power savings.


    Any gaming laptop stores the GPU in the keyboard area rather than the screen area, but I will say, that's a very thin keyboard area to hold the GPU in. Looks great. Also great that there are all different choices of processor and included dGPU or not.

    Having said that, most people, including me, would end up opting for the SP4 instead, which is a good deal.

    Interesting, but I'd wager that it would most likely end up being a 940m in something that size. I'm not too sure about the benefit of docking into/with a mobile series gpu if it is lower end. At the price point there are just better options for portability and performance. From having a seperate tablet/ ultrabook and standalone pc/ console for gaming or even one of the laptops that dock with desktop graphics. But still nice to see more options hitting the market, it drives innovation.

      Campbell from Giz reckoned that it'll probably be a 970M -- and that's a solid guess given how much they're charging (although a 960M wouldn't surprise me).

        If it did come with a 970M+ then I would consider going out of my current price range for it.

          I'd find it a very tempting purchase if that was the case too.

        i think you mean 950M based on cambell article....

        970m has 81w power consumption so you would get like 20 mins battery life on something that thin... let alone the heat....

          My bad, I think you're right on that. My ears have gone a bit weird today after the damn building evacuation siren test >_<

    What level of gaming performance would a system like this enable?

    first of all, Surface Book* not Pro in you last paragraphs. Secondly, it is $1050 difference in AU for the GPU option

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