You like to horde your files, don’t you? Isn’t it more convenient to keep your work files, movies and music on your computer, rather than in a cloud server? Well, Microsoft sympathizes, so itannounced today (June 30) that the 1TB model of its 13.5-inch Surface Book hybrid will be available in even more markets than before. But you might want to think for a moment before rushing out to buy one.
We’re not cautious because Microsoft charges $500 to bump the 2-in-1 up from the 512GB option. That price is in line with what other makers of hard-to-repair devices charge. (And the Surface Book most definitely qualifies as a hard-to-repair device.) For example, Apple places the same premium for the same upgrade to its MacBook Pros.
So if you’re comfortable spending $3,199, prefer a detachable tablet display and need the local storage immediately, feel free to fire up that credit card for the 1TB Surface Book, which also packs a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a Nvidia GeForce GPU. But if you flinched at that price, you’ve got a good reason to hold off, with some solid alternatives to consider instead.
You should definitely pump the brakes if you don’t need a new system immediately. The Surface Book launched in fall 2015, so there’s a good chance that Microsoft could announce its successor soon. Nobody wants to pay a lot of money to wind up with the buyer’s remorse that comes with seeing a better, faster, more productive model launch shortly after your order arrives.
If you don’t need a detachable screen or a discrete graphics card, then there is a more affordable alternative to the Surface Book. The stylish copper-and-black HP Spectre x360 13t can be bought with 1TB of SSD storage, a Core i7 CPU and 16GB of RAM, for the lower price of $1,574.99. That’s less than half of what Microsoft charges for the 1TB Surface Book.
The biggest drawback is the x360 13t’s touchscreen is only 2560 x 1440 pixels, while the Surface Book packs a 3000 x 2000-pixel panel. But with all that extra money you saved, you could buy a secondary display to extend the x360’s.
Creative professionals with decent budgets and no allegiances to operating systems should consider saving money by checking out the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. You can buy it with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage and an Intel Iris GPU for only $2,699; that’s $500 less than the Surface Book. Just forget about using any kind of touchscreen interface, as Apple doesn’t provide that option on its notebooks.