Here’s How Surface Book Detachable Experience Works


Microsoft yesterday announced Surface Book, the fastest 13” laptop in its class. It comes with a detachable 13.5-inch PixelSense display powered by Intel Core i7 CPU. The keyboard base includes optional discrete GPU and battery. Even though we have many detachable Windows devices in the market, Surface Book is a different beast and it works quite differently. Read about it below.

  • Surface Book’s one-of-a-kind hinge (dynamic fulcrum hinge)  folds and detaches to transform from laptop, to clipboard mode, and then into a creative canvas.
  • Surface Book uses Muscle Wire to hold its screen in place securely, while still allowing it to detach perfectly with the push of a button.
  • You need to press the detach key in the keyboard to remove the Surface from its base.
  • When you press the key, charge runs through the Muscle Wire and it grips. When you remove the charge, it releases.
  • Since the GPU is in the base, there is a PCI Express connector connecting the base and the Surface.
  • Unlike the devices in the past with external GPU, you don’t need to restart the device to take advantage the power of GPU.
  • But when you are detaching the device, Windows will ask you to close the apps that are using GPU.
  • When you press the detach key, If you are not running any GPU enabled applications, Windows will automatically remove GPU support and a message will appear on the screen in a second or two that you can remove the device safely.
  • Since most of the battery is in the base, you will get only about 3 hours of battery life when Surface Book is in detached state. In laptop mode, you will get about 12 hours of battery life.

Surface Book is now available for pre-order from Microsoft. Find the links below.

Surface Book
Estimated retail price (USD)
Intel® Core™ i5, 128 GB and 8 GB of RAM $1499
Intel® Core™ i5, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM $1599
Intel® Core™ i5, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM (dGPU) $1,899
Intel® Core™ i7, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM (dGPU) $2,099
Intel® Core™ i7, 512 GB and 16 GB of RAM (dGPU) $2,699