Microsoft has kicked off 2016 by bringing its Surface Book convertible laptop to several more markets, including the UK where it is now available to pre-order, although potential buyers may raise an eyebrow at the price which reaches as high as £2,249.
The firm has disclosed that the Surface Book is coming to new territories, including Austria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland, while it is currently available to pre-order in the UK directly from the Microsoft Store or Currys/PC World.
However, Microsoft has yet to confirm when any pre-orders might be fulfilled. A Microsoft spokesperson told V3 that there is currently no further information on when devices will actually ship to customers.
The Surface Book was launched in the US along with the Surface Pro 4 tablet and new Lumia handsets in October 2015. Microsoft watchers were expecting the new Surface Pro, but the existence of the Surface Book came as a surprise.
As Microsoft's first laptop, the Surface Book takes the form of a 2-in-1 convertible that can be used as a standard laptop or detached from its keyboard and used as a slate-mode tablet. It features a 13.5in touchscreen display and comes with the Surface Pen and the Windows 10 Pro edition of Microsoft's latest platform.
Microsoft appears to be marketing the Surface Book as a prestige device with a price to match: the top-end configuration with a Core i7 processor, 16GB memory and 512GB SSD storage comes in at £2,249, while even the entry-level model with a Core i5 chip, 8GB memory and 128GB storage costs £1,299.
In comparison, a 13in MacBook Air laptop is listed as starting at £849 on Apple's UK website, but this is with only 4GB of memory rather than 8GB.
To be fair, the Surface Book has a much higher resolution PixelSense display offering 3000x2000 pixels and includes the Surface Pen, while the MacBook Air currently lacks Apple's Retina display technology, but it is an odd state of affairs when Apple's premier laptop model appears to be the budget option.
To see some of the key features of the Surface Book simply click the tags on the interactive image below for quick info about the device's key specs.
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