Top 10 laptops of 2016

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Top 10 laptops of 2016
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Microsoft Surface Book

Price: from $2,299

Screen 13.5in (3,000 x 2,000 pixels) touchscreen
Processor Intel Core i5-6300U (2.4GHz) or i7-6600U (2.6GHz)
Storage 128–512GB SSD
RAM 8–16GB
Weight 1.58kg

The Microsoft Surface Book is beautiful, fairly powerful and packed with some awesome design flourishes, but there’s no getting around the fact that there are better value laptops in this line-up. 

Microsoft has made Surface Book more affordable in a current sale (at the time of writing) with pricing starting at $1,954.15 – but even that’s quite expensive.

The Surface Book's appeal comes down to the fact it's a brilliant laptop and a superb tablet: it's one of the few hybrid designs that makes very few concessions to usability. If you've always dreamed of a device that blends the tablet brilliance of a Surface Pro 4 and matching Surface Pen with the laptop excellence of something like Apple's 13in MacBook Pro, the Surface Book is as close as you're going to get. 

The design won't be to everyone's taste, but it looks and feels like a high-end device should. While most of the hardware is stored in the screen, which allows it to double as a king-sized Surface tablet (albeit one with minimal battery life), the pricier models hide a discrete Nvidia GPU inside the keyboard base. In laptop mode, this provides the Surface Book with a good deal more gaming and graphics grunt than most of its rivals. It's only roughly equivalent to a GeForce GT 940M GPU, however, so it's no match for the likes of the Dell XPS 15.

Still, if you can afford the Surface Book, and its unusual array of talents suit your needs, you're unlikely to be disappointed.

Next review: Apple MacBook.

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