New Microsoft Surface Book i7 Announced at Windows 10 Livestream

The Microsoft Surface Book has been raising eyebrows over the past year. Sleek, powerful and quite expensive, the laptop is essentially Microsoft‘s answer to a MacBook Pro. But Microsoft is interested in diversifying their Surface Book offerings, and expanding the laptop into the gaming market. So at today’s Windows 10 livestream event, the tech giant revealed a brand new i7 Surface Book dedicated to gaming.

Clocking in at $2,399 USD, the Surface Book i7 is intended to bring videogame fans an extremely powerful hardware setup to increase game performance while playing on-the-go. Although the laptop is also designed for content creators, the Surface Book i7 seems particularly targeted at the gaming laptop market, with Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Devices Panos Panay noting the Surface Book has twice the GPU performance. And with Microsoft planning an approximately 16 hour battery life on the device, its gaming capabilities bring serious competition into a laptop landscape traditionally dominated by high-end hardware but low-end battery performance.

That said, is there really a need to buy a gaming laptop? It’s hard to say. Most hardcore PC users will argue that a built-from-scratch PC is always preferable: It’s cheaper, customizable, longer-lasting and helps players better understand the hardware behind their machines. On the other hand, desktop setups are less than ideal to carry around, and compact machines have yet to become the norm when it comes to high-end performance. Depending on the type of person, a gaming laptop may make sense in the long-run. There’s no use buying a desktop if you’re flying every day. But for the average user who spends most of their gaming time in their bedroom or living room, the answer becomes a bit murkier.

Pre-orders for the new Surface Book i7 start today, Oct 26th. If you’re interested in shelling out the cash, you’ll get your order next month. Expect powerful performance for the dollar. And stay tuned for more news from Microsoft’s event.