The new Surface Book was the surprise announcement yesterday at Microsoft's Launch event. With the caveat that I haven't actually had a chance to use the product, it looks like it combines the Surface Pro and the MacBook Pro into a single product. Here is a quick spec comparison, which demonstrates my point. The biggest difference between the Surface Book and the MacBook Pro (besides the operating system) is the Book's ability to be both a fully functioning laptop AND a tablet (and an extra $500 for the Book). When the Surface came out, it was hard to really tell whether it was a tablet designed to compete with the iPad or a laptop competing with the MacBook Air. It seems that Apple and Windows have answered the question for us. Apple recently launched the iPad Pro to compete with the tablet Surface line, and now Microsoft has launched the Surface Book to compete with the MacBook Pros (skipping past the Air in both computing power and price). The MacBook Air's price + portability+ battery life still give it a special advantage for people that don't need the extra RAM (eg: you don't leave too many memory hogging programs open at once), but for prospective MacBook Pro users, the Surface Book appears to be an interesting option. The Surface Book has nearly identical specs to the MacBook Pro 13", with the biggest difference being the Book's ability to convert into a tablet by either removing the keyboard or folding it completely in half. The actual speed of the Surface Book is something that we won't know until people have the opportunity to test the product. All Microsoft has stated is that the Book will have the latest Intel Core i7 processors and that it is twice as fast as the MacBook Pro. We don't know if the processors will be dual-core or quad-core, or really anything else, and the "twice as fast" claim will likely be dependent on the type of work being done on the computer. We also won't know the real battery life of the Book until the product has been user tested. For a person in the market for a MacBook Pro level computer, the Surface Book matches the Pro in every category, has a slightly better battery life and can double as a tablet. When used as a tablet without the keyboard attached, the battery life drops to 3 hours and the speed benefit of the graphics card that is housed in the keyboard will be lost. The Book also has a touch screen and includes the highly acclaimed Surface Pen. Of course, with these specs, the Book will cost you an extra $500. Interestingly enough, if you upgrade the MacBook Pro 13" to 1 TB of storage space, the price is identical to the Surface Book. You might ask yourself, which is more important: double the hard drive space or the benefit of the tablet functionality? Or you could make life easy for yourself and just decide whether you like OS X or Windows 10 better. In the end, it's great to see Windows upping it's game and creating a legitimate alternative for people willing to pay a premium for a high quality product.