In April, Microsoft launched its refreshed Surface Book with Performance Base in 13 new markets around the world. The updated model includes improved discrete graphics, better battery life, and a slightly redesigned hinge, but it's otherwise very similar to the original model that launched in late 2015, and even has the same 6th-generation ('Skylake') Intel Core processors.
The Performance Base versions cost considerably more than their earlier equivalents, alongside which they've been sold in recent months. But now, Microsoft is running out of stock of the older Surface Books that have a discrete GPU (dGPU), leaving only the pricier Performance Base models available for those that need a bit more power on the go.
This shouldn't exactly come as a shock. Microsoft has been offering substantial discounts on its older Surface Books over the last few weeks, including up to 22% off some models in the UK, in addition to a free pair of Bowers & Wilkins headphones worth £119.99. Those big discounts seem to have done the trick, as Microsoft's UK store has now sold out of all original Surface Books with a dGPU and Core i7 processor.
The only 'first-gen' Surface Book with a dGPU still available on the UK store is the Core i5 variant with 256GB of storage and 8GB RAM, currently priced at £1,599. Those seeking more powerful options will have to pay a minimum of £2,249 for the cheapest Performance Base model with Core i7, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD - that's £250 more than the £1,999 list price of the equivalent non-Performance Base model that is now out of stock.
Other UK retailers are also running low on stock of the original Surface Book. Amazon, for example, has no stock available of the Core i5 and i7 models with dGPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. John Lewis has also run out of stock of two of the UK's five original Surface Book models.
And it's not just the UK where stocks are running low. Over in the United States, too, Microsoft has no availability of two models with the original dGPU. However, US buyers have a far greater variety of Surface Book models to choose from compared with the UK, including many higher-end options without the dGPU.
It's not yet clear how Microsoft intends to structure its Surface Book range in the future, and if it will continue to sell the older models indefinitely alongside the newer Performance Base editions. But with stocks of some models now running out, things may soon become a bit clearer.