Last year, Microsoft teased a new Windows 10 2-in-1 device with Porsche Design branding, built in partnership with a "local OEM" in Taiwan. At last month's Mobile World Congress, that machine was officially unveiled as the Porsche Design Book One.
The Book One has a form factor that's remarkably similar - both in concept and appearance - to Microsoft's Surface Book. Like the Microsoft device, the Book One has a notebook-style design, with a detachable display that can be used as a tablet, including Pen support.
Pre-orders have now opened for the new PC on the Microsoft Store in the UK, where it's priced at £2,395. It will also be available in the United States, where it will cost $2,495; and in select European markets, priced at €2,795. Microsoft describes it as "the convertible of your dreams", and says that it's "every bit as sleek and refined as the sports cars that share its DNA".
Its key specs include:
- 13.3-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD with Quad HD+ (3200x1800px) resolution
- 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U (7th-generation / Kaby Lake) processor
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB SSD (plus microSD card slot)
- 5MP front-facing webcam
- Infrared camera for Windows Hello biometric authentication
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (dual-band)
- Bluetooth 4.1
- 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt support (1 each on tablet and keyboard dock)
- 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A on keyboard dock
- 2 x microphones
- 3.5mm audio port
- Windows 10 Pro
- Total 70WHr Li-Po battery (25WHr tablet; 45WHr keyboard dock) - "up to 14 hours" of battery life
- Combined dimensions: 311 x 227 x 15.9mm / Tablet dimensions: 311 x 209 x 7.7mm
- Combined weight: 1.58kg / Tablet weight: 758g
The Book One also has a backlit keyboard, and comes with a Pen "specially developed by Wacom", with support for "2,048 pressure points".
However, unlike the Surface Book, the Porsche Design device has a 360-degree hinge, so that the display can be folded all the way back for use in different modes. Microsoft's model requires that the tablet section be disconnected, rotated, and reattached if you want to use it with the hinge closed but with the display still visible.
The Book One doesn't have a discrete GPU option available either - it only comes with Intel HD Graphics 620, unlike the Surface Book, which has an Nvidia GPU available on some models.
At £2,395, the Book One is currently more expensive than the closest equivalent Surface Book model, with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and Nvidia dGPU; that model is currently available for £2,249 thanks to one of Microsoft's many, many special offers, although Microsoft officially increased its price to £2,399 last month.
Ordinarily, then, the two devices would be priced almost identically, and that might make the Porsche Design device a tempting choice for some buyers, given its more flexible display hinge, USB Type-C ports, and its newer Intel Core i7 processor, versus the last-generation CPU on the Surface Book. The lack of a dGPU - especially in this price range - might just prove to be a deal-breaker for some, though.
You can pre-order the Book One from the Microsoft Store, with shipments due to begin in the UK on April 27.