Microsoft did something shocking last night. It launched something people might actually lust over, something sleek, something powerful, something innovative. The Surface Book.

At an event in New York rammed with press and industry types and live-streamed to the world, Microsoft confidently and defiantly unveiled its grand vision of Windows 10 devices.

Some of the products the company unveiled were expected: an updated Surface Pro 4 tablet, the second generation of the company’s Microsoft Band fitness tracker and two new Lumia smartphones. But it was the Surface Book, Microsoft’s first laptop and a big bet for the company, that drew the Apple-like whoops, gasps and applause.

The Surface Book, which Microsoft claim is twice as powerful as the Macbook Pro. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
The Surface Book, which Microsoft claim is twice as powerful as the Macbook Pro. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Surface Book is a MacBook Pro competitor and Microsoft claims it is “the most powerful laptop on the planet”, twice as fast as Apple’s professional laptop.

The fact that Microsoft – the purveyor of the Windows operating system which runs on almost every laptop that doesn’t run Apple’s OS X or Linux – has finally made a notebook is a turn up for the books. But it was the laptop’s fancy bending hinge, and the fact that the screen was detachable and became a Surface tablet on its own, which set pulses racing.

Microsoft’s first laptop, the Surface Book is a tablet that docks into a full laptop base. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP
Microsoft’s first laptop, the Surface Book is a tablet that docks into a full laptop base. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

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