(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft says that its first ever laptop, the Surface Book, is the most powerful 13-inch laptop ever made. Apple may have something to say about that.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display is the company's most powerful laptop creation, aimed at power users. But has Microsoft managed to swoop in and deliver an even better machine?
The Surface Book, on paper, may be the best laptop out there. We've delved into the specs to check just how close these two laptops come to each other.
So which is better, the Microsoft Surface Book or the Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display?
Surface Book has a larger, higher resolution display
Microsoft has crammed as many pixels as it could manage into that 13.5-inch display. While Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display offers an impressive 2,560 x 1,600 resolution for 232ppi, the 13.5-inch Surface Book crams in a 3,000 x 2,000 resolution for 267ppi.
Of course a screen is more than just resolution. But in this area Microsoft has continued to focus its production. The result is a 100 per cent sRGB colour representation and 1800:1 contrast ratio and low glare. Microsoft also uses its new PixelSense technology which essentially means a very thin, closely bonded, glass screen for super responsive touch and stylus controls.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display does not offer a touchscreen and Apple keeps numbers quiet and simply says it has a "high contrast ratio".
Surface Book is detachable and lighter but thicker
The MacBook Pro with Retina display is just 18mm thick in spite of cramming in plenty of power and using an all metal chassis.
By comparison the Surface Book, also all metal, offers a detachable screen that doubles as a tablet. But this has meant a slight increase in thickness to nearly 23mm when closed. But it remains lighter at 1.51kg compared to Apple's 1.58kg - not much in it there then.
Surface Book appears more powerful
Both the Surface Book and the MacBook Pro with Retina display offer sixth-gen Intel Core i5 and i7 chips. Both top out at 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. But it's the graphical power that offers variation.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display comes with Intel's onboard Iris Graphics 6100. While the tablet part of the Surface Book is limited to the Intel HD Graphic 520, there is a separate GPU in the keyboard section. This is an Nvidia GeForce processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.
Surface Book has a longer battery life
According to specs Microsoft has managed to eek out more battery life from the Surface Book with a 12 hour life. The MacBook Pro with Retina display tops out at 10 hours.
Both of these figures are from the companies though, so until they're tested in real world conditions we're taking them with a pinch of salt. Perhaps that higher number from Microsoft is based on partial time using it as a lower powered tablet, for example.
Connectivity and interaction options are varied but plentiful
Both laptops offer plenty of connectivity options that vary and may appeal to different people's needs.
The Surface Book offers two USB 3.0 ports and full microSD while the MacBook also has the two USB 3.0 but an SDXC card reader.
The MacBook features an HDMI port where the Surface Book is limited to a Mini Display Port. Apple has two Thunderbolt 2 ports while Microsoft offers its SurfaceConnect option.
The cameras on each laptop vary with the Surface Book using a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and the MacBook Pro with Retina display sporting a 720p FaceTime HD camera.
It's Windows or Mac OS
This kind of goes without saying, but we're going to say it anyway.
If you go for the Surface Book you get Microsoft's latest Windows 10 OS with Continuum which lets you jump between devices seamlessly.
Should you opt for the MacBook Pro with Retina display you're going to get Apple's Mac OS X El Capitan.
Whichever you choose probably comes down to tastes and individual needs so we're not going to harp on about this.
MacBook Pro with Retina display is more affordable
Apple has managed to undercut Microsoft here with its MacBook Pro with Retina display starting at $1,300 while the Surface Book starts at $1,500.
At this price the Surface Book and the MacBook Pro with Retina display comes with 128GB storage, Intel i5 processor and 8GB RAM.