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Tech: Microsoft launches Surface Book and Surface 4 Pro

New York: Technology giant Microsoft on Tuesday launched a tablet and a convertible laptop PC - the Surface 4 Pro and Surface Book - priced at $899 and $1,499 respectively.

Microsoft Surface Book
A new Microsoft Surface Book sits on display at a media event for new Microsoft products on October 6, 2015 in New York City. Pic/AFP

Microsoft Surface division's vice president Panos Panay took to the stage to introduce the new devices. "This challenge of the tablet and the laptop... which do you buy? Remember that problem? It's gone," he said.

The Surface 4 will come with a fingerprint sensor on the keyboard and Cortana integration inside the new tablet, which fits a 12.3-inch display in the same physical footprint as the older 12-inch device.

New Microsoft Surface Pro 4s
New Microsoft Surface Pro 4s sit on display at a media event for new Microsoft products on October 6, 2015 in New York City. Pic/AFP

Panos, who also introduced a new Pen, said: "And yes, there's an all-new Surface Pen as well, which also has an eraser on the end of it. The new pen has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and attaches magnetically to the side of the Surface Pro 4 when not in use."

"It comes in a variety of colors and even has Cortana integration: you can activate Microsoft's voice assistant by holding the button on the stylus," he added.

Intel's Skylake processors and Microsoft's own Windows 10 will power the Surface Pro 4 which Panos claimed is 50 percent faster than the Macbook Air. The Surface Pro 4, which will be available for pre-order starting tuesday, will be available on October 26.

The company also launched the new Surface Book laptop with 13.5-inch display which can be seen as competition to the new Apple tablet.

It has the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, from the Skylake family. There's also an Nvidia GeForce GPU with GDDR5 memory but that is located in the base and will need the display kept docked to tap into its power. The dock also includes two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot.

The company claims that the Surface Book is twice as fast as the MacBook Pro. "It will be available for pre-order from October 7," it said.

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