Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001 Notebook Review

December 23, 2016
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Standing out from the crowd in laptop market is tough, but Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001 does it with “style”. You see, it’s one of the most expensive laptops there currently is, but also its components are second to none. This kind of package might interest power users and those who seek quality, but don’t rush with it before reading the review…

Performance in general

It’s hard to find a better processor than what Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001 has. The Intel Core i7-6600U is a professional’s choice, with two cores, 2.6GHz clock speed and 3.4GHz turbo. You see, such a processor is in the high end category and people systematically use this kind of units for video and image editing. Yep, the CPU Mark score is around 4800, beating pretty much all the other laptop processors!

The notebook’s RAM is soldered so you can not add more. But there is 16GB of that installed so worries about insufficient RAM are without a base!

Now, can you imagine this unit contains a one terabyte solid-state drive! Yep, SSD, not an old spinning HDD. It’s a PCI-e based drive and if you remove the notebook cover you can upgrade it. But I see very little point in upgrading, 1TB solid-state drive gives both huge space and great performance – exactly the two things you want from a notebook drive!

How does the unit work for gaming?

There is a dedicated graphics card inside Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001, and that’s quite rare for a smaller ultrabook (but yes, for this price you can expect anything). It’s a modified GeForce graphics card with 1GB GDDR5 memory, with performance similar to GeForce 940M. In real life, you can play any game – new and old – but be careful with the settings. For example, if you were to try GTA 5 you could see +50 FPS using medium settings and 720p resolution. Doom, the latest badass title, would give +30FPS on similar settings.

How about ports and connections it offers?

Well, it’s not the greatest amount of ports you’ll find here. Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001 is a small notebook, remember that. Two USB 3.0 ports are at your disposal, but the video output is brought to you by miniDisplayPort only. There is no HDMI, if you require that get a cheap adapter!

The notebook doesn’t connect to Internet via cable (unless you get USB to RJ-45 plug), but the WiFi adapter with 802.11ac standard support and Bluetooth 4.0 works very well.

Maybe you guessed, but yeah, this unit does not come with optical drive. But it contains SD card slot which is also a good way to transfer data to and from the laptop.

And other interesting things?

The screen of Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001 is sweet, very sweet, tastes like strawberry pie. The compact 13.5″ glossy display has a magnificent 3200×2000 resolution – a lot better than Full HD. It’s crystal sharp and for example, watching movies is enjoyable. The screen will detach from the keyboard part, acting as a stand-alone tablet.

Two webcams are available on this unit: a 5.0MP one in the front, and a 8.0MP cam in the rear which records 1080p video too.

Battery life is 10-12 hours for the whole unit, and if you remove the display and use it as tablet, the battery life will be ca. 5 hours. The batteries are not replaceable here.

The notebook includes a pen, you can use the display with that.

The keyboard is backlit. It only works when attached to screen, you can’t use the keyboard via wireless.


If there is one thing to be said about Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001, it’s that the notebook is darn expensive. You won’t find a laptop that costs more. But, the point is, the Surface Book is easily the fastest and neatest-looking ultrabook on the market. The enormous 1TB solid-sate drive and Core i7 processor can do anything you ever imagine – even gaming is good with the graphics card. There are hardly any bad things about it save the price, so if you have the dough and want only the best, go for this rig!

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