Amazon is blowing out prices on the original Surface Book, starts at $790

If you just love Microsoft’s innovative notebook-first 2-in-1, the Surface Book, then you’re probably eyeing the newest member. The Surface Book 2 ups the performance in a big way, while also upping the machine itself with a new 15-inch model. However, as with the original, the Surface Book 2’s pricing is also up — in the stratosphere, that is. Which is what makes Amazon’s blow-out prices on the original model so attractive.

The discounts start with the entry-level Surface Book, at $790 for a Core i5-6300U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), and integrated Intel HD 520 graphics that is down 47 percent from the original $1,500 retail price. Other options include:

  • Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, integrated graphics: $945

  • Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, discrete Nvidia GPU (Microsoft’s custom version of the GeForce 940M): $970

  • Core i7-6600U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, discrete graphics: $1,150

  • Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, integrated graphics: $1,625

  • Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, discrete graphics: $2,719

We liked the original Surface Book quite a bit, noting its good performance and great battery life. Of course, Surface displays are also excellent and the original model uses the same panel as the current Surface Book 2. That means you get outstanding brightness and contrast, solid color gamut support, and touch and Surface Pen support.

If your wallet is a little fatter, then you can always consider the Surface Book 2. That machine brings the line up to speed with up to the latest Intel eighth-generation quad-core Core processors, a choice of Nvidia GTX 105o or 1060 GPUs, and a number of other enhancements. But the pricing also starts at $1,500 for the 13-inch model with a seventh-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, and ramps up to $3,200 for the 15-inch model with the eighth-gen Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD.

You’re giving up some power by going with the earlier model, but such things are relative. The original Surface Book will run today’s productivity apps just fine while providing the same hybrid detachable tablet and clamshell notebook experience. And, unlike the Surface Book 2, a Surface Pen is included.