Head-To-Head: HP EliteBook x360 Vs. Microsoft Surface Book i7

Windows 10 Goes High End

Many buyers start out trying to find the perfect laptop and usually have to settle for something that falls short in certain areas. Two new Windows 10 laptops, however, come pretty close to having it all -- offering nearly everything that modern laptop users desire, with very few trade-offs. Those would be the HP EliteBook x360, which is brand new this month, and the Microsoft Surface Book i7 (aka the Surface Book with Performance Base), which has been on the market for just a few months.

But "having it all" doesn't come cheap. In the following slides, the CRN Test Center breaks down how the EliteBook x360 and Surface Book i7 compare on specs and price.


Both the EliteBook x360 and Surface Book i7 feature touch screen displays that convert into tablets; the 13.3-inch EliteBook display can fold all the way back, while the Surface Book has a 13.5-inch display that detaches from the keyboard.

HP is planning a few options for the EliteBook x360 display, but for now just one is available -- FHD (1,920 x 1,080) BrightView. In April, HP says it plans to debut a UHD 4K (3,840 x 2,160) version, as well as an FHD display with the Sure View integrated PC privacy screen.

For the time being, the Surface Book i7 wins in terms of display resolution, with its 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display.


For the EliteBook x360, HP has used the latest-generation, top-of-the-line processors from Intel (the seventh-gen Core i processors, known as Kaby Lake). Options are for Core i5-7200U (2.5GHz), Core i5-7300U (2.6GHz) or, at the top end, the Core i7-7600U (2.9GHz).

The Surface Book i7, as suggested by the name, features the Intel Core i7 processor. But it's from the older, sixth-generation line -- the Core i7-6600U (2.6 GHz). Apparently, Microsoft's schedule for the Surface Book i7 did not quite line up with Intel's timetable for Kaby Lake.


One area where the Surface Book i7 shines is on graphics, as the laptop uses a stand-alone graphics processor, the GeForce GTX 965M, from prominent GPU vendor Nvidia. By contrast, the EliteBook x360 uses Intel HD Graphics 620 that are integrated with the CPU.

Battery Life

When it comes to "having it all" on a laptop, a fast processor and high-res display are just two of the key ingredients. Another must is strong battery life, and both the EliteBook x360 and Surface Book i7 have it. Microsoft promises that the Surface Book i7 will get up to an amazing 16 hours of battery life on a charge, while HP promises even more for the EliteBook x360 -- 16 hours and 30 minutes. HP also says the EliteBook x360 is capable of recharging half of its battery life in a half hour.

Weight & Thickness

Both HP and Microsoft have managed develop their respective laptops with a very slim profile, even with the major processing power, high-res displays and battery life. The EliteBook x360 and the Surface Book i7 each measure 0.59 of an inch thick, placing them among the thinnest laptops on the market.

The EliteBook x360 wins in the lightness category, though, with a weight of 2.82 pounds. The Surface Book i7 weighs 3.68 pounds, by contrast.

Memory & Storage

The EliteBook x360 and Surface Book i7 each offer configurations with 8GB or 16GB of RAM. There's a bit more to say about storage, though. The EliteBook x360 comes in configurations with 128GB or 256GB of SATA solid-state storage, and also with 256GB or 512GB of PCIe solid-state storage. Microsoft offers PCIe for all of the Surface Book i7 storage configurations -- 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.


Both the EliteBook x360 and Surface Book i7 are well-endowed when it comes to ports, in contrast to many of the thin laptops now hitting the market. But if you're into USB-C, the EliteBook x360 may be the better choice, as it comes with a USB-C port in addition to two USB-A ports, HDMI and Micro SD.

The Surface Book i7 includes two USB-A ports, two Surface Connect ports (for power and docking), an SD card reader and a Mini DisplayPort.


As mentioned, HP and Microsoft aren't offering any inexpensive options for their respective laptops. The starting price for the two laptops is actually the same -- $2,399. For the Surface Book i7, that gets you the sixth-gen Core i7-6600U, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe storage. For the EliteBook x360, that gets you the seventh-gen Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SATA storage.

The prices only go up from there, of course, topping out at $3,299 for the highest-end Surface Book i7 and $3,385 for the top-end EliteBook x360. One can assume the EliteBook x360 with a higher-res display will also start a higher price point once it debuts in April.