Microsoft touted the value of the Surface Book's Nvidia discrete graphics chip during the launch event for the notebook, but it turned out that the base Surface Book didn't come with that pixel-pushing power for its $1,499 starting price. Instead, the Nvidia chip was initially a package deal with a 256GB storage option, and checking that option box added $400 to the price.
Now, it seems that Microsoft wants to give buyers more choice. According to the Surface Book page on the Microsoft Store, the company will offer a 128GB model with 8GB of RAM and Nvidia graphics for a more palatable $1,699.
Now that Surface Books are in reviewers' hands, more information has become available about the exact specs of that Nvidia chip, too. As we noted in our review roundup of the notebook, Gordon Mah Ung of PCWorld says the custom chip is similar to Nvidia's GT 940M. AnandTech also notes that Microsoft paired this chip with a rather atypical 1GB of GDDR5 RAM, as opposed to the more common 2GB of GDDR3 commonly seen with GT 940M parts.
Based on the impressions of the reviewers we surveyed, the discrete GPU option is a worthy upgrade to the Surface Book if gaming or heavy-duty graphics work is in your sights.