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Microsoft’s Panos Panay unveils the Surface Book in New York today. GeekWire Photo, Jacob Demmitt

NEW YORK — Microsoft just unveiled its first laptop computer, dubbed the “Surface Book,” aiming to capitalize on the momentum of its Surface Pro tablet lineup with its own portable notebook machine.

It’s a big moment for the company, which makes its own tablets and phones but has previously stayed out of the core laptop and desktop PC market, preferring to make operating systems and software for machines from third-party hardware makers.

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The device offers a 13.5 inch diagonal screen, and the company says it brings new levels of performance to portable computing. It’s two times faster than the MacBook Pro, the company says.

Surface Book will start at $1,499, available on Oct. 26.

“Ounce for ounce, pound for pound, this is the fastest 13-inch laptop ever made, anywhere on any planet,” said Microsoft hardware chief Panos Panay, unveiling the Surface Book at a press event in New York City.

The keyboard detaches from the screen to convert the device into a tablet, as shown in this Microsoft image.

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Given this twist, there’s going to be some natural confusion between the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. Already some reporters are having a hard time wrapping their heads around it.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the stage and called the new Surface Book an example of the company’s efforts to reinvent productivity. “These are the new types of devices and experiences that we believe people will love,” he said.

For more, follow along with our live blog from New York. We’ll have more soon from our hands-on time with the new devices.

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