2 years ago, Microsoft announced the Surface Book, which was their weird laptop tablet hybrid that proved to everyone that the company was serious in the hardware front. Despite its great display, overall good looks and apparently good battery life, it featured a puny dual core processor and a weak dedicated GPU, which was carried forward to the refreshed model of last year.
However, today, Microsoft has corrected most of those features by announcing the Surface Book 2 and it is very appealing.
It has the same design philosophy as the original Surface Book with the detachable screen and the crazy looking hinge, but most of the changes are on the inside.
There are three distinct versions of the Surface Book 2: Two with the original 13.5 inch 3000 x 2000 PixelSense screens and a new one with a 15 inch 3240 x 2160 screen which is great! You will get a Core i5 7300 U with one of the 13.5 inch models and the new 8th gen Core i7 8650U and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU with the other 13.5 inch model. The 15 inch model will ship with the Core i7 8650 U but will feature the more powerful NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU. The RAM capacities that you can get include 8/16GB and storage capacities range from 256 GB PCIe SSDs to a whole terabyte.
I/O is also quite sufficient. You will get 2 full size USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 1 USB-C Port, 3.5 mm headphone jack and a full size SD card reader (Apple should know this). The 5MP front facing camera was retained for Windows Hello authentication and still features the 8MP rear facing camera that can shoot 1080p video.
Microsoft claims 17 hours of battery life which was done during video playback but this was done under controlled settings so take this with a grain of salt. You can get either a 70 Whr or a 80 Whr battery which is relatively large in laptop terms and they can potentially give you great battery life if you use it frugally.
These are not cheap laptops and the original Surface Book ranged from $1500 to a whopping $3200 for the top model. Surface Book 2 models are charged relatively the same.
The cheapest Surface Book 2 model with the 13.5 inch screen, Core i5 7300 U and 8 GB of RAM is priced at $1499. The 13.5 inch models with the 8th Gen CPUs range from $1999 to $2999 depending on the RAM and storage configuration you choose. The 15 inch model starts at $2499 for the 8GB/256GB/NVIDIA 1060 GPU SSD model and goes upto $3299 for the 16Gb/1TB model. You can check the rest of the specifications in Microsoft’s page here. These sort of pricing dwarfs the Surface Laptop which they announced a while back and it cements the fact that these are the most powerful laptops you can buy from Microsoft at the moment.
[…] Microsoft Announces Surface Book 2: 8th Gen Intel Processors, New 15 inch Model, Still Expensive […]
It needs a Thunderbolt 3 port or two for me to even consider it. Once you enjoy using Thunderbolt you just can’t go back. Glad to see the bump up to 1*** Nvidia graphics and Quad Core Intel CPUs. The previous Dual Cores were a joke for a Pro-level product. I think Surface Book 3 15“ will be the one for me. Maybe it will have a 1080 MaxQ design with Thunderbolt 3 and 10th Gen Intel 10nm CPUs.
The level of innovation justifies the price tag. I have been using Apple MacBook Pros and we have been paying through the nose for a brand more than meaningful innovation.
I wonder what they are cooking for the Surface Studio.
The price for the Surface Books was too high for a dual core laptop, annoying even. They wouldn’t want to put a 1080 Max-Q design since the TDP is still quite high for such a laptop. However, I agree that they need to at least put two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports with the full 40Gbps connectivity for futureproofing
The 15 inch model is my thing but the price $2500 is just too much.
At that price, it is better than the base 15 inch Macbook Pro, but you can get a way more powerful Windows laptop in that price bracket.
I prefer a pc over mac. My major concern is the design and ergonomics. Very few can come that close. Though my budget is $1000 max. Most sleek laptops fall under 13.3″ and below. Not sure why manufacturers are moving away from 15.6″
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