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.