Not impressed with the new Microsoft Surface Pro? Neither was I. Thankfully, Microsoft just launched a brand new update to their interesting take on the 2-in-1 detachable laptop, the Surface Book. This is the Surface Book 2.
What’s new, you ask? Well, the biggest new thing is that there is now a larger Surface Book 2. In addition to the standard 13.5-inch device, Microsoft also added a 15-inch variant to their Surface Book 2 roster. With the larger display, Microsoft also increased the resolution of the screen to maintain that 260+ ppi pixel density so everything looks crisp. This means that the 15-inch model will have a screen resolution of 3240×2160 pixels which is a hair higher than the 3000×2000 pixel resolution of the 13.5-inch panel. It is still a PixelSense display with touch so you can expect a similar experience.
Inside, Microsoft has given the Surface Book 2 some impressive specs. Both devices can be configured up to Intel’s 8th generation Core i7-8650U quad-core processors paired to 16GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory. Users can also configure their Surface Book 2s to have up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage.
But that’s not all. Microsoft’s new Surface Book 2 brings the heat in the GPU department too, offering two discrete GPU options. For the 13.5-inch model you can configure it to feature an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050 graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory while the 15-inch device will pack an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 memory.
Despite all this extra power, Microsoft claims that the Surface Book 2 can last up to a whopping 17 hours on a single charge…but it’s worth noting that Microsoft counts battery life in terms of continuous video playback. Real-world usage will probably not be nearly this long.
Besides the improvement in battery life, I’m happy to report that Microsoft has removed their head from whatever rock it was stuck under and finally included a USB Type-C port with the Surface Book 2. It replaces the mini DisplayPort and I think everyone is better off with it. This means that for I/O, the Surface Book 2 has 2 USB Type A ports, 1 USB Type C port, 1 SD card reader and a Surface Connector. Welcome to 2017, Microsoft.
Microsoft also made a few subtle changes to make the Surface Book 2 more cohesive as a laptop. The hinge, for example, has been tweaked so it wobbles less when you use the touchscreen. Its keyboard is also supposed to offer a faster and more satisfying experience when you type on it.
And they did all of that without changing the fundamentally unique way the device looks. That means it’s still finished in glorious magnesium and sports the hinge that doesn’t close flat — whether you hate it or love it. Of course, it also works with Microsoft’s latest Surface Pen and Surface Dial so that’s good news if you’re into that. It is a little heavier, though, weighing in at a little over 1.5kg for the 13.5-inch model and a little over 1.9kg for the 15-inch variant.
But, all this power and sexiness does come at a pretty high cost. Here’s what the Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5-inch costs:
13.5-inch, Intel Core i5-7300U, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, Intel HD Graphics 620 — USD1,499 (around RM6,326)
13.5-inch, Intel Core i7-8650U, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, GTX1050 — USD1,999 (around RM8,436)
13.5-inch, Intel Core i7-8650U, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, GTX1050 — USD2,499 (around RM10,547)
13.5-inch, Intel Core i7-8650U, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, GTX1050 — USD2,999 (around RM12,657)
Here’s what the Surface Book 2 15-inch costs:
15-inch, Intel Core i7-8650U, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, GTX1060 — USD2,499 (around RM10,547)
15-inch, Intel Core i7-8650U, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, GTX1060 — USD2,899 (around RM12,243)
15-inch, Intel Core i7-8650U, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, GTX1060 — USD3,299 (around RM13,923)
For more info on the Surface Book 2 and its pricing options, head on over to Microsoft.com.