Surface Book 2 Ups the Ante on Performance

By Bob Raikes
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Microsoft has launched the latest version of its Surface range, the Book 2. The new device uses the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor and the notebooks now include Nvidia eForce GTX 1050 and 1060 discrete graphics options with memory from 2GB to 6GB.

Microsoft claims that computing power is up to double that of the current Macbook Pro. Surface Book 2 with the 13” display weighs 3.38lbs (1.5kg) and the 15” Surface Book 2 is at 4.2lbs (1.9kg) and battery life is up to 17 hours in video playback (notebook mode) and 5 hours in tablet mode. The versions with integrated graphics have 39W PSUs, while those with the Nvidia GPUs have a 95W unit and both have 5W USB charging.

The previous version of the Book was criticised by some for running some games slowly, but Microsoft said that games such as Gears of War and be run at 1080P60. The notebook should be a good platform for the Windows Mixed Reality technology.

The display on the 15″ unit has 3240 x 2160 resolution (3:2 aspect) and the 13.5″ has 3000 x 2000. Both have 1,600:1 contrast, are based on IPS technology and feature 10 point touch as well as supporting the Surface Dial ‘puck’. Memory goes up to 16GB and SSD capacity up to 1TB. Connectivity includes a USB Type-C port and dual USB-A ports (3.1 Gen 1) and there is a lot for an SD card.

Pricing starts at $1,499 for the 13″ model and $2,499 for the 15″ and will start shipping on November 16th. Pricing goes up to $3,299 for the top version.

There’s a video online.

Analyst Comment

Microsoft continues to impress with its hardware. This is not the lightest of notebooks, but it is powerful and could prove attractive to grumpy Macbook owners. I was personally tempted by the original Surface Book, but was put off by some of the reviews on Amazon. After a difficult introduction, the reviews got better, although there is still some concern about the quality of Microsoft’s warranty support. (I went with Lenovo, although that company’s support didn’t turn out to be great). (BR)