In what some would call a surprise announcement, Microsoft has unveiled the much anticipated Surface Book 2, 2 in 1 laptop. With content creators, designers, and PC gamers requiring more and more horsepower for demanding tasks, the two-year-old Surface book could be perceived as a bit long in the tooth. And while the Surface Book is a solid 2 in 1, people still wanted more out of their device. Microsoft says the Surface Book 2, “removes the barrier between the desktop and the laptop by giving mobile professionals the power of a desktop, the versatility of a tablet, and the freedom of a light and thin laptop…”

The appearance of the SB2 compared to the original looks to be identical with its silver magnesium case and the familiar Muscle Wire hinge making its way forward as well. When closed, due to the special hinge, it looks like a book closed over a pencil as there as a gap towards the hinge side which shrinks to nothing as it nears the opposite end. The keyboard also looks the same and uses LED backlit keys for ease of use in low light situations. Ports on the outside consist of two USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) Type-A, and one USB Type-C. It also has a UHS-II SDXC card reader and for audio a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Surface Book 2 will come in two main options; either the 13.5”, 3000 x 2000 PixelSense display (found in the original SB), or now in a 15” 3240 x 2160 Pixelsense Display. Both options are 10-point multi-touch capacitive screens and still use a 3:2 ratio instead of the more popular 16:9. The monitor supports the Surface Pen and Surface Dial on-screen support. Microsoft worked with Adobe for increase integration between the Surface Book 2 and Adobe Creative Cloud with new Surface Dial functionality in Photoshop letting users to more easily access and change your most frequent brush settings.

The latest SB2 is now powered by Intel’s 8th Generation Core processors and offer NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB in the 13.5" model, or GTX 1060 6GB discrete graphics options in the larger 15" version. The graphics upgrades are a significant update from the original which shipped with a GT 940MX, but the new models appear to follow the thermal design of Performance Base version of the Surface Book which shipped with a GTX 965M as a mid-cycle upgrade. If a discrete video card isn’t necessary, the CPUs had Intel HD/UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPUs. With the use of more powerful discrete GPUs, 1080p PC gaming at 60 FPS is possible according to Microsoft. With this, the SB2 is ready for Windows Mixed Reality applications using a compatible headset and controller.

The two CPU options are a 7th Generation i5-7300U with 2C/4T sporting a 2.6 GHz base clock and up to 3.5 GHz Turbo, and the 8th Generation i7 8650U with 4C/8, a base clock of 1.9 GHz and Turbo to 4.2 GHz. Microsoft says the SB2 will provide “all-day” battery life – up to 17 hours of video playback with the i5 version. No mention of how long it will last with more intense use or through testing software but are quick to share it is 70% more than the latest MacBook Pro. Storage options range from a 256GB SSD to a 1TB SSD, while RAM capacity is either 8GB/16GB of LPDDR3-1866.

On the multimedia side of things, there is a 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video and an 8MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p Full HD video. The front-facing camera has IR capabilities since the SB2 works with Microsoft Hello. Audio input put is handled by dual stereo microphones while there are two front-facing speakers with Dolby Audio Premium. Wireless connectivity is integrated and supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac as well as Bluetooth 4.1 LE. The 15" model has Xbox Wi-Fi Direct built in for gaming with compatible controllers as well.

Pricing starts at $1499 for the smaller model, and $2499 for the new 15" version. The Surface Book 2 13" will be available for pre-order starting November 9th in the US and other markets around the world along with the Surface Book 2 15" in the US at the Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com. Delivery begins on November 16th. 

Microsoft Surface Book 2
Warranty Period 1 Year Limited Hardware 
Product Page Microsoft Surface Book 2
Price N/A
Type 2 in 1
Processor Family 7th and 8th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7
Processors i7-7300U 2C/4T (2.6 GHz base, 3.5 GHz Turbo)
i7-8650U 4C/8T (1.9 GHz base, 4.2 GHz Turbo)
Maximum Memory SODIMM
8GB/16GB
Dual Channel
LPDDR3-1866
Network Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Internal Storage 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD
Available Graphics Integrated: Intel HD 620 or UHD 620
Discrete: NVIDIA GTX1050 (13.5") or GTX 1060 (15")
Expansion Slots 1 x UHS-II SDXC Card Reader
Display 13.5", 3000 x 2000 resolution PixelSense Display
15" 3240x 2160 resolution, PixelSense Display 

Both 10-point multi-touch G5
Ports and Connectors 2 x USB3.0 (5 Gbps) Type-A
1 x USB Type-C
3.5" headphone jack
2 Surface Connect
Input Device Backlit keyboard with function key control
Optional Surface Pen
Optional Surface Dial
Camera 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video
8MP front-facing camera with 1080p Full HD vido
Dual Microphones
Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
Power Details not listed
Dimensions
(W x D x H)
13.5" (i5) 12.3" x 9.14" x 0.51-0.90"
13.5" (i5) 12.3" x 9.14" x 0.59-0.90"
15" (i7) 13.5" x 9.87" x 0.59-0.90"
Weight 13.5" Starting at 3.38 lbs including keyboard
15" Starting at 4.2 lbs including keyboard

Related Reading:

Source: Microsoft

POST A COMMENT

102 Comments

View All Comments

  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Especially considering the close to no repairability, and the preposterous cost of "official" battery replacement. I'll stick with the yoga 720 thanks. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Insane. Let's hope this time they can garner a recommendation from Anandtech on first release and "earn" that price tag somewhat. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    It doesn't seem that insane to me - this is capable of being a Macbook Pro competitor in every sense of the word. At $2400 on the MBP, you only get a Radeon 555 too; that's many, many times weaker than a 6GB GTX 1060. I'd take the Surface Book's tradeoffs over the 15" MBP - it has a lot of advantages. The screen is invaluable and incomparable if you need it, the extra GPU grunt is a big deal, and if their battery estimates are good (they were last year), they should outdo the Macbook Pro by a touch. It's more expensive, but there's value there. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    I should clarify - I envy these products and I may want one but the 15" Surface Book is too much for me. In that sense, it is insane. In the picture of the overall market, though, especially if you accept Microsoft is targeting Apple, its placement isn't quite as outrageous. If I bought one, I would consider springing for the 13", although I think the entire Surface lineup is compelling. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    It is insane because the price is twice what it should actually cost. It's like selling 5 dollar bills for 10 dollars. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    I mean, the luxury end of the market, in every market ever, commands luxury prices. Threadripper only costs like a couple hundred to make iirc, and they're selling it for $1000. It costs far more than what it could cost, but it's perfectly acceptable due to market dynamics from both AMD and Intel.

    Some houses cost far more than others despite being comparable in total space etc. because of various luxuries. I think a $100,000 car is far too expensive to ever be reasonable, but people are going to continue making $100,000 cars because there's a segment of people who want $100,00 cars, damn the diminishing returns.

    The Yoga 720 is a nice laptop, and ~$800-1200 is certainly the sweet spot "value" point of the market for premium products, but they can't do everything a Surface Book can, and a Yoga 720 does not have the same level of polish. It's absolutely subject to diminishing returns (again, I'm not buying a $2500 laptop personally), but there will always be a segment of people who are.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    I wouldn't say TR comes at a premium. It costs twice as much as a ryzen with half the cores, even though it is a product a next level of performance. Do not confuse profit margin with price premium.

    I have no problem with this product being overpriced, I am just pointing out it is not worth the money.

    There is a saying in my country, which roughly translates to "the price is as big as the idiocy".

    "but they can't do everything a Surface Book can" - same hardware, same software capabilities. Plus the ability to upgrade and repair. Not only can it do everything the surface can (including the stylus), but it will definitely serve you lounger.

    If you want polish, go dry a turd, put a layer of varnish on it, then polish it. So shiny, so nice. So special.

    You cannot compare the status upgrade you get from owning a 250k (because come on, 100k ain't that much really) car with what you get out of paying 1500$ extra for m$'s lousy brand. The former makes you a big shot, the latter makes you an idiotic wannabe :) That car would be a total chick magnet, whereas chicks only get impressed by tablets in stupid ads made by tablet makers. Finally, such cars are mostly for show, whereas people buy such hardware to actually use it, which is why despite all the hype surface sales aren't booming, and the entire line will probably EOL soon, because most of the fanatical idiots are already shopping crapple. They wouldn't really sell any of those if idiocy was not considered "the norm".
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    In fact, the yoga can do more, because it also has a thunderbolt port. Reply
  • gerz1219 - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Who's selling a better laptop (in terms of specs, build quality, design and overall experience) for half the price? Reply
  • niva - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Yeah, I want a Surface Pro too, but I can't justify the cost... been in this situation since the Surface Pro first came out. I really want one to sketch on, but it's for rich people! Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now