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

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Source: Microsoft

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  • Freakie - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    It's priced reasonably for the spot in the market it is going for, it's true. This is going to tempt a LOT of creatives to switch from the MBP to the SB2. A lot of creatives I talk to (a couple dozen) are disappointed with the latest 15" MBP and are actively considering switching to a Windows computer and this SB2 is definitely going to win quite a few of them. Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    People are so spoiled these days, I remember purchasing a 300Mhz Pentium II Dell Inspiron 7000. At it's time it was fastest notebook you can purchase and it cost around $3500. It currently sits in my closet - runs Windows 98 or maybe 95 - and I have not boot it up for over a decade. Reply
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Not sure about $3500, but my OG Pentium 100mhz with 32mb RAM, a sound blaster, cd, and 1gb hard drive cost $1400 without the monitor back in 1996. It was running w95.

    In 2002, I bought a top of the line Compac EVO laptop with a Pentium M and 1gb of Ram for my 3rd year in college. It cost me around $1200 from my part time job.

    Get it? Prices go down with time. Parts don't cost manufacturers now nearly a much as they did back then.

    When it comes to the Surface Book, you can get the same top of the line and quality specs from a $1000 - $1250 laptop. Yes, the Surface has nice extras, but are these really worth more than a grand? Are they? It's not even serviceable for God's sake!!!!!!!

    All this markup for design and exclusivity? Are you really OK with the kind of impact this pricing and packaging model has on the market as a whole??

    This isn't about eliminating the race to the bottom anymore. It's really frustrating to see people being OK with paying high $ for decent (NOT exceptional) DISPOSABLE hardware. The other "affordable" gadgets are still being sold with crappy keyboards and screens, mind you. The benefits of mass production are NOT for the consumer anymore.

    Your Inspiron and my EVO still work for this day. This is NOT what these "modern design" PCs are about. The value proposition just isn't nearly as it was, and people like Samus, iSheep, and iSheep wannabes (aka, Android and PC users who pay more just to say theirs cost the same or more than Apple stuff) are eating it all up.

    This is CONSUMER hardware, NOT pro hardware that pays for itself from the very first project.

    No thanks, I'll stick with decently priced Probooks, Latitudes and ThinkPads without the bells and whistles. You know, stuff that you can actually fix and upgrade on the fly, and look good doing that.
    Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Keep in mind - the Dell 7000 was a laptop and not a desktop - big difference.

    yes you can get a notebook cheaper - with similar specs - except not with new 8th generation CPU's. and Gigabyte and MSI notebooks are twice as thick. This is what you essentially paying for. For this thing becomes basically the same form factor as iPad Pro but 15in and with much better performance. Maybe in another 5 years or so every laptop will be like. I have Samsung Tab Pro S - which is basically in similar form factors as the Surface Pro - almost as light as my Samsung Tab S - but big difference can run full Photoshop CS5 and not the online stuff.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    8th gen Intel is a $50-100 markup. The 1060 6gb is about the same. The larger screen is what, $50 more?

    That's $250 to $300, and probably doesn't cost Microsoft as much. You think this warrants $1000 markup over the 13" ?????? Wow. Just wow.

    I normally don't comment on these articles since I don't care what others decide to buy and how much they pay for this. But this IS affecting me as a consumer since other OEMs are watching consumer demand closely and now demand more for what usually costs less.

    I just don't understand this. WHY IN GOD'S NAME ARE YOU PEOPLE OMAR WITH THIS?????
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Why are you people *OK* with this...

    Where did "omar" come from.... thanks, Sammy.
    Reply
  • StructureDr - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    Spec for spec the price difference is $300-500 between 13" and 15".

    The illusion is created because the entry 13" has a dual core i5 option - which doesn't exist for the 15"
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, October 22, 2017 - link

    I've been using my 'disposable' Surface Pro for five years, now. That's a lot more than most people get out of a computer.
    Anyone who buys these $3000 computers are expecting it to last six years without a problem.
    Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Lamborghini’s have ridiculous starting prices too. For what these devices do, they do it better than anything else. So they can charge whatever they want. Many MacBook Pro’s can be spec’d to $3000. Hell, even a Clevo can cost thousands.

    For someone so price sensitive and ignorant of features and form, you are better off sticking with an Acer or Ideapad.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    What features are you talking about? It doesn't even have thunderbolt.

    What form? They are all the same form, tablet screen and tablet keyboard.

    100 grams heavier? Not a problem, since I am neither anorexic nor grossly overweight.

    The only prominent feature this garbage has is planned obsolescence. Couple of years of daily use and the battery will be trash. You will have to either throw it away or pay half its price for a 50$ battery replacement. If that doesn't make you a winner, nothing does.

    The problem is not the price, but what you get for it. The problem is the idiocy, which you bravely and eagerly rush to champion for, sir Dumbalot.
    Reply

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