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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  • Manch - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Everyone is crapping on the price and some are comparing it to yogas with a much cheaper build. Yes, theyre pricey but I don't think its outrageous. The specs are really nice, and it has things that other laptops don't. Namely the removable screen, which is combined with a multipoint interface that rivals a Wacom digitizer. Have you seen the price of those? add that to your cheap alternative and now its not such a bargain. Everybody wants all the bells and whistles and few are willing to pay. By all means please post up something comparable that has the same features if you can find one. Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Yes indeed - and you got to think at price difference between the cheapest and 15 in versions, the cheap $1499 13in does not have NVidia GPU and does not have new Quad Core 8 series i7. This GPU probably takes up the most of price difference. The price difference between the 13in 7 series no dGPU and 13in 8 series with dGPU is around 500. - so going to 15in larger screen resolution probably is reasonable. Reply
  • digiguy - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    To all those that crap on the price of the 15" and compare it to the lonovo yoga, you forget or don't know a very important thing. MS is paying a huge premium for that aspect ratio (this is the first 15" that has it). Many took advantage of the surface pro 3 and 4 screen as MS made that screen almost "mainstream" but every time you want a new screen it's lots of money...
    That's also why Lenovo 25th anniversary thinkpad didn't go with 4:3, it was too expensive as they are not produced anymore. MS at least has the balls to create something new. And the yoga is useless as a tablet or document reader in portrait mode, let alone 2kg vs 800g for the clipboard, so no, it's a different device...
    Reply
  • Laquey - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    There is no comparing the Lenovo Yoga 720 15" with the surface book 2 it's chalk and cheese:

    Starting with the screen the yoga is a 16:9 ratio versus MS 3:2, 3:2 in this space in infinitely better, each MS screen is individually tested and calibrated to sRGB.

    Battery:
    Lenovo starts at 10 hours MS starts at 17. lol? Which product would you rather be plugging into the wall during the middle of the day?

    OS:
    Lenovo: Windows 10 Home
    MS: Windows 10 Pro

    CPU:
    Lenovo: i7 7th Gen
    MS: i7 8th Gen

    Camera:
    Lenovo: 1MP?????!?!?!
    MS: 5MP, 8MP and Infrared.

    GPU:
    Lenovo: 1050 4 GB
    MS: 1060 6GB

    Build quality:
    Lenovo: ok
    MS: damned fine

    Support:
    Well I got a SB1 which had a dead battery. After 20 minutes on the phone with a tech which took 1 minute to do a call back to me I had my new SB1 in my hands and running 36 hours later.

    lol?

    If you can't afford a surface Book or you need Thunderbolt I guess SB 2 is not for you.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    SB is simply a design failure. Yes I had one myself. Removing and reattaching top is annoying and bug prone, also limiting hinge angle. Detached top has almost unusable batery life, and overall mechanism is needlessly complex and makes whole device as thick as my gaming laptop. Whole device is painted magnesium that requires extreme babying.

    Thinkpad yoga is 10 times better overall, except for the screen ratio (reliable, better keyboard, expandable, rugged, way lighter, better pen). And I laugh at MS advertising this as "powerhouse". It is just a ULV convertible laptop with very limited cooling.
    Reply
  • digiguy - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    the thinkpad yoga is unusable in portrait mode because of its aspect ratio and the screen is on another league unless you go with the oled version, which has the same price (around 2500 and more). Convertibles with a 16:9 ratio in general are a nonsense, but nobody except MS has the balls to spend the money necessary to have custom built screens (which is why you then have so many clones taking advantage of the existing line of production...) Reply
  • digiguy - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    PS with the 8th gen CPUs manufacturers can customize the TDP and the 15" version has has a 20+ watt TDP compared to the 15watt in the 13.5" version. And there are even Intel utilities you can use to increase the TDP on your own. Some have pushed it to 45w, getting a full HQ equivalent, if cooling can keep up. Look at this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IAsVlxppu8 Reply
  • Laquey - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    People like you are hilarius, 10 times better hey?

    Removing and attaching the top is annoying and bug prone:
    I've had the top bug out once in two years and that was when MS were rolling out the inintial firmware and software patches for SB1 and hasn't happened since then. It's also not annoying, push a button, done.

    Detached top will get you 3-4 hours of tablet life, considering the device is a laptop first with tablet a clear design second that's not bad at all. If you're doing tablet work more then this device probably isn't your target market.

    The device is light about 1.9KGs which, by the way, is 100 grams+ lighter than the levovo 720 15inch in it's base config. It doesn't require any more babying than any other ultrabook I know of, if you throw this around it's going to break, it's not a toughbook.

    Lenovo isn't reliable, certainly not as much as a fully patched MS SB is and their support is average to awful, yes we have them a enterprise customers.

    The keyboard and pen on the SB are commented on as some of the best in the industry, excellent repsonse and travel. I've talked to numerous creative types who are very attracted to MS hardware for these reasons. That the yogo is expandable is a nice feature but it's still only expandable to the maximum of the SB2 specs. If you choose carefully you won't be bitten here oh and the lenovo certainly isn't more rugged than the SB. If I throw it it will break; hard.

    The SB2 is a powerhouse when it comes to ultrabooks, I think it's best in class on all fronts. Comparing it to the yoga 720 for graphics:

    MS Lenovo
    Cores 1280 768
    GPU Clock 1506 1290
    Memory Speed 8 Gb/s 7Gb/s
    Memory bus width 192 bit 128 bit

    CPU
    Intel 7th gen versus intel 8th gen chalk and cheese, huge jump for multithreaded tasks and with Intel's dual core turbo boost mode I don't see even single or dual core tasks performing better on the 7th gen processor.

    As to cooling, the SB2 13.5 inch i5 range is all passively cooled, take that Lenovo?

    Pull your head out MS hater.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    Im comparing 1st gen surface book to 14"thinkpad yoga, which has comparable 14" screen, wacom pen and weighs 1.3kg (300gr lighter than sb). Both models I had for long term.

    SB's detached top lasted less than 2hrs with my usage and i had to use an external 12v battery. And very obviously Ntrig is much worse than wacom, nothing beats thinkpad keyboard, sb trackpad was very laggy (I havent checked recently, but it was terrible for first two months or so). Thinkpad laptops are vastly more rugged with splashproof keyboard and mil standard certificate (google tortue videos and youll know)

    Finally all laptops are getting 8th gen processors at some point. HP and dell already refreshed theirs and lenovo will soon refresh theirs.

    And I dont care what self-claimed creative people use. They prefer macbooks anyway. I need a practical 2-in-1 device for office work, light web browsing, presentation and inking. I have used MANY devices so far (including most surface devices) and so far TPY is the best for me.
    Reply
  • Manch - Thursday, October 19, 2017 - link

    If WACOM pen is better then why are they using N-Trig tech in their AES solution? hmmm... Reply

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