Microsoft Unveils More Powerful Surface Book Laptop

Surface Precision mouse

On Tuesday, it finally unveiled a sequel: the Surface Book 2, a device similar in concept to the original but with several key improvements.

The PC maker said that the Surface Book 2's specs make it around five times faster than its predecessor - and twice as powerful as the newest MacBook Pro (though Microsoft didn't specify which configuration it was comparing to).

Meet the Surface Book 2, an upgraded version of Microsoft's most powerful laptop, packing an impressive 17 hours battery life and more computing horsepower under the hood. Secondly, the 15-inch model starts at 16GB of RAM, unlike the 13.5-inch model which starts at 8GB of RAM. Like past Surface Books, the machine can be used as a regular notebook, a tablet, a Wacom-esque drawing surface, and in a sort of easel mode thanks to its versatile hinge.

While this device does have a USB-C port and it can charge over that connection, Microsoft is still using the Surface Connect port for providing power. The graphics processor is in the base, so it'll only work if the two halves are connected, but the GTX 1060 has enough power to support virtual reality or mixed reality headsets, and play games smoothly at 1080p resolution.

Surface Book 2 pricing starts at $1,499 (ERP, or estimated retail price) for the lowest end 13.5 inch model, and goes up to $3,299 for the highest end, 1 TB 15-inch model. The laptop also includes two USB 3.1 ports, a full SD-card slot, and headphone jack. Take a look at the video below and hit the link for more details.

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While revenue from the Surface division is down, Panay says that the company remains committed to the unit. With all that said, if you're looking for a professional, powerhouse laptop that can handle everything you throw at it, the Surface Book 2 aims to be just that.

Microsoft's Surface Book has grown long in the tooth, to put it mildly: the base model hasn't been touched since 2015, and even the Performance Base version was really just a higher trim level instead of a true follow-up.

But if you opt for the 15-incher, you get even better graphics: Each 15-inch model includes an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 dGPU with 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory. Battery life stretches to 17 hours (video playback) in a docked configuration and 5 hours in tablet mode. The only real disadvantage that the 15-inch Surface Book 2 has is its size and weight.

Coming to the 13.5-inch model, it has a screen resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels and is powered by the 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor. It lets you connect to three devices and easily switch between them using the toggle on its back, but you will need to connect over USB when using it with macOS and older versions of Windows.

The Surface Book 2 becomes available for pre-order on November 9, and it'll ship out to customers and hit store shelves on November 16.



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