"Surface Book 2 hands-on: "13.5" and 15" take fight to Apple

Engadget

Engadget

Over on the Windows Blog, Microsoft's head of devices, Panos Panay, writes that the Surface Book 2 is a laptop meant to "push the limits of what technology can do". The disclaimer here is that number only describes continuous video playback, but Apple rates both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro at up to 10 hours of video playback, so it's still a jump if true. "Surface Book 2 with the 13" weighs 3.38lbs and the 15" Surface Book 2 at 4.2lbs. Users will still be able to detach the display portion of the device and use it as a tablet, or have it attached to the keyboard and have a traditional laptop experience. The touchscreen PixelSense display promises a 1600:1 contrast ratio and a resolution of 3000 x 2000 or 3240 x 2160 for the 13in and 15in variants respectively - both in the Surface range's trademark 3:2 resolution. If you want to connect the newer mode to an external display, you'll have to shell out for Microsoft's Surface Dock, which the company is now selling for nearly £200 at time of writing.

Surface Book 2 is ready for Windows Mixed Reality Ultra. Two versions of the new Surface Book 2 - one 13.5 inches and the other 15 inches - will go on sale next month, starting at US$1499.

Look closely, and you'll see the main external change: the addition of a USB Type-C port. This time around a single USB Type-C port is included, alongside two Type-A 3.1 ports. The Core i5 gets Intel HD Graphics 620, while the Core i7 pairs that GPU with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB of its own memory. The hardware has refinements and once again Microsoft trolled Apple by calling the Surface Book 2 is twice powerful as the MacBook Pro.

Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) with 7th Generation Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and integrated graphics. "The 15" measures 13.5 x 9.87 x 0.9 inches and 13" measures at 12.3 x 9.14 x 0.9 inches.

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Microsoft has kept the same aluminium unibody design and dynamic fulcrum hinge that debuted with the first-generation Surface Book back in 2015. The 15-inch model has ventilation along the display for fans but the 13.5-inch model has fanless.

There's also an Xbox Elite wireless receiver built into the 15-inch Surface Book, so you can use the Xbox's controller to navigate virtual space in concert with with Microsoft-certified MR/VR headsets or while simply playing games.

Surface Book 2 ships on November 16; preordering begins on November 9 for the 13-inch model worldwide (15-inch in the USA only). While you wouldn't want to buy either laptop with gaming as the focus (you can clearly get more bang for your buck elsewhere), this makes the 15-inch rig a tempting option if you don't want to give up your game library just to try Microsoft's removable tablet design. The name is a slight misnomer, as the original got an upgrade late past year - though that was more of a refresh, augmenting the internals with a new Nvidia GeForce GPU and additional battery life.

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