Surface Book 2 Review; A 2-in-1 Masterpiece by Microsoft

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Apart from being biggest software developerof times, Microsoft has emerged as a laptop developing firm in the recent past. Surface book was released by Microsoft as a modern laptop few years back and since then, Chromebooks, Surface Books and Apples Mac Books are in a hefty competition.

Microsoft has recently launched its surface Book 2 which has hit the market with a great bang. The laptop cum tablet cum drawing board starts from 2499$ and provides some spectacular specifications apart from being upgraded to a great new level as compared to its predecessor surfacebook.

Specifications

Microsoft speaks really high of specifications of this machine, though each upgrade costs a few extra bucks. Technical specifications straight from Microsoft official source are listed for better comprehension of this machines capabilities.

Tech specs
Dimensions Surface Book 2 13.5”

12.3” x 9.14” x 0.51”-0.90”

Surface Book 2 15”

13.5” x 9.87” x 0.568-0.90”

Display Surface Book 2 3.5” PixelSense™ Display

Screen: 13.5” PixelSense™ Display

Resolution: 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI)

Aspect ratio: 3:2

Contrast ratio: 1600:1

Touch: 10 point multi-touch G5

Surface Book 2 15” PixelSense™ Display

Screen: 15”PixelSense™ Display

Resolution: 3240 x 2160, (260 PPI)

10 point multi-touch G5

Aspect ratio: 3:2

Contrast ratio: 1600:1

Memory Surface Book 2 13.5”

8GB or 16GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR3

Surface Book 2 15”

16GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR3

Processor Surface Book 2 13.5”

7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-7300U dual-core processor, 3.5GHz Max Turbo

8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U quad-core processor, 4.2GHz Max Turbo

Surface Book 2 15”

8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U quad-core processor, 4.2GHz Max Turbo

Security HW TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise securityEnterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
Software Windows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bitOffice 30-day trial
Sensors Ambient light sensor

Proximity sensor

Accelerometer

Gyroscope

Magnetometer

What’s in the box Power Supply

Surface Book 2 13.5” PixelSense™ Display

39W (integrated GPU) or 95W (discrete GPU) Surface Power

Supply w/USB-A (5W) charging port

Quick Start Guide

Safety and warranty documents

Surface Book 2 15” PixelSense™ Display

95W Surface Power

Supply w/USB-A (5W) charging port

Quick Start Guide

Safety and warranty documents

Weight Surface Book 2 13.5” PixelSense™ Display

Intel® Core™ i5: Starting at 3.38 lbs (1,534 g) including keyboard

Intel® Core™ i7: Starting at 3.62 lbs (1,642 g) including keyboard

Surface Book 2 15” PixelSense™ Display

Intel® Core™ i7: Starting at 4.20 lbs (1,905 g) including keyboard

Storage2 Solid state drive (SSD) options: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD
Battery life Up to 17 hours of video playback
Graphics Surface Book 2 13.5” PixelSense™ Display

Intel® HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU (on Intel® i5-7300U model)

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 discrete GPU w/2GB GDDR5 graphics memory (on Intel® i7-8650U models)

Surface Book 2 15” PixelSense™ Display

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5 graphics memory

Connections 2 x USB type-A (version 3.1 Gen 1)

1 x USB type-C (version 3.1 Gen 1 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0)

3.5mm headphone jack

2 x Surface Connect ports

Full-size SD™ card reader

Compatible with Surface Dial* on- and off-screen interaction

Cameras, video, and audio Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)

5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video

8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video

Dual microphones

Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium

Support for Windows Sonic for Headphones

Wireless Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible

Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology

Xbox Wireless built-in (15” only)

Exterior Casing: Magnesium

Colour: Silver

Physical buttons: Volume, Power

Warranty 1-year limited hardware warranty
Best-in-class support from Microsoft Store 30-day return policy

90 days of free technical phone support

12 months in-store support and technical assistance

1 free training session to transfer data and optimize performance

 

Design

Visually, surface book 2 seems similar to its predecessor Surface book. The only visible difference is port selection, which now includes a USB Type-C port alongside two USB 3.0 ports, a Surface Connect and SDXC port.

The trackpad is smaller as compared to a 15 inches screen sized machine. Keyboard is backlit and smooth. The hinge in the middle remains the same as in surface book with the redundant space left between the lid and keyboard, for which Microsoft doesn’t seem to be paying any heed.

Microsoft claims around 17 hrs of battery life while continuous video playback on this machine. However, this claim of battery timings is being a little ambitious when working with dedicated GPU.

Improvements in CPU & GPU

Microsoft seems to be really working on improvements in CPU & GPU in surface book 2.This machine is equipped withlatest Intel 8th gen Core i7 processor and a dedicated graphics chip in the form of NVidia’s GTX 1060 for the 15-inch version and GTX 1050 for 13 inches model. These improvements dictate high performance in gaming, video editing, and other CPU-intensive tasks.

Price vs Performance

15 inches Surface Book 2 starts at 2499$, which is way more for a laptop and is hence considered as a surprisingly expensive laptop. The prices may roll up to 3299$ if you are asking for increase in SSD. Small screen 13 inches version ranges between 1499$ to 1999$ depending on the specifications you order for. Having paid such heavy prices, this laptop is here, never to disappoint you at any point. It looks to be a complete work station, capable of handling gaming at 1080p and 60fps, with a lot of options still open for trial.

Point to highlight here is that in spite of these hefty price tags, Surface pen is not included in the package. You need to spend a 100 bucks more for this pen which are though worth it as it adds to the drawing feature of the laptop, thus giving a boost to its utility.

Utility &Usability

When talking of usability and utility, this laptop has no match. It can be used in four different ways, as anticipated by Microsoft.

Laptop – Full spectrum use of this machine. Works at maximum performance and power

Tablet – Detach your screen from the base to achieve this mode. Power and performance is definitely reduced, but tablet lovers are going to fall for this mode.

View Mode – Flip your screen for view mode where your surface book 2 can be used as a picture frame.

Studio Mode – flip the screen over, lay it down on top of the base, and use it like a drawing table. Microsoft calls it the most interesting feature of this machine. You can still get the full power of the Surface Book and touch screen at the same time.

Verdict

Surface book 2 is a top of the line, high performance laptop for pro users. Although, the price tag is a hefty one, but it renders spectacular specifications and high-end performance in gaming and 3D rendering, making all the bucks spent worth it. In most performance metrics it’s roughly in line with the latest MacBook Pro, which is to say it’s extremely fast and up to almost any task. This machine adjusts into tablet, view and studio mode, increasing its utility and mobility many folds.

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