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 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
Dual Channel
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
(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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  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    DDR4-2400, LPDDR3-2133
  • drothgery - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    the 8xxx part on this thing is a Kaby Lake Refresh part, not Coffee Lake
  • willis936 - Thursday, October 19, 2017 - link

    Intel mixed two designs in one series? Astounding.
  • anactoraaron - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Did they ever fix the cpu cooling on these? I had to return a 1st gen i7 512 as when working in camera raw and lightroom converting raw files to jpg caused the cpu temp to spike at 95c. The fan was loud, but oddly I couldn't figure out where the intake and exhaust were. Then I realized that there was no intake or exhaust area. Explained the high temps and was promptly returned.

    Also, everyone here is in agreement in regards to the 15 inch model. Way too expensive.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    The 13"s 1050 is already ahead of the 15" rMBPs best Radeon pro 560, and the 1060 is just hilariously above...Come on Apple with those GPU choices, I'd prefer the OS, but the GPUs are making it hard...
  • mdriftmeyer - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Apple's focused on Custom Vega for the iMac Pro December launch and updates to the 12nm Vega for Laptops next Spring. The only other option is for Apple to finally go full Raven Ridge APU.
  • Rictorhell - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Extremely curious to know what the pricing is for the maxed 15" version. Especially if it "starts" at $2500.
  • Manch - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Right now the only differentiator is the SSD size 256 @ 2499, 512 @ 2899, 1TB @ 3299. All have 16GB ram, 1060/6GB. Mouse 99, dock 199, pen 99, and dial 99. Maxed out is 3k, 3.4K, 3.8K respectively. I don't think the laptop prices are unfair but the acc.....yikes. 99 mouse?
  • Rictorhell - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    The thing about this kind of system is that it's always IMPOSSIBLE or near impossible to upgrade it after the fact, so you MUST consider that when making your purchase. If you don't get the maximum ram, etcetera that you need at the time of purchase, there is no way you are going to be able to upgrade, on your own, after the fact.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    They are getting people on these PCIe SSD's a Samsung 960 PCIe SSD can be purchase at Amazon for $443,

    the low price 13 in is misleading - it a dual core i5 with integrated graphics - and the 13in models on have 1050's instead of 1060's

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