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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  • Gunbuster - Thursday, October 19, 2017 - link

    Cite your own reply "My corporation does not provide them" there you go, see why they failed. Corps I see deploy Dell, HP, Lenovo and have an option for Mac they give to people who want to feel like a fancy pants.
  • Reflex - Thursday, October 19, 2017 - link

    Other corporations I know of do supply them, and they have the ability to expense them here with org approval. It really depends on the need, I do not know of any large corporations that supply only a single solution, usually there is a baseline (for us that is usually HP or Dell, formerly Lenovo) and then there are other options depending on role.

    A lot of our product managers use Surface devices as they find them more useful to their job role. It's not a 'standard' configuration, but given their needs they make sense in that role. The same goes for Macs and developers who work in Eclipse, its not standard and takes a special request, but if the role justifies it is provided or accommodated.
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    The U class of cpus don't support adding an external GPU once it already has a card due to a lack of lanes.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Please give proof of this - For one thing Thunderbolt is used by Apple and Apple is widely used in corporate. The comment "filling the port with hot glue" totally makes this invalid. No corporation would ever do that - maybe kids that hate Microsoft / Intel would.
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    1) Apple is not widely used in corporate environments. In fact their market penetration in that space is considerably worse than in the consumer space. Not sure where you got the impression they had a major place in the corporate market.

    2) If you have no way to securely disable a port that can compromise security via a single plug in device, what choice do you have aside from physically disabling it? I have seen that done on more than one occasion in regards to TB ports for systems that have to be secure. Newer UEFI BIOS implementations are making that less necessary since TB mode can be disabled but not everyone has implemented that level of granularity.

    Exposing the PCIe bus, which effectively bypasses security methods such as Bitlocker, is a bad thing for any computer that holds sensitive data.
  • id4andrei - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Maybe MS envisions an AMD powered SB in the future. Why lock out of this option with TB? Also, TB use is niche at best. USB C is indeed the future, not necessarily with TB on board.
  • Reflex - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Honestly, even in the consumer space TB use cases are niche. In the corporate space it is undesirable due to security concerns.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - link

    Do you realize that Thunderbolt 3 is superset of USB C - it does everything that USB C does and more. Blindly saying that TB is not necessary the future because AMD does not currently support it is wrong - AMD will have to support TB one day.
  • id4andrei - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    Last time I checked it is proprietary Intel tech. Is Intel allowing AMD to implement it?
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    There is no roadmap even suggesting that USB will be succeeded by TB. They do different things well, and much like FireWire TB is likely to be used primarily by a niche group of users with specific use cases that are not adequately satisfied by USB.

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