Microsoft reveals Surface Book 2 hybrid tablets, claims they're twice as powerful as Apple...

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 2017
Microsoft is continuing its attempts to compete against Apple's MacBook Pro and iPad Pro lines with an updated version of its tablet-notebook hybrid, with the Surface Book 2 boasting a new larger model and a USB-C port, alongside expected performance improvements.

Microsoft Surface Book 2


Two models of the Surface Book 2 are on offer, with the earlier 13-inch size accompanied by a larger 15-inch variant. The 13-inch model features a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 3,000 by 2,000, while the 15-inch version offers a resolution of 3,240 by2,160, with both having an aspect ratio of 3:2, a contrast ratio of 1,600:1, and 10-point multitouch.

As for the performance, Microsoft claims the new Surface Book 2 is five times more powerful than the original model, and twice as powerful as a MacBook Pro. Microsoft states this is due to the use of 8th-generation Intel Core processors and more powerful Nvidia discrete graphics options, though there is a fair amount of variation in power across the product range.

The 13-inch model can be supplied with a 7th-generation Kaby Lake Core i5-7300U dual-core processor clocked at 3.2GHz or an 8th-generation Kaby-Lake R Core i7-8650U quad-core processor, clocked at 4.2GHz. The Core i5 model is equipped with 8 gigabytes of RAM, 256 gigabytes of SSD storage, and integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, while the Core i7 has 8 gigabyte and 16 gigabyte RAM options, up to 1 terabyte of SSD storage, and adds an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2 gigabyte discrete GPU in the keyboard section alongside the integrated graphics.

The 15-inch version is offered only with the Core i7 processor with 16 gigabytes of RAM, but still includes options for 256 gigabytes, 512 gigabytes, and 1 terabyte capacities of SSD storage. Again, integrated and discrete graphics are on offer, with the Intel UHD Graphics 620 paired with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU, equipped with its own 6 gigabytes of VRAM.

Both versions continue to use the design of a tablet for the top section that can be attached to a keyboard section to turn it into a notebook, with the base also increasing the tablet's capabilities with an additional battery and extra ports, as well as housing a discrete GPU. The tablet section offers up to five hours of usage for both models, with this extending to up to 17 hours of video playback when used with the base, which Microsoft claims is 70 percent more than a MacBook Pro.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Laptop


Alongside wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE, the 15-inch model also include Xbox Wireless built-in, allowing Xbox One controllers to connect to the Surface Book 2 for gaming. When the two sections are combined, the connectivity options include two USB 3.0 Type A ports, an SDXC card reader, a headphone jack, magnetically-connected power, and for the first time, a USB Type-C connection.

Though the addition of USB Type-C is likely to be seen as progress, it is notable that Microsoft did not include Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, a technology that is slowly being adopted by other notebook manufacturers, as well as Apple. The omission effectively excludes the Surface Book 2 from connecting with a range of Thunderbolt 3 devices, including the ability to use an external GPU enclosure, leaving those wanting to use the Surface Book 2 for intense graphical purposes, like gaming, stuck using only the GPUs included within the devices.

Support for the Surface Pen and Surface Dial are also included, as well as headsets and controllers within Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality program.

For video, a rear 8-megapixel camera with autofocus is accompanied by a 5-megapixel version, with both capable of recording 1080p video, and the front-facing version able to use the Windows Hello face authentication system. Dual microphones and front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium are also included.

The Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge, the unique mechanism used in the Surface Book line, has apparently been updated to take the heavier load of the 15-inch tablet. The system used to connect the tablet to the keyboard section has also been redesigned to make it faster to attach and separate the two components.

Microsoft will ship both sizes of the Surface Book 2 from November 16, with the company accepting preorders from November 9. Though full pricing details have yet to be revealed, it has been confirmed the range will start from $1,499 for the lowest-specification model.

While this is named as the second generation of the Surface Book line, some may consider it to be the third release. After the original's launch in late 2015, Microsoft updated the Surface Book in late 2016 with new processors and increased battery life.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 187member
    hahahaha
    adamcchiaSpamSandwichrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 67
    Wow...

    13 inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar - $1799

    CPU: i5-7267U (2 cores 4 threads)
    GPU: Intel Iris Plus 650
    RAM: 8 GB LPDDR3
    SSD: 256 GB

    13.5 inch Surface Book 2 - $1999

    CPU: i7-8650U (4 cores 8 threads)
    GPU: GTX 1050 with 2 GB GDDR5
    RAM: 8 GB LPDDR3
    SSD: 256 GB

    or...

    13 inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar - $2499

    CPU: i7-7567U (2 cores 4 threads)
    GPU: Intel Iris Plus 650
    RAM: 16 GB LPDDR3
    SSD: 512 GB

    13.5 inch Surface Book 2 - $2499

    CPU: i7-8650U (4 cores 8 threads)
    GPU: GTX 1050 with 2 GB GDDR5
    RAM: 16 GB LPDDR3
    SSD: 512 GB
    edited October 2017 repressthisNameo_jahbladearthurbacommand_fVnRal
  • Reply 3 of 67
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Apple should make a Mac tablet.
    cali
  • Reply 4 of 67
    So can all the complainers switch to windows now and go complain on their forums? Please...
    tmaylkrupp[Deleted User]Solipscooter63spice-boybb-15brucemccalijurassic
  • Reply 5 of 67
    appex said:
    Apple should make a Mac tablet.
    Uh... No.
    tmay[Deleted User]Solipscooter63bb-15calitechconcrepressthisNameo_anome
  • Reply 6 of 67
    Also, I wonder where they got the idea for that wallpaper... 
    calirepressthisNameo_StrangeDaysjahbladechiacornchipwatto_cobrafastasleepjony0
  • Reply 7 of 67
    croprcropr Posts: 925member
    So can all the complainers switch to windows now and go complain on their forums? Please...
    If it would run Linux I might consider such a Surface.
    arthurba
  • Reply 8 of 67
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,024member
    It's good for Apple to have strong competition. The specs on these sound good because they're one Intel release cycle ahead of Apple's comparable offerings. Somebody will like these, but no amount of silicon wizardry is going to change the fact that these are still Windows devices. That simple fact and fundamental difference makes these a non-starter for me and many other Apple customers. Wait six months or so and Apple will have comparable hardware, or switch over to Microsoft now and suffer an eternity of aggravation and annoyance. Very easy decision.
    tmaypscooter63bb-15calibdkennedy1002repressthisjahbladearthurbachiamacky the macky
  • Reply 9 of 67
    Twice as fast.

    I didn't know the latest Intel CPUs were twice as fast as the previous model. Oh wait, they're pulling the same stunt as last year - comparing integrated graphics in a MBP to a dedicated GPU in the Surface and claiming 2x as fast.
    pscooter63SpamSandwichcalijurassicbdkennedy1002repressthisNameo_jahbladechiacornchip
  • Reply 10 of 67
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,829member
    In the end, it still runs Windows.... Do Surface tablets still have the horrible battery life? Overheating? Just not having good hardware to begin with?
    [Deleted User]Solipscooter63calirepressthiscornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 67
    cropr said:
    So can all the complainers switch to windows now and go complain on their forums? Please...
    If it would run Linux I might consider such a Surface.
    Why? The only reason to buy a Surface is to avoid OEM crapware.

    Otherwise, save the additional cash and buy a Lenovo, HP, Dell, Etc.

    I think Dell sells some with Linux preloaded if you want to go that route.

    If you go Windows get the Enterprise Edition, unless you want Microsoft’s thermometer up your a.s.s monitoring everything you do.
    calirepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 67
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,829member
    appex said:
    Apple should make a Mac tablet.
    I think you should just stop making suggestions....
    [Deleted User]SolicalirepressthisanomeStrangeDaysjahbladechiacornchipmacky the macky
  • Reply 13 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,958member
    So can all the complainers switch to windows now and go complain on their forums? Please...
    Because of that evil Apple Tax don't you know.
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,958member

    dewme said:
    It's good for Apple to have strong competition. The specs on these sound good because they're one Intel release cycle ahead of Apple's comparable offerings. Somebody will like these, but no amount of silicon wizardry is going to change the fact that these are still Windows devices. That simple fact and fundamental difference makes these a non-starter for me and many other Apple customers. Wait six months or so and Apple will have comparable hardware, or switch over to Microsoft now and suffer an eternity of aggravation and annoyance. Very easy decision.
    Strong competition? For those who consider specs alone I guess maybe. For those who care about ease of use, security, design, longevity, support, and a host of other rather subjective criteria, not so much competition. It’s like Ford and Chevy fanatics arguing over torque, horse power, cubic inches. I have a 2016 F-150 XLT with the 2.7 EcoBoost engine, twin turbo chargers, and a aluminum body (700 lbs lighter than a steel body). My son has a 2015 F-150 XLT with the 5.0 liter V8 and steel body. Guess what? I can beat his bigger engine off the line because I’m lighter and have more torque with the turbochargers. 
    macxpresstmayking editor the gratecalirepressthisjahbladecornchipgatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 67
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,037member

    God, those GPU choices would be so preferable over Apples to me. Apart from FCPX, the 1060 is just hilariously above the Radeon Pro 560, even the 1050 in the 13" is. 
    repressthisarthurba
  • Reply 16 of 67
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,874member
    macxpress said:
    appex said:
    Apple should make a Mac tablet.
    I think you should just stop making suggestions....
    He might have a point.  As nice as the iPad Pro & Macbook Pros are, maybe the future of the tablet & laptop is the marriage between the two.  
  • Reply 17 of 67
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,829member
    tipoo said:

    God, those GPU choices would be so preferable over Apples to me. Apart from FCPX, the 1060 is just hilariously above the Radeon Pro 560, even the 1050 in the 13" is. 

    What are you using a 13" laptop for that needs higher end graphics? Please don't tell me you're using FCP on it....
    edited October 2017 repressthismacplusplusStrangeDayschiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 67
    Why are they comparing to Mc Book? Just go make a good windows tablet and run with it. Ops my bad, they will fall on thier face if they do run...
    rich gregorycaliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 67
    I understand why Microsoft can’t compare directly to their OEMs but that doesn’t apply to tech media. How do these devices compare to a top of the line XPS or HP’s best machine? I have to imagine most people buying Surfaces are already in the Microsoft ecosystem.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 20 of 67
    It is nice to see Microsoft trying but IMHO not even getting close to the mark.
    I'm sure that some of these will sell especially into 'Windows only' shops.
    By some, I mean a million or so. Hardly earth shattering.

    Sadly, no matter how good their hardware is, they are lumbered with Windows.
    Many of us here have been or are forced to use Windows on a daily basis.
    For me, it was bearable until Window 10 came on the scene. Now they have you by the short and curlies and locked into their perpetual update ECO-system.
    Even if an update bricks the device, AFAIK, there is a clause in their EULA that prevents you from filing suit against them.

    That alone should make people think long and hard about buying one of these.

    It seems to me that the Dell, Lenovo and even the HP alternatives are more viable.
    watto_cobra
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