MacBook Air & iPad Pro competitor Surface Book 2 gets quiet update

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2
Microsoft has given its Surface Book 2 line of hybrid tablets a refresh, quietly updating the 13.5-inch model of the tablet-notebook devices with an optional eighth-generation quad-core Intel i5 processor, while at the same time cutting the price of the existing base configuration by $200.




First released in October 2017, the Surface Book 2 lineup has attempted to take on the MacBook Pro and iPad Pro lines by offering both the functionality of a tablet and a notebook using a detachable keyboard, while at the same time offering as much performance as possible. On Sunday, Microsoft finally made an update to the device range's smaller model to make it more attractive to customers looking to acquire a MacBook Air.

The 13.5-inch model was previously offered with a 7th-generation dual-core Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 3.2GHz, or optionally with an 8th-generation quad-core 4.2GHz processor. As part of the changes, a third option is now available providing an 8th-generation Core i5 i5-8350U, a quad-core chip clocked at 3.6GHz.

Combined with 8 gigabytes of memory and with 256 gigabytes of storage, Microsoft is selling the 8th-generation Core i5 model for $1,499, the same price as the original lowest-specification model. The 7th-generation Core i5 is still being sold with the same memory and storage, but at $1,299 instead of $1,499, and with a 128GB storage option bringing the lowest-cost option down to $1,149.

The Intel Core i7 variant, equipped with 16 gigabytes of memory and options for 512 gigabytes or 1 terabyte of storage, is still available at $2,499 and $2,999 respectively, with no changes made to the specifications. The 15-inch model, starting from $2,499, also has no alterations.

The 13-inch model houses a 3,000-by-2,000 10-point multitouch display, powered by integrated Intel HD Graphics 620. Said to offer up to 17 hours of video playback, the magnesium-cased machine also includes 5-megapixel front and 8-megapixel cameras with Windows Hello face authentication, dual microphones, Dolby Audio stereo speakers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and support for accessories like the Surface Pen.

The keyboard section provides extra ports and battery capacity, adding an extra five hours to bring the usage up to the stated 17 hours. The full list of ports includes an SDXC card reader, two Surface Connect ports, two USB-A connections, one USB Type-C 10 Gbit/second port with Power Delivery, and a headphone jack.

At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 1.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,297member


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.
    edited April 1 AppleExposed
  • Reply 2 of 13
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 191member


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.
     I own the SurfaceBook 1. 

    Personally that's what I wanted because I like windows more than macOS. 

    But a surface book is not equivalent to a MacBook + iPad.

    These 2-in-1 form factor products are interesting but are still way off matching bespoke separate products. 
    entropys
  • Reply 3 of 13


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.

    All you need to compete is a MacBook since the Surface is so useless as a tablet that it should be considered a standard laptop.
    AppleExposeddarren mccoywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 331member


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.
    I think you missed or are ignoring the premise of that paragraph you quoted. It stated that it’ll be attractive to general computer users wanting a Windows notebook. Nothing to do with a touch device that you’re interjecting into the conversation. 

    And no, it did not say windows sucked. That was you again adding your own words to what they wrote. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Abalos65Abalos65 Posts: 35member
    This upgrade was really long overdue, I didn't get why the Surface Laptop 2 and Pro 6 were such a long time the only option for getting an 8th gen i5 processor from Microsoft. 
    Still, I personally prefer the Surface Pro over the Surface Book, and this is largely due to the better tablet experience of the Surface Pro. The kickstand makes a tablet for the first time useful for me. I have had the original iPad, iPad Air and Nexus 7 2013, all rarely used, due to the fact that you have to hold the tablet the whole time. When watching a movie/serie or even when browsing you can simply put the Surface Pro down.

    If you want a laptop comparable to the MacBook Air, I would look at the Surface Laptop 2. 

    edited April 1
  • Reply 6 of 13
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 478member


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.
    There's a reason they build their tablets with docks because using it alone sucks, with that tiny 18Wh battery, passively cooled Core-U and loss of GPU performance.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Cliche alert, regarding the Surface Book...
    ’Jack of all trades, Master of none.’
    AppleExposedentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,297member
    kruegdude said:


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.
    I think you missed or are ignoring the premise of that paragraph you quoted. It stated that it’ll be attractive to general computer users wanting a Windows notebook. Nothing to do with a touch device that you’re interjecting into the conversation. 

    And no, it did not say windows sucked. That was you again adding your own words to what they wrote. 
    If you wanted a Windows laptop you would probably buy a Windows laptop rather than a Surface.

    And, I didn't say the article said Windows sucks, I said "You can say".   And, if you read the other comments you will see my prediction was correct.
    edited April 1 AppleExposed
  • Reply 9 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,297member
    Abalos65 said:
    This upgrade was really long overdue, I didn't get why the Surface Laptop 2 and Pro 6 were such a long time the only option for getting an 8th gen i5 processor from Microsoft. 
    Still, I personally prefer the Surface Pro over the Surface Book, and this is largely due to the better tablet experience of the Surface Pro. The kickstand makes a tablet for the first time useful for me. I have had the original iPad, iPad Air and Nexus 7 2013, all rarely used, due to the fact that you have to hold the tablet the whole time. When watching a movie/serie or even when browsing you can simply put the Surface Pro down.

    If you want a laptop comparable to the MacBook Air, I would look at the Surface Laptop 2. 

    If all you want is a stand, you could get a smart cover for your iPad -- or a Logitech keyboard.   Both work well.
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,297member
    kkqd1337 said:


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.
     I own the SurfaceBook 1. 

    Personally that's what I wanted because I like windows more than macOS. 

    But a surface book is not equivalent to a MacBook + iPad.

    These 2-in-1 form factor products are interesting but are still way off matching bespoke separate products. 
    I suspect most of the difference is between Apple's OS's and Microsoft's.  That doesn't mean the form factor doesn't work.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Abalos65Abalos65 Posts: 35member
    Abalos65 said:
    This upgrade was really long overdue, I didn't get why the Surface Laptop 2 and Pro 6 were such a long time the only option for getting an 8th gen i5 processor from Microsoft. 
    Still, I personally prefer the Surface Pro over the Surface Book, and this is largely due to the better tablet experience of the Surface Pro. The kickstand makes a tablet for the first time useful for me. I have had the original iPad, iPad Air and Nexus 7 2013, all rarely used, due to the fact that you have to hold the tablet the whole time. When watching a movie/serie or even when browsing you can simply put the Surface Pro down.

    If you want a laptop comparable to the MacBook Air, I would look at the Surface Laptop 2. 

    If all you want is a stand, you could get a smart cover for your iPad -- or a Logitech keyboard.   Both work well.
    I disagree that those options work well. From my experience there is no possibility to adjust the angle, or there are only two fixed angles. But more importantly, the stability is just not there, I would never trust that an iPad would stay upright on my lap when using Apple's offering of cases/covers. The only slightly better option I have found was the Logitech AnyAngle cover, but this has not been updated since the iPad Air 2. I have also taken a look at the Slim Combo for the iPad Pro, but found the kickstand to be extremely flimsy and due to the fact that the kickstand did not cover the whole back of the tablet to fall between my legs when using on my lap. Do you have any specific suggestions of covers which brings the same robust kickstand of the Surface Pro to the iPad which I might have missed? I do not want a keyboard being necessary for the stand.
    edited April 1
  • Reply 12 of 13
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 696unconfirmed, member
    People are still buying these? Well if people are still being suckered into buying the virus ware that is Windows, I suppose they're still tolerating this garbage.

    kkqd1337 said:


    At its lowest, the latest model is likely to be attractive to general computer users who want a Windows notebook, though it is unlikely to pull people away from buying a MacBook Air. Apple's base notebook has a dual-core 3.6GHz Core i5 chip, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a lower-resolution 2,560-by-1,600 non-touch 13.3-inch display, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while it is $50 more than the cheapest available Surface Book 2, users may find it benefits from being a more tried and tested design, as well as being willing to pay only a small amount more to own the more premium-branded hardware.
    $50 more?
    No, not really.   To get the same functionality you would also have to buy an iPad:  So add $450+ on top of the $50.  And then you would have to carry around two devices instead of one as well as two charging systems.

    Yes, you can say that Windows sucks.  But that doesn't change the fact that it takes a MacBook + iPad to match the functionality and flexibility of a Surface Pro.
     I own the SurfaceBook 1. 

    Personally that's what I wanted because I like windows more than macOS. 

    But a surface book is not equivalent to a MacBook + iPad.

    These 2-in-1 form factor products are interesting but are still way off matching bespoke separate products. 
    I suspect most of the difference is between Apple's OS's and Microsoft's.  That doesn't mean the form factor doesn't work.

    What's the difference besides privacy/security and all the viruses from Windows? Microsoft ripped their entire product off Apple, like android.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,287member
    The fact of the matter is that within the Apple ecosystem, there is no comparable option. You can get a keyboard (+/- pencil) for the iPad "Pro," but as a laptop replacement, it's comes up woefully short. MacBooks are good computers but they are completely entrenched in the laptop form factor. If you need both a laptop and a tablet and don't want to carry both around, computers like the surface pro are about your only option. Even if Windows sucks on a tablet, the convenience may trump that for some users.
    GeorgeBMac
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