Microsoft Made New Surface Books, Including a Giant One-They Seem Nice!

James Marshall
October 17, 2017

The 15-inch model complements one of Microsoft's other recent high-powered devices, the $2,999 Surface Studio, which came out previous year. However, the real star of the show is the addition of a second model: there's now a 15-inch version for those who are more interested in an expansive display than portability.

"Surface Book owners use that product more hours per week than any other Surface device", Microsoft's Panos Panay told me last week, describing what the firm learned in the two years since it first shipped Surface Book.

All Surface Book 2 models feature the same number of ports, sensors and cameras (5MP on the front, 8MP on the back with auto-focus), a backlit keyboard, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium.

The 15in Surface Book 2 is positioned as a high-end machine and comes with 8th gen Core i7 CPU with 256GB to 1TB SSD configurations and all iterations ship with 16GB of RAM (32GB is not now offered).

To be released November 16, Surface Book 2 is virtually the same as its predecessor from the outside. The 15-inch packs an Nvidia 1060, while most models of the 13.5-inch have an Nvidia 1050. Surface Book 2 13.5-inch model comes in both seventh-generation Intel Dual-Core processor (Core i5) and eighth-generation Intel Quad-Core (Intel Core i7) models; and the 15-inch with the Intel eighth-generation Quad-Core Core i7 processor. And this version comes in both 13- and 15-inch variants. The Surface Book 2 is the first of Microsoft's notebooks to offer the connection, and as you'd hope it supports USB 3.1 data, video, and power in/out. There's just one on each model (you also have two USB-A ports and an SDXC card reader), but it'll spare you from using a dongle to charge your phone or attach a newer external drive.

The 15-inch touch panel is only slightly higher-resolution than its smaller counterpart, at 3,240 x 2,160. Both of which are more dense than the 13- and-15-inch MacBook Pros' 227 and 220 ppi, respectively. Either way, they both work with the Surface Pen - which now supports tilt, among other improvements - and the Surface Dial for on-screen interactions. With the Surface Laptop and the new Surface Pro, Microsoft already launched four new Surface devices this year, and we also know that the Surface Pro with LTE is coming later this year. Case in point: Microsoft's new Edge web browser app for iPhone, which allows Apple smartphone owners to sync their favorite websites and browsing history between their iPhone and Windows device. Microsoft is also emphasising the Surface Book's packing an Nvidia GPU will be well-suited to powering the new VR headsets released by Microsoft partners today. Undock the tablet, meanwhile, and you should see 5 hours the company says. Not that the original Surface Book was a slouch by any means, but the new Surface Book 2 is quite frankly a beast. Speaking of the MacBook Pro, the Surface Book will command a similarly high price tag when it goes on sale November 9. That seems outrageous when you look at all those cheap laptops out there, but it's right in line with the premium players like Apple, Dell, and HP.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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