Microsoft gave us our first look at the Surface Book 2 on Tuesday, a premium laptop that it says is twice as powerful as the MacBook Pro - a comparison that Microsoft is more than willing to invite with this new device.
Microsoft has announced the new Surface Book 2, which is available in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. It will be available in mid-November, in both a 13.5-inch and 15-inch version, and have the ability to run heavy-duty creative software such as the Adobe suite and play a multitude of video games. Users will still be able to detach the display portion of the device and use it as a tablet, or have it attached to the keyboard and have a traditional laptop experience. The 15-inch Surface Book 2 starts at $2,499 and goes up to $3,299. Instead, it's all in the weight, with the 13.5in model coming in at 1.6kg (0.7kg tablet mode) and the 15in version at 1.9kg (0.8kg tablet mode). It's been built to be ready to push VR graphics-in particular, the Windows Mixed Reality headsets.More news: EU Imposes New Sanctions on North Korea
More news: Pakistan hostage story: Rescue, release or handover?
More news: Michelle Obama selects Columbus native to create official portrait
However, these options are not available with the base model for 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 though. But in August, Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation for the product, as well as other Surface devices. 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 upgraded 13" machine offers the same Core i7-8650U CPU as the larger Book 2, and it can house an optional GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip with 2GB of RAM in tow. That kind of offering seems tailor-made for would-be Windows converts like myself ... and it'll be a miracle if I get to the other side of my Surface Book 2 review without buying one. The time is just right, then, to take advantage of Intel's new 8th-gen processors with the Surface Book 2. More information can be found on the Microsoft Windows blog and there's a video teaser below. The company says both models will get 17 hours of battery life with the detached tablet lasting five hours on its own, a huge improvement from the original model. It still has the same hinge design, although internally it has been refined, and the color options are the same as well; I am a little disappointed they didn't offer a burgundy or cobalt color like the Surface Laptop.
"Surface Book 2 13" will be available for pre-order beginning November 9th in the United States and additional markets around the world, along with Surface Book 2 15" in the United States. Apple's are slightly less expensive, with its least expensive MacBook Pro retailing for US$1299 and 15-inch models starting at US$1999 - although the prices go up when you start picking out options.