Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Book 2, and this is much more of what fans of the detachable laptop-plus-tablet concept were looking for. It’s more powerful, with quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors across most of the line and GeForce 10-series graphics on all Core i7 variants.
The 15-inch touch panel is only slightly higher-resolution than its smaller counterpart, at 3,240 x 2,160. Microsoft was clearly focused on maintaining pixel density rather than dazzling you with a 4K screen.
The 13-inch model’s are equipped with core i7 and GTX 1050 and 2GB of video RAM are respectable, but the 15-inch model’s ships with a GTX 1060 and 6GB of video RAM. Microsoft claims the Surface Book 2 is fast enough to play games like Forza Motorsport 7 at a solid 60 frames per second in 1080p. While you wouldn’t want to buy either laptop with gaming as the focus, this makes the 15-inch rig a tempting option if you don’t want to give up your game library just to try Microsoft’s removable tablet design.
Microsoft has refined the system in mostly precise ways. The Surface Book’s signature hinge has been tweaked to wobble less when you touch the screen, while there are promises of a faster, more comfortable backlit keyboard. Newer processors help the machine last for up to 17 hours in laptop mode, and 5 hours in tablet mode. And finally, Microsoft has deigned to include a USB-C port in a Surface device.
Microsoft says the new range will start at $1,499/£1,499 when it ships on November 16th (pre-orders start on November 9th). Be prepared to pay to get the exact system you want. That starting price tag is for a 13-inch rig with a dual-core 7th-generation Core i5, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. Option for the 15-inch edition (which only comes in Core i7 form) and you’re going to pay a staggering $2,499.