Microsoft Expands Surface Family with 15in Surface Book 2

Microsoft unveils Surface Book 2, promising double the power and speed of Apple MacBook Pro

(Compare that to the 1.7 pound Surface Pro.) I walked around with the top of the huge 15-inch Surface Book 2 and never felt like it was too monstrous to hold-even if 15 inches is enormous compared to the displays of other 2-in-1s. Of course, the 15-inch model requires a few more pixels to maintain a similar pixels-per-inch (ppi) figure, so the resolution bumps up to 3,240 x 2,160 for a 260 ppi to the smaller model's 267 ppi. 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.

More absurdly, the customizable buttons and multi-device support only work on Windows 10 proper - not Windows 10 S, due to the fact that Microsoft's Mouse and Keyboard Center software isn't available on that OS. 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. It will go on sale for $99 next month in the United States and Canada.

The tablet disconnects from the base in the same way as before, a must because of the more powerful graphics located within the keyboard base, while the tablet or Clipboard offers no hardwired connectivity options - save for a Surface Connect charging port.

For Surface Book 2, he said, Microsoft focused on performance. During a presentation, Panay added that Microsoft is making more of an effort to make its products more iPhone-friendly.

Over on the 15-inch, things are even easier.

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And, because Microsoft has flattened the optical stack of the display to its thinnest yet, inking on the Clipboard screen is faster and more pen-and-paper-like than ever. 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.

Microsoft has in recent years put out a flurry of new devices, while working with partners on other hardware projects. That's thanks in part to a new timing controller (or TCON) chip beneath the display, but also to quad-core processing. The original Surface Book gave users up to 12 hours of battery life. These GPUs won't let you run Rise of the Tomb Raider in 4K at max settings, but they'll be more than enough for decent gaming and will be a marked improvement over the super slow, "custom" discrete video card found in the original 13.5-inch Surface Book. Undock the tablet, meanwhile, and you should see 5 hours the company says. Plus, while the MacBook Pro has a Touch Bar, it can't become a tablet.

Pricing remains premium, as you should expect.

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).

For those interested in a bit more detail specswise, the Intel Core i7-8650U processor used in the Surface Book 2 has a notably higher turbo speed than the i7 in the first-gen machine, 4.2GHz compared to 3.4GHz, however, the new CPU's base frequency is lower, 1.9GHz compared to 2.6GHz.

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