Microsoft announces its new Hybrid Surface Book 2

Microsoft announces its new Hybrid Surface Book 2

The 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 is a relatively minor update to last year's model; the major differences are the new internal components, the loss of the Surface Pen as a standard accessory, and the replacement of the mini-DisplayPort with a USB-C port.

Microsoft is launching a new, more powerful version of its Surface Book detachable laptop - upping the ante against Apple's popular MacBook Pro. All models of Surface Book 2 are fanless, meaning they're quiet even when operating at peak capacity, and offer 17 hours of battery life.

The Surface Book 2 is available in either 13.5-inch or 15-inch display configurations. "There has never been this much computational power in a mobile form factor this light", notes Microsoft.

Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) with 7th Generation Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and integrated graphics. Solid-state storage options start at 256GB and stretch through 512GB and 1TB drives.

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. The 15-inch version will have almost seven million pixels - 45 percent more than a MacBook Pro.

The Surface Book 2's 3:2 display has always been the star of the show. In addition, there are 2x USB Type A 3.1 USB ports, full-size SDXC card reader, headphone jack and Surface Connect port.

In many respects, the new Surface Book 2 is evidence that Microsoft is in the hardware game for the long haul, according to Gavin.

Still, Microsoft sees these Surface devices as showcases - premium computers meant to both highlight the capabilities of its Windows operating system and inspire high-end designs from the company's hardware partners. 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. The power of Surface Book 2 will help artists and professionals across the creative spectrum take their work to the next level.

That's more than enough to fuel the Mixed Reality experiences deeply embedded within the latest version of Windows 10, dubbed Fall Creators Update.

But if you opt for the 15-incher, you get even better graphics: Each 15-inch model includes an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 dGPU with 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.

The Surface Book 2 will be available on November 16th, for a starting price of $1,499. Both sizes of the notebook will go up for preorder on November 9, priced from $1,499. Similarly, Microsoft faced cooling problems on both the Surface Book 2 and the forthcoming Xbox One X console - so the two teams worked together to come up with a new kind of heat sink for both.

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