Microsoft's Surface Book 2 can replace your gaming PC (Hands-on)

Microsoft's Surface Book 2 can replace your gaming PC (Hands-on)”

Microsoft's existing Surface Mouse is by all accounts excellent, but if you're someone who prefers more functionality from your mouse than just a left click, right click, and a scroll wheel, you've been out of luck with the company's Surface-branded gear. Namely, the performance and design, respectively. But the thing about that is that none of its Surface devices have the hardware to power a solid virtual reality experience.until now. 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. Microsoft claims a battery life of up to 17 hours, which Mehdi said is 70 percent longer than the MacBook Pro.

The maximum amount of memory has doubled, up to 16GB, while the largest amount of storage remains a 1TB SSD. Prices on these upgrades are now unclear. 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. There are new microphones inside the Surface Book 2s that are designed for better near- and far-field voice recognition.

Design wise, the form factor is now more or less the same.

Certainly the device has a lot going for it on that front, including the 3240 x 2160 touchscreen display on the 15-inch version.

For those having trouble keeping track of the increasingly crowded Surface line (can't say I blame you), the Book is the company's first full-fledged laptop (whereas other models have been positioned as convertible tablets). You're getting more power than before in a somehow more portable package.

No matter, as you'll barely notice the additional height, as it's easily hidden by the gap that was apparently so divisive in the first place. 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 trail of digital ink following the Surface Pen is practically not noticeable, now supporting tilt detection as well for even finer control and variety.

Our opinions of the tracking and typing experience on the Surface Book 2 haven't really changed since past year, either. The glass-coated Precision Trackpad is just as plush and responsive as ever, and the white-backlit keyboard serves up respectable travel and feedback. Meanwhile, the 15-inch Surface Book 2 will start at $2500.

The first thing you'll notice is that there are two Surface Books now. But Panay isn't anxious about these Surface devices cannibalizing one another in the market.

The 13in will offer a Core i5 model but know that it is a 7th generation chip and it does not come with a discrete GPU. This, oddly enough, makes the Surface Book 2 a decent mobile PC gaming rig on top of everything else it offers.

Like its earlier version, the laptop features a removable screen so it can be used as a tablet.

Surface Book 2 in Studio Mode. To that effect, the new Surface Book 2 is 3x more powerful than the original Surface Book.

The new Surface Book launches November 16, starting at $1,499 - pricing goes way up from there. While it may be mightily expensive, the price is on par with Microsoft's main competition.

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