There's a new Surface Book — the Surface Book 2. It has the newest Intel processors under the hood, the newest Nvidia graphics, and a new 15-inch screen size along the original 13.5-inch version. All that comes with up to 17 hours of battery life, which Microsoft says is 70 per cent more than the latest MacBook Pro the Surface Book goes up against.
Announced by Microsoft's devices boss Panos Panay in a blog post, the Surface Book 2. inherits the broad design of the original Surface Book and the updated Performance Base — but refines that design further. Crucially, it gets a USB-C port — thank god! — even if it can't charge the Surface Book 2. For that, you'll still need Microsoft's bundled Surface charger.
Both the new Surface Book 2 sizes use Intel's i7-8650U quad-core CPU and are the thinnest and lightest 8th-gen laptops you can buy, but are differentiated mainly in screen resolution — the 13.5-inch is the same excellent 3000x2000pixel panel as the original, but the 15-inch gets a 3240x2160pixel PixelSense display that's nudging 4K in its outright pixel count.
The 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 weighs a pretty damn portable 1.53kg while the 15-incher weighs 1.9kg, with the larger variant getting a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics chip while the smaller one makes do with a GTX 1050 2GB; both will have 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options, and either 8GB or 16GB of RAM — the top two specs get double the serving of RAM. There's also a single 256GB/8GB Surface Book 2 that doesn't have a standalone GPU using an older i5-7300U CPU.
Pre-orders in the US will open up on November 9. Aussie pricing and release dates haven't been locked in yet, though — we'll let you know as soon as we have that info. [Microsoft]