Microsoft Launches Surface Book 2

Microsoft Launches Surface Book 2 with 13 and 15 inch Models

Microsoft's message around this new hardware: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft Office and the Surface hardware come together to create a system that boosts users' productivity.

Last week, Microsoft invited a small group of journalists to New York City, ostensibly for a briefing about the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Now there is nothing out of the ordinary for Microsoft to pre-brief reporters on the final details of major feature update for Windows 10. 

However, imagine our surprise when we were brought into a small space upstairs in the Spring Studios building and invited to grab a seat in front of this stage with this hardware:

Microsoft Announcement Venue in Spring Studios (New York City)

Of course, anyone's eyes would be immediately drawn to the two shapes on the right side of the stage. Glances started flying around the room among those present who knew each other with nods and whispers about what might be under those dark covers.

We did not have to wait long as Panos Panay, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Surface, came out and joined us for an intimate chat.

Very quickly he was up on his feet and moving around like he does at most product launches sharing his passion about hardware and its design within the Microsoft ecosystem that consists of Surface, Windows, and Office.

Microsoft's Panos Panay sits briefly as he begins talking about Microsoft hardware and software

Before we knew it he was up in between those two podiums unveiling a Surface Book refresh in the form of two new Surface Book 2's - one with a 13 inch screen and the other one with a 15 inch screen.

After the shock of Microsoft actually launching new hardware at an embargoed event instead of a big on stage production in front of the world, we listened in as he dove into the details around these new devices. You all know his approach to all of this and how he does not spend a lot of time talking about specifications but about the experience of using the products and he did just that.

Panos Panay talks about Surface Book 2's features

A common theme was this concept of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft Office, and Surface hardware coming together to create an integration that make productivity possible. This happens because it is on a device that makes people feel when they work - he said all you have to do is walk up to someone using a Surface out in the wild and ask - that is what you will hear from them about their experience on that device.

Of course, a common theme with this update is creators and Panos said that Surface Book 2 was made with creators in mind and giving those users 100% performance with Surface Book 2. Along with that and the versatility of the detachable tablet on the device it allows those creators to share their passion in a multitude of ways.

After walking us through the device specs, he invited Dona Sarkar, the Chief of the Windows Insider Program, to talk about the Fall Creators Update and its connection to creators.

Dona Sarkar, Microsoft's Chief Windows Insider, talks about creativity with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Anyone who is in the Insider Program knows Dona is a designer. She shared that by using the 3D tools in the Fall Creators Update and a Surface Book 2 she created the design for the dress she was wearing that day. After a quick demo of Paint 3D and the Mixed Reality Viewer she handed things back over to Panos.

As things wrapped up we were invited into a room next door to meet with program managers from some of the Windows product groups to talk about the Fall Creators Update. Also available were Surface engineers to discuss the hardware behind Surface Book 2 and its design.

Be sure to check out our photo galleries of the new hardware which included the two Surface Book 2 devices and a new Surface Precision Mouse plus a look at what the Hands On venue looked like.

Surface Book 2 pricing begins at $1,499 for the 13 inch model and $2,499 for the 15 inch version. Both models will be available on 16 November in the U.S. and the 13" device shipping to 10 additional markets that same day.

Surface Book 2 13" (Left) and Surface Book 2 15" (Right)

Here are the key technical details of how the specs break down:

Display

Surface Book 2 (13")

  • 13.5” PixelSense Display
  • 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI)

Surface Book 2 (15")

  • 15" PixelSense Display
  • 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI)

Both devices have a 1600:1 contrast ratio, 10 point multi-touch, and are compatible with the Next Generation Surface Pen and Surface Dial on-screen interaction

Models

Surface Book 2 (13")

8th gen Intel Quad-Core processor

  • Intel Core i7-8650U w/ 4.2GHz Max Turbo, 8GB RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Intel Core i7-8650U w/ 4.2GHz Max Turbo, 16GB RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Intel Core i7-8650U w/ 4.2GHz Max Turbo, 16GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD

7th gen Intel Dual Core processor

  • Intel Core i5-7300U w/ 3.2GHz Max Turbo, 8GB RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD

Surface Book 2 (15")

8th gen Intel Quad-Core processor

  • Intel Core i7-8650U w/ 4.2GHz Max Turbo,  16GB RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Intel Core i7-8650U w/ 4.2GHz Max Turbo,  16GB RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Intel Core i7-8650U w/ 4.2GHz Max Turbo,  16GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD

Graphics

Surface Book 2 (13")

Intel Core i5

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU

Intel Core i7

  • Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPU w/ 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory

Surface Book 2 (15")

Intel Core i7

  • Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/ 6GB GDDR5 graphics memory

All models have the following specifications in common:

  • Battery: 17 hours; 5 hours in Tablet Mode
  • Wireless; Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible; Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology
  • Ports: 2x USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1); 1x USB Type-C w/ video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen1) data; Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II); Headphone jack (3.5mm); 2x Surface Connect ports (1 in tablet, 1 in keyboard base)
  • Security: TPM 2.0 hardware chip for enterprise security, Common Criteria (CC) EAL4+, FIPS 140-2 level 2; Windows Hello face sign-in
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor; Accelerometer; Gyroscope; Magnetometer
  • Cameras: 5.0MP 1080p video @30FPS (front); 8.0MP 1080p video @30FPS with auto-focus (rear)
  • Audio: Stereo Speakers w/ Dolby Audio Premium; Windows Sonic for Headphones included; Dolby Atmos for Headphones compatible
  • Keyboard and Trackpad: Full size, backlit keyboard with 1.55mm of full key travel; Glass track pad with anti-fingerprint coating and improved multi-finger gestures
  • Modes: Laptop Mode; Tablet Mode; View Mode; Studio Mode

In addition, the Surface Book 2 15" model has built in Xbox Wireless connectivity built-in.

The Surface Precision Mouse

Finally, I just have to mention this new Surface Precision Mouse because of one very unique feature.

This mouse uses Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and is compatible with 4.0/4.1/4.2 and has a rechargeable battery that last approximately 3 months and charges with an included USB cable.

It has a scroll wheel with a button that switches the mouse through normal and precision mode so that you can get into the deepest details of your work and it has three programmable buttons that you an customized.

That unique feature I mentioned is also my favorite feature for this new mouse. Not only can it be paired with up to three different devices but if you line those devices up in the order they are paired (1, 2, and 3) then the mouse cursor will cross from each device as you drag the mouse cursor to the edge of the proceeding devices screen edge.

How handy would that be if you are always working on multiple devices/laptops?

The Surface Precision Mouse can be pre-ordered as of today and will be available starting November 16 in the U.S. and Canada. It will retail for $99 USD.

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