Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Book 2, a new hybrid laptop that the tech giant says is ‘twice as powerful as the latest MacBook Pro’. We inspect the specs to see if this Windows laptop can live up to such lofty claims.
The cheapest Surface Book 2 model will cost over £1,000, which is no small sum for a laptop. Break the £1,000 barrier and you’re firmly in Apple MacBook territory.
So what features can you expect in exchange for your hard-earned cash? Keep scrolling for the details on Microsoft’s new laptop, and to see how it compares to its main Mac rival.
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Surface Book 2 – key features
As was the case with the original Microsoft Surface Book, the Surface Book 2 is a tablet/laptop hybrid that’s all about combining power with portability. It’ll be available with a 13-inch display (the same size as the original Surface Book), but there’s also a 15-inch model if you’d like a little extra space for multitasking.
The Surface Book 2 is powered by the latest 8th gen Intel Core processors, which Microsoft says make it ‘up to five times more powerful’ than the original Surface Book. That’s a bold claim (plus, bad luck if you bought last year’s model), and one we’ll be putting to the test in our lab as soon as we can.
As for battery life, we’re told you’ll get up to 17 hours of video playback from the Surface Book 2 on a single charge – more than enough for a full working day followed by some Netflix in the evening.
If you want to get work done on the move, you can use the Surface Book 2 as a tablet. The screen detaches from the keyboard and Microsoft’s Pen Stylus will be there to help you scribble down some notes. Here’s how the two models compare:
We’re still waiting to hear all the details on pricing. What we do know so far is that the 13-inch model will start from £1,499, while the larger alternative starts at a hefty $2,499 in the US (around £1,900). If you’re holding out for the more powerful i7 model, be prepared to part with even more cash.
The Surface Book 2 is available for pre-order in the UK from 9 November.
Surface Book 2 vs Apple MacBook Pro
With the Surface Book 2, Microsoft has the Apple MacBook Pro well and truly in its sights. According to the launch claims, the Surface Book 2 is ‘more powerful’ than its Apple rival, with superior battery life and a display that packs in more pixels. But we can’t truly tell how good the screen is until its put it through our full tests.
Like the Surface Book 2, the Apple MacBook Pro is available with either a 13-inch or 15-inch screen. At the time of writing, the cheapest model on Apple’s website will set you back £1,249. That gets you an Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB of internal storage, but it won’t get you the sleek Touch Bar with built-in Touch ID – this is the reserve of even higher-end MacBook Pro models.
Another key difference is that the Surface Book 2 has a touchscreen. To date, this is a feature Apple has kept locked away from its MacBook laptops (preferring users to opt for an iPad for that touchscreen experience).
To see if this year’s high-end Apple MacBook Pro impressed enough to earn a Best Buy title, see our Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 2017 review.
Premium laptops in our test lab
Shopping for a high-end laptop? Our expert reviews are here to help you find the perfect model for you. Only the laptops that serve up great performance and impressive battery life are worthy of Best Buy status.
Never assume that parting with a grand guarantees you a great laptop, either. Sluggish machines that struggle to deal with multiple apps running at once are more likely to leave our lab with a Don’t Buy sticker.
To see which premium laptops our experts recommend, head over to our laptop reviews page. See our top picks in our top five laptops for 2017 guide, or spot some budget priced alternatives by heading to Best cheap laptops for under £500.