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Microsoft Debuts Surface Book 2 as 'Most Powerful Yet'

Looking to distance itself further from the highest-performing MacBook Pros, Microsoft is unleashing its most powerful Surface PCs to date with the launch of the new Surface Book 2. Microsoft showed off the newest Surface Book 2 today as an extra surprise tied with the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which comes with support for new mixed reality and improvements for IT pros including enhancements to the console.

The new Surface Book 2 will be available Nov. 16, initially from the Microsoft Store, with either 13.5- or 15-inch displays and will be up to five times more powerful than the original Surface Book, which Microsoft launched two years ago. The 13.5-inch model will start at $1,499 with the larger unit starting at $2,499, available with either dual- or quad-core Intel 8th Generation Core processors and the current NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs.

Engineered to process 4.3 trillion math operations per second, the newest Surface Books are for those who perform compute-intensive processes such as video rendering, CAD, scientific calculations and compiling code at high speeds. Also targeting gamers, the 15-inch model will also include a wireless Xbox Controller. It has a 95-watt power supply and can render 1080p at 60 frames per second.

"This thing is 'Beauty and the Beast,'" said Panos Panay, corporate VP for devices overseeing Microsoft's entire hardware lineup, during a briefing with Windows Insiders and media, where we got to spend some time with the new units. "There's no computer, no laptop, no product that's ever pushed this much computational power in this mobile form factor. It's quite extraordinary, the performance."

Panay emphasized that the Surface Book Pro 2 aims to bring out the best in the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Office 365, digital inking and mixed reality. Like its predecessor, the Surface Book 2 screen detaches so it can be used as a tablet or users can fold it back into studio mode. It sports what Panay said is the thinnest LCD available, with a 10-point multitouch display. It also supports a newly refined Surface Pen and the company's Surface Dial.

In addition to the five times power boost over the original Surface Book of two years ago (the 13.5-inch is four times more powerful), Panay said the newest version is twice more powerful than the latest MacBook Pro and boasts 70 percent greater battery life in video playback mode. Microsoft is claiming a 17-hours battery life (5 hours when used as a tablet), though laptops from Microsoft or anyone else rarely reach those maximums. Nevertheless, it is designed to ensure all-day use in most conditions.

The 13.5-inch model weighs 3.38 pounds, with the 15-inch unit weighing 4.2 pounds with the keyboard attached. "There has never been this much computational power in a mobile form factor this light," Panay said in a blog post announcing the Surface Book 2. "You can show off your meticulously designed PowerPoint deck or complex Pivot tables in Excel with Surface Book 2's stunningly vibrant and crisp PixelSense Display with multi-touch, Surface Pen, and Surface Dial on-screen support. You won't believe how much the colors and 3D images will pop in PowerPoint on these machines."

The 15-inch model offers just shy of 7 million pixels, or 260 DPI, which Microsoft claims is 45 percent more than the MacBook Pro. The 13.5-inch model produces 6 million pixels at 267 DPI (3000x2000).

Among the various configurations, they are available with a choice of Intel 7th or 8th Generation Core i5 or i7 processors and the option of dual- and quad-core processors. Depending on the model, customers can choose between 8GB or 16GB of RAM with 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD storage. 


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/17/2017 at 11:44 AM


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