Microsoft is a bit of an enigma in the PC space. There is little doubt that they offer some stunning hardware, but after being the first PC maker to jump on Intel’s Skylake platform, and then being burned by the power management issues that chipset had, they’ve been more cautious with their offerings ever since. Thanks to their somewhat unusual launch windows, that can mean that they use older hardware for longer. Such was the case with the Surface Book 2 when it launched in 2017. The Core i7 model shipped with the 8th generation Intel Core, meaning Kaby Lake Refresh, which means quad-core over the dual-core in Kaby Lake. But the Core i5 model shipped with a dual-core Kaby Lake i5-7300U processor, meaning it had a sizeable performance delta to the top tier model – far greater than we typically see in a Core i5 to Core i7 comparison.

Microsoft Surface Book 2
  13.5 No GPU 13.5 GPU 15
CPU Intel Core i5-7300U
Dual-Core w/Hyperthreading
2.6-3.5 GHz 3MB Cache 15W TDP

Intel Core i5-8350U
Quad-Core w/Hyperthreading
1.7-3.6 GHz 6MB Cache 15W TDP
Intel Core i7-8650U
Quad-Core w/Hyperthreading
1.9-4.2 GHz 8MB Cache 15W TDP
GPU Intel HD 620 Intel HD 620 + NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB Intel HD 620 + NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB
Storage 128, 256 GB NVMe 256GB, 512 GB, 1TB
Display 13.5" PixelSense
3000x2000 3:2 sRGB
Touch and Pen enabled
15" PixelSense
3240x2160 3:2 sRGB
Touch and Pen enabled
Networking 802.11ac 2x2:2 866Mbps max
Bluetooth 4.1
Audio Stereo Speakers (front facing)
Dolby Audio Premium
Battery 23 Wh (Tablet) plus 46 Wh (Base) 23 Wh (Tablet) plus 52 Wh (Base) 23 Wh (Tablet) plus 63 Wh (Base)
Xbox Wireless No Yes
Right Side Surface Connect
USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 with USB Power Delivery
Headset Jack
Left Side 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
SD Card Reader
Dimensions 312 x 232 x 13-23mm
12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51-0.90 inches
343 x 251 x 15-23 mm
13.5 x 9.87 x 0.57-0.90 inches
Weight 1.53 kg
3.38 lbs
1.64 kg
3.62 lbs
1.90 kg
4.2 lbs
Cameras 8.0 MP Rear-facing camera with autofocus
5.0 MP front-facing camera with 1080p video
Windows Hello IR camera
Pricing $1149-$1499 $1999-$2999 $2499-$3200

Without any fanfare at all, Microsoft has started offering a quad-core Intel Core i5-8350U in the 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 option, taking the pricing bracket that the dual-core i5-7300U used to fill. For the moment, the dual-core is still available, and gets a discount of $200 to $1299. In addition, the dual-core model can also be had with a 128 GB SSD, cutting the price again to $1149. That’s a significant price drop compared to the original $1499 retail price.

The Surface Book 2 is one of the best laptops on the market, offering a combination of utility and performance that is not really matched by any other device. The quad-core i5 update is a welcome addition, but of course the real question is why didn’t it just ship with it to start with.

The updated Surface Book 2 is available on the Microsoft Store.

Source: Windows Central

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  • Smell This - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    MS Surface at 15w with a GTX 1060 6GB & 4.2 GHz turbo ??

    Wow. Wintel has some 'splainin' to do on that one.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    Wait, what do Microsoft and Intel have to explain? I don't get what's odd about this.
  • flyingpants265 - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    I think he's implying that the rest of the CPUs are too power-hungry? Doesn't make sense, if so.
  • FreckledTrout - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    I don't get what needs to be explained. There is an Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB laptop part. The Intel Core i7-8650U boosts to 4.2 GHz.
  • flyingpants265 - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    Hahaha 256gb haha
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    With an SD card slot if you need more space.
  • rrinker - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    Dunno what people are putting on these things. Granted I have a second SSD in my laptop, but the system disk is a 240GB SSD. I have 100GB used at the moment, without doing any cleanups from the last Windows update. That is Windows 10, all of Office 2019 (including Access and Visio), Visual Studio (C++ and VB languages only), SQL Server, SQL Management Studio, KiCAD and EasyEDA electronic design applications, Eclipse, Photoshop Express, Gimp, and a 3D CAD for model railroad design. ANd that's just the stuff I bothered pinning to the start menu. Using less than half a 240GB SSD. Most of what's on the second SSD are Hyper-V VMs for other things I do, although what i have right now could all fit on the one drive and STILL not fill it 100%
  • amb9800 - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    If you work with video or with games or VR apps, for example, you can easily require hundreds of GB of storage. On my Surface Book 2, my SteamVR apps / games alone consume over 300 GB. Whenever I'm processing 360 3D video locally, that can temporarily consume the rest of the 1 TB SSD.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    In your case... you'd then buy a different model. Done.
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - link

    Enjoy the 32nd rehash of worst in class Marvell AVASTAR WiFi/Bluetooth.

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