Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: the world's most powerful laptop-tablet hybrid
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Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: the world’s most powerful laptop-tablet hybrid


CPU: 1.9 GHz Intel Core i7-8650U (Quad Core, 8MB Cache, up to 4.2 GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphic: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 Go GDDR5 VRAM)
RAM: 16 Go LPDDR3 (1866 Mhz)
Screen: 15-inch PixelSense display, 3240 x 2160 (260 ppi) (3: 2 aspect ratio; 1600: 1 contrast ratio)
Storage room: SSD PCIe 3.0 de 512 Go
The ports: 2 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x Surface Connect, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio jack
Connectivity: 802.11ac 2 x 2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, Xbox sans fil
Camera: Windows 8MP rear autofocus camera (1080p), 5MP front-facing Hello facial authentication camera (HD 1080p)
Weight: 1.9 kg with keyboard base
Cut: 13.5 x 9.87 x 0.568 ~ 0.90 inch (343 x 251 x 15 ~ 23mm; W x D x H)

We liked the original Surface Book reviewed here on Ditching.com. We loved its flexibility and do-it-all abilities – it was so powerful and premium that despite a few minor issues, it wasn’t hard to recommend it wholeheartedly.

And here, with the new Surface Book 2, nothing has changed.

The Surface Book 2 is a simply awesome 2-in-1 hybrid laptop. Its power is unmatched by anything in its class, its build quality is first-rate, and the quality and precision of its enlarged 15-inch touchscreen.

Its price, between £ 2,300 and £ 2,500, is also incredibly high. And, with the original Surface Book now selling for around a lot less, with the new Surface Pro starting at under £ 800, the price gap it generates is bigger than ever.

However, as we will see, the gap created by the Surface Book 2 in terms of benchmark scores and performance against the competition is also marked, making it a very unique proposition. To see if this is the right system for you, read on.

Before we get into the actual review, why not make some hype with the official Microsoft Surface Book 2 launch trailer:

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Review: Design and Build

The Surface Book 2 looks exactly like the original Surface Book, just bigger. The new 15-inch form factor means the enlargement has taken place almost everywhere, including the unique pivoting hinge, which remains rather pronounced.

We still don’t know what we think about the pivot hinge – it’s undoubtedly well-designed and it does what it’s designed to do well, however, the look still divides opinion and – in its clogged form factor. – gives the V-shape, the positioning of the base unit of the non-flush screen when closed is even more visible.

Attaching and detaching the display from the Surface Book 2 is as easy as the previous model. A detach button is located to the left of the delete button in the upper right corner of the keyboard. Press it for a second and the screen is released from the pivot hinge, with an audible click heard and an on-screen notification that it is “Ready to come off.”

From there, the screen can simply be lifted off the hinge. The tablet will then ask you if you want to enter Windows 10 tablet mode or stay in desktop mode.

The Surface Book 2 screen can then be used as a very spacious and powerful tablet.

When you want to return the screen to the base station containing the keyboard, you just need to reinsert the tablet into the pivot hinge and, if you have entered tablet mode, then the system will ask you if you want to exit tablet mode. (you can also set this to happen automatically).

In terms of finish, the same matte gray color scheme governs the perch. We know he’s professional and neutral, but we just don’t think he communicates the premium system very well. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you may fall in love with the design, however, for us, we believe Microsoft has continued to play it too safe with the Surface Book 2.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: hardware and screen

As noted in the technical clarity in the specs box above, Microsoft may not have made a lot of design changes to the Surface Book 2, but it has massively upgraded the internal components of the system.

Benchmarks Geekbench 4

Score multicœur: 13 376

Score OpenCL: 123 942

For example, the GeForce 940M 1GB GPU from the original Surface Book had rockets strapped to its feet and blasted up to 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 from the Surface Book 2. It is a really suitable gaming GPU and, as we will see, it delivers some serious gaming performance.

Elsewhere, the max specced Intel Skylake i7-6600U dual-core processor from the original system is now mounted on the Coffee Lake Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor. This leads to an extremely fast overall user experience on the Surface Book 2 and, in partnership with the system’s 16GB of RAM, means some serious photo and video editing capabilities.

Indeed, a Geekbench 4 CPU multi-core benchmark of 13,376 and an OpenCL score of 123,942 shows you that the Surface Book 2’s internal hardware can literally handle anything you could throw at it on a daily basis and it would. crush it. Seriously, it would take the most demanding 8K video editing projects to start disrupting this hybrid.

In terms of storage, you are also well taken care of. Our test unit came with a 512GB SSD and, well, we think that’s more than enough room to continue in a 2-in-1 hybrid. Even if you’ve loaded it up with a load of AAA games, a bunch of 4K movies and TV shows, folders full of huge PhotoShop or Illustrator files, a large music collection and more, and you’ll still have room to spare.

Plus, if you feel like you need more space, the new 15-inch Surface Book 2 can be fitted with up to a 1TB SSD, before you even consider external storage options. .

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: performance and battery

A 2-in-1 hybrid laptop containing a GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB) with the aforementioned Intel Core i7-8650U processor and 16GB of 1866MHz RAM meant we were very excited to see how the Surface Book 2 handled the 3DMark game benchmarks.

As you can see in the nearby boxout, the Surface Book 2 posted groundbreaking scores (for a 2-in-1 hybrid laptop), with the system even handling the DirectX 12 Time Spy test well.

Surface Book 2 – 3DMark Benchmark Scores

Time spy: 3 322

Fire Strike: 8 509

Fire Strike Extreme: 4 609

Fire Strike Ultra: 2 346

Sky Diver: 18 791

We then threw a pair of modern AAA titles to Surface Book 2 in the form of Rise of the Tomb Raider and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus.

Rise of the Tomb Raider released a healthy benchmark of 27.15 fps with graphics settings set to high at 3240 x 2160 resolution, also playing smoothly in the game.

Likewise, we could maximize the resolution offered in Wolfenstein 2, 16: 9 aspect ratio and 2048 x 1152 resolution, as well as set the video quality profile of the game to the highest possible level, which is called rightly “Mein leben! “.

Playing Wolfenstein 2 was a hassle-free joy with these ultra-curated settings, with smooth movement and gunplay, and detailed, crisp surroundings. Likewise, smoke, sparks and other particle effects did not cause any slowdown during our gaming sessions.

It’s fair to say that as a system for playing games, the Surface Book 2 is more than capable.

A small caveat to note here, however, is that the system’s GeForce GTX 1060 is only activated when it’s on AC power, so don’t expect similar performance from playing on battery power. For most casual gaming applications, the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip should be more than adequate, be warned.

And, while we are on the subject of the system’s battery, we found it to be very impressive from our testing period, lasting over seven hours during our battery test. That’s almost certainly thanks to the extra space available in the new 15-inch chassis, but given that the figure is twice that of the original, it’s certainly a big improvement.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: verdict

If money isn’t an issue and you’re looking for a 2-in-1 hybrid, just go buy a Surface Book 2. It really is that simple.

The Surface Book 2 does everything any other 2-in-1 hybrid can do, but much better. Acting as a powerful laptop for editing photos and videos, as well as general computing use, it simply excels.

To play the most demanding AAA PC games, such as Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and Rise of the Tomb Raider, it is also incredibly capable. Yes of course it doesn’t say at the same level of gaming power as an equal-priced gaming laptop such as the Asus ROG Zephyrus, but with this GeForce 1060 6GB graphics card inserted into its chassis , the Surface Book 2 can easily play current AAA title smoothly and with high settings, as evidenced by its benchmark scores (see sidebar above).

As a creative tool, provided you’re happy to pay an extra £ 100 for the Surface Pen, you’re also in an amazingly good position, thanks to the screen quality, rich color reproduction and Sharp resolution of 3240 x 2160. Seriously, the screen is absolutely lush.

If money is an issue, you can consider the first-gen Surface Book or the new Surface Pro to be a better and more applicable option. We believe this is especially true for users who aren’t concerned with PC gaming.

As it stands, regardless of its financial impact on the wallet, there is simply nothing else that can compete with the Surface Book 2 and it’s easy to recommend if you’re shopping at the high end. of the 2-in-1 hybrid laptop market.

For more information on the Surface Book 2, you can visit its official web page.

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