Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: Laptop flagship

Review

The Surface line from Microsoft consists of innovative hardware. This Surface Book 2 is a Windows 10 laptop, which you optionally also use as a tablet. A beautiful device, with a hefty price. Is that also worth it?

PROS

  • Building quality
  • Screen
  • Battery life

NEGATIVES

  • price
  • Reparability
  • Windows apps

Surface Book 2

  • Price from € 1749
  • Processor Intel Core i5-7300U
  • RAM 8 GB
  • Storage 256 GB SSD
  • Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Screen 13.5 inches (3000 x 2000 pixels)
  • OS Windows 10 Pro
  • Connections 2x USB 3.0, SD card reader, 3, 5mm headset connection, USB-c
  • Webcam 5 megapixel (front), 8megapixel camera (back)
  • Wireless 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Dimensions 31.2 x 23.2 x 1.3 – 2.3 cm
  • Weight 1.5 kg
  • Battery 18 + 51 Wh

Despite the fact that accessories are no longer a must, you still pay a small amount of money. The cheapest version costs you 1749 euros. The most expensive 3.449 euros. That is not tender. If you still have money left after such a purchase, you can optionally purchase a pen in the Surface line (110 euros), a wireless mouse (110 euros), an HDMI adapter (40 euros) or a Surface Dial (110 euros) euro. In short, make sure you check this enormous amount of money beforehand.

Four Versions

We got to test the Core i5 implementation of 1,749 euros. It has a 13.5-inch screen, 8GB memory, and 256GB SSD. The other versions that Microsoft currently offers in the Netherlands have the same screen but are equipped with a GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB) and Core i7 processor. If you want the same SSD and memory, then that costs 2,245 euros. The version with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage costs 2,845. The most expensive version (3,449 euros) also offers 16 GB of memory an SSD of 1 TB.

Surface Book

The Surface Book 2 differs little from its predecessor, the Surface Book. The disadvantage of the previous generation Surface Book was that he had some outdated chips on board because he was only released in the Netherlands a year after his announcement in the US. There was also a USB-c port, which is a bit drowsy. You want to be ready for the future on such an expensive device, and this port is increasingly being used for, for example, chargers and connecting screens. These problems have been solved, the processor and graphics are the newest and fastest of the moment. On the right side next to the keyboard is a USB port, which you can use for power supply or connect a second screen.

On the keyboard is an extra battery processed and if you have the more expensive version also a video card.

Furthermore, the Surface Book 2 has remained the same. On the keyboard is an extra battery processed and if you have the more expensive version also a video card. This is very practical because it makes the tablet lighter. Moreover, you do not go to the game or Photoshopping when you use the Surface Book as a tablet. The build quality and the design are in perfect order. Especially the hinge and coupling system of the tablet on the keyboard is impressive. Something less enthusiastic I was from the bottom because the device rests on thin rubber edges scratches the housing very easily.

Another disadvantage that is certainly worth mentioning is that the Surface Book 2 is practically unrepairable. Tech site I Fixit gave the device the lowest possible score in the field of repair. The tablet can hardly be opened and many parts are glued and soldered so that replacing parts causes more damage. The soldered parts cannot be replaced at all.

With normal use, I had a few nasty scratches on the Surface Book 2 after a few weeks.

In practice

During testing, I have of course used the Surface Book 2 for a while. That was a small party, as a laptop the Surface Book 2 works like a sun. Also, the battery life is great, forgetting your adapter during a working day is not a problem. He comes through this easily, if you do a little bit economical even two. I got at least an hour or 11 working time. The device is a bit on the heavy side because metal is also incorporated into the housing. So, keep in mind that the Surface Book will give you a heavy backpack. In practice, I used the Surface Book 2 little as a tablet. The device is just too heavy to hold for a long time and also Windows 10 in this mode still not quite good, but I will come back to that later.

The version I received does not have a GeForce video card, but a weaker onboard GPU. If you want to play games I recommend the variants with the video card. Out of curiosity, I started GTA V to see how such a heavy game would turn. That went fairly smoothly and smoothly, provided you play it at a low resolution with very low settings.

Screen

The screen panel is to be finger-licked. Figuratively, since it is, of course, a touchscreen. The Surface Book has a somewhat peculiar aspect ratio of three by two, in practice, you cannot honestly say anything about it. Except for that full-screen viewing of photos and videos yields more black edges. The screen is razor sharp, thanks to a high resolution of 3,000 by 2,000 pixels. The contrast and color reproduction are also fine. That is not surprising because Microsoft wants to appeal to professionals and creatives with their laptops. For example, designers, for whom screen quality and calibration are important.

Surface Pen

We also got to test a Surface Pen with the Surface Book 2, a stylus that costs 110 euros. This allows you to draw and make notes, and the technique in the pen is quite advanced. But in practice, I used it mainly in tablet mode to press the small Windows buttons. If I used it anyway, in my experience the Surface Pen is a somewhat expensive (superfluous) gimmick that really matters to a handful of people. The pen cannot be clicked into the device, but it sticks magnetically on the left side of the screen. A small advantage for left-handers, like me. The pen is not stable, however, so I usually do not take any risks and leave the pen on my desk while I slide the Surface Book 2 into my bag.

The Surface Pen works extremely accurately.

Windows 10

Apple puts its own services to the fore at MacBooks, Pixel Book Chromebooks from Google naturally put you in a basket of Google services and of course, the Surface with Windows 10 offers all the services of Microsoft. Such a laptop is of course also a signboard for your products and services. Still, I feel that the Surface Book 2 has more to offer than Windows 10 Pro can offer. As I said, as a laptop, it is a party to work with the Surface Book 2, but in tablet mode that is not the case. Many programs are not yet suitable to be operated only with touches and the offer of the application store is distressing, even when it comes to touch-friendly applications. If Microsoft knows how to improve this, the tablet mode could also be a party.

Still, I feel that the Surface Book 2 has more to offer than Windows 10 Pro can offer.

The state of Windows 10 also fails the Surface Book 2. Of course, you know that you are being put in a cradle of Microsoft services, regardless of whether you use it or not. That is also the case with Google (Android and Chrome OS) and Apple (iOS and OS X). Nothing crazy about it. Still, it is just a swallow if you turn on the Surface Book 2. The bloatware is unprecedented, especially when it comes to dubious games. So, I started the following after the first start: Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Disney Magic Kingdoms, Candy Crush Soda Saga, March of Empires: War of Lords and Spotify. Add to that the ingrained advertisement of recommended apps and Spotlight. That is a nice, expensive laptop like the Surface Book 2 unworthy.

Conclusion

The Surface Book 2 is a beautiful laptop, which if desired can also fulfill its role as a tablet. Although he fulfills this latter role a little less well. The build quality, the screen, and the battery life make this party a fun party. In fact, the Surface Book 2 seems to be too good for Windows 10. There are also some reservations about the price and the durability of such an unrepairable device.

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