Microsoft promised to prove to the world that a Windows laptop could hang with the best MacBooks from Apple. Indeed, Microsoft succeeded in its intention and came up with the Surface Book featuring head-turning design, hinge technology, and detachable screen. The Surface Book wasn’t perfect but at least it proved that a powerful, well-designed, and attractive Windows laptop was possible.
A year passed away and Microsoft introduces a single update with everything else remaining the same. We must at once upset you if you expected a Surface Book 2, this is not the machine you’ve been waiting for.
The updated Surface Book is $100 more than last year’s model (a hefty $2,399 for 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD; $2,799 for one with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD; or an even heftier $3,299 for 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD). The Book has the same sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor; same 13.5-inch “PixelSense” display with 3000 x 2000 pixels of resolution; same Surface Pen capabilities; same port selection (two USB-A 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, a DisplayPort, a headphone jack, and power); and the same capability to turn into a tablet in a pinch.
As for the internal changes, Microsoft has only bumped up the graphics processor to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5 memory and increased the battery in capacity to provide an estimated 16 hours of stamina, four hours more than last year’s model.
These two changes made Microsoft adapt the base of the Surface Book to accommodate them. The new Performance Base comes with the high-end Book and houses the discrete graphics card. Microsoft has made the Performance Base thicker and heavier than the first version – the current weight is 3.6 pounds – which helps to minimize the dreaded lint-collecting gap that forms when the laptop is closed.
Dan Seifert from the Verge describes: “I’ve been using the new Surface Book as my main machine for the past week and despite those changes, the experience is mostly the same as last year’s version. Part of that is due to my workflow — Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the heaviest apps I use, and they pose no challenge to this level of machine — but most of the reason the experience is the same is because Microsoft just didn’t change much. Microsoft says it increased the graphical performance of the high-end Surface Book in response to customer demands, so it might be noticeable to someone, but it’s not to me.”
The Surface Book wasn’t intended to become a gaming machine. While its new graphics card is capable of handling some lightweight gaming, finding some better options makes sense if you are a serious gamer.
Thus, there is no need indeed to upgrade your Surface Book for $3,000 when the introduction of Surface Book 2 seems to be rather inevitable in the future.