8.8
Expert Rating

Making it into the top ten on both the best battery life laptop, the best SSD laptop list, and the best laptop list, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is one of Microsoft’s direct competitors to the Macbook Pro. With 256GB in internal storage & 16GB of RAM, this device can be used as a laptop or a tablet for creating art on the go (thanks to the PixelSense display).

Why We Like It – Microsoft Surface Book 2

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a 2-in-1 device that can function as a laptop or be used in tablet mode. The new Surface still has a bit of screen wobble, but this 15 inch model claims a battery life of up to 17 hours of video playback & has a PixelSense display (like the Surface Pro) which is perfect for graphic designers.

Pros
  • High Resolution, Vibrant Display (3240 x 2160)
  • Uses the Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU
  • Available In Both 13.5” & 15” Models
Cons
  • The Surface Pen is Sold Separately
  • Doesn’t Come With An Intel Core i7

Power & Performance

The Surface Book 2 doesn’t have enough power for heavy gaming, but it has enough power for light gaming thanks to the combination of the Intel Core i5 processor & an Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU. Realistically, this device will be better suited for basic video streaming over wi fi or as a portable art studio. The 256GB storage and 16GB RAM is good, but you may want to opt for the larger 1TB storage option if you intend to be creating a lot of content.

Battery

Microsoft claims that the battery will last up to 17 hours on one charge. While you will most likely only achieve an extended performance if you’re running the laptop on a lower brightness setting while doing minimal tasks, most people that bought this laptop/tablet combo report a great battery life, so that’s definitely a positive for this device. The Surface comes with a proprietary charger, and charges fairly quickly so you shouldn’t have any problems using this device all day long (if you want a dedicated laptop with excellent battery life, take a look at our LG Gram laptop review).

Ports & Expandability

The connection options of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 are decent but somewhat limited. The device has two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an SD card slot. If you want to connect it to an external screen you’re not entirely out of luck, but you will need to purchase a USB-C to HDMI adapter in order to connect it. The location of most of the ports is decent, but the 3.5mm jack (when in laptop mode) is located at the upper right-hand corner of the device & looks rather unsightly when in use.

Build Quality

You don’t get cheap plastics on this device. The chassis is made of magnesium, which offers both a premium look & a premium feel. The device itself weighs in at 4.2 lbs, so while it’s not as light as other models, it could be worse. This is in part due to the design of the keyboard, which had to be elongated so the device didn’t tip over when the top-heavy screen was attached (if you prefer a non-detachable screen, visit our HP Spectre x360 13t review).

Value

At $1,370, the Surface Book 2 isn’t affordable for everyone (for a cheaper option, check out our Lenovo Yoga C940 review). If you prefer Apple, you’ll be happy to know that you can purchase a used Macbook for around the same price. The Surface Book 2 has free delivery, and protection plans are available (though as usual there is no warranty information). Scoring a 4.2 out of 5 stars (based on 108 Amazon reviews), the device does seem to be worth the cost for most consumers, though we find the price to be a little on the high side.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Wrap Up

Overall, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a good option for someone looking for a 2-in-1 device. The specs aren’t fantastic, but the device excels in drawing & art tasks, although the Surface Pen is unfortunately sold separately. Still, if you enjoy drawing & creating content on a tablet, the Surface Book 2 could be a solid option for you.

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Kevin Foley

Kevin Foley is a writer from Florida who specializes in working with small businesses regarding finance, marketing, & technology. When he's not working on a project for a client, he can often be found listening to podcasts, enjoying time outdoors, or planning his next big adventure

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