The Good The Surface Laptop 2 enhances the default memory and updates much faster processors. The new matte black looks great.
The Bad Apart from the CPU / RAM error, there is very little about it. Black is only available in more expensive configurations. Without USB-C, a rarity for premium laptops.
The Bottom Line Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 gets a lot of speed boosts and a new color variant, but otherwise it’s a minimal upgrade to the first version.
Last year’s Microsoft’s Surface Laptop broke the shape for surface devices. Over the last half decade, Microsoft has spent much of its time insisting on the ideas of Windows slates and two-in-one hybrids, after all, becoming the standard carrier of this category with the best Surface Pro in its class. But the surface laptop was a bit different. It was a slim, premium laptop designed to compete with Dell XPS , HP Spectre and Apple MacBook Air laptops of the world.
The Surface Laptop borrowed more than it thought, but it did a great job synthesizing the most popular high-end laptops, with its slim, modern design, gorgeous 12.3-inch touchscreen, good keyboard and touchpad combination, and even a decent set of ports. It wasn’t necessarily better than other laptops, but it did at least work and gave a real alternative to the same familiar shapes that can be seen in every coffee shop and classroom.
One of the great innovations of the Surface Laptop was the fabric interior, which used an artificial material called alcontera, perhaps best known for its role in the upholstery of boats. The fabric surface was much stronger and more stain resistant than I expected, and I became a fan.
You can read a deeper dive into the use of fabric in the Surface Laptop design in ours 2017 version review .
Surface Laptop 2
|Price as reviewed||$1,299|
|Display size/resolution||13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 touch display|
|CPU||1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz|
|Graphics||128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
In the year since the original Surface laptop, it stayed at the top of my list of thin premium laptops, partly because the official Microsoft store and other retailers often had steep discounts on the base model.
Now that a new version has appeared , aptly named Surface Laptop 2 ($ 2699 to Walmart) , which means the initial price goes up to $ 999. As I liked the Surface Laptop, it’s not surprising that I like the Surface Laptop 2, but it’s because they are almost identical. The exterior is unchanged except for the new matte black. There is still a USB-A port and a mini DisplayPort, but no USB-C or HDMI.
Inside the processors are receiving a major upgrade: from seventh-generation dual-core Intel processors to eighth-generation quad-cores. The actual performance improvement is impressive in our benchmarking tests, even though the first generation version felt fast enough to be used mainly for students or students. Otherwise, the base RAM upgrade is now 8GB instead of 4GB, which is also welcome. Battery life will also improve a little, adding about 40 minutes to a first-generation surface laptop and just passing 11 hours on our streaming video test. But keep in mind that these are preliminary battery performance and we are conducting additional testing.
The $ 999 version has a Core i5 and 8GB of RAM, while our review device increases the SSD from 128GB to 256GB, which raises the price to $ 1299, which is a healthy premium for the extra 128GB. In the UK, it starts at £ 979, and in Australia at £ 1,499.
In addition to the great performance boost and a handful of small internal settings, you can say that you can expect more from the second-generation Surface Laptop. Other premium laptops such as Acer Swift 7 ($ 1489 on Amazon) or redesigned for 2018, the Dell XPS 13 will move the design ball further down the road, though it is a product that largely matches the original.
No more Windows 10 S
If you’ve been looking at a Surface laptop and are holding out for an upgrade, then go ahead and grab the new version. Faster execution is a nice bonus for your patience. If you have the original, I don’t even need to say that I don’t need the update.
Microsoft eliminated one of the few bugs on Surface’s first first laptop. This model comes with a limited Windows 10 S operating system – a consolidated version of Windows that allows you to install only from the built-in application store – but almost everyone took advantage of the free upgrade offer to a full version of Windows 10, which allowed for “real” applications such as a web browser Chrome or the Steam PC gaming platform you need to install. The Surface Laptop 2 comes with Windows 10 Home, by default, a much more practical choice.
Although I enjoy my early days with the Surface Laptop 2, I was disappointed with one. The new matt black color, heavily revealed by Microsoft, looks amazing. But it is only available in an extended model that doubles the internal memory from 128GB to 256GB, for an additional $ 300. The base model of $ 999 is only available in gray, which is also very nice, but not “new”.
|Microsoft Surface Laptop 2||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB|
|Lenovo Yoga 730-13||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB|
|Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-7600U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640; 512GB SSD|
|Microsoft Surface Laptop (2017)||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1866MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Acer Switch SW713 Black Edition||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 16GB DDR4 1,866MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX150; 512GB SSD|