Disclaimer - This review is my opinion and does not present my employer or Microsoft views.
I am a Microsoft MVP in Office Development. During my day, I am a productivity consultant. I am passionate about technology advancement be it software or hardware.
To keep myself more productive with my community activities, I purchased Surface Pro4 16 months back as I wanted to keep my community and office work separate. Also SP4 give me more battery to run without hassle of frequent charges while presenting or travelling.
I am happy with the so far performance it has delivered. I was amazed by Surface Book, then Surface Book with performance base and new Surface Pro. As it's agile world, be it software or hardware, you need to keep up to pace.
Recently, Microsoft has launched Surface Book2 with high standards and matches my expectations with the amount of investment.
I am very selective type of person and want to make sure at-least the product which I am buying matches the criteria what I am looking for. My priority while selecting a device for myself was/is listed below -
- Weight - I need light weight beast for community activities, I can't carry 4kg laptop on my back.
- Performance & Storage - Being Dev, I install tons of software and write applications. I want to have adequate performance and storage to work with this requirement.
- Battery - As I travel or speak, I need at-least 2 hours of continuous charge, so that I can complete my work easily.
- Screen size - I don't have a fully functional desk at home. Thus I need a decent screen size that does not require my eyes to focus on every letter I type.
- Ports - As devices are getting thin, it's challenging to get all standard ports.
- Camera - decent 720p front facing camera. So that I can take my exams from home :).
- Wireless + Bluetooth + Rest - With latest Intel Wi-Fi, you can enjoy the max speed on Wi-Fi and also help you to save batteries on Bluetooth devices.
I don't expect my work pc to be equivalent to a game pc. If I want then I need to compromise my priorities.
If I compare Surface book 2 with equivalent products of Microsoft like Surface Pro, Surface Laptop (available at https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/surface/devices/compare-devices). I love Surface Book 2 specifically for below reasons as -
- First, I get a quad core processor. So definitely powering up PC more.
- Second, variation in screen size (13.5"& 15"). *This will depend on your local market availability.
- d-GPU - now at-least the d-GPU is available through out the models and also options of 2GB in 13.5"screens and 6GB in 15" screens.
- Bettering Battery - Intel is doing amazing job in delivery performance in less power and helping to build better Ultrabook.
I am planning my next device to be Surface Book 2 from current SP4 as it betters the device with my priority requirements.
I am planning to get my hands on the device when it is available in market to feel it. I have tried hands on Surface book already.
Now, here is a (wish)list which I believe could make this device more better (at-least for me)
- d-GPU 4Gb option - d-GPU is very important when you do some graphics heavy work. As part of community, we do record video recording. While rendering videos need the d-GPU, but seems 2Gb is too low and 6Gb little high. An option with 4Gb d-GPU could make more sense and make the device little less costly. And to note, there is no 6Gb d-GPU option in 13.5" devices.
- Ports - Generally we complained about just 1 USB3.0 port in Surface Pro devices. But we managed with either using Surface dock at work or using adapters. I really like my Dell adapter (www.dell.com/en-us/shop/accessories/apd/470-abhh) which does the job for me.
- In Book 2, we have 2 exclusive surface connect ports. I don't understand as why? 1 is good enough to charge or use with dock to do all job of extension. Only MS can answer that what's the purpose of 2nd port.
- Mini-DP - I generally find mDP does the job in most places and give me my USB port back. I believe keeping a mDP could solve the external monitor connection in most scenario.
- Missing essentials - Not sure (may be costing) as why MS can't include Surface Pen with a device which is already at the cost of $3000+. Pen + Keyboard are essential to Surface devices.
- Stability as Laptop - as you can still detach the screen to work in tablet mode, few individuals mentioned that does not seems so stable as usual laptop seems. I was thinking to buy as I can use it as proper lap-top. Surface Pro is tricky in working as Laptop and toppled many time.
- Reseller/Service channel - MS stores support the buy/return and other fixing issues related to device. But out of USA, there are very less store like Australia got just one in Sydney. i.e. 1 in one entire country. If this is your primary device, then remember to have backup as you have to wait till MS store return it to you. Not sure, but MS can partner with device resellers to return and fix issues in device even when device was purchased from Store. (I am not a authentic commercial person, but as a user it will help me to buy from store and service quickly when I need it). [I purchased my Surface Pro4 from a local reseller so that I can just walk in and change/fix the device when I have issues. I added insurance on top of that. So in this cloud world, I need only install time. I loved Dell with their next business day onsite warranty support.]
Rest seems good to me. I am waiting for the market launch of the device to get my hands on and provide next set of review.