REVIEW: Surface Book 2 the most powerful 2 in 1 model from Microsoft

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the new model of 2 in 1 of which today we present its review, a product that as we will see, stands out for its excellent design and surprising features even by his compact size. A model that is in two versions, one of 13.5″ and another of 15″ with the most powerful hardware that will be the one we see today. Within this model we have an Intel Core i7 8th generation processor and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, all with a spectacular quality screen that is rounded off with a truly original hinge design. Let’s see how it behaves then in all its aspects.

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelMicrosoft Surface Book 2 
Basic SpecsProcessor: Intel Core i7-8650U Quad Core – Eight threads / Intel HD Graphics 620 / 25W TPD / 14 nm
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 / 6GB GDDR5
System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 1866 MHz integrated
Storage: 256GB NVMe integrated
Display: 15 “PixelSense 3240 x 2160 – Contrast 1600: 1 / Touch 10 points / Compatible Stylus
Network: Wifi ac 2×2 866Mbps + BT 4.1
Ports: USB 3.1 Type-C Gen1 (5Gpbs + video) / 2x USB 3.0 / Surface Connect / SDXC UHS-II / Audio jack
Keyboard: Backlit / Front Trackpad
Check full specifications

Description

The 2 in 1 Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a device that can be assembled in several ways, we can disassemble the tablet by pressing the magnetic release button, place it flat with the keyboard or in base mode by turning the tablet upside down. On one side we have the flexible hinge with the powerful magnetic / mechanical locking system, on the side of the keyboard we have all the data connectors while on the tablet we have the control buttons along with the cameras and sensors. Around the perimeter of the tablet we have ventilation slots for the internal active fan, on the keyboard we also have grooves in the perimeter.

  • Materials: Magnesium, glass and plastic.
  • Interfaces: USB 3.1 Type-C Gen1 (5Gpbs + video) / 2x USB 3.0 / Surface Connect / SDXC UHS-II / Audio jack
  • Cameras: Rear 8 MP with flash / Frontal 5MP / Compatible Windows Hello
  • Speakers and microphone: Dolby Audio Premium stereo front speakers, correct volume / correct microphone, Cortana compatible.
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, magnetometer, ambient light
  • Vibration and LEDs: No vibration. Load LED
  • Measures and weight: 13.5” x 9.87” x 0.568-0.90” (343 x 251 x 15-23 mm) / 4.20 lbs (1,9 Kg)

Screen

The screen of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is simply spectacular, we have a quality of image in all the angles certainly surprising, the great resolution and its luminous power allows us to use it in any circumstance.

  • Size: 15 “PixelSense 3240 x 2160 4: 3 format
  • Light power: Contrast 1600: 1 / Automatic brightness / No light leakage
  • Viewing angles: correct IPS type
  • Tactile precision: Excellent / Touch 10 points / Compatible Stylus
  • Extras: Automatic brightness control and reading mode setting

Keyboard

The keyboard of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 has an excellent touch, it has an efficient lighting system, but when lit, the keys are almost invisible with day light, we recommend deactivating it if we are not in a dark environment, there is a key to do so. On the front we have a trakpad with a very good touch feeling but something small for all the area we have available.

Cameras

The cameras of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 tablet are quite good, have a good number of shooting modes and give us good results compared with the cameras that we find in a the tablet sector.

  • Rear camera: Sensor with 8 MP resolution, HDR mode and no flash. Good results in general.
  • Front camera: 5MP sensor. Good definition and colors.

START UP

System and user experience

To turn on the Microsoft Surface Book 2 we press the power button on the tablet for a few seconds, as indicated by the specifications we have Windows 10 Pro 64bit, check the list of devices and note that all have their drivers installed correctly. The system moves very smoothly and we can run any application without problems, the 16GB of RAM, the powerful processor and the dedicated GPU deploy their full potential.

Support, BIOS and other OS

From the Microsoft website, we have all the necessary resources to have updated our device. We can access the BIOS by pressing ESC, it has a simple but quite complete Intel BIOS, to perform OC we can do it from the Intel XTU app.

  • BIOS: Without remote start options, we can disable Secure boot.
  • Other OS: LibreELEC for PC compatible / Ubuntu compatible

HARDWARE TEST

Storage, RAM and Ports

We perform speed tests of the installed storage by default, also of the RAM that comes standard and check the speed and functionality of all its connection ports.

  • USB ports: We have USB Type-C 3.1 (5Gbps) with video output.
  • Video and audio ouputs:  In the USB 3.1 port via adapter.

The speed of the Samsung SSD NVMe disk installed by default gives us excellent performance figures within that category, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a model that better not try to open to change anything as is logical.

In this model we found integrated modules with 16 GB of LPDDR3 RAM working on Dual Channel at a speed of 1866 MHz, a pretty good performance that leaves it above more basic products.

Battery and temperature

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 has two batteries, one of 23 Wh in the tablet and another of 63 Wh in the base that give us a total of 86 Wh. The autonomy is excellent in normal use if we use the brightness of the screen at the automatic level. If we play demanding games the battery drains quickly as normal but still holds up well enough. At the base of the tablet we have another Surface Connect adapter to charge it if we do not have the keyboard available.

  • Battery recharge: 2 hours.

We perform several types of tests to check the performance in each use scenario, with this data we can make an idea of the overall real performance that the system will have during its useful life. In general thermally we have a good performance and the sound of the fan is almost nil, but we have noticed that in some scenarios where the consumption shoots without applications in the foreground.

  • Continuous extreme performance: Temperature 48ºC Max. / CPU 0.49 GHz / No thermal throlling but very limited CPU.
  • Performance in gaming: LoL 2 62ºC / CPU 2.4 GHz media.
  • External temperature: 46ºC at the bottom of the screen.

We perform several types of tests to check the performance in each use scenario, with this data we can make an idea of the overall real performance that the system will have during its working life.

  • Continuous extreme performance: Temperatura 65ºC Max. / CPU 2,67 GHz / No thermal throlling
  • Performance in games: DOTA 2 62ºC / CPU 2.6 GHz average
  • External temperature: 40ºC rear zone

Wifi, Ethernet and Bluetooth

In the Wi-Fi connections the Microsoft Surface Book 2 tablet has a 2×2 MIMO Dual Band Wifi wireless AC adapter with Bluetooth 4.1 integrated with which we connect to an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid-range device. We perform tests on the use of streaming using the iPerf measurement tool to see the maximum performance of each network adapter.

  • Results: Correct speeds for this type of adapters. Good wifi range.
  • Bluetooth: Works correctly and connects without problems.
  • We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC

PERFORMANCE TEST

Processor

The 2 in 1 Microsoft Surface Book 2 has the Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core eight-threads processor that moves between 1.9 and 4.2 GHz but usually stays at 2.5GHz. In the graphic section we have two GPUs, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 is responsible for the system environment and multimedia playback, on the other hand we have an NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1060 with 6 GB GDDR5 dedicated to games or 3D applications. As we see the performance is excellent and we have results at the highest level compared with other laptops of conventional design.

Benchmarks

Games

We perform our performance tests in games on the Microsoft Surface Book 2, the results are very good thanks to the dedicated GPU NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1060 with 6GB of GDDR5 RAM. As we can see we have good performance in all the games if we adjust to FullHD resolutions, you can see in the test videos the results of our benchmarks. This Surface Book model comes with a built-in Xbox Gamepad receiver without the need for an adapter.

  • GTA V / Overwath / Fortnite, low settings, 720p resolution and no VSync.
  • LOL / WOT, ow settings, 1080p  resolution and no VSync.
    *On models with powerful discrete GPU settings in medium and 1080p resolution

With the Microsoft Surface Book 2 we have performed a performance test with the League of legends (LOL) with which we normally have 10fps more than with DOTA 2, with this video you can get an idea of how it would be played in this 2 in 1. We also do a special test with CS: GO that goes over in high settings, with the popular title Fortnite we can play smoothly at 1080p.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TESTS

Video playback test

To play video content in the 2 in 1 Microsoft Surface Book 2 we have the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU that has a VPU with hardware support for the HVEC codec and VP9, in this processor we have support for 10bit video color and also HDR. The NVIDIA Gforce GTX 1060 GPU is not operational, a pity because we can not take advantage of it in this aspect, it is only available to accelerate 3D graphics.

Video results

H.264 FormatResult
BBB – H.264 8bit – Simple@L1 – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit – High@L5.1 – 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – High@L5.1 – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – High 10@L5.1 – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrect
H.265 Format
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – Main@L6.2@Main – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrect
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.2@Main – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsCorrect
Jellyfish – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L6.1@High – 4K@30fps – 392 MbpsLow Frameskip
Anime – HVEC 10bit –  Main 10@L4@Main – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsCorrect
HDR Format
Life of Pi HDR10 –  HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.1@High – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsCorrect
LG Demo – Dolby Vision – HVEC 12bit – Main 10@L5@Main – 4K@24fps – 30 MbpsCorrect
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG 10bit  – Main 10@L5@High – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsCorrect
The world in HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 4K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip
Peru 8K HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 8K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip

 

Streaming services

We perform performance tests on the Microsoft Surface Book 2 mini PC in the most popular streaming services such as Youtube, Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video and others with their native apps or using the most compatible browser. You can consult our guides where we explain in detail all the best known streaming services, how to configure them and what requirements are necessary to see content in HD or 4K quality

Streaming serviceVideo QualityAudio Quality
Youtube4K@60fps (2060p)5.1
NetflixFullHD (1080p)5.1
HBOFullHD (1080p)Stereo
Amazon Prime VideoHD (720p)Stereo

CONCLUSIONS

Score

Microsoft Surface Book 2 _

8.5

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

9.5/10

HARDWARE

9.0/10

SOFTWARE

8.5/10

SUPPORT

9.0/10

PRICE

6.5/10

Pros

  • Spectacular design
  • High level components
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU
  • Excellent screen and great autonomy
  • 2 in 1 options

Cons

  • High temperatures sometimes
  • High price

Opinion

After analyzing the new 2 in 1 Microsoft Surface Book 2 we can only say that we have a really spectacular device. As we have seen in a really compact size we have an 8-generation Intel Core i7 processor with a very high level of power, in the 3D graphic section we have a whole NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6G of GDDR5 RAM that defends correctly with any modern game and both the NVMe disk and the 16GB RAM installed perfectly fulfill their function, everything feels fluid in everyday use. The screen as seen in the images looks really good and the battery have a very good autonomy that allows us to use it for hours.

We must also highlight the design level on the Microsoft Surface Book 2, the hinge system, the magnesium body and the magnetic / mechanical anchor system have left us with a good feeling, certainly the weight and stability of the set are peculiar but we are facing a different device. On the other hand we observed a certain level of elevated temperatures at specific moments that did not fit with the use that was being given, but in general it works perfectly in that aspect, the active ventilation system is almost silent even in intensive uses. In general, a special and very powerful device for those looking for a solution between a multi-purpose computer and an extra-large tablet with Stylus support.

WHERE TO BUY

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