Microsoft is introducing lower-end versions of its Surface Book 2 and Surface Laptop thin and lights in a very good news/bad news way. The good news is that customers will not have to give up much in the way of specifications, but the bad news being that these new SKUs are not much cheaper than their predecessors as a result. If you were hoping for a budget Surface Book, this is not the device you are looking for.
Tech Report reports that Microsoft is now offering a Surface Book 2 with the same Core i5 7300U (dual core with Hyperthreading) and 8GB base RAM as the exiting i5 model, but with half the storage at 128 GB. All other specifications remain the same including the 13.5” 3000×2000 resolution display, 23mm thick chassis with 2-in-1 folding hinge, and the same USB 3.1 Gen 1, headphone, SD card, and Surface Dock I/O ports. The new “budget” model starts at $1,199 which is $300 cheaper than the i5 7300U model with 256 GB storage. Not bad considering you are only giving up storage space but still priced at a premium.
In addition to the Surface Book 2, Microsoft is also adding a cheaper Surface Laptop which cuts the cost to entry to $799. Customers will have to settle for the silver version however, as that is currently the only color option at that price point. Performance as well as storage take a hit on this cost-cutting endeavor as well with the previous Core i5 base CPU (2c/4t up to 3.1 GHz) replaced with a Core m3-7Y30 (2c/4t up to 2.6 GHz). The new budget model further includes 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. Fortunately, the 13.5” 2256×1504 touchscreen display remains the same. The price difference between the Core m3 SKU and the previously base Core i5 7200U SKU is only $200 and you are giving up more than storage this time to get there.
It appears the Surface Laptop still comes with Windows 10 S while the Surface Book 2 comes with Windows 10 Pro. Microsoft provides 1-year warranties on these machines.
Are the new lower-cost versions enough to get you to buy into the Surface and Windows 10 ecosystem?
My current laptop that I’m
My current laptop that I’m looking to upgrade is maxed-out at 4GB of RAM, were it able to use 8GB I probably wouldn’t need to change it. OK, RAM is crazy expensive nowadays, but I find it hard to understand how MS sells a 4GB computer at that price. The computer after a month or two will be slow, will swap all the time (albeit on an SSD) and folks will think MS makes rubbish products; the Surface brand will be damaged (not that it actually took off outside US) and for what, to keep 10$ margin vs what it would cost to put 8GB of RAM.
Well done, another useless product.
Don’t buy a device with
Don’t buy a device with effectively zero repairability, even if they drop the price…
I mean I’d give them a pass if they would just put a tiny little door to access the SSD, but nope it’s all about the overpriced top end SKU’s and making sure the device is trash at the end of warranty so you have to purchase a new one. This is not an engineering hurdle, this is a you are greedy jerks hurdle.
I would bet that over 99% of
I would bet that over 99% of laptops never have their SSD replaced. Why should I pay extra for a door to be put in the bottom of a device which will decrease the rigidity of the case and potentially cause a rattle so that a couple people can upgrade the SSD? And on the Surface Book, where do you suggest they put the door? The SSD is behind the screen.
Really drinking down the MS
Really drinking down the MS koolaid there. With all the back patting on technical design they have given themselves on the surface line about the screen stack, VaporMG, the surface hinge, the surface book hinge, the power connector, the cooling solutions, blah blah blah you mean to tell me a major concern for users and corporations (having a field replaceable/upgradable SSD) was impossible or would have added noticeably to the BOM?
It’s designed that way 100% to protect the high margin SKU’s
Are they stupid? Are they
Are they stupid? Are they seriously hurting for money that bad that they’re willing to compromise the Surface Book line up with laptop with shit specs? (seriously, 4GB RAM? Windows 7 Pro couldn’t even run Windows Update with 4GB without running into “your system is running low on memory” errors and completely locking up)
Good job, Microsoft. I’m sure the prospective buyers that were looking for the next shiny aluminum thing totally won’t regret buying it, return it, then go back to a macbook instead.
It’s almost like MS is trying
It’s almost like MS is trying to be like Apple with the “premium” products, and at the same time offering a lower end model so those wtih smaller budgets can fit in with the “it” crowd.
meh, the devices are not all bad and look sleek and all, but damn that pricing and non-upgradability.
I’m writing this from a first
I’m writing this from a first edition Surface Book and it’s GREAT. Upgrade potential would be nice but this thing is a modern marvel, so light and powerful. I hook it up to my theater room via wireless (Miracast) and let kids (and adults) use it as a tablet to play Pictionary – super fun! I wish it were cheaper and had less bugs in the beginning, pretty stable now though. I planned to upgrade to the SB2 but this one keeps going fine so…we shall see…keeping my eye on Surface developments.