Microsoft quietly announces Surface Book 2, is WMR Ultra ready

Surface Book getting long in the tooth with processors and GPU performance coming a long way since its release a couple of years ago. With not dedicated event, the...

Surface Book getting long in the tooth with processors and GPU performance coming a long way since its release a couple of years ago. With not dedicated event, the Surface Book 2 is largely just a case of update the device with a spec boost.

Microsoft says the Surface Book 2 is good for ‘up to’ 17 hours of battery life. To be honest, if it can get anywhere close to that, it’d be an engineering miracle. Surface Book 2 now comes in two sizes, the 13.5” and a new 15” option. The Surface Book 2 slots in at the top of the Surface lineup with the most latest 8th generation Intel Dual-Core and Quad-Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 discrete graphics options, Surface Book 2 has up to 5x times the graphics performance of the original Surface Book and while its unlikely to sway any hardcore Apple fans, noteably is 2x as powerful as the new MacBook Pro.

Once of the biggest issues with the first generation was the electronically released detachable display and weird gap between the display and keyboard when you close the device. Microsoft says they’ve heard the feedback from users and v2 gets a redesign, providing a smoother, faster detach option to transition into Tablet or Studio Mode.

Microsoft says the boost in performance and all-day battery life will attract product designers, gamers, architects, and developers who need the power of a desktop but crave the mobility of a laptop. Surface Book 2 with the 13” weighs 1.53kg and the 15” Surface Book 2 at 1.9kg, it delivers portability and performance.

When it comes to ports, it seems Microsoft learnt from the feedback on Surface laptop, as Surface Book 2 delivers USB-C (as well as a USB-A port) and full-size SD card reader which makes it easy to connect other devices, accessories and memory cards without the need for a bag full of dongles.

Today is also Microsoft’s big day out for Mixed Reality, with a number of partner devices now shipping and the Fall Creators Update to Windows 10 also rolling out across the globe. Surface Book 2 is designed to play as hard as it works. So when you’re done with work for the day and you want to game, Surface Book 2 is powerful enough to handle the most popular PC games at 1080p (yep, you read that right, not 4K) at 60 FPS.

With built-in Xbox One Wireless support on the 15” model, you can pair your Xbox One controllers and compatible headsets to play with no cords or additional dongles required.

Surface Book 2 falls into the performance window required to achieve the Windows Mixed Reality Ultra branding. This means it can drive the top-tier of MR apps and for the price, you’d hope so. Basically this means you’ll experience apps and experiences with crisper visuals and a higher refresh rate (90 frames per second), including the highest-performance VR games.

Surface Book 2 starts at A$2,199.00 and goes right up to A$4,499.00 for the 13.5″ Core i7 Quad-core with 1TB of storage, 16GB RAM and GTX1050. Pre-orders in Australia open on November 9th.

Update
It looks like the Australian site doesn’t list the 15″ model, while the US site does. This may be bad news for any Aussies eyeing the new size.

To learn more about Surface Book 2, visit Panos’ blog post.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.