Surface Book 2 Now Offers an 8th-Generation Core i5 Configuration

Posted on March 31, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 19 Comments

Thinking About Surface Book 2 Specs and Configurations

When Surface Book 2 debuted in late 2017, the base configuration was only offered with a dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core-i5 processor, while the other models all featured more powerful quad-core 8th-genration Core-i7 processors. Now, however, Microsoft is also offering a model with an 8th-generation Core i5. And for a limited time, it’s no more expensive than the base configuration.

Confused? You can see how the Surface Book 2 models originally broke down here. The short version is that most where quite modern, for the day, with quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 chips with dedicated graphics which varied between the 13.5- and 15-inch versions of the device. Only the base model came with a previous-generation (and dual-core) i5 chip and integrated graphics.

Today, there’s a new model: At the Microsoft Store, you can order a 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 with a quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 as well. It doesn’t appear to replace the base model, though that could happen over time.

As for pricing, the cheapest version you can get with an 8th-generation Core i5 chipset costs $1500. For that price, you also get 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, and integrated graphics.

The cheapest Surface Book still provides that 7th-generation Core i5, and is coupled with 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, and integrated graphics, and costs $1150. A version that matches the new 8th-generation model—that is, with 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, and integrated graphics—normally costs $1500. But right now, that one is on sale for $1300. So you can save $200 if you do not need those extra cores (and the presumed reliability and security improvements that are also included with the 8th-gen part).

Looking back at Microsoft’s original Surface Book 2 pricing—and seriously, it’s been a year and a half since this computer debuted—I can see that a few things have changed since then. At that time, the 7th-gen i5 with 256 GB was the base model and it cost $1500. Microsoft later added a 128 GB offering to lower the price somewhat, a strategy it used with its other Surface PCs as well.

Still, it’s a great computer. And you could make the argument that finally offering an 8th-generation Core i5 at what was the original base model selling price sort of sets things right. And while Surface Book 2 is also starting to get a bit long in the tooth, I don’t expect to see a Surface Book 3 before late 2019 at the earliest.

Thanks to Neowin for tipping me off to this new model.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Surface Book 2 Now Offers an 8th-Generation Core i5 Configuration”

  1. ivarh

    Still no Thunderbolt 3?

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to ivarh:

      It's not a new design. It's just a processor choice change.

      • ivarh

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Makes me sad. I have come to see Thundetbolt 3 as the best future proofing I have seen so far for laptops. As a pc and mac user I like the fact that my Thunderbolt 3 dock lets me connect both my macbook and Dell laptop to my external screen/network/charger/EGPU using a single cable (and no drivers) apart for the EGPU's graphics driver on windows.

        I have more or less decided not to invest in portable gear without.

  2. Daniel Kay

    It appears not to be available in the UK....

  3. wolters

    I'm still rocking my Surface Book 2, Core i7, 512GB model. Has been rock solid.

  4. simont

    I see they have i7 8th gen as well.

    Although I would like to see a SurfacePro with 8th gen as well.

  5. justme

    The only thing I wish the SB2 had was Thunderbolt 3 support. Apart from that, long in the tooth or not, its still a great machine.

  6. jacob

    I think the MacBook Pro is generally better.

    • digiguy

      In reply to jacob:

      Generally? Definitely not, If you are ready to endure anything to have MacOS, sure... Mac used to be great, and MacOs is still great from many points of view, and I still love my macbook air. But for me a laptop has to be great for typing... And while subjectively I can't stand the new keyboards, objectively they are trash from a durability point of view. The surface book keyboard is great, not the very best, but superior to many laptops, including surface pro and surface laptop (I don't like the keyboard on the surface laptop but I would still take it any day over the new macs).

    • wp7mango

      In reply to jacob:

      I think the Surface Book is superior in every way. Certainly far more versatile than the Macbook Pro. Obviously the Surface Book also has a detachable tablet, so it's basically like having an iPad Pro and a Macbook Pro in a single device.

      • Ivan19997

        In reply to WP7Mango:

        It's not tablet - it's laptop without keyboard. And it's almost useless in this scenario. Any windows "tablet" still requires keyboard and mouse - otherwise it's really uncomfortable and odd device.

        • lvthunder

          In reply to Ivan19997:

          Maybe it's useless for you, but I use Photoshop with it in that configuration 3-4 times a week. It's the best way for me to edit photos. I use just the pen and the dial.

        • wp7mango

          In reply to Ivan19997:

          No, it's a tablet. Having owned a Surface Pro 3 for several years, I can easily say that it's awesome, comfortable, and does not require a mouse or keyboard when used as a tablet. I do everything with touch and pen when using the device as a tablet, and it works great.

  7. Daekar

    I'm mystified that all the configurations listed were with 8GB of RAM. Is that the amount usually considered acceptable still?

  8. hoomgar

    Still to expensive for me.