Software giant Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a second-generation Surface Book laptop as it continues to compete with Apple’s MacBook Pro notebook family.

Arriving two years following Microsoft’s original $1,499 laptop/tablet hybrid model, the new Surface Book 2 laptop is, according to Microsoft, twice as powerful as Apple’s latest MacBook Pro models while featuring up to 17 hours of battery life while watching video and “the most powerful graphics performance ever from a Surface laptop.”

“We do not recommend people use the device for 17 straight hours,” Panos Panay, Microsoft’s VP of Devices, said at a media briefing. “But if you really wanted to, that was our goal.”

The Surface Book family now comes in two sizes: a new 15-inch model or a 13.5-inch PixelSense Display one. Both machines feature 17 hours of battery life in laptop mode and up to five hours in tablet mode (video watching).

Although Microsoft points out that the new Surface provides 70 percent more battery life than the latest MacBook Pro, it should be noted that Apple’s battery stats include more mixed use while Microsoft bases its test on a video playback loop.

Other shared features include Bluetooth 4.1, two USB-A ports, one USB-C port (no Thunderbolt support, sadly), the Surface Connector, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack with Dolby Atmos support for headphones, a five-megapixel camera out the front and an eight-megapixel shooter out the back, Windows Hello login support and a backlit keyboard with 1.55mm travel.

The 13.5-inch model has a resolution of 3,000-by-2,000 pixels (267 PPI) and weighs in at 3.38 pounds in laptop mode or 1.59 pounds in tablet mode. The base model comes outfitted with Intel’s seventh-generation dual-core i5-7300U chip with 8GB of RAM (upgradeable to an eighth-generation Intel quad-core i7-8650U chip with 16GB of RAM), 256GB/512GB/1TB flash storage and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB of dedicated graphic memory.

The more powerful 15-inch model has a resolution of 3,240-by-2,160 pixels (260 PPI) and weighs in at 4.2 pounds in laptop mode and 1.8 pounds in tablet mode. It’s equipped with an eighth-generation quad-core Intel i7-8650U chip with 16GB of RAM, 256GB/512GB/1TB flash memory and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of graphic memory (great for gaming!).

“The 15-inch Surface Book 2 delivers almost seven million dazzling pixels—45 percent more than MacBook Pro—giving artists and professionals alike amazing pixel density on an even larger creative canvas,” says Microsoft.

A multitude of different configuration options are available as well.

The smaller Surface Book 2 starts at $1,499, the same price as its predecessor, and the larger version starts at $2,499.

Microsoft will begin to accept preorders for the new machines on November 9 from Microsoft Store and select retailers ahead of their launch a week later on November 16.

What do you think of the new Surface Book laptops?

Post your observations in the comment section below.

  • OtterWithKids

    First of all, there is no “new” MacBook Pro; there’s the one they released over four months ago, which can be pretty significant in tech product cycles.

    Regardless, I’d say the comparison sounds like the same thing Apple has been doing for decades: take your company’s about-to-be-released machine, compare it to some random device the competition currently has on the market (in this case, a MacBook Pro that costs $700 less), figure out the areas in which your product is better, and flaunt them. Is it true? Sure, at least enough not to get sued. But ultimately, it’s advertising, pure and simple.

    If you prefer the Surface Book’s features, get a Surface Book. If you prefer the MacBook Pro’s features, get the MacBook Pro. But either way, do your best not to buy into the hype.

    • SpideyRules

      “First of all, there is no “new” MacBook Pro; there’s the one they released over four months ago, which can be pretty significant in tech product cycles.”

      How elitist of you. And 100% incorrect…

      • OtterWithKids

        Not sure what’s either elitist or incorrect about that. Care to elaborate?

      • Blip dude

        I guess new may be incorrect but latest generation might suit best here.

        Also, 4 months isn’t significant in tech cycles, if it is it’s because people make it out to be that way.

      • OtterWithKids

        I get what you’re saying. I didn’t really mean it in terms of consumers; I meant in terms of manufacturers. Four months really is a big deal, behind the curtain.

        Ultimately, though, that passage was intended to be an aside. My main point was to respond to the closing question, “What do you think of the new Surface Book laptops?” My answer: if you prefer its features, great. If you don’t, great. There are several reasons I personally wouldn’t get it, but if others have reasons they would, more power to them.

      • Blip dude

        I can definitely agree with that.

      • Leopoldo Pereira

        Guess you didn’t understand his argument, Web Slinger. Nice try, web brain! LOL

  • Jurassic

    “the new Surface Book 2 laptop is, according to Microsoft, twice as powerful as Apple’s latest MacBook Pro models”

    And we all know that Microsoft has NEVER used hyperbole when describing its products.

    • bw00ds

      Apple never uses hyperbole?

  • Iskren Donev

    I am confused about the battery life. How can the Surface Book get 17 hours of battery in laptop mode and only 5 in tablet mode? Is the touchscreen disabled while in laptop mode?

    • Mak2

      I think keypad must have battery that power to laptop mode as in weight say that too. When you do tablet keybad is not attached. If understand correctly

    • efrds

      The laptop pad has also a battery. Actually most hybrid laptops have 2 batteries.

  • credulousgeek

    Seriously microsoft you are competing with Apple? Claps Slowly

    • Blip dude

      Why not?? You say it like competition is a bad thing.

      • credulousgeek

        that was a sarcasm microsoft needs to first hw and sw integration tbh not even a single surface tablet beats any mac to date.

    • FastTrack

      What’s there to compete against? Any advanced user is already using a PC with Windows and has no interest in downgrading to something as “simple” as a Mac. So it’s not like Microsoft really needs to go out and beg for new users since they have the majority of the user base already in their pocket.

      I don’t know why Mac users always seem to get so salty when another company releases a superior device. I guess it’s because they hate knowing they spent a sh!tload of cash on a load of sh!t. I mean seriously, lets take something like an iPad Pro for example, $800 for a glorified iPad that runs a crippled mobile operating system, has no usb, no keyboard, no touchpad. Yeah, only something a simple fanboy would buy.

      I have an iPhone, and without my Jailbreak it would seriously be a worthless piece of sh!t. Samsung makes better hardware but Android sucks! It’s a shame that Microsoft couldn’t have done better with a mobile device/os but oh well, I’d rather they keep dominating the desktop/laptop world since that’s where real work gets done anyways! Not on stupid little cell phones and iFads!

      • M_Hawke

        As an iPhone and iPad, Win PC owner/user, I agree with much of what you say.

      • credulousgeek

        Without a doubt Apple makes the best devices its not a lie i own surface devices and they are shit microsoft has to go a long way their crappy hw and sw integration sucks microsoft is trying to jump in this race Apple is far ahaead of it.

  • Cerberus The Wise

    “…great for gaming!”
    Maybe but say goodbye to that “17 hour” battery life lol

  • efrds

    Even though I am an happy Macbook Pro user since 2010 (I have the Retina 2015 now). This Surface Book 2 is still very beautiful. To be honest, the touch bar is a gimmick for me, and as an engineering student who has basically every time mathematics I can’t use my Mac to write mathematical notes. (Do not come with the answer, buy besides an iPad Pro). However, all my friends who own a laptop with a stylus do have an advantage in my opinion. I love to have everything on my pc. I basically upload all notes with PDF Scanner to my mac. However, it would be very nice to write them with a stylus instead. Why I don’t buy Surface instead? Well I really prefer macOS over Windows.

  • Gucciipad

    I can’t stand windows but the windows looks worth it

  • Blacklight: Retribution

    them prices

  • John

    I’m pretty shocked at how similar the wallpaper they chose for these marketing shots is to the one Apple used for their MacBook Pros…

  • bw00ds

    “it should be noted that Apple’s battery stats include more mixed use while Microsoft bases its test on a video playback loop”

    So wouldn’t that be a plus for the Surface notebook? Wouldn’t a video playback loop be more battery intensive than, say, mixed use including document writing, Internet surfing, etc.? Just curious.

  • M_Hawke

    Really is a nice concept and nice hardware. Really a great concept since the original Surface. Enjoying how MS has been innovative these last few years.