Let’s just start by saying that the Surface Book 2 is an expensive laptop. With price ranging from RM6k to RM12K depending on the configurations, you might need to think twice before spending this amount of money.
But then again, if one can spend around the same price for a Macbook Pro, I don’t see why one should complain about the price of the Surface Book 2. Furthermore, it has a lot more tricks up its sleeve to prove to users that it is far better than Apple’s professional laptops.
So here are my thoughts on the Surface Book 2 by Microsoft. We shall start with the outlook… cos.. well.. I am a very visual person and if a gadget doesn’t look good, then there’s no more reason to consider it.
The Book 2 has a minimalist grey outlook with smooth matte texture which is very comfortable to touch and feel. With a glossy silver Microsoft logo on the front, I think it is very nicely designed to look professional and modern at the same time. The only thing I am not fond of is the weight. At almost 1.7KG for 13-inch and 2KG for 15-inch, it definitely does not belong in the ‘lightweight’ category. But hey, it looks good when placed on a desk so I guess it’s… fine?
Being a minimalist looking gadget, the only thing that catches your attention is the hinge. Microsoft calls it the ‘fulcrum hinge’. I didn’t research more into the naming history so let’s leave it as that.
The hinge stretches and retracts at the base which connects the keyboard to the screen. So is it a good hinge? Is it stable? Well, I’d say its very solid but the screen still wobbles a little when I’m scrolling or tapping some stuff on the display.
I also don’t quite like the gap between the screen and the keyboard when it is closed. Can you imagine all the dust that goes in through the gap?
Oh, by the way, see that SD card slot on the side of the Book 2? That’s a BIG reason why for one to get this laptop instead of the Macbook Pro. (seriously Apple.. removing the most important slot for photographers?)
Apart from that, you get the usual USB ports along with a new USB-C port as well. Say ‘no’ to dongle life.
The Surface Book 2 has touchscreen and pen input, along with a detachable display to be used as a tablet. All these you cannot get with a Macbook Pro.
I really like the keys on the keyboard. Typing on it feels amazing. (I’m comparing my experience here with typing on the new Macbook Pros). The key travel gave me satisfaction with every press. Let’s hope Microsoft keeps this keyboard for all new laptops in the future.
Ready for another feature that is not on the Macbook Pro? The Surface Book 2 screen is detachable. With just a press of a key, the screen can be removed and used as a tablet. It is surprisingly light for such a big screen that you can carry around. Although I don’t see myself holding such a big piece of screen but it’s a nice thing to have.
The best use case for using the screen as tablet is for watching movies while you are chilling on the couch. Just like how I watch my unboxing videos and VLOG which you can also watch if you click this > https://www.youtube.com/smashpop
Attaching the display back to the keyboard with screen facing outwards will bring us to the ‘studio mode’. It’s basically display folded back down giving us a tilted angle for drawing, sketching or typing on the on-screen keyboard.
This brings us to the Surface Pen. It’s a separate accessory which you can buy if you have extra money after purchasing the Book 2. The pen is very well made, with the same colour accent as the Book 2, they both definitely look good together.
I like how we can stick the pen to the side of the Book 2 magnetically (another thing Apple should learn).
The pen is very fast. Almost no latency when sketching or drawing. I like how inks can be manipulated by tilting and applying different pressure with the pen.
See how my whole palm was resting on the screen while sketching? Microsoft actually included palm rejection technology so the screen knows it when you are using the Surface Pen.
Battery life. I never used the Book 2 to play games so if you are a gamer, than I can’t give you the answer you need. But I did use it for browsing, watching Netflix, sketching, playing Spotify in the background and editing photos on Photoshop.
It could definitely last long enough for going out to meetings, working in a cafe and then back home. There’s also something to note. We cannot detach the display if battery is running low. I was frustrated at first but I guess it’s a safety measure by Microsoft.
So if you are on the lookout for a highly specced laptop and can afford to spend between RM6k to RM12k for it, you are most likely deciding between the Surface Book 2 and the Macbook Pro.
The Surface Book 2 has touchscreen and pen input, along with a detachable display to be used as a tablet. All these you cannot get with a Macbook Pro. Also, all the ports and SD card slot that comes along the Microsoft laptop.. will definitely clear off your mind from the frustration of dongle life.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours. If the OS is not a concern, I’m quite sure you will want the Microsoft Surface Book 2.