Microsoft Surface Book 2: Portable powerhouse for Indian pros

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New Delhi : Satya Nadella wants people to love the products Microsoft makes and does not want them to just buy because they feel they have to. This also goes for Microsoft Surface Book 2 that arrived in India on Tuesday.

Microsoft's shipments of Surface Pro and Surface Book 2 reached over 1 million in the second quarter of this year.

According to global market research firm Strategy Analytics, Microsoft's Surface Pro and Surface Book 2 devices had second straight quarter of double-digit, year-on-year growth since Q3 2016.

Starting at Rs 137,999, Surface Book 2 (that comes in 13.5-inch and 15-inch variants) is a portable powerhouse that claims to end the barrier between the desktop and the laptop.

Let us see what the 13.5-inch detachable with 8GB RAM, 256GB solid state drive (SSD) and Intel HD Graphics 620 has to offer its Indian fans.

Microsoft has not deviated from the original Surface Book design with Surface Book 2.

This time, the design is outstanding. The magnesium chassis gives a much subtler look than an aluminium-finish body; there are hardly any creaks or weak points owing to a unibody design.

With the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 discrete graphics options, Surface Book 2 claims to be up to five times more powerful than the original, and as twice as powerful as the latest Apple MacBook Pro.

Surface Book 2 provides nearly all-day battery life - up to 17 hours of video playback -- that is 70 per cent more than the latest MacBook Pro.

What's more, you get up to five hours of battery life in the detachable mode. To detach, simply press a release button on the keyboard that separates the display from the main laptop body.

Microsoft has placed CPU, RAM, storage, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and battery into the display. The main laptop body has a bigger battery and houses Nvidia GPU for high-performing tasks.

In a pre-briefing session, it was stunning to observe "PixelSense Display" while moving seamlessly between professional apps, immerse in gaming or simply surf.

Surface Book 2's crisp "PixelSense Display" and multi-touch Surface Pen as well as "Surface Dial" on-screen support can make powerPoint presentations more effective.

The design has been refined -- from the dynamic "fulcrum hinge" for a more stable touch experience -- with an improved backlit keyboard and flexibility of both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports.

The keypad comes with glass-track pad, anti-fingerprint coating and improved multi-finger gestures.

The device is compatible with next-generation Surface Pen and Surface Dial on-screen interaction and ships with 64-bit Windows 10 Pro (Windows Creators Update).

There are two cameras: 5MP front and and 8MP camera with auto-focus at the rear.

For an ever-evolving Indian gamer, Surface Book 2 can handle popular PC games at 1080p and 60 frames per second (FPS) - in some cases even matching the graphics performance of game consoles like Xbox One.

The bigger 15-inch tablet even has a built-in Xbox One wireless support which helps you pair Xbox One controllers and compatible headsets to play with no cords or additional dongles required.

The high-end Surface Book 2 models are also ready for Windows Mixed Reality (MR) games -- including the highest-performance virtual reality (VR) gaming experience.

What does not work?

Apart from being a bit bulky, we could not find anything else (at the moment).

Conclusion: If you're a developer, a digital artist, a designer, an accountant or a serious gamer, Surface Book 2 gives the power of a desktop, the versatility of a tablet, and the freedom of a light and thin laptop in one device.

(Nishant Arora can be contacted at