Skip to main content

Microsoft Launches Cheaper Surface Book 2: Buy or Skip?

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 has long been one of the best laptops for creative pros, but we've struggled to come to terms with its high price.

Now Microsoft is now selling a cheaper version of the 15-inch Surface Book 2, the first with an Intel Core i5 CPU. The new base configuration costs $2,000 and is identical to the previous models except that it comes with a Core i5 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and integrated graphics.

You can purchase the new Surface Book 2 base configuration today from Best Buy or Microsoft's online store.

MORE: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch): Most Powerful 2-in-1 Yet

If you read the fine print, you'll see that the new configuration has a 7th Gen Core i5 CPU whereas the other models have newer, 8th Gen Core i7 CPUs. A product page on Best Buy, however, says the new model has a Core i5-8350U CPU, which is an 8th Gen chip.

We've reached out to Microsoft for clarification and will update this article if we hear back.

Should You Buy the New 15-inch Surface Book 2 Model?

Even if the new 15-inch Surface Book 2 comes with an 8th Gen Core i5 processor, you probably shouldn't buy it. That's because, right now, you can spend an extra $200 to upgrade from a Core i5 CPU to a Core i7 CPU with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics. That's a much better deal if you have the extra cash. If you don't, we suggest saving up until you do --- that $2,200 model will provide much better overall performance than the new base version.

Alternatively, you can buy the 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 for $1,099 with the same specs as the 15-inch model. Unless you absolutely need the larger screen, there's no reason to pay an extra $900.

We're hoping that the price of this new model sinks further as we approach the peak holiday shopping period because right now, it's a pretty rotten deal.

Phillip Tracy is a senior writer at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he reviews laptops and covers the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News and NewBay Media. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, listening to indie music or watching soccer.