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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.