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Surface Laptop 2 Hands-on: MacBook-Killing Keyboard, 85 Percent Faster

Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Laptop 2, which builds on the success of the first model by offering a keyboard that puts the MacBook Pro to shame.

The company says the redesigned keyboard layout offers 1.5mm of key travel, which is a lot better than Apple's laptop (less than 1mm). I tried out the layout, and it felt very cushy on my fingers compared to my typical MacBook Pro.

Unfortunately, Microsoft did not make the leap to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, so you'll be stuck using the company' proprietary docking connector. It's almost 2019!

Surface Laptop 2
Price$999
Display13.5 inches (2256 x 1504
CPU8th Gen Intel Core i5, i7 (Quad-Core)
RAM8GB/16GB
GraphicsIntel Graphics 620
Storage128/256/512GB or 1TB
PortsUSB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, Surface Connector
ColorsBlack, Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue
Size12.1 x 8.8 x 0.39-0.57 inches
Weight2.76 pounds

The 13.5-inch display packs 3.4 million pixels. In fact, Microsoft says this is the thinnest LCD in a touchscreen laptop. The company also boasts a best-in-class contrast ratio of 1,500:1. Up close, the screen looked plenty sharp, but the taller aspect ratio may be a turn-off for some; on the plus side, you'll have to scroll less when in documents or on the web.

Microsoft is targeting 14.5 hours of battery life, which in this case means video playback. The company says that the MacBook Pro gets around 10 hours based on its own tests. 

Thanks to the new quad-core, 8th gen Intel processor, you should expect up to 85 percent faster performance than the previous Surface Laptop. We'll have to see how well it fares in our testing.

Overall, the Surface Laptop 2 is definitely a refresh, but the original Surface Laptop was one of the best ultraportables around. If the battery life lives up to the hype, it could hit the top of our laptop charts.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.