As previously rumored, Microsoft is now offering a new baseline 15-inch Surface Book 2 with an Intel Core i5 processor (CPU) at a lower price. You can see the new configuration here (opens in new tab).
Previously, the base Surface Book 2 configuration with a 15-inch display was an 8th-Generation Intel Core i7 with dedicated Nvidia graphics, 16GB of memory (RAM), and several options for solid-state storage (SSD) capacity. The new configuration fits a 7th-Generation Intel Core i5 with integrated graphics, 16GB of RAM and a single option for 256GB of SSD.
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This new configuration sees the 15-inch model come to its lowest starting price yet at $1,999 (about £1,570, AU$2,890). But, there's a lot going on here that raises questions about what Microsoft is actually offering and what point there is in choosing this model.
There's a lot that doesn't make sense
Microsoft offering a lower-spec version of the 15-inch Surface Book 2 makes plenty of sense. It provides a more affordable option for people who want the extra screen space but don't need the more powerful Intel Core i7 CPU or dedicated graphics. But, that's where the sense seems to end.
At $1,999, the new model costs almost double the 13.5-inch base model at its currently discounted price of $1,049. An increase of $950 is a lot to just get a little extra screen space, 8GB of extra RAM, and 128GB of extra storage.
But, there are also some curious aspects about the actual specs of the new model. For one, the configuration says it comes with a 7th-Gen Intel Core i5, but the order summary section on Microsoft's site says it's an 8th-Gen Intel Core i5. Best Buy's listing (opens in new tab) says it's an Intel Core i5-8350U, which is indeed from the 8th Generation, but it also says there's only 8GB of RAM.
Then, there's the now-discounted price of the higher-spec model. At the moment, Microsoft is selling an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 model with 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics (a huge upgrade from Intel integrated graphics) for just $2,199. At just $200 over the new low-spec model, there should be almost no reason for someone with a $2,000 computer budget not to spent an extra $200 for a model that will better stand the test of time.
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