Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 review: Should you buy or upgrade?


the question we’re gonna answer today if
you own a surface laptop is the surface laptop – worth the upgrade Microsoft
recently launched the surface laptop – and we’ve just finished our review it’s
the successor to the surface laptop one which has introduced a year ago now if
you’re looking at both of these you’d be hard-pressed to tell a difference
because they’re almost exactly the same machine let’s go through the specs so
this is the same machine as far as dimensions are concerned the weights
exactly the same 2.80 pounds the screens the same 220 256 by 1580 stretching
across thirteen and a half inches and the battery life is the same as well
what’s different is two things one there is the very nice black color which i
think is actually a synthetic leaked white praising we were talking about
this before the burgundy is nice as well but the black adds up sort of that added
sort of bit of style to it all and then there’s an eighth-generation core
processor inside this there is the Core i5
8250 U which is a KB link our product now if we look at the ports they are
essentially the same and what we had previously on the surface laptop or a
service Ridge ”’l service laptop is we had the original surface connector and
then we had USB a a mini display port and a headphone jack that’s fine for
right now in fact many peripherals right now including an older hard drives are
still on USB type a but the surface laptop and the surface laptop 2 are
designed for students and you can imagine that a student’s going to be
using this over the course of two or three or four years so one of the port’s
they have left out becomes a little bit more crucial and that’s USB see you’ll
find that on many other devices at this point in time yes USB C does require a
dongle to go ahead and connect to older devices but it’s a forward-looking port
and you can imagine that over time there are going to be more and more
peripherals being manufactured as standard the other thing that the you
lose with the surface laptop both the first generation and
generation is a microSD slot that is restricted to the surface pro tablet
line and again if your pictures are going straight from your phone in the
cloud you might not miss it but if you have a an SLR or something of that sort
you want to go ahead and transfer photos manually you might want to have to find
a dongle we’re up for another machine let’s address the performance issue now
if we look at the first generation and the second generation on certain tests
they are almost identical on certain tests there’s a great gap between the
two of them Microsoft recently introduced the October 2018 update and
we run tests three times on the first two tests we happen to get the older
update the march of the April update on the third test Microsoft actually forced
the update to the October 2018 update this is only significant because scores
dropped on this by about seven percent on the older PC mark test those measure
home and office in a work environment and if you’re looking strictly at the
result of those tests this is actually this faster machine slightly again
probably indicative of some concerns with PC mark but also some indications
that the two machines are fairly close together however if we look at the more
in-depth and synthesized benchmarks we see a greater disparity Cinebench for
example 71 percent difference between this and this that shows that when
you’re talking about computationally intensive tasks this is really the
machine to choose from handbrake which is a video transcoding test we use that
to transcoding Hollywood length movie into a format that can be used in an
android tablet and this was actually 39 percent faster if you look at 3d
graphics again seventh generation eighth generation we’re seeing a 21 percent
difference can you play games in this the answer is yes depending upon what
you’re playing you don’t want to go ahead and use try to force something
like Call of Duty but if you’re talking about League of Legends or something
that’s where this will just run this will run just fine now the other thing
that really differentiates the surface laptop line and
reason that we really love the first generation machine was battery life and
for that machine you got over 10 hours other difference we have in between the
first and second generation machines we haven’t talked about is the fact that
the first generation machine used Windows 10s or Windows 10 and s mode
this goes strictly to Windows 10 home or if you opt for a business environments
Windows 10 Pro Windows 10s actually added about an hour to battery life on
this and really helped it but if you compare the two using Windows 10 home
again actually what you saw and someone surprisingly is that this actually
outclassed this in terms of battery life there’s a reason for that the battery
sizes are essentially the same 42 watt hours however we kind of got a bit of a
cherry pick machine here and that the actual battery size was about 44
almost 45 watt hours where this was actually 42 so in terms of battery life
again about 10 hours this happened to be a little bit more expect about 10 hours
of total battery life our other machine what it boils down to is this again are
you should you if you have a surface laptop opted for the service laptop – I
would say no if you already own a surface laptop the performance is
probably close enough for the tasks that you’re doing that you don’t need to pay
extra for this machine we should also mention at the price as well this
happens to be a machine that cost 999 dollars for the minimum price what this
machine was actually tested at was $12.99 this off charges about $200 for
the black version part of that is taken up by the fact that the minimum amount
of capacity amount of storage for this is 128 gigabytes this particular black
version is only offered in 256 gigabytes so you’re getting a little bit more for
your money again though you’re paying a little bit just for the premium of
having an athletically pleasing mobile in a surface laptop I thought the
original service laptop was an excellent machine
the problem is Microsoft had opted to simply tweak the surface laptop
and create the surface laptop to its competitors have not they’ve
aggressively forged ahead and in fact I would actually recommend a couple of
machines over the surface laptop – there’s the HP spectre x360 13 T and
then there’s the most recent Dell XPS which is the 9370 which was released in
late 2017 the late 2017 dell XPS really embraces USBC again you’ll have
to have a dog little go ahead and connect an older devices the HP Spectre
is a little bit less performant a little bit less has a little bit less
horsepower under the hood however again we’re in the same ballpark
the battery life is excellent for both machines and the prices are great as
well HP especially during the holidays was really taking their price of their
360 down by quite a bit so what do I think of the surface laptop – it’s a
great machine it’s a good machine it’s a solid machine but if you’re looking for
the best machine you have to look elsewhere

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18 thoughts on “Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 review: Should you buy or upgrade?

  1. This was a very helpful review for me. I bought the Surface Laptop 2 but ended up returning it. I’m still searching for the right laptop for me. I am
    about to enter an Interior Architecture and Design program come January. I need a laptop that will allow me to run CAD and Revit. I’ve looked at workstations and gaming laptops but I find them a bit too powerful, heavy and over my budget. I’m willing to pay around 1200 for a laptop. What would you recommend? I am partial to the MAC OS OPs but I am willing to transition into a windows OS if it will be my best option. Thanks!

  2. I want everyone to move over to USB-C, get rid of USB-A, Lightning, miniDP, etc… My perfect laptop would have an SD card reader for photo and video production and 2-4 USB-C ports. Also ideally i would love to see a dongless bluetooth+wifi/rf wireless mouse with a battery that can be charged wirelessly and a USB-C port for wired use and charging.

  3. Instead of repeatedly saying "This is better than this" over and over, and sometimes over a graph, just say which model.

  4. To be fair to Miscrosoft, how often does anyone come out with a laptop that's worth upgrading to if you already own the same model from a year or two earlier? Processing power just isn't progressing fast enough to make that worth while and it isn't as though the original Surface was riddled with poor design choices that needed to be fixed. Unless they waited several years, this was always going to be an incremental upgrade. A nice option for new buyers, but a waste of money for most Surface Laptop owners.

  5. USB-C is cool, and the thunderbolt 3 is even cooler, but right now, who do set up an external GPU and do gaming on laptops like this? Like seriously, they are super expensive to set up and you lose a lot of the performance as well especially when paired with the U series processors. Thunderbolt 3 based ssd are cool, but they are super pricey as well. So I don't think the lack of usb-c or tb3 is the end of the world. Depending on what do you do, it won't be a deal breaker, especially if you are a college student.

  6. I bought a Surface Laptop 2 , I needed a laptop for programming, watching videos and writing essays. And you can play games on this. It’s the perfect casual laptop.

  7. Thanks for this, but why do you sit in front of the laptops? We would benefit more from seeing the screen and the keyboard, etc. Oh well. ON to another comparison review, I guess.

  8. Would you rather recommend to buy the 2nd gen with an i5 or the 1st gen with an i7 (+intel iris plus graphics 640)

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