I’m on day 4 of my month-long Surface Book 2 13-inch trial and have started using the device in anger after installed my Office apps, Chrome and other apps.
Today I attended a day-long seminar and decided to give the Surface Book 2’s supposedly legendary battery life a test by attending the session without a charger or notepad, planning to take all my notes for the day in OneNote.
Regular readers know that I am generally not overly impressed with Microsoft technology, but the Surface Book 2 may have just made me a convert.
The device appeared to be custom made for the job. Placed into easel mode, with the screen reversed and folded over the keyboard, the slight angle made note taking a breeze. Writing with the Surface Pen on the screen felt even better than on paper, with the easy glide meaning my hand did not get tired. The pen easily kept up with my chicken scrawl, with no issues with lag at all. The standard thickness and size of the pen (vs a thin one which would fit into a silo) meant writing was always perfectly comfortable. The magnets to hold the pen was now perfectly placed on the right side of the device to easily stow the pen when not actively writing. The screen was large enough for split-screen multitasking, allowing me to keep up with Twitter and 6 other Chrome tabs without interfering with note-taking. Palm rejecting was perfect.
To preserve battery life I turned down brightness to its Darkest mode, and everything remained perfectly legible in fluorescent lighting. That move may have been unnecessary, however, as, after 7 hours of constant note taking, I ended the day with 56% battery life. The Surface Book 2 was not even winded.
If I had to find some nitpicking issues, the power button when the device was lapped was easily pressed by my wrist, but this only caused momentary issues. Another issue is that when in the easel mode the Windows Hello camera is looking up your nose, meaning you had to lift and angle the device a bit to be recognized. Lastly, the Surface Book 2 does start to feel a bit heavy on your lap by the 4th hour.
All of these are however only niggling issues, and if I took notes for a living I would happily splash out the £1499 for the joy of using the Surface Book 2 for that purpose. I do not, however, so we will have to see over the next few weeks whether the device can impress me in more pedestrian use.
Both the new Surface Book 2 models are now available for order in the US here. Consumers in the UK can order the 13-inch version of Surface Book 2 here. Microsoft is also offering a trade-in program to make the £1499 price more palatable. Read more about that here.
If you have any questions about the laptop you want answered leave them in the comments below.