Hero or Zero? Microsoft Surface Book 2 Reviews Roll In

Microsoft is touting its Surface Book 2, on sale today, as a powerful 2-in-1 laptop that's built for all-around performance, whether you're a business user, gamer, designer, developer, or researcher.

Reviewers, however, say the device is clearly intended as Microsoft's answer to Apple's MacBook Pro, even down to its premium-level price. They note the Surface Book 2 outperforms its Apple counterpart in many areas, including its flexible capabilities as a laptop, tablet, or hybrid.

Available online from Microsoft.com, as well as from Microsoft and Best Buy retail stores, the Surface Book 2 is priced starting at $1,499 for the 13.5-inch, 8 GB model and $2,499 for the 15-inch, 16 GB model.

A Serious MacBook Pro Contender

Tech writer Paul Thurrott praised the new device in his review today, saying it "takes everything that was wonderful about the original model and cranks it up to 11." He added that one of the few points that might bother some users is the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 connector, as the Surface Book 2 instead sports a USB-C port.

With its touchscreen display, high-level performance, and premium hardware, the Surface Book 2 offers a serious challenge to Apple's MacBook Pro, said SlashGear's Chris Davies. While the device's cons include the single USB-C port and lack of a Thunderbolt 3 connector, he added its price is "competitive against Apple."

Over at The Verge, Tom Warren said the Surface Laptop remains Microsoft's best to date, while the Surface Book 2 is clearly designed as an Apple MacBook Pro rival. While the 15-inch model with 1 TB of memory costs $3,299, it beats Apple's alternative "in many areas that matter," including display, processor, graphics card, and touch/stylus support, he added.

Business Insider's Matt Weinberger had few caveats for the Surface Book 2, calling it "probably the best computer...

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