Microsoft recently updated two key components in its Surface lineup and not many people have noticed. Nonetheless, the upgrades are major ones and include the unveiling of the long-awaited Surface Book 3 and its smaller relative, the Surface Go 2.
Interestingly enough, neither device saw big changes. Likewise, neither one has new features that will wow consumers when compared to other gadgets in the same price ranges.
Unpacking the Surface Book 3
Microsoft’s Surface Book was one of the first truly powerful 2-in-1s. Its detachable base allows it to run complex programs with more power and battery longevity when it is attached. Yet, users are still able to take the tablet portion on the go without being weighed down by the keyboard. The Surface Book 2 was one of the best computers out there when it launched.
Sadly, it doesn’t appear that the wait for the Surface Book 3 was worth it. The new laptop retains almost everything from its predecessor—minus some updated internal components. In a fast-paced tech landscape, that means it’s dated.
The Surface Book 3 looks nearly identical to the Surface Book 2. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the form factor is still amazing. The case has been slimmed down a bit and the hinge is a bit less clunky. Aside from that, though, things are pretty much the same.
Internally, the Book 3 does get a few updates. For one, it now has Intel’s 10th-gen quad-core processors. While those are nice, they’re also a bit disappointing in this instance. Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro can be outfitted with six-core and even eight-core CPUs. Considering that the Surface Book is designed to be a MacBook competitor, this model seems to fall short.
On the plus side, the laptop can now be outfitted with up to 32GB of RAM in both its 13.5- and 15-inch configurations. Microsoft also notes that its solid-state drives (SSDs) are much faster than those in the previous generation.
Looking at the Surface Go 2
Microsoft made some waves in 2018 when it launched the Surface Go—an even smaller 2-in-1 than its already portable Surface Pro. Now, the second iteration of the device is here. Like the Surface Book 3, the Surface Go 2 doesn’t feature many cosmetic updates.
The port placement remains the same as before, allowing consumers to use their first-generation accessories with the new device. Surface Go 2 also features slightly smaller bezels. They’re nowhere close to the size of those on the Surface Pro X, but it’s a nice change. It also makes room for a slightly larger 10.5-inch display that boasts 1920 x 1280 resolution.
The most notable change is a configuration that includes Intel’s 8th-gen Core m3 processor. Microsoft promises that it will deliver 64 percent faster performance than the previous generation.
Finally, Surface Go 2 has a larger physical battery, giving it a longer lifespan than its predecessor. Microsoft claims that the device will now last up to 10 hours.
The retail launch of the Surface Go 2 is just around the corner. It goes on sale at a starting price of $399 on May 12.