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I don't think anyone can argue that Microsoft has brought it the last few years as they've developed their Surface line of products.
In fact, their Surface stuff is so good that Apple is shaking in its boots - and rightfully so.
In many ways, the Surface lineup is bigger, better, faster, and stronger than what Apple is putting out.
But until now, there wasn't really anything in the Microsoft stable that could compete with the MacBook Pro.
Now that's changed with the Microsoft Surface Book 2.
Microsoft Surface Book 2: Overview
This thing is a beast, plain and simple.
It can go toe-to-toe with the MacBook Pro, and even exceeds it in many ways.
That's because the Surface Book 2 has 13.5-inch and 15-inch models with a detachable touchscreen display, something that Apple appears completely disinterested in making.
It's got a high-end graphics card which makes it a great option for gaming (it even has support for Xbox controllers).
It's got a huge trackpad, a great keyboard with responsive, backlit keys that feel solid, and a gorgeous silver magnesium finish as well.
The 3:2 screen aspect ratio is great for editing or viewing photos, and the screen resolution is nice too, which at 3240x2160 (on the 15-inch model) is almost 4K quality.
It sports the same fulcrum hinge as its predecessor, that despite the strange gap when the Book 2 is closed works great.
If you have tons of peripherals, the Surface Book 2 has you covered with USB-C, two USB 3.1 ports, a Surface Connector, and an SD card reader to boot.
From the outside, the Surface Book 2 looks basically identical to the original Surface Book. However, under the hood is a different story.
The Surface Book 2 Hardware Has Been Updated
For starters, the Surface Book 2 is available with Intel i7 quad-core processors for the first time (i5 processors are available as well).
Additionally, this rig has a discrete graphics chip - an Nvidia GTX 1060 (on the 15-inch model) or an Nvidia GTX 1050 on the 13.5-inch model.
That means a big performance boost over the original Surface Book, especially when tackling things like editing photos or videos or when you find the time to play a game or two.
The Surface Book 2 comes with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, 256GB to 1TB of storage, and Windows 10 Pro.
According to Microsoft, the Surface Book 2 has up to 17 hours of battery life and 4 times more power, too.
The Display and Peripherals are Still Amazing
Make no bones about it - the PixelSense display from Microsoft is second-to-none.
Not only do you get touchscreen capabilities, but you can also detach the screen from the base and use it as a tablet.
On top of that, the Surface Book 2's screen has improved viewing angles with detailed imagery that is truly jaw-dropping.
The familiar multi-mode functionality of the display is carried over from previous Surface models.
You can use the Surface Book 2 in Studio Mode to draw or paint, use it as a traditional laptop in Laptop Mode, check out videos in View Mode, and detach the screen to use in Tablet Mode.
In short, this thing is as versatile as the rest of the Surface Lineup!
Of course, the Surface Book 2 is compatible with the excellent Microsoft Surface Pen and Dial, too.
That means that you can tackle tasks quickly and easily whether you're handwriting a note, editing a photo or navigating through the Windows menu system.
When using the Pen on previous Surface models, lag could be an issue. However, that is not the case with this machine - there is simply no delay between what you do with the Pen and how the computer reacts.
The Surface Book 2 is a Workhorse
If you have intense tasks you need to tackle, nothing will beat the Surface Book 2.
The combination of the Intel quad-core processors, separate graphics card, and up to 16GB of RAM will handle any task you throw at it.
In fact, only the most power-hungry tasks like video editing will even necessitate the Surface Book 2's fans to come on.
This could easily replace your current desktop, laptop, and tablet, allowing you to consolidate all your work onto one machine.
It is worth noting, though, that this is not an inexpensive machine.
The Surface Book 2 starts at $1,499 for the 13.5-inch model with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.
The 15-inch model can cost you up to $3,299 with an Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.
Nevertheless, for as versatile and powerful as the Surface Book 2 is, it might be worth spending the extra money and getting a true workhorse of a machine.
In fact, it might end up being the best laptop you've ever owned.