Microsoft’s original Surface Book was my favorite computer.
It may have been the company’s first-ever laptop, but when I tested it last year a few months after it debuted, I immediately liked it better than any of Apple’s MacBooks that I’d ever used.
I now have a new favorite computer, and it’s the successor to my old favorite — it’s Microsoft’s new Surface Book 2. I’ve been testing one since Monday, and I’m already ready ready to declare that it now is probably the best computer I’ve ever used.
The new device, which goes on sale Thursday with a starting price of $1,499, has a better screen and offers longer battery life than the original. Its hardware is more powerful, and its design is a little more refined.
You can get the new Surface Book with a 15-inch display as well as with the 13.5-inch screen of the original. As you could with the first Surface Book, you can separate the screen of the Surface Book 2 from its keyboard and use it as a full-blown tablet, making the device a great alternative to an iPad or an Android tablet.
All told, the changes from the first Surface Book to the Surface Book 2 are evolutionary, not revolutionary. But, hey, sometimes there’s no improving on a classic. And even without any big changes, it’s still a better alternative than a MacBook Pro or an iPad Pro.
When I tested the Surface Book last year, I liked it so much I wanted to give it a hug. I have the same feeling about the Surface Book 2. Oh yeah, it’s that good.
Here’s what you need to know about the Surface Book 2 and why I like it so much:
First and foremost, the thing to know about the Surface Book 2 is it’s laptop.
That may seem obvious, but it’s important to distinguish the Surface Book 2 from Microsoft’s flagship Surface Pro, which is a tablet that can be used like a laptop, but has trouble actually staying on your lap.
Design-wise, the Surface Book 2 is all business, with a squared-off metal look.
It doesn’t look all that different from the original Surface Book.
Could you tell the difference? Me either.
Still, I really, really loved the original Surface Book, so the fact that the new one looks like it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.