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article imageReport: Microsoft's Surface Book 2 will be a regular laptop

By James Walker     Mar 17, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft is said to have commenced production of its awaited Surface Book 2, the successor to its popular premium laptop with a detachable display. The company will reportedly adopt a conventional design for the new device which could launch this month.
The Surface Book was unveiled as a surprise announcement at Microsoft's October 2015 devices event. Providing a typing-oriented alternative to the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book is Microsoft's vision of the ultimate productivity-focused laptop. Primarily a notebook, it's 13.5-inch display can be detached to form a digital "clipboard" for use with the Surface Pen stylus.
This design has won fans but not everyone has been convinced. Although the concept works in principle, the unique hinge creates a noticeable gap between the display and keyboard tray that attracts dust and can be unsightly. Additionally, Microsoft itself refuses to call the "clipboard" a "tablet," reflecting the limited range of scenarios in which the oversized 13.5-inch panel is useful in detached mode.
Surface Book at Microsoft s October 2015 #Windows10 devices event.
Surface Book at Microsoft's October 2015 #Windows10 devices event.
Microsoft October 2015 Live Event
According to a report from DigiTimes, Microsoft will abandon the fulcrum hinge with the Surface Book 2 in a departure from the convertible form factor. Instead, it will create a true laptop based on the principles of the Surface line. The company will unveil its own take on the premium notebook sector, employing Surface design principals and top-tier hardware. It will create a device for professionals who don't need a touchscreen-first product.
The laptop will have the same 13.5-inch display and magnesium chassis as the current Surface Book. Aesthetically, it will be an obvious member of the Surface family, making it instantly recognisable and extending the brand's appeal. Surface is currently one of Microsoft's biggest growth areas.
Surface Book at Microsoft s October 2015 #Windows10 devices event.
Surface Book at Microsoft's October 2015 #Windows10 devices event.
Microsoft October 2015 Live Event
DigiTimes also claims that the Surface Book 2 will have much lower pricing than the original device. As a result of using a more traditional design, the engineering will be simpler. The laptop could retail from just $1,000, a third less than the $1,500 upwards Surface Book.
It's believed Microsoft will make the change to increase Surface Book sales and better differentiate the device from the Surface Pro. The detachable nature of the original Book created conflict with the 2-in-1 design of the Pro, still the heart of the Surface brand.
Surface Book at Microsoft s October 2015 #Windows10 devices event.
Surface Book at Microsoft's October 2015 #Windows10 devices event.
Microsoft October 2015 Live Event
At face value, the report seems feasible. Although Microsoft is effectively abandoning the innovative engineering that went into the Surface Book, if the result leads to more sales it could be worth the change.
DigiTimes' accuracy record on this kind of report is variable but the site did correctly reveal Microsoft's plans for its Surface Studio all-in-one PC ahead of that device's 2016 launch. According to the DigiTimes' uncited sources, the Surface Book 2 is already in production and could be unveiled as soon as this month.
More about Microsoft, Surface, Microsoft surface, surface book, surface book 2
 
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