Microsoft surface laptop 2 review: paint it black

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Few people purchase even the best laptops right when they come out, but as we all know, the landscape can change quickly.

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The Surface Laptop 2 launched at the tail kết thúc of 2018, but we want lớn consider how it holds up to the new breed of competition around six months later. Our unit is the sleek blaông chồng mã sản phẩm, which came with a quad-core bộ vi xử lý Core i7-8650U processor, 8GB of RAM, và a 256GB SSD. Those specs might sound fresh enough — but as you’ll see, time hasn’t been kind to Microsoft’s most recent máy tính xách tay.

Six months goes fast

There are features of the Surface Laptop 2 that still feel cutting edge. The boxier, 3:2 display is all the rage these days, as is the simple kiến thiết language of the chassis. Even the Alcantara material that’s built inkhổng lồ the keyboard deck feels modern. It’s not as cold và stark as aluminum but remains durable và luxurious.


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Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Unfortunately, the keyboard dechồng is a dust và crumb magnet. There’s an endless amount of spaces where dust can easily become trapped, which mars the otherwise beautiful thiết kế. The aluminum on the lid tracks fingerprints, too. Our đánh giá unit was the blachồng edition, which costs an extra $100 over the silver Model. Other color options include Burgundy & Cobalternative text Blue, though those also cost an extra $100, starting at $999.

In other areas, the Surface Laptop 2 feels even older than it is. The large screen bezels are a perfect example. The 3:2 aspect ratio helps in this area a bit, but the added size and unused space that the bezels create isn’t a good look. With laptops like the Huawei MateBook X Pro or Dell XPS 13 out, the Surface Laptop 2 looks thoroughly outdated in comparison.


I felt at trang chính on the keyboard deông xã from the get-go.


The same is true of the port selection. On the left side is single USB-A port, a mini-DisplayPort for video clip, và a tai nghe jachồng, while the right side has only the magnetic Surface Connect port for charging. Not only does it not have a Thunderbolt 3 port, it’s missing a USB-C port altogether. Swapping out the mini-DisplayPort for USB-C port feels lượt thích a no-brainer, and it’s only going lớn grow worse over the years. Today, you can still find plenty of old peripherals that use a USB-A connection, but we’ve seen that change over lớn USB-C at a rapid pace.

The location of the ports is an annoyance. The sides of the máy vi tính angle inward, making some of the ports hard khổng lồ reach. The Surface Connect power cord is especially difficult, which discounts some of the convenience of having a magnetic connection.

A typing masterpiece

The keyboard on the Surface Laptop is among mỏi our favorites. Unlượt thích the layout of the Surface Pro or Surface Go, it’s spacious & leaves plenty of room lớn stretch your fingers. The keyboard also doesn’t have the shallow key depth of one of the MacBooks, providing a quiet và comfortable typing experience. I felt at trang chủ on the keyboard deck from the get-go. My one nitpiông chồng is the placement of the power button, which is right in the function row. I occasionally put the máy tính xách tay to sleep by accident.

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Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

The touchpad isn’t as good. Unlượt thích the surprisingly quiet keyboard, it has some rough edges. The cliông chồng is bit too loud and the surface of the pad isn’t as smooth as it could be. It’s also considerably smaller than on laptops like the MateBook X Pro & Táo MacBook Pro. It does tư vấn Windows Precision drivers, though, so multi-finger gestures feel responsive sầu.

The Surface Laptop 2 supports some of Microsoft’s biggest Windows 10 innovations such as Windows Hello và Windows Ink. The infrared sensor for facial recognition is placed next lớn the 720p camera just above sầu the screen. It works like a charm. Inking on a clamshell máy vi tính isn’t ikhuyến mãi, but touchscreen tư vấn is always an added bonus. You can even use the device hand-in-h& with the Surface Dial if you’re so inclined.

Tall, bright, & crisp

3:2 is my favorite aspect ratio for a máy tính xách tay, and the Surface Laptop 2 is one of the pioneers in this screen size. It might not be the most airplane-friendly laptop in the world with its 13.5-inch screen, but the extra screen real estate makes website browsing — và just working, in general — feel more productive sầu.

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It has a screen resolution of 2,256 x 1,504. That’s a solid 201 pixels per inch at this form size, a higher px density than what you see with a 16:9 1080p screen like the one on the Dell XPS 13, và even better than the Huawei MateBook 13. It’s extra crispness at no extra cost to lớn you, which is exactly what we lượt thích lớn see. It’s a bit behind the likes of the MacBook Air or Huawei MateBook X Pro, but those laptops are a several hundred dollars more expensive sầu.

The image quality holds up too. It doesn’t excel in one particular area, like the MacBook Pro’s wide color gamut & color accuracy or the Huawei MateBook X Pro’s high contrast ratio. Instead, the Surface Laptop 2 has all the bases covered, offering decent ratings in everything from color gamut to lớn gamma. It looks great in person and won’t disappoint you when watching movies, playing games, or viewing photographs.

A professional photographer might need a better calibrated monitor, but the Surface Laptop 2 will be more than adequate for normal use. It maxes out at 342 nits, which is bright enough lớn overpower the screen’s highly glossy finish. It’s right in line with the competition of the Dell XPS 13 and HP.. Spectre x360 13.

The speakers are located under the keyboard, and they aren’t great. They crackle at higher volumes và lack a significant amount of bass and midrange frequencies. Options such as the Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, và MateBook X Pro offer clearer and brighter audio.

Last year’s performance doesn’t cut it

The Surface Laptop 2 resolves a lot of the issues we had with the first Surface Laptop’s performance. Thanks lớn Intel’s 8th-gene processors, both the bộ vi xử lý Core i5 & Chip Core i7 models make the jump up to four cores, which offers a significant boost. While it’s standard across all this laptop’s competitors, you’ll notice the difference in multithreaded applications và multitasking in general if you’re coming from an older máy tính xách tay.

It should be noted, however, that we’re talking about the older Hãng Intel Kaby Lake R chips, which were first launched toward the over of 2017, not the more recent Hãng sản xuất Intel Whiskey Lake chips that you’ll find in competitors. Microsoft has a tendency to lớn use older silibé across the board, even in high-end computers like the Surface Studio 2 — lớn their detriment.

This doesn’t mean the Surface Laptop 2 is horribly slow, but it does come behind the most current generation of Intel hardware. In fact, it’s one of the slowest laptops khổng lồ use this processor, which is a bit strange. In both single và multi-core Geekbench performance, the Surface Laptop 2 is a solid 23% behind Whiskey Lake laptops such as the Dell XPS 13 or Huawei MateBook X Pro. The single-core performance is particularly worrying, falling 13 percent behind the Vi xử lý Core i5 Surface Pro 6.

Our review unit’s bộ vi xử lý Core i7-8650U is only around 22% behind the Whiskey Lake laptops out there in Geekbench performance, và easily outpaces slower Y-series options like the MacBook Air. However, if the Surface Laptop doesn’t receive sầu a 9th-gene update in the fall of 2019, this processor will start khổng lồ feel sorely outdated heading into 2020.

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Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

We also run our laptops through a Clip encoding demo in Handbrake, to see how the components do when the rubber meets the road. It encoded a two-minute 4K clip lớn H.265 (x265) in five minutes & thirteen seconds. That’s not as large a discrepancy as in our Geekbench tests, but the Surface Laptop 2 is still underperforming a bit from where it should be. For example, the Huawei MateBook 13 completed the thử nghiệm 22% faster.

The bottom configuration offers 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, though you can jump up lớn 16GB of RAM & up to a 1TB SSD. The Surface Laptop 2 does bring fast storage to the table. With its Hynix SSD, we achieved a write tốc độ of 950 MB/s và a read speed of 617 MB/s a sequential CrystalDisk Mark demo. This particular Hynix SSD isn’t as fast as some Toshitía or Samsung storage options found in the most expensive sầu laptops, but it’s many times faster than a spinning hard disk drive sầu, & beats the slower SSDs commonly found in mid-range laptops.

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Forget about gaming

The Surface Laptop 2 doesn’t include discrete graphics, meaning it can’t vị much in terms of playing games.


Chuyên mục: Review sản phẩm