Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) continues to challenge Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the premium laptop market with the release of the new Surface Book 2 laptop. Microsoft has the MacBook Pro in its sights, and it isn’t being subtle about trying to win over creative and professional users from the Mac camp.
With Surface revenue down for 2017 and reports of slow Surface Book sales since the original launched, will Microsoft’s new flagship laptop have what it takes to help boost MSFT stock this time around?
Microsoft Announces the New Surface Book 2
On Oct. 17, Microsoft announced the new Surface Book 2.
The followup to the 2015 original continues to be a 2-in-1 device that converts between a traditional laptop form factor and a tablet, thanks to an innovative Dynamic Fulcrum hinge. MSFT decided not to mess with the design too much, but it did expand the lineup to include two models: one with a 13.5-inch display (the original size) and a new 15-inch version.
If that sounds familiar, it should. Microsoft was already clearly targeting Apple’s MacBook Pro with the Surface Book and with the Surface Book 2, it goes as far as matching the two MacBook Pro size options.
If it wasn’t already obvious who the Surface Book 2 is gunning for, on the company’s blog, it claims the Surface Book 2 is “twice as powerful as the latest MacBook Pro” with “70% more” battery life, and that the 15-inch laptop offers “45% more” pixels than the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Microsoft has never been subtle.
The performance gains on the Surface Book 2 compared to the original are courtesy of 8th generation Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) Core CPUs, which offer a bigger than expected performance boost.
Most models of the new laptop also include graphics cards from Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) for VR, PC gaming and advanced video editing support. And unlike Apple’s laptops, the Surface Book 2 offers USB-C connectivity, but it also includes a traditional USB 3.1 port, so no dongles are needed for connecting legacy peripherals and accessories.
Like the original, the Surface Book 2 has the advantage of tablet mode, and touch/stylus support –capabilities the MacBook Pro has never offered.