Microsoft is launching a new generation of Surface devices that aims to offer something for everyone. The devices include the new Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2, and Surface Dock 2. To help you stay focused, Microsoft will soon ship the Surface Earbuds, and—surprise!—the Surface Headphones 2. Click "Read More" to know more.
While the Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2 and Surface Dock 2 were not unexpected, the breadth of Microsoft’s Surface-related hardware comes as a bit of a shock. Virtually all of the new Surfaces can be classified as refreshes. The Surface Book 3 adds new 10th-gen Ice Lake Core processors, as well as Nvidia GTX and Quadro RTX ray-tracing GPU options. The Surface Go 2, meanwhile, boasts 8th-gen Intel Core m chips.
Tying them to displays and other peripherals will be the Surface Dock 3 and the Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub. The real surprise is the Surface Headphones 2, now with a black option, a rotating earcup, and improved battery life. There’s more, too: Last year’s Surface Earbuds, plus a pair of new keyboards.
Surface Book 3
Microsoft’s Surface Book has always been the company’s flagship 2-in-1, combining the power of a workstation with a unique design that marries a tablet with a traditional clamshell form factor. The Surface Book 3 won’t be cheap: Prices will start at around $2300 to $2500. The Surface Book 3 will ship May 21, in both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch form factors of its predecessor, the Surface Book 2.
Microsoft’s offering a premium, but not too premium, experience. Both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch Surface Book 3s are based on Intel’s recent “Ice Lake” 10th-gen chips, both well-regarded mobile processors with integrated graphics (though AMD’s Ryzen Mobile 4000 chips look even better). Because the cheapest Core i5 Surface Book 3 doesn’t use a dedicated GPU, it relies on Ice Lake’s graphics—meaning that Microsoft’s couldn’t go with the faster, CPU-only Comet Lake alternative.
Surface Go 2
Microsoft’s followup to the original Surface Go squeezes a slightly larger, higher-resolution 10.5-inch screen inside the same ultralight Windows tablet hardware. The key to the upgraded Surface Go 2, though, is probably the processor: an 8th-gen Intel Core m3 chip improves the overall performance by a whopping 64 percent, according to Microsoft.
The Surface Go 2 is priced beginning at around $600-$700, and will ship May 12 in versions for consumers and for businesses. Unfortunately, consumers will be stuck with Windows 10 S, while business users receive Windows 10 Pro. The Signature Type Cover and Surface Pen will still be sold separately, though they’re often bundled together by third-party retailers.
Otherwise, this is the same compact Windows tablet that should appeal to those seeking an inexpensive Surface tablet, or to frequent-flyer businesspeople who need something that fits on a tray table. Surface Go 2’s magnesium chassis is still supported by a kickstand that reclines to about 165 degrees. Battery life is now about 10 hours, in either one of two options: WiFi-only, or a separate LTE-equipped version.
Surface Dock 2 and Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub
The Surface Dock 2 will certainly generate enough power to let the Surface Book 3 operate at full speed—Microsoft representatives say it will pass 199W to the Surface Book 3 and other devices. Here’s an interesting twist, though: according to Microsoft’s specifications, the Surface Dock 2 is compatible with the Surface Book 3, the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Pro X, the Surface Laptop 3, and the Surface Go 2. It is not compatible with older Surfaces, including the Surface Studio, Surface Hub, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, or the first-generation Surface Book. We don’t know why these older models are cut off.