Microsoft has officially unveiled the Surface Book 2 and is taking the fight to Apple with claims that it offers twice the performance of the MacBook Pro 'without the need for a bag full of dongles.

Following up on the original Surface Book announced back in 2015 but only hitting the UK in early 2016 following the discovery of a nasty power-draining bug in the firmware, the Surface Book 2 is designed, Microsoft claims, with performance in mind. A switch to Intel's latest Coffee Lake eighth-generation Core processors and a choice of Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 or GTX 1060 discrete graphics means, according to Microsoft's metrics, a five-fold performance increase over the original - and, the company is quick to point out, double the performance of rival Apple's MacBook Air.

The overall design of the Surface Book 2 doesn't drift too far from the original bar the option of a new 15" size, up from the 13.5" of the first Surface Book. In another swipe at Apple's MacBook Pro, which has standardised on the USB Type-C port in its latest revision, the Surface Book 2 includes full-size USB Type-A ports along with Type-C and a full-size SD card reader - 'which makes it easy to connect other devices, accessories and memory cards without the need for a bag full of dongles,' Microsoft's Panos Panay cheekily announced during the unveiling.

Pre-orders for both the 13.5" and 15" Surface Book 2 models, which are available with specifications ranging from a seventh-generation Core i5-7300U, Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD to an eight-generation Core i7-8650U, GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, open in November. UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, with more information available on the official website.


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