Surface Laptop 2 - Quadcore as the biggest change

We mainly know Microsoft Surface from devices that you can also use as tablets. Yet Microsoft also had a normal laptop in its range with the Surface Laptop. A new version has appeared in the form of the Surface Laptop 2. What are the differences?

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Price € 1449,-

Processor Intel Core i5-8250U (quad-core, 1.6GHz)

Memory 8GB

Graphic Intel UHD graphics 620

Display 13.5" IPS (2256x1504)

Storage 256GB SSD

Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Dimensions 22.3 x 30.8 x 1.4cm

Weight 1.25 kilos

Battery 45 Wh

Connections USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headset jack, WiFi

wireless 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, bluetooth 4.1


7.5 Score 75

  • Pros
  • Quiet
  • Battery life
  • Screen
  • Build quality
  • Negatives
  • No USB-C (or Thunderbolt)
  • Just a little slower than expected

If you place the Surface Laptop 2 next to the first Surface Laptop, you will see no difference except for the new color black. The housing is still made of aluminum and is available in four colors depending on the configuration. The choice of gold has been replaced by black. What is striking about Microsoft's laptops is that the palm rest is finished with Alcantara, an artificial suede. A unique material that feels pleasant for a laptop. According to Microsoft, the material is durable enough and you can clean it with soap and water. The Alcantara is in the same color as the aluminum. The keyboard keys are also made in the same color.

The downside of the beautiful material is that the laptop is impossible to open without breaking the laptop. The possible replacement of the battery is therefore out of the question, even for handy tinkerers. Now it is the case that poor repairability for other products also increasingly goes hand in hand with increasingly thinner housings. For example, batteries are often stuck and difficult to remove, but usually you can still access them. The impossibility of repair does not affect our judgment, but it is important to realize.

The Surface Laptop was still a kind of test device for Windows 10 S, a variant of Windows on which you could not install normal programs, which in theory makes the laptop safer and faster. Windows 10 S has now become S mode and is no longer used by Microsoft as standard for their laptop, the Surface Laptop 2 just runs on Windows 10 Home out of the box.

no usb-c

Unfortunately, the unchanged appearance also means that Microsoft has kept the connections exactly the same. Microsoft gives you a USB3.0 port, mini-DisplayPort and the Surface Connect port for charging and Microsoft's own docking stations. But the connection we want to see, USB-C, is missing. On the first Surface Laptop, the lack of USB-c was already an important drawback, and in 2018 that will only become more serious. According to Microsoft, a laptop still cannot do without USB-a. We can keep up with that, but usb-a does not have to exclude usb-c.

With a USB-c port with support for charging and DislayPort, the laptop would not sacrifice functionality and only become more convenient. More and more devices, including laptops, are equipped with a USB-C charger. How handy is it if you can still charge your laptop if you forgot the charger? We won't even talk about Thunderbolt 3, which uses USB-C. Actually, that is the connection that belongs on a top model laptop.

Microsoft again uses a 13.5-inch screen with the different aspect ratio of 3:2 coupled with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels. The screen combines a sharp display with excellent color reproduction and brightness. The screen is a touchscreen that is also compatible with Surface Pen stylus.


Where there is actually nothing exciting to report about the outside, fortunately that does not apply to the inside. The Surface Laptop was based on dual-core chips from Intel's seventh-generation Core processors. For the Laptop 2, Microsoft has switched to Intel's eighth-generation Core processors, which use quad-core chips. A big boost in performance, so that the Surface Laptop 2 is completely up to date again. Our test model is equipped with the Intel Core i5-8250U in combination with 8 GB of ram and a 256 GB nvme-ssd.

It is striking that the score of 3085 in PCMark 10 is on the low side compared to laptops with comparable hardware. Presumably, Microsoft has set the processor just a little slower and more energy-efficient. On the other hand, we have not heard the cooling of the Surface and that the battery life of the laptop is excellent with about twelve hours. In practice it was pleasant to work on the Surface.


Of course, the Surface Laptop 2 with its much faster quad-core is a better laptop than its predecessor. The unique housing and good screen have remained. The Surface Laptop 2 is therefore certainly not a bad laptop, but we do charge them for the fact that Microsoft again does not place a USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3). In our opinion, a USB-C connection cannot be missed on a top model laptop, especially because you will probably use this laptop for a few years and USB-C is no longer music of the future. In short, a strange choice by Microsoft, a company that in our opinion should be the forerunner in the Windows laptop field.

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