Microsoft opts for internal upgrades over external changes for its second laptop
MICROSOFT SURFACE LAPTOP 2 REVIEW- Last year, Microsoft finally did the thing that everyone was waiting for it to do: it produced a laptop. Not a tablet that can be a laptop if you attach a keyboard, not a 2-in-1 device that you can tear the screen away from the keyboard to use as a tablet, but a straightforward, honest-to-god clamshell laptop. The Surface Laptop was also a very good laptop — Microsoft did almost everything right with it and as a result, it was one of the best laptops of the year.
So, for this year’s Surface Laptop 2, Microsoft changed… basically nothing. The Surface Laptop 2 is very much the same computer as the first Surface Laptop, just with updated internals and a couple of extra color options. The pricing is even the same: the Laptop 2 starts at $999 and can be configured to well over $2,000. Most people will be content with the $1,299 option, which provides a comfortable amount of local storage and unlocks the options for new colors.
Is all of this a bad thing? I don’t think so, the Surface Laptop 2 is just as good a computer as last year’s model, and it does a lot of things that matter with a laptop correctly. As the adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and so on. But since the Surface Laptop’s release last year, there have been several interesting laptops from makers like Huawei and HP that feature some more modern options, more modern designs, or more powerful components. The Surface Laptop 2 is playing the same ball that the Surface Laptop did last year, but this time around, the game’s changed a little.
There isn’t much to say about the Surface Laptop 2’s design and hardware that wasn’t covered in our review of the first model. It’s still a sleek, but not too sleek; light, but not too light; well-made, but not flawless laptop that’s easy to carry around, easy to use on a lap, and easy to look at for hours at a time. All of the Surface Laptop hallmarks have carried over: an aluminum finish, Alcantara fabric on the keyboard deck, a 3:2 aspect ratio touchscreen display, and a Windows Hello IR camera for hands-free logins.
Microsoft says it did redesign the Laptop 2’s keyboard to be a little quieter than before, and sure enough, it’s a little quieter than last year’s model. But the keyboard on the first Laptop wasn’t very loud to begin with, so I’m not sure most people will notice a difference without comparing them side by side. Either way, the keyboard is backlit, very comfortable to type on, and has all of the expected function keys to control media, volume, or your cursor.
Likewise, the Laptop 2’s trackpad is glass-covered, very slick, and very comfortable to use. It registers multitouch gestures without issue, and although it’s not as spacious as the gargantuan trackpads on the MacBook Pro line, it’s still plenty large.