Surface Laptop 2 hands-on: An upgrade in speed and style

Surface Laptop
Surface Laptop

At Microsoft’s fall event in New York on Tuesday, it announced an updated version of its Surface Laptop.

The Surface Laptop 2 will include eighth-generation Intel processors, making it 85 percent faster than the first Surface Laptop from last year. Despite the improved performance, Microsoft says it has up to 14.5 hours of battery life.


  • 13.5-inch, 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen LCD
  • 8GB or 16GB of memory
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD
  • Eighth-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with integrated UHD 620 graphics

The original Laptop had a somewhat dim screen that my colleague Devindra Hardawar had trouble seeing clearly in direct sunlight. Thankfully, the sequel has a much brighter screen that should help alleviate the issues. The Laptop 2’s display is easy enough to read, even under the glare of the harsh spotlights overhead. I’m not certain it will hold up under sunlight, though.

Few of the other changes to the Laptop were things we could really test out here at the event — like the new eighth-generation Intel processors and the 14.5-hour battery. But there are features coming to Windows that should make the Laptop a compelling option for Android phone users. Of course, most PCs will be getting those new features, like phone mirroring, so basically any Windows machine is much more useful.

If Microsoft does deliver on its 85 percent performance improvement promise, the Surface Laptop 2 could be a powerhouse clad in one of the most attractive shells we’ve ever seen. Well done, Microsoft.