Over the weekend, Microsoft refreshed the Surface Book 2 lineup, adding a new mid-range processor option for the 13.5-inch model (via The Verge).
At launch, the Surface Book 2 could be equipped with either a 7th generation dual-core i7-7300U processor with two cores and four threads or an 8th generation i7-8650U with four cores and eight threads, with prices starting at $ 1,499 for the 7th generation part. That dual-core system now starts at $ 1,149 (with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage), with the $ 1,499 slot taken by a new i5-8350U model. This too is a four core/eight thread chip, with clock speeds of 1.7-3.6GHz and 6MB cache, in contrast to the 1.9-4.2GHz and 8MB cache of the top-end i7.
That $ 1,499 system is available exclusively with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Other prices seem unaffected; the 8th generation i7 processor, which also includes a discrete Nvidia 1050 GTX GPU with 2GB dedicated memory, carries a $ 500 price premium over the new model today, rising to $ 2,999 for 16GB RAM and 1TB storage.
The upgrade certainly makes the mid-range machine much more compelling, though we wish Microsoft provided more RAM options. While 16GB of RAM is a healthy minimum in this day and age, the cheapest 16GB Surface Book 2 option is the $ 2,499 8th generation i7 with 512GB storage.