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Tested: why the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the best overall student laptop

For work, play and everything in between

Tested: why the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the best overall student laptop
Holly Pyne
13 August 2019

If you are a student, then you know you use your laptop for everything - essay writing, video editing, and obviously, Netflix - so we took the top 10 best laptops for students and put them through the paces to find out which one could stand the test of time.

After 30 hours of testing, and considering design, battery life, screen quality - to name but a few - we can reveal our winner is… the Microsoft Surface Book 2.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: features

According to our reviewer Basil Kronfli, the Surface Book 2 is the ultimate all-rounder. With a detachable screen, the Surface Book 2 is a laptop and a tablet in one. You can even charge the laptop part, while using the screen as a tablet to read the news or take-notes using the Surface Pen (for £99.99 extra).

The screen can even be reattached back-to-front to use as a kind of whiteboard.

Available in two sizes - 15-inch and 13.5-inch - you have the option for a larger screen if you need it for video or photography editing. Alternatively, you simply have a bigger screen for watching Netflix and with a battery life of up to 17 hours, that’s the equivalent of 21 episodes of Stranger Things.

With prices starting at £1299, the Surface Book 2 is not the cheapest option but you are essentially getting two products in one. And when the tablet is attached it is electronically fused so there is “a secure laptop feel” according to Basil - none of that screen wobble or dodgy connection that some 2-in-1s suffer with.

It has a great array of ports too, including two full-size USB ports and an SD card slot for any photography or design students. The more expensive model also has Nvidia GeForce discrete graphics and a “gaming laptop quota of power in the keyboard portion”.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: verdict

The Surface Book 2 seems to have something for everyone; it’s portable, a comfortable keyboard with a “rewarding amount of travel and resistance”, and it has the power and screen size fit for any content creator.

However, what is great about the Surface Book 2 is that because it comes in a range of configurations, you only have to pay for what you need. If you’re less of a content creator and instead simply a commuting student, you can choose the smaller 13.5inch size and still have the added portability of tablet to write up notes on the train.

However, the higher spec graphics are there for those who need it and are willing to pay for the privilege.

Still looking? Then our best budget laptop guide is for you.

Best overall
Best overall
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Straddling two worlds, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is both a top-tier laptop and a premium tablet.
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