Microsoft has just announced the first refresh of its Surface Laptop since it was originally launched and along with all new processing components, it now comes in a matte black finish. The new Surface Laptop 2 starts at $999 and is available to order starting today, with shipments expected later this month.
The matte black finish on the Surface Laptop 2 is rather striking — it’s deep, dark, and well saturated, giving the machine a stealthy finish. That is until you touch it, where like many other aluminum laptops with black finishes, it collects fingerprints with ease. Aside from the new finish, Microsoft says the keyboard is redesigned to be quieter and easier to type on, and in the brief time I spent with the machine, I found its keyboard to be rather silent. Though, to be fair, it’s rather loud in the demo area Microsoft has set up here.
The more significant updates this time are found under the hood, where Microsoft has installed new, quad-core 8th generation processors from Intel. Based on our experience with these processors in other devices, they should provide a noticeable performance bump in day to day use.
Unfortunately, Microsoft did not add a USB-C port to the Laptop, which was annoying in 2017, and downright silly in 2018. Instead, it soldiers on with the single USB-A, Mini Display Port, and Microsoft’s Surface Connector port for power and docking. And oh yeah, a 3.5mm headphone jack.
I’ve only been able to spend a few minutes using the Surface Laptop 2, but I’m a little disappointed Microsoft didn’t do a little more with this refresh. The design still looks great, the new matte black color is striking, if a bit fingerprint prone, and the new keyboard and Alcantara deck feel great to type on. If it’s able to maintain the excellent battery life and bring some more power over the prior model, it should still be a compelling laptop this fall. But it’s a bummer that Microsoft is still bucking the USB-C trend.