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We took advantage of the Black Friday sale for 2018 in the USA where Microsoft slashed $300 off from their new Surface Laptop 2 with 256GB storage and Core i5 8th quad-core processor which is regularly priced at $1299 before taxes. Find out here on how we shipped it from the USA to the Philippines via Johnny Air Cargo Plus.

Because of our excitement, we immediately unboxed it and had our first hands-on when it arrived in our doorsteps. Read on to find out our first impressions of the new Black-painted premium Windows machine.

READ: Lenovo IdeaPad 330s full review – Best Budget Windows Laptop with Nvidia Graphics

Unboxing: Only the basics from the expensive notebook

Inside is a no-fuss retail content with only a few quick guide papers, the 64W wall adapter with the Surface Connect port, and the Black Surface Laptop 2 wrapped in plastic. It’s a straightforward retail box with no dongles or stickers despite the premium pricing (purchased our unit with a big discount though).

Hands-on and first impressions on the Black Surface Laptop 2

Without a doubt, the Surface Laptop 2 in a new Black paint job is one the best and most luxurious devices we’ve unboxed. Outside is a slim and solid profile with a matte texture. Inside is an all-black affair as the Alcantara fabric and glass trackpad are also made of the classic black.

In terms of feel, the Alcantara fabric is a refreshing sight and makes more accommodating compared to the cold metal finishes found in most premium notebooks. The keyboard has decent travel keys and feels classic because of the squarish shape while the glass trackpad has considerable size though we’d wish for a wider space on the next Surface.

Because of the touchscreen function of the 13.5-inch 3:2 high-resolution display, the finish is a bit glossy and one could notice it when compared to non-touch notebooks like the MacBook Pro. Both top and bottom bezels are thin enough, but again we’d like to see it trimmed.

The most talked features of the Surface Laptop 2 and the Surface Pro 6 are their arrays of ports. Microsoft did not bother upgrading the ports from the predecessor of both Surfaces: 1 x full sized USB 3.0 type-A, 1 x mini display port in 2018, 3.5mm audio jack, and Surface Connect port for the charger.

The obvious missing in action is the Type-C port we already saw from the Surface Book 2 and Surface Go. The only option we have is to buy a Surface Connect dongle that converts the proprietary port into a Type-C interface despite a missing Thunderbolt 3 support.

Quad-core Core i5 8th gen is a big welcome on top of an impressive battery life

Performance-wise, the Core i5 with 8GB RAM is considerably fast for all intensive tasks aside from graphics-hungry games and video editing workloads. You can, however, play several PC game titles like Overwatch, Diablo 3, and Fortnite but on a low graphics setting.

We just have the unit for a couple of weeks and we did not notice alarming thermal and noise issues. Microsoft had really made this a comfortable machine to use.

READ: Best Budget Windows Laptops for $400 price range in 2019

One of the most impressive features from this Surface is the battery life. We averaged nearly 12 hours to 15 hours of continuous use without gaming and just pure multitasking and several apps running at the same time in a single charge. We’d like to see how its long-term battery longevity by testing mixed gaming, streaming, and web browsing in the coming days.

Without making this hands-on sounds like a lengthy review, we can say we are very satisfied with the Surface Laptop 2 from the short time of using it. We will reserve our final verdict in our full review. So do let us know which sections of the Surface Laptop 2 you’d like us to cover.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 specs, price, release date Philippines

  • Display: 13.5-inch Pixel Sense 3:2 ratio display, 2256 x 1504 pixels (201 ppi), Surface Pen compatible
  • Design: Gorilla Glass 3, Touchscreen multi-input
  • Dimensions: 308.1 mm x 223.27 mm x 14.48 mm, 1.2kg
  • Processors: Intel Core i5 or Core i7 quad-core 8th gen
  • Memory: 8GB or 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB SSD, 256GB or 512GB PCIe M2 SSD
  • GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics
  • Camera: 720p HD webcam
  • Connectivity: WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Audio: Omnisonic Dolby Audio Premium speakers, stereo microphones
  • Ports: 1 x USB 3.0-A, mini display, 3.5mm headset, Surface Connect
  • Security: Windows Hello camera, TPM 2.0
  • Battery: 14.5 hours rated playback, 44W power adapter charger
  • OS: Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro
  • Colors: Burgundy Red, Cobalt Blue, Platinum Silver, Matte Black
  • Price: starting from $999 or P53,000+ before taxes
  • Release date: October 2018 in the USA, availability is thru authorized resellers like the Philippines

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