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Incoming Surface Book 2: Microsoft Clears 2015 i5 Before Launch

Microsoft Surface Pro 5 (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft is reported to have the Surface Book 2 in production. According to sources like Digitimes, the upgraded gadget could be released within the next few weeks.

News suggests that Microsoft will release the Surface Book 2 in a fixed clamshell design. This would see the company briefly abandoning the Surface lineup’s distinct two-in-one form factor. Speculators believe the move would make the Surface Book more inclusive and affordable. It would also give the Surface Pro range greater room to dominate the tablet market.

The incoming Surface Book is said to have just gone into large-scale assembly. Digitimes claimed last week that “shipments are expected to rise each month, according to sources from the related upstream supply chain.” Those looking forward to an official announcement can expect Microsoft to make news of the Surface Book 2 “at the end of March or April.”

It would be hard not to notice the rising popularity of Microsoft’s Surface products. There is much to expect from this lineup. It goes beyond the company’s bid to dominate premium tech markets. Through innovative form factors and forward-thinking software, the American tech firm stands to redefine what people expect from their devices. The Surface range sees Microsoft building bridges between conventional products to offer more powerful, convenient and effective gadgets.

However, Microsoft will briefly do away its innovative two-in-one form factor this time around. Sources state “the new Surface Book is expected to adopt a clamshell design instead of its traditional 2-in-1 and will feature a starting price lower than that of its predecessors.”

Microsoft makes premium more affordable

Fewer people are able to afford the ultra-premium price range of the existing Surface Books. There is also a clash with the Surface Pro range due to the laptop’s detachable display. Microsoft seems to want the Surface Book to no longer dig into the Surface Pro series’ buyer base. The introduction of a fixed clamshell design should also reduce the Surface Book 2’s price considerably. This would effectively place the device more in line with what people can afford.

“The sources believe that Microsoft’s decision to lower the price range for its new Surface Book is because the existing Surface Book’s high price level has significantly limited demand.”

There are also reports citing the advancement of the Surface Pro range as another reason behind the clamshell design. The detachable screen feature seen on the current Surface Book i5 and i7 cause conflict with the Surface Pro line-up, according to Digitimes sources. Only half a million Surface Books are said have been shipped last year.

microsoft-surface-family

Surface Book sales are expected to hit up to 1.5 million units once the product is pushed a tradition laptop. A more accommodating price tag would go a long way toward ensuring this, too. The Surface Pro range, on the other hand, could see upwards of a 20 percent rise in unit sales as a result. This would help Microsoft fly right in the face of deflating tablet sales worldwide.

Microsoft clearing Surface Book i5 stock.

In related news, Microsoft’s Surface Book i5 128GB recently got an alluring price cut. The gadget was unveiled back in October 2015 and got a more powerful i7 counterpart 5 months ago. Recent weeks saw the all-in-one laptop get a $200 discount, dropping from $1,499 to $1,299. Microsoft could be clearing up stock to accommodate the arrival of the Surface Book 2.

But not everyone is on board with the likely Surface Book changes. “After having used a 2-in-1 I will never go back to a clamshell laptop ever again,”writes Curtis Quick a LearnBonds reader. “I use a Surface Book and love the fact that the screen is detachable.” Quick goes to explain how the device’s tablet feature assists with his daily tasks as a teacher. “It’s awesome,” he adds. “I actually have a hard time believing the rumor.”

“I too will be very disappointed if the removable screen functionality is removed from the Surface Book line,” writes Jim Gempeler, another reader who shares the sentiments of Quick. “No detachable screen would be a deal breaker for me,” he admits. The design would render the Surface Book just another laptop for him. “I hope these are just face rumors.”
For those interested about what price the incoming Surface Book might go for, reports peg the device to start as low as $1,000, undercutting current models considerably.

What are your thoughts on the incoming Surface Book? Is the design change a major deterrent or would you welcome the fixed clamshell setup? LearnBonds is keen to hear your views, so feel free to leave a comment below. You can also keep the conversation going by sharing this page on social platforms.

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