Chime in: Choosing between the Core i7 Surface Book 1 and Core i5 Surface Book 2

Newer hardware is always going to be more expensive than previous generations, but usually comes rocking benefits like additional support, more powerful components to name but two advantages. That said, it's usually possible to locate some deals on older generations, including the Surface Book. While the newer Surface Book 2 (opens in new tab) features better integrated and discrete GPU options, newer processor, and even better battery life is it worth paying out more?

Community member zachthebomb13 is wondering just that ahead of making a purchase decision.

I'm looking for a new laptop, and the Surface Book form factor meets my needs. However, my budget is about $1000. I found the original Surface Book, i7 on Newegg for $1,000. But I can also get the i5 Surface Book 2 on Microsoft for $1080 with a discount. I'm trying to figure out which would be best. More specs below. Surface Book Processor: generation 6 i7 Ram: 8 gb Hard drive: 256 gb...


Personally, I'd lean towards the original Surface Book if you're more conscious about pricing and have a strict budget or simply do not rate an additional bump in performance to be worth around $80, taking a slight hit on storage and the GPU. Otherwise, the Surface Book 2 is a more powerful and recent Windows 10 PC, making it a compelling choice. There's no wrong choice since both the Surface Book and Surface Book 2 are excellent machines.

Like zachthebomb13, I'm interested to know which you'd choose so head to our forum and join the conversation.

From the forum: i7 Surface Book or i5 Surface Book 2

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I went with the fully stacked quad core i7 Surface Book 2 with the student discount
  • Hmm, I'm waiting until Surface books are a bit smaller, and can make phone calls with a SIM or eSIM. Maybe 2019 when I'm 17. I have $600 saved so far. But I can fantasize about PubG or Fortnite on that i5.
  • I doubt they will ever get phone call support through SIM. Maybe data, but actual phone calling would be unusual for a laptop. I don't think even the WoA laptops can make cellphone calls. Your best bet is using Google Voice or Skype and you can do that today.
  • You doubt a lot of things.
  • These are way overpriced devices from MS. Just by an ASUS laptop and you are good to go.
  • Personally I find the Surface book one perfect for most needs and I say the better processing power is more important than the newer device, the main point to be really made is the fact that the surface book has usb type C that being said it's not thunderbolt 3 so it's not something that I find as good I would get the i7 version, I love my i5 book 1 that I got for 700
  • I had an option of a Surface Book 2 i5 and i7 and went for the i5 8gb ram. I dont game and for the fan-less silence, zero temperature and storming battery life I dont regret it one bit.
  • I have both the Power Base Book 1 with an i7 and a 15 inch Book 2, also with i7. The Power Base Book 1 is a warranty replacement (plus $100 upgrade for the Power Base) for an original Book that bricked during a Windows 10 update. The replacement Book 1 has run hot from day one, up to the extent of case warp, and I am cautious not to use it for extended periods. On the other hand, the far more powerful Book 2 has run cool on every occasion I use it. I can't swear to this, but if the 15 inch Book 2 runs cool, I have to believe that the smaller Book 2 would also run cooler than its predecessor despite its better specs copared to the original Book. I would recommend the more recent device.
  • Waiting for the Surface Booklet.
  • If you are buying the Surface Book, anything less then 16G of Ram is a waste. I am guessing that you are buying the Surface Book, because you want to take advantage of the GPU. To me that says you are a power user and anything less then 16G for a power user seems silly. If you do not care about the GPU, then the regular Surface Laptop would be a better option.