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It has been a few months since Microsoft released its high-end Surface Book laptop, but the rumors of a next-gen device have already started.
Microsoft is working on the next generation of Surface Book, according to a recent post on Vine Report. The upcoming device will reportedly build on the features of the original, which was released in October 2015.
Surface Book, Microsoft's first laptop, is packed with powerful hardware. The 13.5-inch device has a detachable display with 3000 x 2000 resolution and 6 million pixels with 267 PPI, as well as a 0.4mm layer of Gorilla Glass for touch-responsiveness.
In its current form, the laptop is outfitted with a 6th Generation Intel Skylake processor. Users can choose either a Core i5 or a Core i7 model. Microsoft also promised 12 hours of battery life. At the time it was unveiled, Redmond placed Surface Book side-by-side with Apple's MacBook Pro.
Now Microsoft is working on a new model with upgraded specs. Another report from The Next Rex claims Microsoft will keep the 13.5-inch display but will boost the hybrid's resolution to 4K.
It has also been suggested that Surface Book 2 will include a USB-C port for better power, faster transfer speeds, and the option to connect a secondary display. A hardware upgrade may close the gap in the Surface Book's "fulcrum hinge," which currently leaves an opening when closed.
Early reviews of Surface Book praised its performance, vibrant screen, and strong build. Despite the impressive specs of the original, however, users had a few complaints about Surface Book that Microsoft will allegedly address in the upcoming release.
One of the more significant flaws in Surface Book, users claim, is battery life. Some analysts say the current Skylake processor is impeding the lasting power of the device, a problem Microsoft will reportedly fix by including the 7th Generation Intel i5 and i7 processors, otherwise known as the "Kaby Lake" series.
Another gripe around Surface Book has been the cost. Microsoft charges $1,499 for the base model, which comes with a 128GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5 processor. The maxed-out edition costs $3,199 and includes a 1TB SSD, 16GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i7 processor.
Considering the high cost of the original model, some potential buyers may like to see the next edition of Surface Book start at a more budget-friendly price point.
As for a release date, the rumors claim Microsoft will launch the second edition of Surface Book in June 2016. This would be interesting timing on Microsoft's part because a June launch would align with Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference the same month, when Cupertino is expected to unveil the 2016 MacBook Pro.
The new MacBook would serve as a direct competitor to the next edition of Surface Book, and it would be interesting to see the two devices launch side-by-side.
That said, there are a few issues that could prevent Microsoft from launching the next Surface Book in June. Rumors may claim Surface Book 2 will have Intel's Kaby Lake chip, but the chip isn't supposed to be done until year's end.
If Microsoft is set on including the Kaby Lake chip instead of a Skylake processor, it's possible the company may postpone Surface Book 2 until the new Intel processor is ready. In that case, we wouldn't see Surface Book 2 until sometime in 2017.
Microsoft has not officially released any information on the next Surface Book, so it's important to take these rumors with a grain of salt. However, we'll be on the lookout for more information as June approaches.