The Microsoft Surface Book 2 could be launching next month, and it might be a return to the traditional laptop body style with a significant price cut. It sounds like the company is trying to pull in more buyers with a lower price, especially as the announcement is expected to come around the same time Apple is expected to release the pricey new iPad Pro 2.
Surface Book 2 said to feature clamshell design
According to DigiTimes, The Surface Book 2 entered mass production just recently, and Microsoft expects shipments to increase every month. The Japan-based news site cited sources from the company’s upstream supply chain. Those sources expect Microsoft to reveal the new Surface Book toward the end of this month or next month.
They added that the Surface Book 2 is also expected to have a traditional clamshell design like standard laptops rather than the two-in-one design the Surface has been known for since its inception. Further, it’s expected to have a lower starting price than previous Surface models. DigiTimes noted that Microsoft also slashed prices for its current Surface Book line-up, pushing the Core i5 model with 128GB of storage down to $1,300 from $1,500.
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Surface Book 2 designed to fix product positioning issues
It’s believed that the price cuts are to help the company clear out inventory in preparation for the launch of the new models, which are expected to have a starting price of about $1,000. The current Surface Book models are priced between $1,500 and $3,200.
The website’s supply chain sources believe that the price cuts for the Surface Book 2 models are because demand for their predecessors has been limited due to the high prices. The clamshell design is expected to return because of issues with positioning the Surface Books within Microsoft’s full product lineup. The sources said that the detachable design of the Surface Book caused conflicts with the Surface Pro lineup.
Because of the high price and conflict between the Surface Book and Surface Pro, DigiTimes’ supply chain sources estimate that Microsoft only sold about 500,000 Surface Books last year. However, they added that the company could sell 1.2 million to 1.5 million Surface Book 2 notebooks this year because it is fixing these two problems. The sources also predict a 20% year over year increase in shipments for the newest Surface Pro models, bringing the total to 6 million units this year even though tablet demand has been weakening.