Portable tablet

Surface Pro 6

Powerful 2-in-1

Surface Book 2

The latest Surface Pro is a stunning Windows 10 device. It's one of the best tablets you can buy right now running Microsoft's OS. It's portable, capable (depending on spec) and can even be used as a notebook.

$900 at Microsoft

Pros

  • Portable performance.
  • Versatile with Type Cover.
  • Solid build quality.
  • More affordable.

Cons

  • Lack of USB Type-C.
  • Worse battery life.

Surface Book 2 is pretty much the ultimate Windows 10 PC. It's an excellent notebook and tablet, depending on your needs. There's even the option for a dedicated GPU, and yes you can even game on it. It can get very expensive though.

$1,150 at Microsoft

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Can play games.
  • All-day battery life.
  • Detachable keyboard.

Cons

  • Very expensive.
  • No Thunderbolt 3 or eGPU support.
  • Windows Mixed Reality support.

The Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 are two very different devices, targeting two very different groups of consumers. If you prefer a tablet experience, don't need to do inking, won't use the device with a physical keyboard much and would like to save some cash, Surface Pro 6 is the better option.

Should you want to go all out and enjoy the signature Windows 10 on Surface experience, nothing beats the Surface Book 2 — so long as your pockets are deep for the more expensive configurations.

Similar numbers on Surface

Both devices offer similar specifications, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The Surface Pro 6 is Microsoft's featured tablet and the Surface Book 2 is the company's powerful notebook. Both cross paths with regards to form factor and device category, and as such offer similar internals.

Surface Pro 6 Surface Book 2
Display 12.3-inch PixelSense Display 13.5-inch PixelSense display
15-inch PixelSense dispaly
Display resolution 2736 x 1824 267ppi 13-inch: 3000 x 2000 at 267 PPI
15-inch: 3240 x 2160 at 260 PPI
Processor Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8650U
Intel Core i5-7300U
Intel Core i7-8650U
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
Memory 8GB or 16GB RAM 8GB or 16GB RAM
Native graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620 13-inch: Intel HD Graphics 620, NVIDIA GTX 1050
15-inch: NVIDIA GTX 1060
Rear camera 8MP 8MP
Front camera 5MP
Windows Hello
5MP
Windows Hello
Audio Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium Stereo Speakers w/ Dolby Audio Premium
Windows Sonic for Headphones
Dolby Atmos for Headphones compatible
Xbox Wireless No 13-inch: No
15-inch: Yes
Ports 1x full-size USB 3.0
Mini DisplayPort
Headset jack
Surface Connect
microSDXC card reader
2x USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)
Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)
Headphone jack (3.5mm)
2x Surface Connect
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.1
Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.1
Battery life Up to 13.5 hours Up to 17 hours
Pen Surface Pen Surface Pen
Dimensions 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm (11.50 x 7.9 x 0.33 inch) 13-inch: 312 x 232 x 23 mm (12.3 x 9.14 x 0.90 inch)
15-inch: 343 x 251 x 23 mm (13.5 x 9.87 x 0.90 in)
Weight 1.73 lbs (784 g) 13-inch: 1,642 g (3.62 lbs) Tablet: 719 g (1.59 lbs)
15-inch: 1,905 g (4.20 lbs)
Tablet: 817 g (1.80 lbs)

Surface performance

Surface Book 2 is the more powerful device, without question. Both devices can be configured with the same Intel Core i7 processor, but the Surface Book 2 has the advantage of a dedicated GPU and better overall computing. It's designed for extended power use, while the Surface Pro is more of a tablet you can use for intensive tasks irregularly.

Because there's no dedicated GPU inside the Surface Pro 6, you'll need to rely on the Intel iGPU, and the Surface Pro 6 doesn't have Intel Iris graphics. This isn't a decision made by Microsoft, but Intel with its 8th-gen line-up of processors. If you need to rely on graphics processing, the only choice here is Surface Book 2.

Portable computing

Surface Pro 6 is more versatile, being an incredibly powerful tablet — you try running the full desktop Adobe Photoshop suite on an iPad — and while it does offer a battery life of around 13 hours, the Surface Book 2 edges out in front with upwards of 17 hours. It's not a huge difference, but worth considering if you're often found without power outlets.

Something to bear in mind is pricing, which is where the Surface Pro 6 wins big time. The tablet starts from just $900, while you can expect to pay $1,150 for the Surface Book 2. Surface Pro 6 is almost as good as the Surface Book 2 and can even be kitted out with better internals than the base model Surface Book 2, but Microsoft's 2-in-1 notebook is simply better.

Surface Pro 6 for tighter budgets

Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 isn't a slouch, but a powerful tablet with massive potential in the right hands. It's also the cheaper of the two devices, when not including the optional Type Cover and Surface Pen. If you're all about a lighter, tablet-like Windows 10 experience, the Surface Pro 6 is likely the better choice.

Portable tablet

Surface Pro 6

Surface Pro 6 comes an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, improved thermals, and a whole new black color option.

Surface Pro 6 is all about portability. It's a tablet first, laptop second and should be considered as such. Should you be after a Windows 10 tablet that can do everything you need without requiring a notebook or desktop PC, this is it.

The ultimate Windows 10 experience

Microsoft did so well with the Surface Book 2, we gave it a full five-star rating and raved about all of its features. Sure, it's the more expensive device in this comparison, but you get so much more in terms of configurations with the addition of discrete GPUs, making it a killer notebook.

Powerful 2-in-1

Surface Book 2

You can do pretty much everything on the Surface Book 2, whether you need to game, ink or be productive.

Microsoft did a stellar job with the original Surface Book and the second generation is even better. You can configure this notebook come tablet with a dedicated GPU and powerful Intel processors that even allow for some gaming.