Microsoft Surface 6 2018 (8650U, 8GB) Convertible Laptop Review

Microsoft has just released the new Surface 6 2018 into the market at the end of 2018. Its bit a late for them to make a move, but it’s better than never. This time, the laptop is finally shipped with Intel 8th generation processor. There are two different configurations hardware available here. The first model is equipped with Core I5 processor and costs for under 1000 dollars. This is the cheapest or most affordable version users can afford right now. The higher model however shipped with Core I7 processor, the same 8GB RAM, and coming with 256GB SSD. The premium model has slightly more expensive price, but it’s considered as worth if you expect for more performance here.

Both of two models come with similar display, design, and connectivity. The only thing makes difference here is the hardware inside and the way the manufacture handles the cooling system. The I5 model does not come with any cooling system or called as fan-less while the I7 version comes with the fan system for reducing the heat. It’s better for us to take a look inside and see how it works on us. That is what we are going to talk about on this article. Without further ado, let’s we jump into the article.

Case and Looks

The Surface is really built in the same way with its predecessor. I am not seeing something different or unique toward its design although I see the chassis is slightly thinner, but not really that much unless you put the new and last year model together. The chassis itself is still made from aluminum and I have to say the build quality is truly impressive. I don’t see any flex or unfinished manufacturing process surrounded it. I notice of several ventilation located on the back panel and making it actively cooled. I also find this model I have right now has a slightly better temperature compared to the I5 version I previously reviewed before.

One thing that I really love from this tablet is the hinge system. The hinge is located on the back allowing you to adjust the viewing angle up to 180 degree and offering a nice way for enjoying multimedia entertainment and provide a good view during the presentation. It’s designed from similar aluminum material and feels durable in my opinion. Similar like last year, the type cover keyboard is sold separately and costs for around 130 dollars which considered as very expensive.

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Built for Portability

One of the biggest features to find here is probably the portability. Users can just detach and attach the screen from the keyboard and do it basically like a normal tablet or completely a fully usable laptop anytime and anywhere you want. Doing of this case is pretty much and everyone could do it easily. However, they still sold the keyboard separately and it costs for around 130 dollars for its type cover keyboard. Thankfully, any type cover keyboard works wonderfully even though some of them are not coming with backlit support and touchpad. Well, at least people won’t need to spend that much just for the keyboard.

They also announce few different accessories included the mouse and the stylus. These kinds of things are just accessories and means buying these won’t reduce the usability for the tablet itself. The stylus might work pretty great for taking note and drawing, but the touchscreen works well here. As for mouse, as long as you have the keyboard you won’t have any problem considering the touchpad is built in there. However, I suggest you to take a look into them considering you might be interested to buy any of them as long as you are fine with its expensive price tag.

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Connectivity and Camera

Microsoft Surface 6 2018 2 Believe or not, Microsoft still decides not to include USB type-C for some reasons. The charging process is done through its proprietary charging magnetic slot that works great, but in the end you are forced to carry several charging cable during your travel. I expect of Thunderbolt 3 port as I can just connect my external GPU for gaming considering the specification is powerful enough. There are only three connectivity includes a single USB type-A 3.0 port, mini display port, and micro SD slot reader. Many people will be disappointed for seeing the line-up, but this is the fact we need to accept right now.

Moving into its camera features. Microsoft puts of 8MP back camera and 5MP front camera. I have taken several photos with the rear camera and the result looks better than the last year camera although I find the images taken are lack of detail at all. The low light images show similar impression and worst. Your smartphone camera will do much better job during this case. The front camera takes of some good photos and suitable enough for video streaming with your friends and clients. The camera is kind of feature that never considered as pretty great in Windows 2 in 1 tablet.

Last price update: 2019-06-11 12:56:54

Microsoft Surface 6 2018Main Specs
CPU Intel ULV Core I7-8650U 1.9 GHz
Graphics Intel HD Integrated Card
Display Size12.3 Inch IPS 2736 x 1824
OSWindows 10 Pro
Memory 8GB DDR3 Memory
Storage 256GB SSD

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Performance and Battery

The hardware configuration is pretty promising in my opinion especially with the Intel I7 8650U processor inside. This processor is coming from the latest Kaby Lake R generation series and finally features of quad core CPU inside. The four clocks work at 1.9 GHz base clock and manage to reach up to 4.2 GHz with proper cooling system. Here, reaching the 4.0 GHz is hard and for most all of time it reaches only 3.6 to 3.8 GHz during my testing. As the result of more power produced, there is no way for them to make the tablet completely fan-less. Here, the temperature looks fine although the system is very quiet even during some heavy usages.

In term of battery life, they put of the similar battery capacity like the last model. There is a 45 battery inside and should last for 8 to 9 hours in single charge. The battery performance is much better here for some reasons although they feature the similar capacity. I did notice the power consumption is lower here as the result of its more modern hardware. 8 hours is a good time for finishing everything in single day, but when you need more you have to charge it regularly. The charging processor is done in less than 2 hours and feels pretty fast.

Last price update: 2019-06-11 12:56:54
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Final Thought

I will give them of my compliment for making such a well built and high performance tablet, but I am still disappointed for their decision for not adding of USB type-C in 2018. Many of its competitors started to ship this connectivity even in their cheapest laptop, but we are not seeing something similar here. They actually need to learn that the market becomes more and more competitor every year and means there is a good chance people will pick other option over the surface. As long as you are okay with the lack of USB type-C, I have no reason not to recommend this product. The choice is yours, so feel free to take any consideration about it.

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