Microsoft's new Surface Book reportedly enters production, might be announced soon
The successor to 2015's Microsoft Surface Book was originally rumored to arrive last spring, but never showed up. A report by DigiTimes now claims that the new Surface Book will arrive this year, and might even be announced in the coming weeks. According to sources in the device's upstream supply chain, the new Surface Book entered mass production recently and "shipments are expected to rise each month."
The sources also claim that the new Surface Book abandons its predecessor's hybrid design in favor of a clamshell design. The existing Surface Book's screen works as a tablet when undocked from its keyboard; while docked it behaves as a traditional laptop. The new Surface Book will not feature that ability as its screen will not be detachable. The sources believe this will lessen the conflict between the Surface Book and Surface Pro lines—the latter also features a detachable screen, creating confusion among some consumers.
Besides the switch to a clamshell design, the sources mention a continuation of the existing Surface Book's 13.5-inch display and a "chassis made of magnesium-aluminum alloy."
The final part of the report says that the new Surface Book's starting price will be relatively low at $1,000. Aside from the design conflict, the existing Surface Book's $1,499 starting price also affected its success, the sources believe. If correct, this explains the recent drop in the existing Surface Book's price (other than to clear inventory to make room for its successor). Marketing the new Surface Book at a lower price should make it more appealing to a larger audience.