The Surface Book 2 is not a cheap laptop, with the least expensive 13.5-inch model checking in at $1,149. That configuration is built around an Intel Core i5-7300U processor, which is only a dual-core chip that is now a couple of generations old (Kaby Lake). However, rumor has it that Microsoft will soon be refreshing its entry-level model with a quad-core chip.
We are living in a core-heavy world these days, in terms of what companies are peddling to customers. On the desktop side, for example, 8-core processors are commonly available, and it is not unusual to see laptops wielding 6-core silicon underneath the hood. As such, having just a dual-core foundation on a premium product is starting to feel antiquated.
According to some online retailer listings spotted by WinFuture, that is about to change. The listings point to an entry-level SKU with a Core i5-8350U processor instead of a Core i5-7300U. The Core i5-8350U is based on Intel's 14-nanometer Kaby Lake Refresh (Kaby Lake-R) architecture. More importantly, it is a quad-core CPU with eight threads clocked at 1.7GHz to 3.6GHz. It also has 6MB of L3 cache.
Users should not expected a drastic difference in performance when dealing with single-threaded workloads, but for multi-threaded chores, it's a sizeable bump over the outbound Core i5-7300U.
There is only one SKU that is showing up right now, for $1,499 in the US and €1,569 abroad. It comes with the same 8GB of RAM and 256GB solid state drive as the current entry-level model at that price (though Microsoft currently has it on sale for $1,299). Other specs look to be the same as well, including a 3000x2000 resolution, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a USB-C port, and an SD card reader.
None of this has been officially confirmed, but assuming the listings are legit, we would expect a formal launch very soon.