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Microsoft Ditching 2-In-1 Design For Next Surface Book

Microsoft is reportedly ditching a 2-In-1 design and dropping the price of the next version of its Surface Book.

A report from Digitimes said a new Surface Book with a standard clamshell design had recently entered mass production, and will be announced by Microsoft at the end of March or April according to anonymous sources from the “related upstream supply chain”.

The sources also said that the new Surface Book will feature the same 13.5-inch display and magnesium-aluminium alloy of the existing model but at a lower price point.

The cheapest Surface Book, which recently saw price cuts overseas, currently retails for US$1,299 in the US and $2,299 in Australia, while the new Surface Book will launch at a price point around US$1,000 ($1300).

2-In-1 notebooks have proven to be a hit for many PC makers. An IDC report released earlier this week found that the category saw shipment growth of 41.8% during the fourth quarter of 2016, while notebook shipments remained steady overall and desktop PC shipments dropped 10.8%.

Despite this demand for 2-In-1s, Digitimes’ sources said that the high price of the existing Surface Book had led to limited sales, and the 2-In-1 design was seen as conflicting with Microsoft’s Surface Pro range.

They claimed that 500,000 Surface Books had been shipped in 2016, compared to an expected 1.2-1.5 million units for the cheaper Surface Book with a clamshell design.

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