Microsoft has launched a surprise new variant of its Surface Book 2 laptop. The company has quietly launched the device that we first discussed earlier this month, which brings Intel’s newest 8th Gen quad-core i5 CPU to the Surface Book. Specifically, the chipset is coming to the 13-inch Surface Book 2.

While this is a new variant, Microsoft has decided not to discontinue the dual-core 7th Gen Surface Book 2 it replaces. Instead, that device has now received a price discount to $1,299. As for the new refreshed version running the quad core i5 is available for $1,499.

In essence, Microsoft has created a new Surface Book tier. The dual-core 7th Gen laptop stays as the entry level with a price drop and the new core i5 silicon is a new tier sitting just above entry level.

“The i5-8350U has two extra cores. Elsewhere, it also provides an increased maximum boost clock speed of 3.6GHz, up from 3.5GHz in the i5-7300U. This is all good news for multi-core computing as the 8350U should provider a 50% increase in power.”

Surface

It is worth noting this is the exact same processor Microsoft makes in its Surface Pro 6.

Aside from a new processor, the specs appear to be the same. That means 8GB of RAM, a 3000 x 2000 resolution display, a single Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and a maximum battery life of 17 hours.

Microsoft is kicking off April with a new Surface variant, but later this month the company is expected to drop an entirely new product. A press event has been scheduled on April 17 in New York City, where Microsoft is expected to announce its Surface Hub 2 device.