Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President for Surface Computing holds the new Microsoft Surface Book i7 laptop at a live event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, October 26, 2016. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

If latest reports are to be believed, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 has already entered mass production, and it is going to have a clamshell design. Interestingly, the device will be priced much lower than its predecessor.

This has come as a surprise to many as no one expected the company to drop the 2-in-1 architecture in favour of a clamshell design. Moreover, the lower price has also surprised many. As per a DigiTimes report, the starting price of the next-generation Surface Book will be around US$1,000 (AU$1,300 approx). The existing devices have a price range of US$1,499-3,199 (AU$1,950-4,200 approx). The Book 2 will feature a similar 13.5-inch screen and a magnesium-aluminium-alloy chassis.

Tech experts believe that the Redmond giant has lowered the price of the Surface Book 2 due to the limited demand of the existing models. This in turn is due to the high price of the devices. Moreover, in terms of product positioning, the detachable design caused a lot of conflict with the company’s another very popular line of products, the Surface Pro. As per an estimate, Microsoft shipped only 50,000 Surface Books in 2016. With the Book undergoing a radical design change, it will be positioned as a traditional notebook at a friendly price.

This will take related shipments to an estimated 1.2-1.5 million units this year. Microsoft will likely announce the Book 2 by the end of this month or in April, writes Forbes. The device is thus turning into a laptop from a hybrid. Earlier reports had suggested that the next instalment of the Microsoft Surface Book would threaten MacBook Pro’s dominance in the hybrid market. However, this seems unlikely now, especially because it's now a laptop. It is not yet known if Microsoft is including VR capabilities in the device.

Reports had also suggested a 4K screen. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed any of the specs and that is making fans frustrated. Intel Kaby Lake processors are eagerly expected and future Surface Books could come with Microsoft’s ARM-based processors, just like Apple manufactures its own processors. It is also unknown if the upcoming Book 2 will have the Windows 10 Creators Update. On the other hand, the Apple MacBook Pro 2017 has also been linked to Intel’s latest Kaby Lake chipset, having DisplayPort 1.2, Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 support.

It will be wrong to believe that the Microsoft Surface Book 2 will be a no-show in comparison to Apple MacBook Pro 2017. However, comparing the Apple laptop with Surface Pro 5 seems more plausible.