Introducing the latest Microsoft Surface Book 3 release in 2020. The AKA all-round. The AKA 'Ultimate Laptop'. From first impressions, the tablet or 2-in-1 laptop comes with the same design as the previous Surface Book 2. That's pretty risky in this day in age, because of the challenging mobile market.
There are substantial upgrades to the CPU, GPU, and other hardware specs to boost performance, but will it be enough to gain an advantage in the mobile market? Let's see from this review.
Microsoft Surface Book 3
|13.5” PixelSense™ Touchscreen, 3000 x 2000 resolution
15” PixelSense™ Touchscreen, 3240 x 2160 resolution
|13.5” - 8GB/16GB/32GB RAM
15” - 16GB/32GB RAM
Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G7
Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7
Intel® Core™ i5-1035G7: Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics
Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design
|13.5” - 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
15” - 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD
|2 x USB-A
1 x USB-C®
3.5mm headphone jack
2 x Surface Connect ports
Full-size SDXC card reader
Compatible with Surface Dial
Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a tablet that, if the right accessories are present, can also become a laptop, making it a 2-in-1 mobile device. There are two models it comes with: 13.5-inch and the 15-inch model. Both models come with different specs and features catered to different segments and different ranges of prices.
the 13.5-inch model is the startup with specs similar to other mid-range models. There is also a top-range version of this model, that contains more powerful processing power, more memory, better graphics, and more storage.
The 15-inch model is the top-range of the tow, with more powerful specs and features. It's more pricey, catering to those who can afford it and demand more system performance.
Bottom-line, there are two model tablets with different display sizes, specs, and features. They are catered to serve different segments, with different prices.
Display & Design
Microsoft Surface Book 3 comes in two models: 13.5-inch and 15-inch. There are both 'Pixelsense' displays with high resolutions up to 4K. The display is beautiful with images onscreen that are very much detailed. Those who are in the creative space will have no problems here with editing images and working on graphic arts.
One issue is that the bezels around the display are quite thick than other top model tablets, making it look outdated.
There is not much to say here about the design of the Surface Book 3. The two models are very much the same as the previous Surface Book 2 version.
The tablet is compatible with the detachable keyboard which when attached turns it into a clamshell laptop. The hinges are pretty easy to attach to the tablet and can fold the laptop up to 360 degrees, similar to a 2-in-1 laptop. The only issue here is that you still need to buy it separately as it doesn't come with the mobile device.
So to sum it up, great gorgeous 4K display. Same design as the older Surface Book 2. Easy to attach the detachable keyboard but sold separately.
System & Gaming Performance
With the addition of the mid-range/top-range hardware included, the tablet aims to meet the performance criteria of many market sectors. That of which the Surface Book 3 has definitely done so.
The tablet includes two of Intel's most powerful processors, with more RAM options, better display graphics, and more internal storage options.
This will definitely help you do business and creative work well with smooth transition between apps, fast loading of programs, and good storage. This is definitely a good point note.
With gaming however, this is not a gaming laptop. The hardware included is catered for normal business work and creativity work. The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) included is good but not as powerful as the NVIDIA RTX range of laptops which are more suitable for gamers.
But you can get away with playing 2D gaming apps and older gaming titles just don't expect a WOW gaming experience here.
So the bottom-line here is that Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a solid performance machine. It's great for daily or business work, good for creatives, but not ideal for extreme gaming. See some powerful gaming laptops here, if that interests you.
The battery life here is not too bad. Looking at up to 10 to 12 hours of battery life, you can expect to get your work done, stream movies, browse the internet, and social media on a single charge. Bear in mind that it takes about an hour to charge over 50%.
The detachable keyboard offers a good typing experience so it's a good idea to get it if you wish to type. There are two webcams (front and back) that are the same as the previous model but with a 1080p resolution. The weight is the same as the previous model, with a weight of 1.5 kgs for the 13.5-inch and 1.6 kgs for the 15-inch model.
Here a quick view of what you will expect to pay for the new Microsoft Surface Book 3.
- Intel Core i5, 8GB, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris: $1,599.99
- Intel Core i7, 16GB, 256GB SSD, Nvidia GTX (Max-Q): $1999.99
- Intel Core i7, 32GB, 512GB SSD, Nvidia GTX (Max-Q): $2,499.99
- Intel Core i7, 32GB, 1TB SSD, Nvidia GTX (Max-Q): $2,699.99
- Intel Core i7, 16GB, 256GB SSD, Nvidia GTX (Max-Q): $2,299.99
- Intel Core i7, 32GB, 512GB SSD, Nvidia GTX (Max-Q): $2,799.99
- Intel Core i7, 16GB, 1TB SSD, Nvidia GTX (Max-Q): $2,999.99
- Intel Core i7, 32GB, 2TB SSD, NVidia GTX (Max-Q): $3,399.99
As you can see the base model release starts at over $1500. That's not cheap for the budget segment. But looking at the specs this is a typical price range for a mid-range tablet or laptop. The tablet is out now in the US. It will be released on a later date in other countries.
Microsoft Surface Book 3 plans to be the all-rounder, trying to find a balance between the business laptop with a gaming GPU and a gaming laptop with a good typing, responsive touchscreen, and a lightweight.
With the performance of the tablet, the Surface Book 3 has reached that mark, catering to those looking for a business mobile device turn laptop that can perform tasks well with no issues.
But it puzzles me why Microsoft keeps releasing another powerful tablet and not include one or two of the cool accessories, like other brands. It could be because they want to make more money, or it's a marketing strategy. Whatever the reason is it would be cool to at least get the detachable keyboard bundle, but only time will tell.
Suffice to say, Microsoft has done a good job by releasing a great all-round tablet or 2-in-1 laptop. The upgrade options available with better processing power, and more RAM to the internal storage options make this a great choice for business and corporates yo use.
Yet the same external design features will end up being a liability in the not-so-distant long run because of the tough mobile electronic market they are facing.
To get a sneak peek at my first impressions, please click to see the article here. Check out the pros and cons here below, please add comments and feedback.
Microsoft Surface Book 3$1599.99
Display & Design4.3/5
Battery Life, Sound, & Other Features3.5/5
- Great system performance
- Unique & easy to attach keyboard
- Good battery life
- Good hardware specs
- Great 4K display
- Same design as Surface Book 2
- Thick bezels around screen