So Where Should You Buy
The question about which retailer to choose largely comes down to which size of the Surface Laptop 3 you’d like. People who want the 13-inch version of the device should buy from Amazon because of their better shipping speed and Protection Plan options that can effectively give you up to a four-year warranty, while people who want the bigger 15-inch variant should opt to stick with Microsoft, as it’s $100 less expensive on Microsoft than it is on Amazon.
Equally Portable Chassis But Unequal Ports
Like the screen sizes, the dimensions of each laptop are close but differ slightly. Both have high-quality metal builds, so each feels premium, though the Surface Laptop 3 also has the option in some models for what Microsoft calls an “Alcantara fabric” keyboard deck.
The MacBook Pro measures 0.61 by 12 by 8.4 inches and 3.1 pounds, while the Surface Laptop 3 comes in at 0.7 by 11.9 by 7.5 inches and 2.83 pounds. Though slightly thicker, Microsofts machine is a tad more portable overall, with its trimmer footprint and weight. Still, the MacBook Pro is barely heftier, so for all practical purposes, one is as easy as the other to carry with you on a daily basis.
An important facet of portability is battery life. We found that the Surface Laptop 3 sample we tested ran for a couple of hours longer than the MacBook Pro on our battery rundown test. Both will last long off the charger, letting you utilize their physical portability, but our Surface Laptop 3 test sample had the edge in our rundown.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro includes only USB Type-C ports, with the lower-end models giving you just two ports but more expensive ones bumping the port count to four. USB-C connections are great, delivering faster data transfer speeds and adding some versatility, but being restricted to USB-C only makes juggling peripherals a bit of a hassle. You will need a dongle or a new cable for peripherals that use the long-standard Type-A connector. Most do.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review: Verdict
No two ways about it, the Surface Laptop 3 is an exceptionally good laptop. It’s very light, slim and good looking, with performance across the board thats a match for the best in the business. It’s more practical than previous models, with non-Alcantara options that wont get grubby, and a good spread of specifications means you can choose a model that suits your requirements and not pay more than you need to.
As with most products, there is the odd area of weakness. It’s high time Microsoft moved to wide-gamut displays on its hardware and, ideally, I’d have liked to see a Thunderbolt 3-equipped USB Type-C port, rather than plain old USB 3. It’s also a touch disappointing that Microsoft has provided only one Type-C port.
But these are relatively small complaints. If you want a laptop for work and, maybe, a little play, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is a brilliant option with very few significant shortcomings.
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Alternatives To The Surface Laptop 3
Other alternatives that aren’t Microsoft-made include the Razer Book 13 and Dell XPS 13. Both laptops feature an excellent Ultrabook design, with the latest specs and premium-price tags to match. Razer Book 13 starts at $1,199 and the Dell XPS 13 starts at $899.
Microsoft made a great laptop with the Surface Laptop 3, which is likely why they didn’t change much with its successor. The Surface Laptop 4 is now available, and it makes meaningful changes where it counts. The external chassis and design is the same, but Microsoft has swapped out the older 10th-gen Intel and Ryzen 3000 AMD series chips in favor of the more modern and more powerful Intel 11th-generation and AMD Ryzen 4000 series chips instead.
This provides the Surface Laptop 4 with better battery, better processor performance, and a more powerful GPU in both Intel and Ryzen models. The Surface Lapto 4 also comes in a new Ice Blue color, but the biggest difference is that you can now get the AMD chips in the 13.5-inch variant, starting at $999. Unless you’re on a budget and you can get a good discount on the Surface Laptop 3, we think the Surface Laptop 4 is the one to go for if you’re looking for a new Surface Laptop.
Should you buy?
How To Buy A Surface Laptop 3 Or Surface Pro X For Business For Yourself And Why You Should
If you’ve been thinking of buying the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, you might have heard quite a bit about it. A lot of tech reviewers have praised the device’s overall design and build, but also mentioned poor battery life, and the bad gaming performance, Some reviewers have even gone as far to say that the device performs just like a standard 13-inch laptop and falls short of being a Surface Book 2.
As much as it hurt to say it, that’s all because of the custom AMD processors powering the Surface Laptop 3. Microsoft had a bold ambition by choosing AMD, and it was even custom designed as “Surface Edition” to assure optimum performance.
But as more reviews are coming out, it looks as though that’s not the case for most. Both the AMD Ryzen 5 3580U and the Ryzen 7 3780U inside the device can’t come close to the performance of similarly configured laptops with 8th-generation Intel processors. Even the graphics, which are either Vega 9 or Vega 11, seem to be behind, and if, not, overpriced.
But did you know that all hope is not lost? Microsoft still offers versions of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 with Intel Processors. We just explained a bit about why you might want to buy one, but now here’s a bit more about how.
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review: Keyboard And Touchpad
As with previous Surface Laptops, the keyboard is an absolute peach. Theres nothing fancy about it no low-profile butterfly switch keys here just a well-spaced, Scrabble-tile layout with keys that have plenty of travel and soft yet firm feedback. It’s a joy to type on: you’ll be up to speed in no time, and three levels of backlighting ensure youll be able to type in darkened meeting rooms and lecture theatres.
Likewise, the touchpad is superb. Its a diving board-style design thats hinged at the top and doesnt have separate buttons but its reliable and works perfectly. Clicking doesnt feel hollow, squishy or heavy as it does on so many rival machines as Goldilocks put it, its just right. In my view, its one of the best touchpads Ive used on any laptop.
Best Buy Surface Laptop 3 Sale
Surface Laptop 3 13.5″ : With $600 off the original price tag, this Surface Laptop 3 deal is a bargain. Youâll get a powerful Core i7 processor matched with 16GB of RAM and an entire 1TB of SSD storage. That should be more than enough power to get plenty of work done on the move.
If you’re looking for the ultimate work-from-home laptop, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is the one for you. In our Surface Laptop 3 review, we’ve awarded this device an Editor’s Choice Award, and it’s easy to see why. We were quite impressed with its sleek and attractive design, decent battery life and comfortable typing experience.
And although it doesn’t feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, this can be easily overlooked as the Surface Laptop 3 delivers fast and powerful performance compared to other flagship work-from-home laptops.
All of the models mentioned above feature slightly different specs, such as an Intel Core i7/AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and 1TB/512GB/256GB of SSD storage and a bright touch-screen display, all packed in a beautiful 13.5/15-inch chassis.
As we’ve previously tested out, the Surface Laptop 3 can last you for approximately 9.5 hours, when performing simple admin tasks and web-surfing. It’s plenty to get you through the day. And weighing at 3.4 pounds, this lightweight machine is perfect for working on-the-go.
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review: Performance
The Surface Laptop 3 comes with a top-end 10th-gen Intel processor either a Core i5 or a Core i7, depending on which model you choose. Sadly, where we previously tested the Core i5 version of the Surface Laptop 2, Microsoft sent us a Core i7 model this time, so Im not able to make a direct comparison between the two generations. Still, our benchmarks show that its a good deal quicker than the 2019 Dell XPS 13 we tried out, which used an 8th-gen Core i7.
Both the i5 and i7 models also have vastly improved graphics over the previous generation. Our graphics benchmarks show a clear advantage for the Surface Laptop 3, with its Iris Plus GPU, over both the MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13.
Equally eye-catching is the performance of the Surface Laptop 3’s SSD. The original Surface Laptop was hobbled by sluggish storage, but even the second-generation model is left in the dust by the Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVMe SSD used here. It’s more than a match for the Dell XPS 13, and the Apple MacBook Air. Its also good to see that youre covered when it comes to Wi-Fi future-proofing with Intels Wi-Fi 6 AX201 wireless card providing wireless connectivity.
Equally, eight hours isn’t any worse than its direct rivals, and ought to be easily enough to get you through a day of working at your desk, as long as you don’t turn up the screen brightness too high or start editing and rendering 4K video.
Best Microsoft Surface Laptop Alternatives
If youre not inclined to buy a Microsoft hardware product, there are a number of top-rated Microsoft Surface Laptop alternatives. The first model that most will think of is the always-excellent Dell XPS thin and light notebook. In the original Dell XPS 15 review, we said the XPS 15 is the PC every laptop wishes it could be. That was a few years ago and the XPS 15 and larger XPS 17 have only gotten better.
Look to the HP Envy laptop for another high-performance lightweight laptop. In the HP Envy 15 review, we said it delivers top-notch performance at a dazzling price. Battery life and an expansive stood out in the LG Gram 16 Review, which we called almost unbelievably light.
If youre looking for value in a lightweight portable, consider the Asus ZenBook. In the Asus ZenBook 13 US333FA review we referred to it as all the laptop youll need.
Apple fans who like what they see in the Microsoft Surface Laptop but dont want to leave the Apple fold should check out the MacBook Air. The Apple MacBook Air M1 review summarized it a fast, fanless, and fantastic.
So, you can also check out the best laptop deals we track regularly to find additional alternative choices to the Microsoft Surface Laptop.
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Surface Laptop 3 135 Design
There are no significant chassis design changes this year to Surface Laptop 3 over the previous version. As noted above, Microsoft has hidden the Wi-Fi antenna lines, which gives a cleaner appearance.
Perhaps the most significant difference this year and a welcomed one is the option to buy the Surface Laptop 3 without the plush Alcantara keyboard deck. There are now four different color options, including cobalt , platinum , sandstone , and matte black . The downside is you are limited to specific color choices and deck materials so if you wanted matte black with Alcantara, that’s a no-go.
Alcantara is a proprietary fabric that Microsoft has been using for some time on the Surface series. However, many customers found the idea of the material weird and off-putting. Likewise, there are plenty of cases where the fabric can get dirty over time and even stain if not occasionally wiped clean. To alleviate that, Microsoft has darkened the platinum Surface Laptop 3’s Alcantara. Not only does it look better with higher contrast, but it stays cleaner looking, too. The outside platinum chassis, however, is the same as previous models.
Microsoft has again created one of the most enjoyable laptops to use.
The display opens with one hand, and when it closes, it slows down right before hitting the deck. It makes a subtle soft closing sound like how luxury car doors feel.
No HDR or anti-glare?
Best Microsoft Surface Laptop Deals For January 2022
Although Microsoft is most widely known for making software, this company has established a serious presence in the PC hardware market thanks to its excellent Surface laptop lineup. These premium Windows devices often carry price tags to match their quality, but luckily for you, there are always Surface Laptop deals on tapes. Weve got the best Surface Laptop deals listed below, as well as a handy shopping guide.
If youre also interested in the Surface Pro line of Windows-powered tablets and 2-in-1s, then definitely head on over to our Surface Pro deals roundup as well.
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New Ssd Removable Kits For Surface Laptop 3 Now Available
We are pleased to announce the availability of spare parts to assist enterprise customers to remove or replace SSD drives on Surface Laptop 3 . This includes rubber feet , cover screws that secure the chassis, and the single screw attached to the removable SSD .
Global CRU availability
Commercial customers in the following countries can place orders through their Surface Authorized Device Resellers: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, HK, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, U.K., and U.S.
Bulk packages containing 30 sets of 4 feet are available in the following SKUs:
- Black. SKU #: 17M-00005
- Bulk package containing 30 sets of 4 screws. SKU# 17M-00009
Bang For Your Buck Or Pro
These machines are largely intended for the same audience, with the Surface Laptop 3 as the generally less expensive option. In comparison, the MacBook Pro looks a bit expensive, considering the two laptops’ relative performance, core components, and feature sets, but Apple’s laptop does net you a few extras that steer it slightly toward professionals, especially pro content creators.
With these systems so similar, you may end up deciding by operating system preference entirely. But we do find the Surface Laptop 3 to be a better “raw hardware for money” value for those who need more of a general-purpose laptop.
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 135
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7
3 reasons to BUY the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
1. Ice Lake CPUs and LPDDR4X memory
Its a bit unusual for a flagship device to come with Core i5-1035G7 but thats fine for us. The 8-thread CPU is fast enough for your daily tasks or something heavier like Photoshop. The other not-so-often-seen thing is that the iGPU is Intel Iris Graphics G7 the most powerful integrated graphics at the moment combined with an i5 its a rare combination but it works well in this case. The CPU and the iGPU are additionally boosted by the fast 3733MHz LPDDR4X . The thing that we really like the device is cool under load thanks to the Ice Lake processor.
2. Battery life
The optimizations from Microsoft alongside the battery-friendly CPU lead to good battery life 9 hours of Web browsing and more than 14 hours of watching videos.
3. The screen
The screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio which is very comfortable to work with or Web browsing. Its viewing angles are comfortable, the contrast ratio is superb 1250:1 , it covers 90% of the sRGB, and after applying our Gaming and Web design you can enjoy an impressive average dE value just 0.8. The panel uses PWM but the pulsations have a very high frequency so it is safe-enough for long hours of work.
2 reasons not to BUY the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
1. The price
2. Soldered memory
Why Go With Best Buy
As previously stated, Best Buy is the best overall retailer to order the upcoming Surface Laptop Go from because you have the option of enrolling in a monthly payment plan, something you can’t do through the Microsoft Store. Additionally, Best Buy’s plan doesn’t have any interest as long as you don’t miss a payment, meaning that it won’t cost you extra in the long run to pay incrementally.
Of course, if you don’t need or want to pay through a long-term plan, there’s no reason you should avoid buying from Microsoft directly. Both Microsoft and Best Buy have all colors and configurations available, so when you take the payment plan out of the equation, they’re basically identical.
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review: Display And Audio
The display on the Surface Laptop 3 measures 13.5in from corner to corner, and its as sharp as you need at this size, with a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504 and a pixel density of 201ppi. This gives it a square-ish 3:2 aspect ratio, which feels a lot better suited to office work than the 16:9 screens many competing laptops use .
It looks great, too. Its maximum brightness of 365cd/m2 isnt exceptional, but its fine for most conditions youll likely be using the laptop in, and the display reaches a superb 97.5% sRGB coverage out of a total gamut volume of 99.2%.
Its just a pity that the screen doesnt go beyond sRGB, as the MacBook Air has now moved to the larger P3 colour space. If you switch to Enhanced mode in the laptops display settings you do get slightly boosted contrast, but thats still a long way off a proper wide-gamut display.
The laptops speakers meanwhile are pretty darned impressive. They go surprisingly loud and rarely distort nastily. They dont have much in the way of body, so I wouldnt want to listen to anything but very simplest acoustic tracks on them, but for podcasts and talk radio theyre absolutely fine.