As expected, Microsoft announced during its Surface hardware event a brand new addition to its line of laptops, the Surface Laptop 3. Microsoft claims it boasts three times the power of Apple’s current MacBook Air and features the fastest mobile processor in its class, i.e., the ultrathin laptop category.
Surface Laptop 3
The Surface Laptop 3 is available in two form factors, a 13.5” and a 15” model.
In what was the highlight of the announcement, the 15” model features a bespoke Zen+ architecture AMD Ryzen 7 3780U designed exclusively for the Surface Laptop 3, dubbed the Microsoft Surface Edition. The CPU is a reworked iteration of AMD’s existing Ryzen 3700U APU at 15 W TDP and features RX Vega 11 Graphics. Consumers can also get a slightly cheaper 15” model with an AMD Ryzen 5 3580U.
The news of an exclusive APU with integrated Vega graphics is a coup for AMD as it continues to stake claim to markets historically dominated by Intel.
The 13.5” version offers the choice of either a 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G7 or an Intel Core i7-1065G7, both with Iris Plus Graphics.
In terms of other specifications, Surface Laptop 3 is available with a 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB SSD, and ships with either 8 GB or 16 GB of LPDDR4x RAM.
Surface Laptop 3 Features
Microsoft has designed the new product to be modular, specifically by way of an easily removable keyboard deck design that grants access to the machine’s innards for easy upgrades and repairs. Previous Surface products drew criticism for their lack of upgradable features, so it’s welcome news to see that Microsoft is listening to consumers.
Other features include a USB-A and a USB-C port, Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax, a 20% larger glass trackpad, front-facing camera, OmniSonic speakers, far-field Studio Mics, touchscreen tech, and a redesigned charging capability that will see the laptop charge upwards of 80% in under an hour with a standard battery life of 11.5 hours based on typical usage.
How To Buy
Pre-orders are open with an anticipated shipping date of October 22nd. Starting prices are $999 for the 13.5” and $1199 for the 15”. The 13.5” model is available in four different color schemes (sandstone, matte black, cobalt blue, and platinum with Alcantara finish), while the 15” version is limited to matte black and platinum with Alcantara finish.
Our take on the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is that it isn’t a gamers machine by any stretch of the imagination, but is a viable alternative to Mac’s line of office and light entertainment laptops. It will be interesting to see how it performs once out in the wild.