Surface Laptop 3 Review – New Sizes, Processors and now repairable too!

The Surface Laptop 3 is the 3rd iteration of the comparatively new Surface Laptop lineup of traditional laptops from Microsoft. One of the highlighting features of this device is that it is being powered by a 10th Generation Intel as well as AMD Ryzen processors. This varies depending on the variant. Some of the factors that make this device better are the support for faster charging, diversity of processors making different variants, and USB Type C port. This is our in-depth, hands-on review of the all-new Surface Laptop 3 computer.

Surface Laptop 3 Review - New Sizes, New Processors and is now repairable

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review

In this hands-on Surface Laptop 3 review, we will be covering the following topics:

  1. Specifications.
  2. Performance.
  3. Surface Pen.
  4. Design.
  5. Peripherals Compatibility.
  6. Ports.
  7. Verdict.

1] Surface Laptop 3 specifications

Surface Laptop 3 runs on Windows 10. It comes in two variants of 13.5 inches and 15 inches. Both of these displays are Pixel Sense Displays. The smaller one has a resolution of 2256 x 1504 with a pixel density of 201 PPI, whereas the larger one has a resolution of 2496 x 1664 with the same pixel density of 201 PPI. Hence, it maintains the same 3:2 aspect ratio.

The smaller 13-inch variant runs only the Intel Core processors. The CPUs it runs is Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G7 Processor and Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 Processor.

The 15-inch variant runs only AMD Ryzen processors. The CPUs available in the larger devices are AMD Ryzen™ 5 3580U Mobile Processor with Radeon™ Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface® Edition and AMD Ryzen™ 7 3780U Mobile Processor with Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics Microsoft Surface® Edition.

The Intel Iris Plus Graphics handles all the graphics processing for the Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 variant whereas, the AMD Radeon™ Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface® Edition and AMD Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics Microsoft Surface® Edition for the 15-inch variants.

The device comes in two variants of 8 Gigabytes and 16 Gigabytes of LPDDR4x RAM for the 13-inch variant and two variants of 8 Gigabytes and 16 Gigabytes of DDR4 RAM for the 15-inch variant. Both of these variants also include an inbuilt SSD storage of either 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB.

Microsoft is claiming a battery life of about 11.5 hours in a single full charge.

The smaller device is of 208 mm x 223 mm x 14.5 mm in dimensions. And the other one is of 339.5 mm x 244 mm x 14.69 mm.

2] Performance of Surface Laptop 3

The 13-inch variant of this device runs on the 10th Generation of Intel Core processors chip based on the 10nm architecture. Hence, it brings in features like a Fast startup, and more. The 10th Generation Intel Core i5 is clocked at 3.7 GHz.

The Intel Iris Graphics chip of Graphics Processing Unit offers some very decent gaming. And on the larger device, the AMD Radeon Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition and AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition are going to provide you with an excelling graphics processing power on your device.

Just like the previous iterations of the device, you can be highly productive with the great battery life and great performance.

3] Surface Pen

Just like the older iterations of the Surface Pen, you can try just stick your old or the new Surface Pen on the sides of the device. However, I expect Microsoft to get to a solution of encasing the pen inside the device somehow.

4] Surface Laptop 3 – Design

The design majorly stays to be the same. However, two sizes of the device have been released. It is now available in both 13 inches, and 15 inches display.

One of the other things, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3, did not have a good name was for repairability. But now Microsoft has redesigned the device to be able to be repaired very easily. The technician just has to unscrew 4 corners on the base of the device, and the entire keyboard frame comes out, allowing the technician to repair the device and hence increases the overall life of the product.

5] Peripherals Compatibility

Just like any other computer, Surface Laptop 3 will support any peripherals that normal computer supports. The presence of various ports on the device brings in the scope for connecting hubs, and even when the ports are not solders on to the main motherboard of the device, these universal ports can be used.

6] Ports on Surface Laptop 3

The most welcomed addition to the ports on the all-new Surface Laptop 3 is the addition of the USB Type C ports. There are 1 USB Type C and 1 USB Type-A ports on this machine. The USB Type C port is not Thunderbolt but can be used for charging and high-speed data transfers with USB 3.1.

You can use the 3.5 mm audio jack to plug in your headphones. Or you can use a wireless headphone or the ones that come with USB Type C to do the same. This will still deliver a high quality of audio output for the same.

The new Surface Connector Plus port offers faster charging rates with the same proprietory 65 Watt charger. You can still plug in hubs to both USB Type C port and the Surface Connector Plus port to use a variety of ports on the device.

7] Verdict

The device is an incremental update with respect to the previous iteration of the Surface Laptop 2. You can use this device for good intensity video rendering, data visualization, Adobe Photoshop, and more. It will offer you great battery life with the new and variety of CPUs and support for fast charging.

Some of the Pros of this device are:

  • Fast Charging.
  • All-day battery life.
  • Powerful and diverse CPUs.
  • Support the new Surface Pen.
  • Universal ports of USB Type C.
  • Availability of the 3.5 mm audio jack.

Some of the Cons of this device are:

  • Expensive Surface Pen sold separately.
  • Reliance on hubs for plugging in Ethernet.
  • No inbuilt storage for the Surface Pen.
  • Should have a little thin-bezel design.

Like Surface Pro X and the Surface Pro 7, the device is now available for purchase at the Microsoft Store and other partners and starts at $999. You can preorder it right now at the Microsoft Store.

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Ayush has been a Windows enthusiast since the day he got his first PC with Windows 98SE. He is an active Windows Insider since Day 1 and is now a Windows Insider MVP. He has been testing pre-release services on his Windows 10 PC, Lumia, and Android devices.