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Surface Laptop 3 Review – Design, Performance, Connectivity, and More

Surface Laptop 3 Review – Design, Performance, Connectivity, and More

Surface Laptop 3 Review

Surface Laptop 3 review the third-gen laptop is more of a nip and tuck socket than the previous generation. It provides more power, and a larger trackpad.

And finally adds a USB-C port (but not at Thunderbolt 3 speeds, which seems odd). A larger 15-inch model is also available, but we’re reviewing the standard 13.5-inch model here.

Design and Connectivity

  • Dimensions: 308 x 223 x 14.51 mm / Weight: 1.25 kg
  • Finishes: Sandstone, Black, Cobalt Blue, Platinum
  • Alcantara in cobalt blue and Platinum
  • Metal (aluminium) in other finishes
  • Power: proprietary surface connector
  • Full-size keyboard (1.3mm key travel)
  • 20% larger trackpad than the previous one
  • Ports: 1x USB-A, 1x USB-C, 1x 3.5mm jack
  • Windows 10 startup

The Surface Laptop 3’s design is sleek and standout, especially in this black finish (which first appeared for the second-gen model):

  • There are plenty of finishing options – you’ll see Sandstone as gold and Platinum as silver, actually, with the Cobalt Blue and Platinum options retaining.
  • The interior palm rest of the Alcantara microfabricated finish keyboard is comfortable and eye-catching.
  • The Laptop 3 has increased the trackpad’s size by 20 per cent compared to the second-gen model, which is a welcome adjustment.
  • Big trackpads are king and hot for 2020. The older keyboard allows for comfortable typing for extended periods, with 1.3mm key travel for a decent response.
  • Utmost important to the design, however, is the addition of a USB-C port on the side. It ties together the full-size USB-A port.
  • But aside from a 3.5mm headphone jack, that’s your lot, and for a laptop like this, we think having more ports would make a lot of sense.
  • Oh, and an added downside: USB-C isn’t capable of Thunderbolt 3 speeds, for whatever reason, which is a disappointment.

Screen and Stylus

  • 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen
  • 2256 x 1504 resolution
  • LCD screen with 3: 2 aspect ratio
  • Gorilla glass
  • Works with Surface Pen (sold separately)

The PixelSense display on the Surface Laptop 3 is unchanged from the original and second-generation model displays. But as the saying goes: if it isn’t overdrawn, don’t fix it:

  • That means the Surface family trait of having a 3: 2 aspect ratio display, rather than the 16: 9 ratio seen in many other places, continues to rank highly.
  • We reason this is great, as it works well for document-based work but is less designed for wide-screen multimedia use.
  • That ratio is also where this is a 13.5-inch diagonal screen, not a 13.3-inch, typical of the competition.
  • The panel is high resolution and has brilliant colour and contrast. No, it’s not quite as pixel-dense as the panel on the new MacBook Air.
  • But it would be very difficult to suggest that it would make a genuine difference in usage between the two devices.

Performance and Battery life

  • Intel Core i5 (1035G7) processor, 8GB RAM (base model)
  • Intel Core i7 (1065G7) with 16GB of available RAM
  • 128GB storage (base model)
  • 256GB / 512GB / 1TB options

Microsoft has opted for 10th Gen Intel Core I processors for the 3rd Gen Surface Laptop. The key choice, we believe, is the Core i5:

  • There is also an i7 model available, but we would expect the impact on battery life to be negative and without too big of a boost from the processor, especially since everything runs Intel integrated graphics anyway.
  • The chip is the i5-1035G7, which is quad-core with eight threads instead of the lower-voltage dual-core chip in something like the MacBook Air.
  • That makes for a respectable performance. A spec setup similar to the excellent Dell XPS 13 puts Microsoft in a very strong position.
  • With the basic configuration of the Surface Laptop 3, you get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. For our money, you need 256GB on a laptop like this.
  • But if you store a lot in the cloud, that may not be necessary, especially since increasing the SSD adds 27 per cent to the asking price.

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