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Performance meets versatility. From intensive video and graphics files to high-octane gaming, the most powerful Surface laptop yet combines speed, graphics, and long battery life with the versatility of a laptop, tablet, and portable studio. Tackle your biggest demands with quadcore powered 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, blazing NVIDIA® graphics, and high-resolution PixelSense™ Display designed for Surface Pen* and touch.
Free Upgrade to Windows 11¹ (when available, see below)
The most powerful Surface laptop delivers on your creativity
Now 30% faster than Surface Book 2 15”, with quad-core powered, 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors.
Unleash your best ideas
With the fastest graphics on any Surface, powered by the latest NVIDIA® GTX GeForce GPU, with 256GB of storage, and 16GB RAM.
Power when you need it
Get up to 17.5 hours¹ battery life — plus get back to work when you’re ready with improved standby that extends battery life when you’re away.
High-resolution PixelSense™ display
Breathe new life into your creations on the vibrant, PixelSense™ touchscreen display that combines Surface Pen,* touch, and Surface Dial.* Also available in 13.5”.
Show them what you’re made of with the most immersive gaming on any Surface laptop
Pair your Xbox Wireless controller* to enjoy the latest titles with Xbox Game Pass for PC.* *Some accessories and software sold separately.
Video calls and virtual meetings come to life
With spectacular audio and video with far-field Studio Mics, Dolby® Audio™ sound, and HD cameras.
Robust laptop, powerful tablet, and portable studio in one
Home office, kitchen table or living room couch, choose the way your work best with three versatile modes of use.
Get productive with a robust laptop, sketch and write with a portable studio at the perfect angle, and detach the touchscreen to share your ideas on a powerful tablet.
Get productive with a robust laptop featuring full keyboard and large, responsive trackpad, while navigating naturally on the touchscreen.
Draw, write and sketch with precision using Surface Pen* with Surface Dial* and high-end graphics, at the perfect angle for you.
Detach the touchscreen to swipe through photos and browse the web with a powerful 15” tablet.
From music and podcasts to movies
Experience movies, music, and virtual meetings with astonishing detail, richness, and depth with Dolby Atmos® sound.
All the connections you need for multiple devices and accessories
Includes USB-A and versatile USB-C™ ports, plus a full-size SD card slot.
Do more with the Windows you know
Comes with Windows 10 Home, giving you familiar features, trusted security, and automatic updates.
¹Device comes with Windows 10 and a free Windows 11 upgrade or may be preloaded with Windows 11. The Windows 11 upgrade will be delivered to qualifying devices starting in late 2021 and into 2022. Timing will vary by device. Certain features require specific hardware (see aka.ms/windows11-spec)
Surface Book 3 15” connected to keyboard base: Up to 17.5 hours of battery life based on typical Surface device usage.
Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2020 using preproduction software and preproduction configurations of Surface Book 3 15” Intel® Core™ i7, 256GB, 16 GB RAM. Testing consisted of full battery discharge with a mixture of active use and modern standby.
The active use portion consists of (1) a web browsing test accessing 8 popular websites over multiple open tabs, (2) a productivity test utilizing Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, and (3) a portion of time with the device in use with idle applications.
All settings were default except screen brightness was set to 150nits with Auto-Brightness disabled. Wi-Fi was connected to a network. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors.
²Surface Pen tilt functionality is available with Surface Pro 5th Gen, Surface Pro 6, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, Surface Book 2 (15"), Surface Book 2 (13") (when using updated firmware), Surface Go, Surface Studio (when using updated firmware), and Surface Studio 2.
³System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage. 1 GB = 1 billion bytes. 1 TB = 1,000 GB. See Surface.com/Storage for more details.
⁵Customization requires download of the Mouse and Keyboard Center and is not available on devices running Windows 10 in S mode or Mac OSX. ⁶Smart Switching not available on devices running Windows 10 in S mode or Mac OSX.
⁷Upgrade rollout plan is being finalized and is scheduled to begin late in 2021 and continue into 2022. Specific timing will vary by device. Certain features require specific hardware, see https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications.
Microsoft Surface Book 3 15" Touch-Screen PixelSense™ - 2-in-1 Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD
102W Surface Power Supply w/USB-A (7W) charging port
I was provided with this Microsoft Surface Book 3 at no cost as part of the Best Buy Tech Insider program. Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews and sharing their experiences with the product.
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is an extremely well-engineered, high quality, high performance notebook that literally flew through almost every Adobe Photoshop task I threw at it as part of my daily work regiment. It easily handled all my MS Visual Studio development work with ease and the 15” inch PixelSense display’s 3:2 aspect ratio helped to keep more text on the screen – in addition to also being great for photo editing and long form document viewing. The PixelSense screen produced excellent Adobe RGB color accuracy out the box. Everything from the minimalist industrial looking magnesium alloy case, to the well-spaced and perfectly back lit keyboard screams quality and well thought out engineering…. However, there is significant room for improvement. The main areas I felt needed the most attention was centered around design and performance decisions made by Microsoft to keep the Surface Book 3 “the premier” 2-in-1 notebook in the market. The detachable tablet design results in a lot of sacrifices to maintain that unique form factor. There was a noticeable amount of screen wobble due to the top end heavy design of the display. Audio and sound takes a minor performance hit due to the relatively weak and hollow sounding speakers embedded into the display unit (but not the base unit oddly). More importantly, while I found the unit whisper quiet under normal operation – it got notably noisy, and even a little whiny, under full sustained processing loads, such as encoding in Adobe Premier Pro, or while testing out the graphical processing prowess in some light gaming action in Fortnite. Sadly, all of the currently available configurations are non-user serviceable/ non upgradable which means that you need to seriously calculate the amount of RAM and SSD storage you may need for future application usage and development – or risk having to acquire a whole new unit later on down the line.
Detailed Observations after a regular usage:
My team and I create training photos, video content, coded programs, and virtualized network/server infrastructure to meet our organization’s needs. I am fortunate to regularly work with others that often live on the “bleeding edge” of technology and this results in inevitably swapping machines between team members many times over throughout a project to work through our tasks. This provides for a great opportunity to compare the performance of many different machines essentially running the same tasks over and over. I primarily utilize Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Premier Pro, MS Visual Studio, and VMware Workstation Pro as part of my regular work routine… with a healthy heaping of PC gaming on the side. I wouldn’t say I am a “Artisan” Photoshop/Premiere Pro user, but my team and I utilize the programs enough to be more than well versed in what they have to offer. For reference, I predominately work with 8-16 Megapixel uncompressed JPG images with average bit depths of 8bpc per image. I rarely utilize more than 10 layers in any of the images I work with – and in that regard this 16GB of RAM model is more than enough to tackle any filters or renders that I throw at it in reasonably quick amount of time. I kept a close eye on the RAM and system resource utilization – and it never peaked above 80% under the above circumstances – even with 10-15 Chrome tabs and streaming music services running in the background as well. I added a photo in the gallery for reference. In all honesty, I feel that if you are planning on working with predominately RAW Images or any 16bpc (or greater) JPG images AND/OR rely on more than 10 layers – you should definitely be looking at the Surface Book 3 with 32GB of RAM over this configuration. The battery life was decent and lasted about 5-7 hours with moderate to heavy use in a single day of my type of usage. I imagine this is due in part to the two separate batteries in the in the base and in the Surface Book Display unit along with the low voltage 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. The keyboard is spacious, has great key travel, and uniform back-lighting...What more can you ask for?
I regularly create/maintain VMware virtual machines as part of my development work to test and verify functionality of features I am working on. Interestingly – although this machine has the graphical, and computational horsepower to serve as a dedicated VMware or VirtualBox workstation – it requires a little tinkering out of the box. Due to native Windows 10 Security settings AND the Surface Book 3 default BIOS configuration – resource conflicts occur with the native Level1 Windows hypervisor and the Level2 VMware/VirtualBox virtualization software you are trying to use. “Credential guard” errors resulted every time I tried to load a VMware or VirtualBox VM. Without going into granular technical detail, technical – the Surface Book 3 BIOS lacks the ability/option to easily view or enable/disable “Virtualization” features of the Intel Chipset – even though it is a natively supported feature. I was able to rectify the situation by making edits to the Windows Registry to disable the conflicting services and I also had to modify the Windows 10 OS Security settings to allow the sharing of virtualized privileged system resources/core memory functions. There are a few Microsoft Knowledge base articles that you can search for to address this if you run into this similar issue, and it would have saved me several hours of my time had I known in advance.
Interesting things I noted:
- The Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti is a decent solution for 1080p Gaming with “High” detail settings (and possibly some “very high” depending on the Game)
- Its nice to have a full-sized SDXC card read directly in the device
- even under heavy load, the keyboard and palm rest stayed nice and cool - the back side of the Display unit got noticeably warm at times when I would pick up or move the unit to another area.
- Microsoft really should include a Surface Pen at this price point – it really adds to the capability of the device and helps to strengthen one of its key advantages over other machines
- The screen is bright enough to work easily with in direct sunlight – even if it can have touch too much reflections at times
- While the 10th Gen Intel Core i7 1065G7 inside of this model is more powerful than its predecessors – it is not the best performing (nor best priced) processor for content creation on the market. Microsoft should really consider offering the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 series processors in this model or in future revisions or at least try to consider using a non "low voltage" based processor to compete with AMD.
- I have mixed feelings about the “mechanical” button mechanism that detached the tablet from the base. I accidentally engaged it the first day I used it and the mechanism made a weird sound and the tablet sort of wobbled. Nothing broke, but makes me ponder the longevity and fragility of the mechanism over long term repeated use.
- The trackpad looks small – and is small - but it was more than adequate in my usage. I think it doesn’t help that there is so much “unused” space in the palm rest area on both side of the base. Maybe place extra Speakers to improve sound while plugged into the base?
As I mentioned – I work in a team, and some my team mates regularly switch out their notebooks in a quest the find “the one” that tries to do everything they need. This is where I think the Surface Book 3 starts to lose some of its luster and appeal. There are faster/more powerful notebooks and 2-in-1’s for content creators and developers out there - for lower MSRP. They are often more customizable, with better performing hardware and equally impressive displays out there – for lower MSRP. I physically witnessed 15” inch AMD 4800U and a 14” AMD 4900HS powered notebook -with similar Nvidia GTX GPUs- perform many of the same tasks in 20%-30% faster time frames, along with more system RAM, SSD storage … for less than half the price of this models MSRP. Even taking all that into consideration – there is still something special about the Surface Book line that can’t be quantified. Thanks to the detachable screen, I found new ways to collaborate and make on the fly edits/adjustments with my team. I was able to gather input that would not have been possible with any other machine thanks to the added flexibility. Using the Surface Book 3 in tablet mode with an optional Surface Pen is where this device really shines. Sadly, there is NOT one included in the box – I borrowed one from my personal Surface Pro 4). As configured with 16GB of RAM, and at retail MSRP – I think the Surface Book 3 is an outstanding machine that can tackle light – to - medium weight content creation tasks and workloads, with the added bonus of lightweight gaming on the side.
It looks and feels like a premium device – but it costs significantly more than (mainly AMD) devices that can outperform it on almost every level. In my mind, it boils down to “needing” the tablet functionality for the added cost –or- heavy Photo editing/collaboration with the PixelSense Display and a Surface Pen – which again is oddly optional at this price point given lower priced "Surface Pro" models can be purchased with a pen as part of the configurations.
I would recommend this to a friend
Battery life, Design, Display
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Very good laptop with a very premium price tag...
The newly released Microsoft Surface Book 3 replaces the Surface Book 2 with some noteworthy upgrades. My unit comes with a configuration of a 10th generation 1.3 ghz i7 Intel processor, 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM, a 256 gig SSD hard drive, and Nvidia GTX GeForce dedicate graphics processor with 6 gigs of dedicated video. A bright 15 inch “Pixel Sense” detachable monitor with a resolution of 3240 x 2160 pixels rounds out the major features. Microsoft can configure this generation of Surface Book in a number of ways from a 13 to 15 inch monitor, i5 or i7 processors, or up to 32 gigs of RAM and more powerful graphics, so depending on your needs, there will be a variation of this you can configure that’s best for you (at a cost, of course).
Full disclosure: Best Buy reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews. I will always provide my honest opinions on all products reviewed. .
One of the main reasons people get these are for the versatility. The screen (which houses some of the laptop’s guts) can be detached and used like a tablet on it’s own, with it’s own battery supply built in. When used with the Surface Pen (which unfortunately they do NOT include with these units), your creative juices can go wild with the bright, colorful, high-res screen. The backlit keyboard unit has a battery of it’s own as well, and when the two are attached, you get some pretty good battery life as well as much improved graphics power as this is where the graphic card is housed. A note though – a 17 hour possible battery life is quoted in specs, and in reality, I found it to be a bit less than half of that when running the screen at least at 50% brightness and doing “real world” projects and uses. Your mileage may vary depending on how you use it. You can use it as a standard laptop, or detach the screen and re-attach it backwards to use in tent mode or as a tablet with the keyboard attached, or just carry around the screen as a standalone tablet (with less power as the graphic card and one of the batteries are again, housed, in the keyboard section). One minor issue is that with the monitor holding several components inside, it can get a bit warm in use, but it never gets so hot that it’s worrisome. The keyboard and track pad feel rock solid, and the Surface 3 has a nice typing feel to it, and has the ports most need; two USB-3 ports, one USB-C, SD card reader, headphone jack.
Speakers are standard in terms of volume and clarity – nothing outstanding but much better than on lesser machines. The web cam is very good being true HD, and has very good lower light clarity. A “rear” camera (in the upper corner of the lid) is also of good quality if you have need of it. The microphones are clear, though I did find I had to speak up just a bit louder than on some other machines for them to pick me up and react. A magnetic connector on the charger helps prevent accidents if someone or a pet walks by and accidentally pulls the power cord while in use – it just pops free of the machine, preventing it from being dragged off of the table.
Processing power overall is good. The Surface Book 3 breezed through Paint Shop Pro projects even with multiple layers being applied to photos, large resizing of pics, and having several projects open at once. I decided to try to tax the system by using an old Microsoft screen capture program called Expression Encoder – it allows you to take screen captures of video up to 10 minutes in length (free version), and when converting and saving those clips to your computer, can really tax a system. My mid-range desktop will whine and whirrrr (fan) when using it, sounding like it’s near death. It can take several minutes to process even shorter 4-5 minute videos. The Surface Book handled this pretty well. I took some 3-5 minute grabs and encoded them to save, and while the fan did come on and it was still pushing some limits, overall it did a very good job handling this. The i7 processor and dedicated Nvidia graphics worked well together. The machine did get a little warm during the processing, but not “hot”. I don’t think this will give people any issues when using it for video processing and conversions, especially if you configure it with a bit more RAM. 4K video playback went without any hiccups. I wouldn’t give it an award for processing power, but it’s about what I would expect from any laptop with this configuration of hardware.
Because you are dealing with a thin laptop with cooling considerations that a desktop may not have, I think the processor operates at a lower wattage than it’s cousins used in desktops, because while again, the processing power is “good”, a very similarly configured desktop I use at work seemed to work a bit faster as it of course has cooling fans, and more room for air circulation. Not a problem for daily tasks, photo editing, basic video editing, etc. If you want to get more serious, you’ll want to configure a machine with more RAM and higher Graphics. If you will be using this quite a bit in tablet mode, consider the 13 inch option, as while the 15 inch model is great for desk and office work, it’s a bit bulky to use as a tablet – the 13 inch version would be your option if you are in the field, traveling, or holding that screen a lot.
Glitches? Only one so far. You can as with many Windows laptops now, configure your login so that the web cam recognizes your face and speeds up the login process. Twice, I’ve had it do this, yet the web cam will stay ON, along with the on light and red Windows Hello cam light next to it. Trying to go into the camera app to turn it off didn’t work and I’ve had to reboot to reset it correctly. It’s only happened twice but hopefully will be fixed in a firmware/software update at some point.
The Surface Book 3 is not inexpensive. It’s a well spec machine with a bright, beautiful, removable screen, and is built very well, and you do pay for that, along with it’s various special features. In order to justify the price tag, you should be someone who will take advantage of those features. This would necessitate having the Surface Pen, and that’s one of my big gripes – that they don’t include it. The approx. $100 pen is an additional feature, which in my opinion, should be included with EVERY Surface Book configuration. The retail price for my configuration hovers around the $2,300 range. You do get excellent build quality and a premium screen for that price, but in my opinion, I think for this price, the SSD drive should be at least 512 gigs (or even 1 TB?) and again, the Surface Pen should be included. I’ll be greedy, too – an outstanding extra would be a basic protective case you could slip the monitor in when in tablet-only mode to protect it and prop it up while in use (I can dream, can't I?). Only you can decide if the price is justified for your specific needs and uses, but if it is, you should enjoy the investment. If not and you just need the basic specs, shop around as you can get something without quite all the bells and whistles for a few hundred less.
I would recommend this to a friend
Battery life, Design, Display
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Beautiful, power laptop - lightweight tablet!
Full disclosure: Reviewers for in this invitation-only program (Tech Insider Network) are provided products for the purpose of writing an honest, unbiased review.
When I first saw this laptop, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Is it a laptop or a tablet? My concern was if it’s both, does it do either functions well? I’ve seen many other laptops that claim it can be used as a tablet. There are many laptops where the keyboard folds behind the screen and they call it tablet mode, but it weighs much more then what we consider tablet weight. But with the Windows Surface Book 3, the keyboard detaches, to me, this is a game changer!
For comparison, the weight of the Surface book (tablet only) is 1lb 13 ounces (29 ounces), for comparison an iPad 10.2” weighs 17 ounces and the iPad Pro 12.9” weighs 1lb 6.6 ounces (22.6 ounces).
Unboxing and appearance:
The laptop comes very nicely packaged, open the box and you will find the laptop, charger and cord neatly packaged. The charging block has a USB port also, nice touch as I use it to charge my phone. No need to take up a USB port on the laptop. I wish the charger had some sort of wire management on it though (i.e. plastic tabs to wrap wire around, Velcro strap). The magnetic charger is a nice touch, it connects to the laptop parallel, so it doesn’t protrude out from the laptop. It’s made out of black plastic, so feels a bit cheap. A Surface pen is not included, at this price point, it would’ve been nice if it were included. If you have a pen, it doesn’t appear to have a spot to store it on the laptop.
Initially I wasn’t crazy about the hinge design, when it folds up, it doesn’t fold flat, there’s a quarter inch gap near the hinge area. I think we’re all used to laptops folding flat when the lid is down. After a week of usage, I’m getting more used to it and it doesn’t bother me as much. The front lip has a magnet that keeps the lid shut tight. The magnet is evident as my watchband keeps sticking to it. I end up taking off my watch when I use the laptop, which is probably better anyway as I don’t want to scratch up the laptop. Overall the design is very clean and nice, the shiny silver Windows logo gives it a premium look.
I’ve seen many 2 in 1 laptops where the screen is very heavy, making it easy to topple over, but this laptop is very well balanced. Pushing gently on the screen doesn’t cause the keyboard to lift up. Instead, the hinge responds by opening more. This is where I start to appreciate the Surface book hinge design. I have 4 laptops in my home, all of them, if I push the top without holding the base down, will lift up. Traditional laptop hinges are stiffer.
The keyboard lights up nicely, there are 3 settings that you can toggle between.
Initial setup was a breeze, follow the instructions, log into your Windows account it pretty much does the rest. I love the Windows “Hello” login (facial recognition) feature. I have that on one of my other laptops, but not in my work laptop. It’s definitely nice to have and works well.
I found the picture quality of the PixelSense display to be very good. I used this laptop with Adobe Lightroom to organize, edit and print my large library of photos. The colors and clarity of the photos look very good (I have not calibrated the display yet). I’ve used Lightroom on my iMac that’s approximately 7 years old, it’s been painfully slow opening catalog, editing etc. The Surface Book was able to do all these tasks much, much faster. The benefit of being able to disconnect the tablet is that I can show photos to my family without carrying around the laptop. Much friendlier to hold and swipe through vacation photos.
I enlisted my son’s help, an Engineering student in HS, to test the laptop with Autodesk Inventor Professional. The Surface Book performed perfectly and comparable to the desktops he uses in school. He created a sword using Inventor.
I also used the laptop for general applications such as Microsoft Office and Ameritrade Think or Swim, no issues running any applications of course. I didn’t even hear a fan kick off while running these programs.
Overall this is a beautiful, capable laptop that is light weight, the tablet mode was executed very nicely by the engineers at Microsoft. I can wholeheartedly say it’s a great laptop and a great tablet! Just getting the weight down to something I wouldn’t mind carrying but has the computing power to work flawlessly with Adobe and Autodesk applications is amazing to me. There are some minor issues, as I’ve mentioned in my review, but nothing that’s a deal breaker. The price is on the high side, I would say this is the biggest negative.
I would recommend this to a friend
Battery life, Display, Keyboard
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Tablet and Laptop in One
Before starting I would like to say that I’m a member of the Tech Insider Network and reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.
Pulling the Surface Book 3 out of the box it seems heavy for its size. They must have a lot crammed into a small package as it certainly has the specs. It looks sharp and feels premium and it should at this price point. As I went through the box looking to see what all came in the package I was upset to find there was no stylus included. At this price it should be included. Looking at the screen I noticed a sizable bezel. At first, I wondered why the bezel was so large before I realized it was probably for the attachment points between the keyboard and tablet.
Turning it on there is a short boot time thanks to the SSD. There is the standard Windows 10 setup, which goes quick with some assistance from Cortana. The mouse pad is standard, and the keyboard has a selector to light up the keys, which comes in handy. The screen is sturdily attached to the keyboard and only comes apart when you press the detach button on the keyboard. Reattaching is as simple as putting the screen back in its place as it locks itself together. I really like that there are no vents on the bottom of the keyboard. The vent is well placed on the top of the keyboard and it’s not very noticeable. I love that I can set the Surface Book on my lap and not worry about blocking a vent and causing it to overheat. There is also a vent that goes around the entire screen and the speakers are hidden on the left and right sides. It’s also quiet and I haven’t heard a cooling fan yet. Listening to music and watching some videos I was pleasantly surprised with the sound system. It’s not audiophile quality but for movies and music it’s unexpected and surprisingly good. The Dolby Atmos creates an exceptional sound stage. The charger attaches magnetically and is an improvement over a coaxial power connection you see on most laptops. There are two USB connections, a single USB type C connection, headphone jack, and an SD card reader. Missing is an HDMI connection, which would be nice to have.
I installed several programs, and each was quick to install and quick to open once installed. The SSD is nice and fast but it doesn’t appear to be interchangeable so make sure you get a model with enough storage space for your needs unless you plan to use external storage. Programs are also very responsive thanks to the i7 processor and 16 GB of memory. The touch screen is accurate and works well and the screen is sharp and produces good viewing angles. There are cameras on the front and back, but I mainly just use the front facing camera to identify my face to aid with the login.
I’m currently in the midst of a project for work to create a manual and I’m using Acrobat DC. I’m using a lot of pictures in the manual that I’ve taken with my DSLR. To help organize and prepare everything I also have Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ve been running all three programs at the same time and this thing hasn’t skipped a beat. I’m able to quickly import RAW image files into Lightroom since the Surface Book has an SD card reader. I currently have 90 images imported and I can easily browse all the photos I’ve taken for the project at one time and switch between the RAW images without any lag. I can quickly make the necessary lens corrections and white balance adjustments before exporting to Photoshop for finetuning the image and saving it to a reduced size for the manual. I can then import the images into Acrobat. The speed at which I’m able to go from one program to another is great and it really makes the project so much easier to complete. With 93 imported RAW images in Lightroom, 18 photos open for editing in Photoshop, and Acrobat DC open for editing a 110-page manual all at the same time there are no issues with performance and I have absolutely zero complaints over the performance of this machine.
One thing to note is that the Surface Book has two batteries. One in the tablet and one in the keyboard. Together they give you pretty good battery life but separate them and the smaller battery in the tablet will only give you around 3 hours of use.
Overall, I’m happy with the Surface Book 3. It’s more than capable to handle anything I can throw at it. I think a stylus and an HDMI port would have been nice additions. Better battery life for the tablet portion of the Surface Book would also be welcome. Otherwise it’s an excellent machine, although expensive, and I know I will get plenty of use out of it.
I would recommend this to a friend
Battery life, Design, Display
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Graphics powerhouse in a sleek package.
First of all, the packaging for this device is entirely recyclable and of high quality. I was very happy to see that.
The Surface Book 3 has a sculpted metal finish that is very pleasing to the eye and it is surprisingly heavier than I expected. But in a good way.
The hinge mechanism is ingenious and seems like it should last for a long time. If you’ve ever had a broken hinge on your laptop you will appreciate how it extends the entire width of the screen.
On the top left of the screen you will find the power button and the volume rocker. At the top right there’s a headphone jack.
The entire screen detaches from the keyboard portion to become a tablet.
The keyboard part has 2 USB A 3.1 ports and an SD card reader on the left, the Surface connector port and an USB C on the right.
When the tablet is removed there’s a Surface connector to attach the charging cord.
So the quality of build makes this machine feel like the high end computer that it is.
The keyboard is quiet and responsive, dare I say silky? I am happy that it is also backlit so I can work in darker areas without having to turn a light on.
Now on to its technical abilities…
Setup was a breeze once the battery was charged.
Startup times are blazingly fast thanks to the SSD and when configured properly the facial recognition was uncanny because it worked well even in extremely low light conditions.
The Surface Book 3 has 2 cameras: 5MP front facing and 8MP rear facing.
This arrangement has worked well for Zoom meetings and so far everyone has commented that my audio and video are much better than with my old machine.
I work with digital photography in a clinical research setting so the following part deals on how the graphics abilities of this computer sets it apart from others.
Perhaps I haven’t mentioned that this particular model comes equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design as well as the Intel ® Iris ® Plus Graphics. Wow! You can even tell it which graphics adapter to use.
I use Photoshop extensively because photography in a surgical/medical setting can be problematic due to the different types of lighting and how the image is captured by the camera’s sensors. For example, we can have overhead fluorescent lights mixed with surgical lights and then the macro ring flash at the same time. All of them have different color temperatures, so post shoot editing is a must in order to balance the color and exposure to generate publishable images.
The screen is 15” and can display HDR images properly in crisp color detail with a plethora of user adjustments to suit your needs so images and videos can be displayed properly.
Adobe Photoshop opens in about 10 seconds. A bit less if you don’t have other apps running, a bit more if you do. Regardless, that is impressive because my desktop can sometimes take over a minute (or more) to do the same. I think I’ve opened Photoshop before and gone to get a cup of coffee while the program went through its routine startup mode as you see the credits roll…
I work with large raw images (NEF files) that allow a wide range of adjustments including color temperature, exposure, highlights, shadows, whites, black, ETC. As you play with the sliders you can see the changes displayed instantly in the preview pane, which when zoomed in allows you to see all the incredible detail found in macro (1:1) photography. Once you are satisfied with the balance of the image, you can open it to display it full page and continue to work on details until you have the perfect image.
So far the only thing I wish it had is a larger trackpad. The one used is adequate and sensitive, paired with a touchscreen it works for most purposes. But if you are planning to do fine detail I would recommend using a mouse or perhaps a Microsoft Surface pen.
The other thing I’d like to comment on is battery life.
Seems to me this device could benefit from a boost in battery life…
It appears that the keyboard half of the device houses the GPU and feasible more batteries than the tablet detached alone, so I would expect 8-10 hours of power but in reality I was running out of juice at about 5-6 at the most.
Other than that, I am very pleased with the Surface Book 3 and its graphics and performance capabilities.
It is also a beautiful thing to behold.
Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.
I would recommend this to a friend
Battery life, Design, Display
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Tablet or Laptop
Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews
Tablet or a Laptop
How about a two in one and you get the best of both worlds. Meet the new Microsoft Surface Book 3 15 inch 10th Gen Intel Core i7 with 256GB SSD, 16GB of Ram and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB GPU Max-Q. This laptop is a lightweight, versatile and a beautifully unique designed powerhouse.
I have been using this laptop now for a little over a week now for multiple things such video editing, photoshop using Adobe photoshop, graphic designing, gaming, office work, everyday use such as writing this review and I must say it has excelled in every aspect, it has yet to let me down. The laptop and tablet in one is such an amazing design and done very successfully by Microsoft, in my perspective, that you have everything you need for whatever life demands all at your fingertips. If you need to get something done on the go just simply detach the tablet portion and get it done. The only downside to the tablet portion is that your dedicated graphic card and larger battery are built into the keyboard portion of the laptop to keep the tablet design slim, so you do end up losing a little bit of the graphics and battery in the tablet mode.
The Surface Book 3 came packed with great tech, like Windows 10 Home, WIFI 6 or Wi-Fi 802.11ax support, whatever you want to call it, Bluetooth 5.0, 2 USB, Media Card Reader, USB C, which can also be used to for charging as well, and a charging port. One thing I have to say that most people are getting away from and I am glad that Microsoft decided to keep is the headphone jack, built into the tablet. Most people don’t like or care for the headphone jacks but I personally love them because in a pinch they do come in handy. The laptop also comes with a front and rear camera, which by the way worked well during my office meetings, along with the Dolby Atmos audio which is not bad at all. The screen resolution on the laptop is amazing (3240 x 2160), and the touch screen is very responsive.
As far as performance goes, while the Surface 3 is not built for gaming, it does allow and runs some performance requiring game such as tomb raider, Modern Warefare without any problems. Also, working of some 3D designing rendering, video editing, and using photoshop the laptop performed without a hitch and did not heat up, which my other laptop still does but it is also older and lags a bit behind in hardware.
My overall experience with the Microsoft Surface Book 3 has been nothing but amazing. Although being a very expensive unit, I believe it is well worth the price. Like the saying goes “You get what you pay for”. If anyone is looking for tablet/pc, I would recommend looking into the Surface Book 3.
I would recommend this to a friend
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
4 out of 5
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Owned for 3 weeks when reviewed.
Good product. I'm enjoying it each time of the day for school and work. I installed Linux on it for school and work and haven't had any problems. No changes in performance with a second OS installed. I recommend this product to anybody looking for a laptop for everyday work and beyond.
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
4 out of 5
I would recommend this to a friend
Brand response from MicrosoftOutreachTeam
Hi – It’s great to hear that Surface Book 3 is working well for you. Thank you for recommending it to others. We hope you continue to enjoy using it. Cheers, Erica Surface Customer Care
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Like carrying my entire office with, but lighter!
I just absolutely love this Microsoft Surface Book 3, and it is huge! I cannot believe that they are able to pack in all the same contents of a laptop into this Microsoft Surface Book 3.
I got the Microsoft - Surface Book 3 15" Touch-Screen PixelSense - 2-in-1 Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD – Platinum. I had never owned a Surface before, and I have to say, I was SUPER excited. I had seen them being used on the NFL games on the sidelines, and I had always heard about their great performance in a small package. The Surface Book 3 is 30% faster than the Surface Book 2, so quite a difference in an upgrade.
Right away, like any other laptop, I installed the entire Microsoft 365 product suite, Adobe Creative suite (Photoshop/Indesign/Illustrator/Dreamweaver/Muse/XD/etc. and it performs fantastically. I even bought a stylus to go with the Microsoft Surface, for additional greatness. The touchpoints are spot on, and so many settings for drawing. The sensitivity is like I am actually drawing with pen/ink/watercolor. The ability to use this as a “portable studio” is great.
Definition Alert…”Stylus Input
An active stylus/pen is able to communicate directly with a compatible device; active electromagnetic resonance (EMR) pens are powered via a device's screen and active electrostatic (AES) pens require an additional power source. A passive stylus does not have electronic features and is compatible with most capacitative touch screens.”
I share my designs and layouts with clients all the time, and this makes it easy to do so. When I put it in landscape mode, it is about the width of a letter size paper, but taller. I feel like the screen size is PERFECT for that. I debated between the 13” or 15” size, but I am glad I did the larger screen, because in laptop mode, the screen is bigger, and the keyboard and size is just more fitting for me, and then when I want to use the screen for drawing and presenting, it is large enough that I don’t have to zoom in on things for my clients to see. It helps that the resolution (3240x2160) is crystal clear too.
There are volume buttons and the power button on the top of the monitor, so that it can be used when undocked from the keyboard.
The whole unit folds down closed, but there is about a 4” beveled section where you can put your fingertip or thumb to lift open and separate them. That was a very good design, because I have a 2-in-1 Dell XPS that does not have that and it is super hard to open up. This however, is great.
There are 2 USB 3.0 ports that you can plug things into, but also a USB-C type input where I connect an external USB—C port hub, to add additional monitors (HDMI) when I work at home.
The keyboard/tablet opens up to about a 135 degree angle so it will not fold over flat. I don’t think that is a negative, because you are not going to carry around your keyboard if you are using it while you are mobile anyway.
To disconnect, you press the disconnect button, and it unlocks the tablet from the keyboard. There is also a way to undock if you click on the “surface detach – Action Required” in the task bar. I was a little confused about that, because I thought I had to do something like an update, but it actually just undocks the tablet. Once it is ready, a green notification banner says, it is “Ready to Detach.”
There is an SD Card reader, rear facing camera and front facing camera. There is also a “Windows Hello” camera for when I want to sign in, and not even type in a password. It recognizes my face, and it unlocks the device using the “Facial Recognition” camera integrated with Windows 10.
The power cable is magnetic, so no need to worry about that awkward plug that gets kicked, and bends the laptop plug or wrecks the plugin. This would just disconnect (magnetic) and no harm done, other than your clumsy friend/family member that just tripped over a cord for whatever reason. It is reversable too, so depending on how you are holding the tablet or laptop mode, or where you have the plug facing. I really like that.
Wow….it is so crisp and clear, I was amazed. The color is fantastic while Photoshop editing, as my monitors have always been an issue for me in the past. I always had to calibrate the monitors, and different brands were different colors, so it was a pain, but not anymore. I watched Netflix on this, using the Windows 10 app, and it was spectacular, compared to my other laptops.
Uhhh so yeah, the battery lasts and lasts, compared to ALL my other laptops. I left it on to download a bunch of programs, and upload my files, and shut off the rules for sleep/shut down after a preset duration, because I wanted it to complete. I came back the next morning, and it was still on and going strong. The stats say a 17.5 hour battery life, and based on my overnight experience it could be 100% true. With a 15” screen that is really, really good.
The sound quality is really pretty good too, considering I cannot see an actual speaker. There is a headphone jack on the side of the tablet, and I thought the sound was coming from there. Turns out there is a very thin area around the entire edge of the tablet that allows the sound to flow through it. There is no “bass” but then again, what laptop or tablet does? The sound is crisp and clear though, and not a “tinny” sound like all my other laptops sound like. If you want a full sound, Microsoft also has a headset for good full sound. Bluetooth connection allows you to connect practically anything, so if you already have a Bluetooth headset like I do, I can connect it that way for a FULL bass sound.
The Surface has “far-field Studio Mics and Dolby® Audio™ sound” so when you want to be on a conference call, you can walk away from your laptop and draw on your whiteboard, and still be in crystal clear video AND the people can hear you well, without having to talk much louder.
So Windows 10 has this connectivity app for your phone to connect to the Microsoft Surface, and it is actually called “Your Phone.” I really, really, really like that app. In the past, I was using a 3rd party message web application/web thing before, but this is integrated right into the Windows 10, so I can see all the push notifications, sms text messages, photos, and even answer phone calls. You read that right, phone calls. No more sorry, my phone was on vibrate/silent and didn’t hear your call, or see your text message excuse. You can add/remove privacy connections with what you want to share/see on your laptop, so if you only want phone calls, you can do that. If you only want text messages to show, etc., you get the idea. There was a new update required for this to work with my phone, but it said it had to download the new update, and it worked perfectly after that. On my phone, it shows when I am connected to the laptop. So how do you text a photo you just took??? Well, it connects to your photos too, so you can see everything in your camera folder as well. I can type faster on the keyboard than I can on my phone, so this is quite slick.
Honestly, I was very pleased and happy with my new Microsoft Surface Book 3. Buuuut….If I had to suggest anything that I would change, I would say that I would prefer the larger SSD hard drive, for more storage space. They have other options with larger storage SSD’s, so it really isn’t an actual issue. Yes, there is Microsoft One Drive for storage, so it can backup all your work, but I am used to 1 TB of storage with all my client files and photoshop/video files that add up quickly. It all depends on what sort of thing you do, when using this Surface, and how much storage you use.
I don’t even know if it is possible, but how cool would it be if there could be a number keypad on the section just to the right of the touchpad of the keyboard. Sure, it would be hard to type on the letters section, because you rest your wrists on that section…but what if it had a sliding cover??? When you want to use the keypad or are entering info, you slide it open and away you go, then close when done. Ok, that is more of a pipe dream for any laptop, because you can get a Bluetooth number pad to connect.
*Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.
A total yes! Oh, I was so excited, I didn’t ask the question yet….would I recommend this Microsoft Surface Book 3? ABSOLUTELY YES! It is expensive, compared to other standard laptops in the industry, but this is not JUST a laptop. It is so much more, and hopefully over this review, you would have already picked up on that part. This is great for the active designer, on-the-go/on-site person, you name it, it would be productive for you. If you are one who has 2 devices, 1 for a touch screen drawing device (maybe a Wacom) and a laptop as well, this is the perfect device for you! If you are a construction worker who walks around the job site or has to get signatures from clients who are building a new home, this is perfect for you. When we built our home, the Construction Manager had a Microsoft Surface as well, but it was the smaller size. He said he liked it because he said he can pick up his office and carry it with him.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about performance and battery. Editors are less positive about price. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 89/100 = Very good quality.
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A:AnswerGreat question! We designed Surface Book 3 to work seamlessly with Surface Pen. Surface Pen is also compatible with Surface Go 2, Surface Book, Surface Book 2, Surface Studio 1st Gen, Surface Studio 2, Surface Laptop 1st Gen, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Laptop 3, Surface Go, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 5th Gen, Surface Pro 6,Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, and Surface 3.
A:AnswerNo. It's not a Bluetooth keyboard, although you could hook one up. I have the original surface book. There would be no point really. the screen wouldn't stand up on it's own without the keyboard. In Tablet mode it does have a virtual, on-screen keyboard, but it's not really great for typing. But the hardware keyboard is AWESOME with a very, very good touch pad. That keyboard is the main reason I'm going to purchase a Book 3.
A:AnswerThey claim 17.5 hours. I have used mine for 3 hour stints and it drops to about 60% so I only estimate 10 hours, but I was doing some photo editing and CD burning. I would imagine longer for your described use.