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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)
Unleash your best ideas
With the fastest graphics on any Surface, powered by the latest NVIDIA® GTX GeForce GPU, with 512GB of storage, and 32GB 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.
⁴Surface Book 3 for consumers comes with Windows 10 Home to bring you the powerful Windows features you use most at an exceptional value. If you need additional enterprise management and security tools for the workplace, you can switch to Windows 10 Pro or purchase Surface Book 3 for Business.
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.
Microsoft Surface Book 3 15" Touch-Screen PixelSense™ - 2-in-1 Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 32GB Memory - 512GB SSD
102W Surface Power Supply w/USB-A (7W) charging port
Laptops are becoming a more important part of our lives again as it becomes normal to do more things at home and on the go - outside of a traditional classroom or office. The Surface Book 3 has made another convincing argument why Laptops are an essential part of our routines and so far my time with this 15 inch laptop, I am very impressed!
SET UP / APPEARANCE:
- Right from the get go, the unboxing is very satisfying! The packaging is minimalistic which makes everything nice and clean.
- The inside contains the PC and the charging chord. The charging chord is a proprietary Microsoft chord that is 127W which is crazy powerful! It also has a USB port on the charging block so you could add your cellphones charger to it as well which is nice. Also, the Surface Book 3 can charge via USB-C which I think is a great feature if you are invested in a USB-C ecosystem.
- Set Up is fairly easy, I really think Microsoft has come a long way in this category. They take you through step by step on options and it's mostly ready to go right out of the box!
- For the 15 inch model your first impression is "This is Big" but comparatively speaking, it's really a small sized laptop for its screen size. It's light, easy to pick up and bring along, and is thin but still has to be thick enough to house the USB ports it has. And I know other laptops are going with a bezel-less laptop screen design, but I think the bezel is necessary when using it in tablet mode.
- In terms of the appearance, I think it’s a beautiful design. I know Microsoft didn't make much changes from the Surface Book 2, but I am fine with that. Other companies don't drastically overhaul the design of their laptop every release so why should the Surface Book 3 when it's already a clean design?
- The most intriguing part of this laptop is the detachable display. To me that is its big selling point and it really pays off! After utilizing the detach button, you wait 2 seconds, and its ready to detach. And the "Tablet" portion is so light and feels great in the hands. Of course, you can reattach with the screen reversed to harness the full power of the computer but still use it as a tablet.
- One of my favorite small features is the "Windows Hello" which basically uses the camera to see your face and unlock the computer. Its fast, smooth, and really easy to use!
- The Keyboard is probably the best laptop keyboard I've ever used! It has great feedback while still having a slim profile and I am a fan of not having a keypad because it centers the keyboard better and makes everything flow better. Plus it has backlight keyboard for night time use.
- The trackpad is another aspect I really like about the Surface Book 3. I think it works pretty well and I'm glad they didn't go bigger.
- Another big selling point of this, are the ports. It comes with two USB ports, one SD Card reader, one USB-C port, a headphone jack, and the Microsoft charging Port (which is on the keyboard or on the bottom of the tablet when detached). Having all of these are a huge plus, especially for adapting better for creators/designers/engineering/IT needs!
- The two cameras are also the best cameras I have ever used on a laptop. I never understood how its felt for years now that Smartphones and Tablets have superior cameras to the ones on laptops, but the Surface Book 3 finally broke that trend. It's essentially to have a nice front camera for video conferencing or chatting, and the rear camera is really nice to have as well.
- Lastly, the display its brilliant. I love the 3:2 display which makes gives it a better feel when on certain applications vs a widescreen display. Technically the display isn't quite 4K, but it can still play YouTube, Netflix, and Movies in HDR which is more important than 4K is to a laptop. Truly the screen is sharp, bright, vibrant, and I really enjoy using it.
- As far as performance goes, this thing is a true champion! I mean 32 GB of ram and a 512 GB solid state drive with it's NVIDIA graphics card? Really great specs from the get go.
- I really tried to push the Surface Book 3's limits and had a hard time doing it honestly. I used Adobe Photoshop and Video editing software and it had no problem quickly loading my content as well as processing through it all when I was using the application. Not only that, but I ran CAD software on it to get some work done and it handled the application so smoothly and I never had any overheating issues either! I was really impressed with the Surface Book 3's processing power and being to able these large use applications with large data files the way that it did.
- Speaking of the fan, Microsoft did a really nice job packing all this power but making sure it never feels to hot or gets overheated. The way the fans are positioned, the keyboard never feels too hot and the fans are never loud.
- Another piece I really liked what the Surface Book 3's gaming capabilities. It was able to handle gaming and graphics processing at a high rate and I never felt the frame rate was poor or the game visuals weren't loading fast enough. I think this can handle video games very well without being overly bulky like gaming laptops usually are.
WHAT ITS LACKING:
- The most disappointing thing for me was the lack of a Microsoft Pen coming with the Surface Book itself. This is already a pricey laptop aimed towards high end performance needs and yet they don't include the Pen with it. Would have been nice to see them bundle it in.
- I don't love the placement of the headphone jack. It is located on the top right corner of the display and seems awkward to use. Yes I understand most people use Bluetooth anyways, but it still isn't my favorite placement.
- I wish the tablet portion of the laptop had a USB-C port on it. If someone is just using the tablet portion and wants to connect to an HDMI or add an accessory, they can't do that unless they connect it through the Surface Book docking station which uses the charging chord hook up.
- There are a few software things I think Windows 10 can still improve on. Like if I am in portrait mode, why can't I snap applications to the top half and bottom half? But little things like that can be fixed with software updates and don't have any nagging issues with me really.
- If you are feel you truly want the best Windows experience you can get in a compact form, the Surface Book 3 is the way to go! Whether you are designing, creating content, or want the best entertainment - you will not be disappointed. I have been so impressed with its easy of use, dual functionality with the tablet mode, and just overall feel of using this laptop everyday that I really think this should be at the top of people's lists. It will definitely be your daily do it all driver for years to come!
“Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.”
I would recommend this to a friend
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Great laptop with serious performance ability
DISCLAIMER: As a member of the Best Buy Tech Insider Network, I was given this item in order to use, test, and give my honest and unbiased review which you will find below.
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 has come out with a few configurations in both the 13.5" and 15" models. This review will be for the Surface Book 3 15", 512GB SSD, 32GB RAM, with Intel Core i7-1065G7 10th gen chip. The package comes with the Surface Book 3, power supply + connecting cord and minimal paperwork. The Book 3 comes with a 1-year limited hardware warranty.
* Incredibly sturdy and solid feel. Great look with sleek, matte finish, and chrome windows logo on top
* All SSD "hard drive" in addition to 10th-gen i7 chip operates faster than traditional hard drives and has quick boot-up.
* Both facing and rear cameras are very clear. When using Skype or Zoom, there is little-to-no distortion or fuzziness.
* The facial recognition capabilities of the Book 3 is better than all other PCs I have had that used this function. To unlock, if you're in the vicinity, it unlocks quickly and easily.
* Vents are conveniently located on the top of the unit in front of the screen (past the keyboard numbers) and are generally out of sight from the user as it's embedded in the crease. The unit can sit in your lap without having to worry with heat not having a way to be released from the bottom like many laptops. Vents are also included on the outer shell of the screen for when in separated mode. This is an incredibly great feature for vent placement. As always, less heat is better.
* Screen can be removed and used as a tablet; however, understand that the screen does not just pop off. You must engage the "screen removal" icon in the taskbar area or you may damage the unit. Once disconnected, the screen can be rotated in any direction and auto-rotate will occur. Keyboard functions are available as well. Finger gestures are simple and worked without flaw.
* Magnetic power cord attachment! You can attach the power cord with the cord facing towards or away from you due to the engineering of the cord itself. It pops right in the slot either way for the benefit of the user and cord management. See pictures I included.
* Location of wired headphones jack. It is located on the side of the top-right part of the screen. If the Book 3 is open, then you have a wire hanging from the top-right corner which is awkward. Perhaps the bottom corner would be better so if disconnected from the hinge, you can still use the wired headphones easily.
* The provided power cables do not have an attached velcro strap for cable management or for when packing up to travel. It would be nice to have a strap for keeping cables intact when putting in computer bag.
I have mostly used photo and video-editing software on this laptop. I use an older version of Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020, but moreso CyberLink PowerDirector 15 (PD15) for video editing youtube and baseball videos. I have traditionally used a high-end gaming laptop for video editing as desktop components are usually more robust than laptops. That gaming desktop has 24GB RAM and runs Win10x64 w/AMD Ryzen 5 1400 Quad-Core processor at 3.20GHz.
I put this laptop to the test and wanted to see which PC would complete a 1m11sec video production from MT2S to MPEG-4 1920x1080/30p (11Mbps) which included the original multi-trimmed video, transitions, layover graphics, and audio layover. The rendering took 2m25s for the desktop while the Book 3 took 2m31s. There was not much fan activity (if any) at the conveniently-located vents. Very little heat was created from the unit which was good. When using PD15 constantly, it kept up during transition creation and audio editing. There was no lag, and the Book 3 did not seem overworked as the fan rarely kicked in. When using Photoshop and PS Elements, the Book 3 didn't flinch. All functions worked quickly and without flaw - just as well as my gaming desktop.
Having said that, I also did a little gaming using the Steam platform. I played Grid 2. It was an installed platform/program, not streaming. It did not lag in any way while I had BT ear buds cranking the audio to my ears. The Book 3 never faltered. Now unlike the video editing, when gaming, the fans did in fact did hit high speed, and took about a full 1-2 minutes to return to normal levels after I shut down the Steam gaming platform.
In running Ookla Speed test app and nothing else running, I have a 1Gbs fiber line (1G up and down), and it pulled 590Mbs down and 550Mbs up using 802.11ac connection type on 5GHz channel. All "eco" settings were disabled for the wifi adapter to get maximum performance. These values are as good as any laptop or desktop available as far as wifi is concerned. This laptop does not feature an ethernet port, so wired access was not tested.
* Ports include 2 x USB-A (version 3.1 Gen 2), 1 x USB-C® (version 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Power Delivery 3.0), 3.5mm headphone jack, Full-size SDXC card reader. If you need an ethernet port, you'll have to get a USB-C--to--Ethernet adapter.
* I still like to use a mouse instead of the touchpad. The touchpad has the option to be turned off if a mouse is connected. This is a must-have so when typing, so when your thumbs accidentally touch the pad, the cursor does not move.
* The Book 3 comes with 2 internal batteries... I'm assuming one in each piece so the screen can work as a standalone.
* When closed, there is a magnetic "pull" as the screen touches the keyboard bottom area... then it more or less snaps shut with magnets.
* Power and volume buttons are on the top left of the screen section. This is done in the event the screen is separated, you can still control the power and volume easily if the keyboard is not attached.
I don't know that there is a better Windows 10 laptop out there than the new Surface Book 3. Performance-wise, I haven't seen another laptop that can touch it. I had a "gaming laptop" from another manufacturer in the past, and as soon as nearly any program was opened, the fan on that unit would go full blast and struggle to keep up. This unit did not do that until it was pushed to the limit with a more involved gaming environment. But for audio/video/photo editing, this Book 3 didn't blink. I highly recommend this Book3 for performance-based apps and if you like having that detachable tablet feature. It is by far my favorite laptop I own. I was unable to test other advertised peripherals (ie. pen) as they were not included.
I would recommend this to a friend
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
A Satisfying All-In-One Experience
Not strictly a tablet. Not only a laptop. The Surface Book 3 continues the Surface Book tradition of blending the two devices to provide an all-in-one solution for users seeking to create, play, and work in an ever-remote workspace. While the device is not without some quirks and questionable design decisions, it handled nearly every task I threw at it. It is currently my favorite portable Windows 10 device and I have absolutely no problem recommending it.
I should disclose that I am a member of the Best Buy Tech Insider Program. Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews. Please keep reading for a more detailed breakdown of my experience so far. While this review is longer than I would like, I hope it helps others with their purchase decisions.
First thing to point out, the Surface Book 3 looks largely the same as the Surface Book 2. The clam shell design from previous iterations is still present. The screen operates in a 3:2 aspect ratio which looks great when typing or working in Photoshop. It can be a bit problematic with gaming (more on that in a bit), but the screen is generally beautiful with great colors, contrasts, and black levels. It is a consistently beautiful display.
The keyboard and touch pad are great. This is the best keyboard I have ever had on a laptop in terms of its responsiveness. The spring in each key just feels great. However, I really wish a number pad could have been worked into the design. If you work on a lot of spreadsheets, this may not be the most efficient keyboard or machine for you.
Gaming was much better than I expected. The Surface Book 3 runs on a newer Intel 10nm Ice Lake processor. The processor was not the fastest in my testing, but it gets the job done. When combined with the included NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti discreet graphics, I was amazed that the Surface played nearly every game I put in front of it. Doom Eternal ran at 60FPS for a good chunk of my testing when I played the game in 1080p at a 16X9 aspect ratio. Sea of Thieves looked and played great. On top of that, the Surface Book 3 15inch model comes with a built-in Xbox wireless controller adapter so you can easily sync your Xbox one wireless controller without the need to purchase a separate adapter. The strategy game, Warhammer: Total War 2 performed admirably enough, but this was the first game that showed me the limits of the Ice Lake CPU as performance could stutter a bit if enough units were on the battlefield. I ran some benchmarks and the device performed okay during various 3D Mark benchmarks. There are obviously faster gaming computers, but gaming performance on the Surface Book 3 exceeded my expectations. For the benchmark results, please see my photos.
While I enjoyed the gaming, working with creative software like Adobe Photoshop is where the Surface Book 3 truly excels. The 32GB of Ram meant I never had to worry about running out of memory while I worked with high res layers in my projects. That is great for a laptop. I have run out of memory many times on my other computers. Afterwards, I have to go in and resize assets or compress layers before I can proceed. In addition, the 3:2 aspect ratio was great for working on books and word documents.
The wireless adapter on the surface book 3 is 802.11ax compatible. With an up to date router, you can get some of the best Wi-Fi speeds currently available. If streaming or working remotely is important to you, I do not believe you can find a better device in terms of wireless connectivity.
The battery life for the tablet is, quite frankly, not great. I got an hour and a half of web browsing and streaming before I needed to plug the tablet in. A digital artist wishing to work on the tablet from their couch, may need to be prepared to have their power cable nearby. Microsoft claims the computer should get 17.5 hours when connected to the base, my experience never bore that out. I did get more life than the tablet by itself and it has lasted much longer than I expected, but it was not anywhere close to 17.5 hours. On the subject of art, it’s not possible to bend the display back and have it lay perfectly flat against the base.
I wish there were more connectivity options for USB. There are only two USB-A ports and they are all on the left side of the keyboard. If you are right-handed and use a wired mouse, you will have the cable wrapping around the device. There is no HDMI port. If you want to view your work on a TV, you will need to either use a USB-C to HDMI cable, cast your display wirelessly, or invest in a docking station. In addition, there is no wired networking or display port. If you need more device connectivity, you may have no other choice but to invest in a docking station. Docking stations are not cheap. On the subject of accessories, the official stylus is also not included by default. I’ve seen much cheaper computers and tablets come with their stylus by default.
The power adapter is proprietary. It comes with a USB-A port built into the power brick which you can use to charge your phone, but because the adapter is proprietary, it could be an expensive replacement should it fail. And while you can charge the Surface Book via USB-C, the screen can only be charged by connecting it to the keyboard base or charging it with the included power adapter.
Headphone jack placement is awkward. It is located on the top right corner of the screen. That means you may find your headphone cable constantly interrupting your view. If you wrap the cable around the back of the Surface, you have even less headphone cable.
There is an 8.0MP camera on the back of the display. I don’t really see the purpose. Taking pictures like a tablet or a phone seems ridiculous to me.
Windows 10 ver. 2004 has been out since late May, but to-date, I have not yet been able to install the update on the Surface Book 3. The Surface is still waiting for the update. If you were hoping to have a device with the latest version of Windows installed by default, this is not it. Speaking of updates, get ready for a lot of online updates out of the box.
As mentioned above, the Surface Book 3 15” comes with a discreet NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti graphics when connected to the keyboard base. However, the driver updates must come from Microsoft. When I launch Doom Eternal, the game tells me my graphics drivers are out of date and that I should download the latest drivers. From my reading, you should not download NVIDIA drivers from the NVIDIA site as this device is proprietary and not using drivers from Microsoft could cause software problems. The draw back here is constantly worrying if I have the latest and most compatible drivers for games. Out of date drivers can lead to graphical and performance problems in games. While I didn’t encounter any problems in my play sessions, the drivers are definitely a concern.
The Surface Book 3 is an impressive computer. It functions well as a tablet with full software as opposed to apps. When connected to the keyboard base, the Surface Book 3 produced admirable speeds for gaming. The display and 32GB of memory made the device great for working on digital art and photo editing projects. I found a few of the design decisions to be a bit baffling, but they did not interfere with my overall enjoyment of the product. I believe Microsoft achieved the goal of creating a truly all-in-one device that can meet the needs of most users. It isn’t always a perfect experience, but I am enjoying it.
I would recommend this to a friend
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Portability with Power
Feel and Finish:
The outside is made of sturdy magnesium and provides a nice finish that resists marking. Your old school laptop feel with a sturdy flex hinge. One of the first thing you notice is the heavier weight. The keyboard is a big portion on this. (keyboard is 2lb 7oz. – tablet 1lb 13oz.)
The Touch screen is glossy and offers a PixelSense display 3240 x 2160 resolution, 260ppi.
Nice aspect ratio of 3:2 with nearly 4K Display
Keyboard is large with nice keystroke and a nice touchpad.
The hinge has a unique look. It does not open all the way flat, but you can remove the display and reattach backwards to then close the laptop with the screen to the outside.
Operation / Connections:
Set-up was very simple. Standard Windows 10 walk through.
I recommend backing up or Syncing your old PC to One Drive, it makes life so much easier to transfer to the new computer.
There is no fingerprint reader which I found a little surprising, but the face ID is almost instant, so I suppose I won’t miss it.
2 USB - 3 .1 ports and 1 USB-C - 3.1 port. I do miss the HDMI connection found on my prev. 2 in 1
You also have a headphone jack and full-size SD card reader. – I prefer the micro SD card slot that pushed in and remains flush with the computer which I feel is safer and won’t get knocked around. However, If you have a camera or other device that utilizes a standard SD you will be quite happy.
The headphone jack is oddly located on the top right of the screen which creates a dangling cord across your keyboard or mouse area when docked. When used as a tablet, there is no issue. I prefer Bluetooth headphones, so I won’t experience this too often.
Power cord is fantastic. It is magnetic, so all you have to do is get close to the connection and it connects itself. (to the keyboard or to the tablet direct when detached)
- 5MP Front-facing 1080P and an 8.0MP Rear-facing AF 1080P. They work very nice so far. I have only taken a few outdoor shots with the rear facing camera and they turned out very good. The front facing cam I recently used for a Zoom meeting and it provided a crisp well balance video image, No complaints there.
I experienced about a 4-hour average battery life when connected to the keyboard. (Mostly watching YouTube videos and Browsing etc.) When doing some heavy rendering of images, I got about 2 hours on the battery. You will get much less time when in tablet only mode. Maybe 2 hrs.
Needless to say, the battery performance is a little underwhelming. You may experience more battery life if simply browsing the web and other light work, or perhaps more standby time.
There are two batteries, one in the tablet portion and a larger one in the keyboard. The keyboard is also where you get the power of the NVIDIA GeForce GPU.
The processor and GPU do a great job rendering files and gaming. I downloaded and played some Modern Combat and had no issues at all, Graphics were sharp with no lag. For a laptop with removable screen I was impressed.
Rendering images was much faster than my LG which has an Intel Core i7-8565U (1.8 GHz) 8th Gen processor. (Processor on SB3 is 10th gen 1.3 Ghz) Time to render on the LG was 75 sec. to the SB3 at 43 Sec. So the Surface book was a good 40% faster.
If you are an artist, developer, programmer (depending on how often you use that right CTRL key) or photographer that need mobility, you won’t be disappointed with the build and performance.
This Surface Book 3 has the power for any task including gaming.
What needs improvement?
-The Speakers.. The quality of the sound is pretty good, but they do not get very loud at all. Not sure why they did not include a second pair in the keyboard.
- I would also like to see a micro SD slot and USB C connection on the Tablet. You are provided no external connections / storage to the tablet itself, so if you want to transfer images off a device you must have your keyboard plugged in.
- Battery – perhaps it goes hand in hand with high performance, but the battery life could be better.
- Oh and did I mention that Microsoft does NOT include the Surface Pen with a computer that is approaching $3k, come on Microsoft, this is a ‘Surface’ after all, the drawing ability was one of the appeals of this line.
I have heard the Surface Pen works well and my daughter, who is an artist, would have loved to test it. Perhaps another time.
I also found it a little awkward to use the tablet when detached from the keyboard as there is no kickstand to rest upon. What I end up doing is attaching the tablet backwards on the keyboard and close flat. This also disengages the keyboard and mouse pad from accidental touches and gives you the extra battery life and GPU performance. What I do like about this is the keyboard is protected under the screen, not like my other 2 in 1 where I end up with the keyboard exposed toward your lap or table.
I did notice the keyboard is missing the right CTRL key. This is quite annoying as I can no longer use one hand to hit CTRL P to print etc.. My LG 2 in 1 has the same key, but it only becomes a ‘menu’ key when you press the ‘Fn’ button. That makes way more sense to me.
This is a bit on the heavier side when keyboard is attached (15” version). It weighs in at 4lb 4 oz. on my scale (Keyboard is 2lb, 7 oz. and the tablet is 1lb 13 oz.) My guess is due to the weight of the screen (Tablet) it may be necessary to have a heavier keyboard.
If you are NOT a gamer or have no need for this high-end processor and GPU, then you can probably find a less expensive and more portable option.
But if your looking for a powerful versatile laptop capable of crushing your daily tasks, gaming or video editing.. well this laptop will do that for sure, but then Surface also provides you a removable drawing tablet where you can create until your heart is content.
The longer I use it the more I like it even with some of the quirks mention above. The power and speed is amazing.
I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
I have included a picture of the SB3 next to my LG Gram 14” so you can see the size difference with the different aspect ratio.
~Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews
I would recommend this to a friend
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
One of a Kind
This is a kind of distinctive device to review. One thing to keep in mind is that it is a unique piece of hardware. There are several things that most people look for in a laptop, especially in a premium one. These things are performance, features, and build quality. This Surface Book 3 knocks these all out of the park. Now obviously everyone's use case is different and what I enjoy from using this device might not be enough for you. **Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.**
Performance, this one is a little subjective depending on what your workflow looks like. Suffice to say that it is a very powerful laptop and will breeze through most tasks. This laptop is a beast in most areas, fast 512GB drive, 32GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 1660 Ti with Max-Q, and Quad-Core Gen 10 i7 processor. Again, this device handles just about any task without issue. I’m using this laptop to streamline my workflow when I am working on projects in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. I tend to spend most of my time in Photoshop with some time in Premiere Pro. Both apps run well and render all my projects with little issue. Now, the only thing that I have heard folks discuss is that the processor in here is not desktop-grade, it’s a more power-efficient processor that helps to keep thermals in check. Due to this amazing device, transforming between a tablet and a laptop, it needs to be able to house most of its components behind the beautiful 15” PixelSense display. So, if you need that extra processing power which might save you a little bit of time in compiling or rendering projects, then you will be giving up on the versatility of this device. I think the majority of creatives would be able to easily get their work done on this rig without any issues and benefit by its ability to change how you work on projects. Just a quick example of how well this laptop performed for me, lately I have been working on a project that is just shy of 2GB in size in Photoshop. The project has a dozen layers, each with many assets, textures, etc. This Surface Book 3 can open that file in less than 15 seconds, and once open, it has no issues or stutters working in the file or moving in and out of other programs while working on this large PS file. The Surface Book 3 handles this in stride, staying quiet and cool.
Features- this device is jam-packed full of them. The most obvious one being the ability of the screen detaching from the base to become a powerful tablet. The screen paired with the Surface Pen is a delight to get work done. Whether you are using the pen for art, notes, or annotating documents, the feel of the Surface Pen on the screen is amazing. I have used other tablets and their pencils, and they feel great, but they don’t compare to this setup. It feels like there is some friction between the Pen and screen and with no noticeable delay in pen input, so it almost feels like you are writing on paper. I love that you can flip the Pen and use the eraser end to erase. It takes a couple of seconds from pressing the detach button to having it off its base, and about the same for it to lock back in place when you are returning to the traditional laptop setup. The keyboard is great to type on. It feels comfortable and is not very noisy. I’ve been able to type out some work without waking up my wife. A huge bonus for me is the built-in webcam. I’ve had to work from home since March and subsequently have had to be part of a lot more video calls. The 5.0MP, 1080p HD video front-facing camera has been great. It does a great job of making my video calls look a lot more natural and clear. All of this on a battery that is rated to last a tad over 17 hours, although in my usage I’ve had it go just an hour shy of that mark with moderate use.
Build quality, this one is an easy win. Microsoft has been earning its reputation of late on building quality products. This is my first Surface Book, so to me this is amazing, and one of the best pieces of tech I have ever used. I know some folks were bummed that the design has stayed the same from the previous Surface Book, but honestly, it’s an amazing design so I don’t see the harm. The entire system feels lighter than you’d expect and sturdier. The keyboard deck is stiff with little give, the hinge looks indestructible, and the screen has just enough bezel to be able to hold the screen in tablet mode without accidentally interfering with what you are working on. The vents to disperse heat are cleverly hidden to keep the entire system looking very sleek.
This device will get any job you send its way, completed. The design and versatility will let you tackle most tasks in new and unique ways. The processing power, SSD, RAM, and dedicated graphics card is nothing to sneeze at and will fly through most tasks. This is a great computer, and as stated at the beginning of this year, unique. This is an easy recommendation for anyone looking to streamline their workflow. It’s honestly hard to describe how much my workflow has changed since I started using this Surface Book 3. Suffice to say that I have been using my iPad less and less. I find that I’m ok just carrying this one device as opposed to a laptop and iPad Pro like in the past. The only downside I can foresee is having to ever move to a more traditional laptop experience, now that this has me spoiled.
I would recommend this to a friend
Display, Keyboard, Speed
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Nothing Quite Like It
Note: I am part of the Best Buy Tech Insider Network. Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.
I love the Surface Book 3. It’s not for everybody and it does have its shortcomings with some dated ports and an underwhelming for this size 4-core processor, but it’s a unique device that does what it sets out to do and is great for getting work done especially in applications that can utilize the Nvidia graphics.
The design of the Surface Book 3 is mostly unchanged since the original model from 2015, but I still think it holds up and it’s instantly recognizable next to other laptops. The markings on the device are minimal aside from the silver Microsoft logo on the back of the screen, so you get that nice Apple-esque aesthetic. The design of the hinge is such that the screen doesn’t fold completely flat onto the keyboard and you’re left with a noticeable gap at the hinge that you can see straight through. It’s an interesting quirk that I really don’t mind that much as hinge feels extremely robust, but it makes it look a bit chunky next to a Dell XPS or MacBook Pro. It looks nice on its own as a table as well. My photo shows the Surface Pen, which is not included and I purchased myself separately, but I’d recommend it for drawing and note-taking.
The specs on the Book 3 I received are all top shelf for the most part. Everything is about as up-to-date as it can be with a 10th generation i7 processor, 32GB of super fast 3733Mhz RAM, a 512GB SSD, and Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics with 6GB of GDDR6 memory. Wireless includes WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5. The processor is only a 4-core 15W i7, which is disappointing in this price range as you’d typically see 45W 6 or 8 core processors in other laptops, but the design of the Book 3 means most of the guts have to live behind the screen, so I can understand how a higher wattage processor might not be feasible. Still, not having a 6 or 8 core option is a bit of letdown. The Nvidia graphics also live in the keyboard base, so when using this in tablet mode the Book 3 reverts to the integrated Iris Plus graphics.
The port selection on the Book 3 is okay, though a little dated. You get 2 USB-A ports, 1 USB-C, a full size SD card reader, and the Surface Connector. All the USB ports are 3.1 Gen 2 and unfortunately the USB-C port is not Thunderbolt 3. It’s a disappointing omission and it limits your options for docks to just what Microsoft has available. As it stands today there are still a lot of USB-A devices out there and the SD reader is extremely useful for photography, but I do wish Microsoft had taken a more modern approach this time around as the external ports stand in stark contrast to the modern internals.
The display is nice. It’s not the eye-popping OLED that you see on some other laptops, but it looks great and gets decently bright. To my eye the colors seem accurate and well balanced as well. The 3240x2160 resolution fits the 15” screen nicely and the taller 3:2 aspect is especially useful for getting work done. The bezels around the display aren’t the smallest by today’s standards, but they’re far from egregious and they’re necessary for using the Book 3 as a tablet.
The speakers are okay, but not great. The sound is clear, but they don’t get very loud - I generally had to have them around 75-100% most of the time and even 100% wasn’t always loud enough; I’d recommend headphones. The microphone is good. On the video call I was on people said I occasionally sounded quiet, but I’m going to chalk that up to issues with the system controllering the microphone volume and not the microphone itself. Both the front and rear cameras are excellent for a laptop; the front camera might be the best built-in laptop webcam I’ve seen. So many (even high end) laptops seem to default to terrible 720p webcams, so this is a fairly low bar to clear, but it’s nice to see a quality webcam at a time when they’re getting a lot more use.
The keyboard and trackpad are both great. The keys are appropriately spaced with good travel and everything is where I’d expect it to be; I was able to get typing right away and never found myself hunting for a particular key. The trackpad is the best I’ve used on a Windows laptop and the experience was on par with my wife’s MacBook Pro. Clicks and gestures all register without any problems. It doesn’t feel cramped, but I do wish it was a little bit bigger just because the space is there to do it.
Performance for me has been great. As mentioned before, the i7 processor that comes in the Book 3 is only the 15W quad core model, but for my normal multitasking and the programs I use it’s been more than fine. Using my CAD software I was able to load in and work with multiple assemblies more quickly than I typically could with the desktop I use, so the 1660 Ti and 32GB of RAM is definitely doing their jobs there (my desktop uses a 7th gen i7 and Nvidia Quadro P600 for reference). I also loaded Adobe Creative Cloud and Photoshop and Illustrator both ran great. And while it’s certainly not the go-to for gaming, the 1660 Ti is more than capable of running most games without too many sacrifices at 1080p or 1440p. The 15” model even has native built-in support for Xbox Controllers (using Microsoft’s standard, not Bluetooth).
Battery life with the keyboard base connected has been great for me. I’ve been able to make it through most every day very comfortably starting from a full charge. The batteries on the Book 3 are split between the screen and the keyboard base, but it seems like maybe 60-70% of battery comes from the keyboard, and I definitely felt a bit of battery anxiety using it in tablet-only mode.
Separating the screen from the keyboard and reconnecting them take about a second. It’s not quite the instantaneous satisfaction of pulling the keyboard off the Surface Pro, but it’s not bothersome at the same time. The transition has been seamless for me so far and it seems to prevent you from detaching in times when the graphics card is in use, which is nice. I will say the Surface Book 3 feels like a laptop first and a tablet second; Windows is certainly usable in tablet only mode and lots of applications have touch-oriented controls or touch-screen modes, but Windows as a whole is still a desktop/laptop oriented operating system and most of the experiences are still built around that. And using the 15” screen as a tablet is also pretty unwieldy no matter what the UI experience is. Being able to pop the screen out and reconnect it to the base in different positions is a useful trick though for when you want to present something or folding the screen down into an angled surface for drawing.
Overall I’m still really happy with the Surface Book 3. The ports are a letdown and the CPU could be better, but overall this is a stellar device in almost every other regard. From a pure specs perspective you could do better for the price, but I think the Book 3 is more than the sum of its parts and provides a unique experience you just won’t find anywhere else. My official rating is 4.5 stars.
I would recommend this to a friend
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 3 out of 5 stars
It's Great, so why 3 stars?
Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.
I was elated to receive the Microsoft Surface Book 3 and become a convert. It is beautiful aesthetically and started up right out of the box. I appreciate that I do not have to have any extra dongles all over the place that constantly disconnects and ruin workflows. Such a plus for those who are creatives or content heavy. It has two USB-A slots, an SD card slot and one USB-C slot. It does not have a micro SD slot.
The initial setup was a bit annoying, but not a big deal. It was annoying because you had to add an email address, create a Microsoft account, and go through other prompts as security measures before you could begin using the computer. I find that being able to just setup a password would have been efficient and much simpler, instead of being forced into creating a Microsoft account. I do love the face detection feature (Windows Hello face sign-in) to log into the computer. It is super fast and so far has been very accurate. If it does miss your face, or if someone else is trying to log into it, it will prompt you to use your password or another form of security.
My favorite part and why I was super excited to have this for my workflow, was because I can detach the screen and use it as a tablet or flip it around and use it as a notebook. I love the versatility of this 3-in-1, and the display is so big. I’m able to easily scale what I’m working on. However, if you’re working with certain apps like those from Adobe suite and you want to detach the screen, it will provide a prompt that details that you should save and close out of specific apps or detach anyway and possibly lose unsaved data. I haven’t seen it do it prompt for any native applications so far.
The batteries lasts for a long time. You are able to charge the computer or charge the tablet portion of the laptop. A full charge was about 2 hours. I attempted to test the length of the battery running multiple programs, with all factory settings and my usual daily use, but unfortunately my counter reset sometime during my test and I wasn’t able to, but it was a few days before the battery was at 0%.
The display and its clarity is gorgeous, and quite impressive, especially while viewing 4K videos. I love that it’s touch screen too. It makes navigating some features so much simpler and faster. When detached and used as a tablet, it is still very fast and extremely responsive. I haven’t experienced any lag when opening applications, switching activities, using the touchscreen, etc. I anticipate purchasing the Surface Pen to see how it can improve my workflow and how well it will work with apps such as Lightroom, Photoshop and Illustrator.
15in. is quite large so I would’ve hoped that the trackpad would have been much larger. It's tiny for its size, and I do not like the feel or how hard and loud the click is when pressed. It is very responsive and smooth. Tons of wasted space. Could’ve added additional speakers for a true surround effect, especially because it has Dolby Atmos. However, I do like the keys. They are smooth, backlit and there isn’t any loud clicking when keys are pressed. Also, It’s quite heavy as a laptop/notebook, but more manageable as a tablet.
So why 3 stars? The reason for 3 stars is not because it isn’t good, because it’s great. But because I wanted to strictly convert to using the Microsoft Surface Book 3 for my work with editing, and post processing photos and videos. I use several programs from Adobe suite daily and running the programs can be quite much and memory heavy, which can slow down a laptop dramatically. Although, I haven’t experienced stalls or lagging, I am having issues with workflow between a couple of the apps, strictly on this laptop, that I’m not experiencing with my other laptop or phones. It doesn’t seem to be an issue with the applications. So for right now, until we can figure this out I’m still finding myself using my other laptop to complete the main part of my work. Which defeats the purpose of my needs or what I was aiming to accomplish with the Surface Book 3. If it wasn’t for that it would have a strong 4 possibly 5 stars.
If you made it to the end, thank you for reading my review. I do recommend this as it is fantastic for everything else I have used it for. Also the 3-in-1, touchscreen, speed, reliability, battery life and some other features are amazing. As a reminder stated above, I received this product for my unbiased and honest review which was 100% based on my needs and what I was searching for from the Surface Book 3.
I would recommend this to a friend
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Really a beast
Owned for 1 month when reviewed.
One of the beast of an era. Easy to follow the instructions for getting started. Bought as an anniversary gift and really loving it. Little heavy compared to surface laptop
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:AnswerSurface Book 3 is our most powerful laptop ever, pairing an Intel 10th generation CPU with an NVIDIA discrete GPU and up to 32GB of RAM. Still thin and light, this powerhouse laptop provides up more performance Surface Book 2 and has the longest battery life of any Surface device. We kept the world-class all-glass precision trackpad and keyboard that our customers love, and the beautifully crisp, high-DPI PixelSense display now detaches from the keyboard base up to three times faster than Surface Book 2. Surface Book 3 13.5” is more than 50% faster and has 40% more graphics performance than Surface Book 2 13.5”.