The 2-in-1 laptop market has become one of the most intriguing and inventive, full of portable devices that combine the portability of tablets with the performance and power of full fat laptops. And with its Surface range, Microsoft has made a real impact in this corner of the computing world. In our Microsoft Surface Book 3 review, you'll see how the flagship product offers outstanding performance in a compact form factor.
So if you’re looking to make the jump to a hybrid device, or you’re simply looking to refresh your portable hardware, then we’ve broken down everything you need to know to make an informed decision on this powerful 2-in1 offering from the Big M.
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SHOULD I BUY THE MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 3?
In short – yes! We were really impressed with the performance, reliability and dynamic features of this great 2-in-1 laptop. So much so that’s currently sitting at number two in our Best 2-in-1 laptops guide for 2020.
With its premium specs, the Surface Book 3 is an ideal machine for portable gaming, graphics-intensive software and all-round demanding tasks. Microsoft had a fantastic canvas to build in with the Surface Book 2, and the latest model simply enhances its specs to create an even more attractive hybrid machine.
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WHAT ARE THE SPECS OF THE MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 3?
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is definitely on the high end of the market, and while that does mean a bigger price tag, you can be sure you’re getting a truly premium portable experience. For starters, it comes with a speedy Quad-core 10th Gen Intel Core i7 (or i5) 1065G7 processor for fast performance in everyday tasks and more specialist activities such as gaming and graphic design.
And those gaming exploits will really benefit from the inclusion of a beefy Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q and a choice of RAM (ranging from 8GB to 32GB LPDDR4x depending on the configuration you settle on).
The Surface Book 3 keeps those specs coming thick and fast where it counts, including a vibrant 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000 (267) ppi PixelSense display that makes a great touchscreen and a fantastic way to watch films, play games and more. There’s also a larger 15-inch model with all the same bells and whistles if you’re looking for an even larger screen.
Different configurations also vary the amount of on-board storage, ranging from a standard 256GB all the way up to the more common 1TB, with the latter making an ideal combination for those that want to stock up on games or larger graphics design apps. But, as we mentioned earlier, all those specs mean a more substantial outlay so be prepared to invest more cash in this impressive package.
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WHAT ARE THE BEST FEATURES OF THE MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 3?
A big display is an important part of a 2-in-1 laptops appeal, and the varying configurations of the Surface Book 3 make sure you’re getting a vibrant screen that’ll do all your portable tasks justice – however demanding they might be in colour and detail. Its PixelSense technology ensures its fast and responsive and is ideal for detaching and reattaching when you want to switch into tablet mode.
The other big selling point of the Surface Book 3 are the components purring beneath the hood, specifically the one-two punch of its Quad-core 10th Gen Intel Core processor (which comes in both i5 and i7 variations) and its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB) plus Intel Iris Plus. With these in place, you can enjoy an impressive number of games on the go, and even pair it up with a stylus (which you’ll likely have to buy separately) when you want to sketch and create striking graphics.
Overall, there are a lot of features that will attract you to the Surface Book 3. From performance and clock speeds to the sleek design and swift detachability of its display, this hybrid device really does confidently bridge that gap between tablets and laptops.
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WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 3?
The Surface Book 3 supports a huge number of creative software applications, so if you’re looking to create on a digital platform, this is the 2-in1 laptop for you. Its fully compatible with touchscreen applications in Adobe Creative Cloud, and – as you’d expect – makes a great way to enjoy Microsoft Office apps and Xbox gaming apps. You can also take advantage of the Surface Book 3’s compatibility with the Surface Dock, which enables you to bring your games and apps to life on 4K-ready monitors.
It comes with USB-C and USB-A ports, as well as a full-size SD card slot for connecting to the media you need. It’s also one of the sleekest models Microsoft has ever produced, with a starting weight of only 3.38 pounds.
The Surface Book 3 comes with an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope, as well as a front-facing 5MP camera with 1080p HD video capture capabilities and an 8MP rear-facing auto-focus camera (also with 1080p HD video). It even has a pair of far-field studio mics and front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos.
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WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO THE MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 3?
Home on a portable device, but if you’re looking for an alternative in terms of both operation system and make, there are plenty of options in the world of Android.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is one of the most versatile Android tablets out there, and it makes for a fantastic 2-in-1 option. With a powerful set of specs to its name, including a vibrant 11-inch display and a ‘snappy’ Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. Combine that with an S-Pen and you’ve got an ideal platform for using creative and graphic design apps.
There’s also the versatile Lenovo Yoga C930, which offers up a 4K-ready display that’s perfect for movie streaming, light gaming and more. Its ultra-thin and ultra-light design makes it ideal for travel, while that UHD Graphics 620 GPU is great for keeping those games and graphics-intensive apps running at top speed. It’s also one of the more expensive options out there, but you get a lot for your bucks.
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