Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 feels contemporary once more, after two successive generations of comparatively stagnant designs. Those keen for a bigger computing expertise now have a brand new 15-inch possibility, which additionally boasts one thing novel: a custom-designed cellular AMD Ryzen processor. In all, it’s an intriguing combine of fashion and pace.

New Surface Laptop 3 options embody a trendy USB-C port along with the tried-and-true Surface Connector, increasing your charging and I/O choices. Microsoft’s beautiful RealSense show stays, and whereas the touchpad has grown bigger and extra purposeful, chances are you’ll discover the keyboard a tad much less gratifying.

But wait, there’s a option to be made. Microsoft additionally has a Surface Laptop 3 for Business, and this 15-inch possibility basically replicates the buyer model we reviewed—however features a highly effective 10th-gen Intel Core processor, superior wi-fi, and improved reminiscence choices. (Microsoft’s 13-inch Surface Laptop 3 is constructed round Intel’s 10th-gen chip, too.) Disappointing battery life within the shopper model has us questioning whether or not the true fanatic model of the Surface Laptop 3 may be the Business version. Let’s see in the event you agree.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The Surface Laptop 3 in Matte Black.

Surface Laptop 3 fundamental specs

Once once more, we reviewed the “consumer edition” of the Surface Laptop 3. Business customers don’t obtain the choice of the AMD Ryzen Surface Edition processor. Instead, each the 13-inch and 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 for Business use both an Intel “Ice Lake” quad-core Core i5-1035G7 or a i7-1065G7 chip—which, as we’ll study, could be the higher possibility.

Pay shut consideration to the Surface Laptop 3 shopper and enterprise costs, although: There’s a large $400 bump from a 13.5-inch Core i7/16GB/256GB shopper configuration to a Core i7/16GB/512GB enterprise configuration, for instance, and that’s merely insane. A 15-inch enterprise model that matches our shopper mannequin’s loadout solely prices about $100 greater than the AMD Ryzen-based laptop computer we examined, nonetheless.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 fabric or metal Mark Hachman / IDG

Metal or material? It’s your alternative, although which you select additionally determines which configuration of the Surface Laptop 3 you’ll obtain.

A glossy, svelte design

Whereas not a lot differentiated the unique Surface Laptop from the Surface Laptop 2, numerous new updates set the Surface Laptop 3 aside: the brand new 15-inch kind issue, in fact; the AMD-based “Surface Edition” cellular Ryzen processor possibility; and new colour and chassis choices, too. We had been provided the Matte Black 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 for evaluation, however after viewing the dusky Sandstone possibility at the launch, we will suggest that as effectively.

Surface Laptops have at all times aspired to be extra than simply computing units, and the glossy, svelte swathes of steel that inform the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 are beautiful, each to view and to carry. For its dimension, the Surface Laptop 3 feels uncommonly gentle, though, to be honest, different laptops in its class have additionally moved to lighter supplies and their inside elements have slimmed down too. Even Microsoft’s 65W charger is surprisingly tiny. Nevertheless, the Surface Laptop 3 is sturdy past concern. It’s an ordinary clamshell design, which implies it folds again to about 45 levels off the horizontal aircraft like earlier fashions, however doesn’t go utterly flat. 

I positively favor the magnesium steel chassis launched within the Surface Book 2 lineup, which is now featured within the Surface Laptop 3. Earlier Surface Laptops had been lined within the Alcantara material utilized by the Surface Pro units, however now you may select between that look and naked steel. Each colour is related to a selected materials, although, save for the Platinum model—or, to place it one other method, our Matte Black take a look at machine was solely obtainable within the steel coating.

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