Microsoft Surface Book 3 Review


Source: web on 15 July 2020 at 07:45 EET

Microsoft Surface Book 3 Review

The Surface Book 3 comes in 13.5-inch or 15-inch models, with varying configurations. You can build a system ranging from an Intel Core i5-1035G7, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of storage on the 13.5-inch model for $1,599 all the way up to a 15-inch with an Intel Core i7-1065G7, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti, 2TB PCIe SSD, and 32GB of memory for $3,399. Microsoft sent me something that's more in line with what most creators and gamers would order, but still on the high end, priced at $2,799.

Here are the specifications of the Microsoft Surface Book 3:

  • Model: Microsoft Surface Book 3 15-inch (1899)
  • Display: 15-inch PixelSense (3240x2160)
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 1.3GHz (8M Cache, 3.0GHz Max Turbo)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 Max-Q
  • Memory: 32GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Webcam: 5MP webcam, Windows Hello face authentication camera
  • Ports: 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 with Power Delivery 3.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 x Surface Connect ports, SD card reader
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0, Xbox Wireless built-in
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.87 x 0.9-inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Price: $2,799
  • The Surface Book 3 uses the same overall design as the two Books before it. The 15-inch model is a giant slab of dull silver. The same unique hinge that allows you to detach the display from the base deck where the keyboard, trackpad and majority of ports are located, is also back.

    The first thing I noticed when opening the Book 3 is how much empty space there is around the keyboard. The trackpad is centered on the housing, below the keyboard, and it’s flanked on both sides by absolutely nothing. I would have loved to see a much bigger trackpad take advantage of what looks like wasted space. Thankfully the stunning 15-inch PixelSense display caught my attention. Seriously, this screen is mesmerizing with its 3240 x 2160 resolution. I normally shy away from using the "touch" functionality of touchscreen laptops because of fingerprints, but even after a week of use and switching between tablet and laptop modes, I have yet to notice any lingering fingerprints. That said, the display is very reflective and you'll find yourself moving and adjusting the screen to find the sweet spot.

    Above the screen is the 5-megapixel webcam and the Windows Hello face authentication camera. The camera is helpful for those of us who are staring at Zoom calls for far too many hours a week now, and the Hello authentication stuff is quick and reliable as always.  As far as ports go, the right side of the base has Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect for charging and connecting the Surface Dock accessory to the Book. Next to it is a lone USB-C port that sadly lacks Thunderbolt connectivity, so you can't use it to connect to a compatible display or storage device.

On the left side are two standard USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and an SD card reader. Not microSD, but a full-on SD card. On the tablet/screen portion of the housing is a 3.5mm headphone jack, and when you undock the screen from the base, there's another Surface Connect connector.  The keyboard is backlit and is one of the most enjoyable keyboards I have had the pleasure of using. There wasn't any sort of adjustment as is usually the case with using a new keyboard. I was able to sit down and just type. There's a smoothness with each keypress that's reassuring, especially when typing long bits of text.
I still prefer a mechanical keyboard with taller keys and larger keycaps for gaming, but I didn't hate using the Book 3's keyboard for gaming.
Detaching the display from the base converts the Book 3's screen into a giant tablet that's light and portable, but its overall size is a little awkward at first. I didn't spend too much time using it in tablet mode, but for the short time I did, it's clear that creatives who want a giant sketchpad will be more than content.  Performance and gaming is where the Surface Book 3 gets into the gray area. On its own, as a standard laptop, this build of the Surface Book 3 is capable enough for anyone who wants to edit video, photos, and use it for daily computing tasks. As a gaming device, it does just... okay.

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