Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review – Is this your next Windows 10 notebook?


Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is the third generation of traditional Microsoft laptop design (Image: MICROSOFT • EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

When Microsoft launched its Surface hardware line, it looked like the last thing on the mind was to build a conventional laptop. At the time, the Redmond-based company – traditionally known for its software, not its hardware prowess – was singing praises to its tablet-laptop form factor. Dubbed the surface, Microsoft claimed that the device would allow users to use an Excel spreadsheet on their desks, before releasing the keyboard (sold separately) to watch a movie or play some games on the way home, as it would a iPad.


Of course, Microsoft's view of the convertible form factor is still strong – the Surface Pro is now in its seventh generation – but the company has expanded its portfolio to include a very conventional laptop. And we couldn't be happier. There are no sophisticated tricks here. Unlike the , you’re not able to triumphantly separate the screen to use it as a tablet (and, thank goodness, because this peculiarity of design means that the screen is so full of batteries that it often unbalances the Surface Book on your lap) and doesn’t there is a detachable keyboard or pen attached to the side of the screen. It's just a laptop. Fortunately, it is very good.

The somewhat unusual style of previous generations of the Surface Laptop – the soft Alcantara ends at the keyboard to prevent your palms from resting on the cold, hostile aluminum when starting work in the morning – has been erased from half the color options, including the more of all, Matte Black.

Surface Laptop 3 doesn't rely on gimmicks and certainly doesn't try to sell you an untested view of the future of computing. It's a solid laptop that runs Windows 10 like a beauty. And that's really not a compliment. Honestly, it's the only thing we really want Surface team to do.



Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review

Unlike the first iteration of the Surface Laptop, Alcantara does not have all color finishes (Image: MICROSOFT)

Surface Laptop 3 Review: Design

From the outside, it's clear that Microsoft has taken a generous hint of inspiration from Sir Jony Ive and company. at Apple. But this is not a simple MacBook clone, Microsoft has added some nice touches. For example, the chassis has a nice angular design that curves into the side doors to make the whole laptop a little more delicate. Unlike Apple, which is now all-in with USB-C on all of its notebooks, Microsoft includes a USB-A, USB-C port and headset.


That means you're ready for the future, but you don't have to buy a truck full of dongles for all the accessories and flash drives you already own – the best of both worlds.

Hidden under the keyboard, there is a reworked speaker system that has an "omnisonic" design developed by Dolby Audio. As far as we can tell, this is all mumbo-jumbo marketing, because the speakers sound good. But that's it, just good. If you plan to listen to music while working, you still want to deliver.

Microsoft is also sticking to its reliable surface magnetic connector, which disconnects quickly when pulled out – so your £ 999 laptop doesn't hurt itself on the floor the next time you trip over the charging cable. The charger itself is a bit heavy and inexplicable and heavy compared to USB-C, but we forgive all that, as it is now able to quickly charge the Surface Laptop 3.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review

Don't believe the marketing hype, speakers are pretty common for laptops – nothing more (Image: MICROSOFT)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review

The keyboard is one of the best things about the Surface Laptop 3, it's a pleasure to type (Image: MICROSOFT)

Surface Laptop 3 review: fast charging, battery life

Fast loading is a truly brilliant feature.

While we all get used to charging our phones and tablets quickly, the same cannot be said of laptops. Whether you're thinking of buying a new notebook before university, or a new job that means you'll be on the road for long periods of the day – fast charging is exactly the kind of feature that will put a smile on your face every time you go. use it.

Microsoft says you can replenish your laptop by 3 to 80% in less than an hour and that fits our tests. However, the ability to quickly recharge 50% of the battery in 20 minutes before an important meeting is the real essential resource here. Not having to plan battery life in advance is something we lost instantly when our service unit had to be returned.

Battery life is very good on Laptop 3. Streaming a 1080p video over Wi-Fi for four and a half hours at full brightness resulted in a 100 to 20% power drop. This bodes well if you plan to use this laptop to keep up with Netflix's latest mandatory box in bed or on your next train ride.

When it comes to work, reducing screen brightness a little means you can easily spend days processing texts, sending emails and more without overdoing it. However, anyone planning to do serious photo editing or video editing should probably pack the Surface Connector before leaving for work at a local hipster coffee shop.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review

Don't worry, if you like the smooth touch of the Alcantara finish, Microsoft still sells it on some models (Image: MICROSOFT)

Surface Laptop 3 Review: Keyboard

Elsewhere, the keyboard is quite solid. There is a little more travel than the unfortunate keys to Apple's Butterfly mechanism (which are now being phased out of history books, starting with the released last year), but in a bizarre way, the keys on the Surface Laptop make a similar hollow sound when you're chatting. It's a good keyboard for typing, but for our money, Surface Book offers a slightly better experience.

The trackpad is also very good, although I can't hold a candle on the trackpad on Apple notebooks. The Surface Laptop trackpad is not only less accurate and edgy at times, but also uses the old-fashioned trampoline mechanism, which means that the top of the square cannot click. It is a problem that Apple solved years ago, implementing the same multi-touch technology found in its iPhone series, because Microsoft cannot do the same is a bit disconcerting.

Surface Laptop 3 Review: Touchscreen, Windows 10

If you don't like to touch the trackpad, don't hesitate to touch the display itself.

Yes, like all Surface branded devices before, there is a touch screen here. The 13.5 ”PixelSense screen, which has a very respectable resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels (201 PPI), responds perfectly to touches and touches. That said, we are not yet at the mercy of the idea of ​​using Windows 10.

Large extensions of the operating system still look designed for a mouse pointer – with small touch targets for navigating the File Explorer submenus and the like. Along with the annoying annoyance of the screen on its hinge every time you tap to select something, there is little Microsoft here to change your mind. That said, it's nice to have the option. And the Surface Laptop 3 is compatible with the latest and greatest Surface Pen, which offers a much more accurate point.

Windows 10 works well on laptop 3, as you would expect. The operating system is still a good compromise between the flashy Windows 8 Tiles and the traditional Windows 7 Start Menu. There have been a bunch of bugs in the latest updates, but Microsoft is releasing regular updates to address the issues.

Surface Laptop 3 Review

Laptop 3 is the first generation to ship on 13 and 15 inch models (Image: MICROSOFT)

Surface Laptop 3 review: specifications, price

The Surface Laptop 3 is quite fast, thanks to 8 GB of RAM in the base model (this can increase up to 16 GB), along with the latest 10th generation Intel i5 processor.

There are no tricks or quirks to be found here. It's just a laptop. Fortunately, it's very good

According to a quick test of Geekbench 5 in our review unit, the new Surface Laptop 3 is in tune with the redesign of the MacBook Air 2018 in a single core score (831 vs 832), but leaves the Apple notebook out of # 39; water. its multi-core (2892 vs 1728).

It is worth noting that, in our experience, Windows laptops tend not to age as gracefully as their Apple counterparts, with new versions of macOS not clogging the gears in the same way as Windows. That said, Microsoft is always making improvements and adjustments to its operating system, so it is possible that the Surface Laptop will resist better.

And when it comes to cost, Microsoft is also inspired by Apple. The Surface Laptop 3 starts at £ 999 and goes up to £ 2,349. This is not cheap, but given the impressive specs and impressive design, it looks right. Microsoft also offers education discounts and offers on Black Friday, so keep an eye out for offers.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review


Surface Laptop 3 Review: Verdict

  • Pros – Bright screen, great keyboard, Windows 10 works beautifully, fast loading is amazing, stylish hardware
  • Cons – Not yet sold when using the touchscreen, the Trackpad can be a little contorted

The Surface Laptop 3 is an impressive piece of the kit. On paper, it's the most boring hardware that Microsoft makes – no sophisticated tricks, no new form factor – but it's also what we really recommend to anyone looking for a new notebook. Windows 10 works well on the hardware, the screen is impressive and the battery life should keep you comfortably on all day.

It is true that the touchscreen is a little useless and the trackpad is not the industry leader at any time. But the keyboard is solid and is a beautiful notebook that can keep up with the recent hardware from Apple's rival. Students also receive an educational discount, so if you don't want a MacBook Air, this should be your University laptop. Trust us, you will thank us for the first time that fast charging keeps you from appearing in a lecture minutes after getting out of bed with the battery drained.

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