The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is the successor to the conventional Surface devices that are already on offer. This device promises better battery life, faster processing speeds and improved graphics for a much smoother experience. The new model comes with its own stylus which will make it easier to take notes in class or create artworks without having to buy another expensive accessory. With the release of this laptop, Microsoft has also announced three other models ranging from 13 inches all the way up to 17 inches.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 vs Surface Pro 7 (2020) The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is the company’s latest flagship laptop model, released in late 2018. The device features an impressive 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD drive. However, this isn’t enough for some users who are looking to upgrade their old laptops into something even more powerful that meets today’s standards. Some people want 4K displays or maybe just more storage space – so they might be interested in the upcoming 2020 variant of the Microsoft Surface Pro which will be release on October 26th 2019
The “surface pro 7 vs surface laptop 3” is a comparison between the Surface Laptop 3 and the Surface Pro 7. The 2020 version of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 will be released soon.
We put the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Laptop 3 by Microsoft to the test in terms of performance, price, display quality, battery life, portability, and other factors.
The Ranking with Results can be seen above, while the in-depth reviews on the two Microsoft Laptops can be found below.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is in first place.
- In comparison to last year’s model, this year’s model has the best performance and a larger turbo boost for a shorter period of time.
- Finally, there’s a USB-C connector that supports Power Delivery.
- Long battery life + quiet operation
- Surface Laptop 3 is more costly.
Instead of revolution, there will be progress. In fact, there aren’t enough new features in the Surface Pro 7 compared to the Surface Pro 6 to warrant an increase of a full number. The model from last year is more than enough if you don’t need the USB-C connector or the Iris-Plus graphics update.
Almost everyone who is interested in this class of devices has heard of the Surface Pro line. Surface, Microsoft’s high-end tablet family, has become so popular in its niche that the terms “Windows Tablet” and “Surface” are nearly interchangeable.
As a result, direct rivals such as the HP Elite x2 1013, Lenovo’s Miix 520, and the Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 struggle to satisfy the Surface series’ high expectations.
The Surface Pro 7, which was released at the beginning of this month, includes the same detachable type-cover keyboard as the Surface Pro 6, as well as a nearly identical casing design. We suggest reading our previous assessment of the Surface Pro 7 since the paragraphs on case stability, key feedback, display quality, and other physical aspects apply to the Surface Pro 7.
The major upgrades are on the inside: the Surface Pro 7 comes with Intel’s newest Ice Lake U CPU, which has a substantially faster integrated graphics solution than the previous generation’s UHD Graphics 620.
Our current test system is equipped with a four-core Intel Core i5-1035G4 CPU and ranges in price from $900 to $1300, depending on RAM and memory configuration.
Design & Interfaces / Ports
Because the Surface Pro 7 has the same chassis as the Surface Pro 6, we’ll return to our Surface Pro 6 review for further details on the physical attributes. The following are the most significant changes from last year’s model:
- Intel AX201 has standard WiFi 6 functionality.
- On all models, Ice Lake U options replace Kaby Lake R.
- USB Type-C PD has taken the position of Mini-DisplayPort.
- The previous year’s internal Toshiba BG3 memory solution was replaced with the newer and quicker Toshiba BG4 memory solution.
The tablet weights 1.7 pounds, or slightly more if you choose for the Core i7 variant. It weights roughly 2.42 lbs with the detachable type cover.
The Mini DisplayPort has been superseded with a more flexible USB-C connection by Microsoft. External displays may now be attached to this port, and the tablet can now be charged via USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 is still not supported, which is likely owing to Microsoft’s desire to sell its own (expensive) Surface Dock. Those expecting at least one more USB-A port will be disappointed.
The spring-loaded MicroSD card reader is still attached to the stand, which has benefits and drawbacks. In comparison to previous year’s model, the transfer rates have not improved.
The Surface Pro 7 uses the newer Intel module AX201 and offers WiFi 6 functionality thanks to 802.11ax WiFi 6. Unlike the Surface Pro 6 from last year, which was equipped with the Marvell AVASTAR 802.11ac WiFi 5 module, the Surface Pro 7 uses the newer Intel module AX201 and offers WiFi 6 functionality thanks to 802.11ax WiFi 6. Transfer speeds of up to 2.4 Gbps are feasible with a suitable WiFi 6 router if one has one.
The regular one-year limited warranty applies.
Touchpad & Keyboard
Except for some new color possibilities, the detachable type cover with ClickPad (10.1 x 5.3 cm) remains unaltered. As a result, our previous observations regarding the typing sensation apply here as well.
The key response is milder than on other Ultrabooks, owing to the more flexible base, which is typical with detachable keyboards.
You’ll probably need a few days to get accustomed to the keys and the little ClickPad, as with any new laptop.
Microsoft uses the same LG-Philips-IPS panel LP123WQ112604 for the Surface Pro 7 as it did for the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 5, thus the newest Surface Pro has the same visual experience as Microsoft’s two-year-old Surface Pro 5.
Optimistically, this is a positive thing, since the Surface Pro’s 95 percent sRGB color space coverage, strong contrast ratio, and moderately bright illumination all contribute to a nice picture. On the other hand, it’s frustrating that Microsoft hasn’t gone above and beyond to enhance the display, maybe to set it apart from the competition.
Owners of prior Surface Pro models may have found the Surface Pro 7 more enticing if it had faster reaction times, greater refresh rates, and factory calibration options.
In terms of the sRBG and AdobeRGB standards, the color space coverage is around 93 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
Ultrabooks from other manufacturers, such as the XPS 13, Blade Stealth, or Gigabyte Aero line, provide complete AdobeRGB coverage. In addition, the Surface Laptop 3 has almost the same color space coverage as the Surface Pro 7.
The incorrectly displayed gray scales and the excessively cold color temperature are discovered after several tests with an X-Rite colorimeter. We were able to enhance the display and drop the average grayscale and ColorChecker-deltaE values from 5.9 and 5 to only 2.2 and 2.4, respectively, thanks to our calibration.
Installing the ICM profile listed above is recommended for those who do not calibrate their Surface Pro 7 display individually.
Because all versions include the same LG-Philips IPS display, outdoor readability and viewing angles are equal to those of the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 5.
The HP EliteBook x360, as well as the Surface knockoff Chuwi UBook Pro, have brighter screens, making them easier to see in direct sunlight.
The greatest change between the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 7 is the availability of Intel’s new Ice-Lake-U processors in the Surface Pro 7, which are based on the 10nm technology and replace the Whiskey-Lake-U/Kaby-Lake-R CPUs that were based on the 12nm process.
Intel’s Ice Lake-U should be able to provide substantially better iGPU performance than the obsolete UHD Graphics 620, as explained here. However, since graphics driver support for Intel’s newest platform is still in its early stages, this lead may vary significantly in reality.
It should also be noted that, although the Core i3 and Core i5 versions are passively cooled, the Core i7 model has an internal fan.
The Surface Pro 7 comes standard with 8 GB Dual Channel RAM, although customers may upgrade to 16 GB if needed. When the wireless connection is activated and unplugged, LatencyMon reports no issues with DPC latencies.
You shouldn’t expect much from a CPU that is passively cooled. The scores start at a promising 685 points when Cinebench R15 Multi-Thread is performed in a loop. However, as seen in the graphic below, if you repeat the exam 50 times in a row, this score reduces to as low as 497 points.
This equates to a 27 percent decrease in performance. Because the CPU can’t sustain the high Turbo Boost clock rate indefinitely, a single Cinebench R15 test misrepresents the Surface Pro 7’s true performance. When throttling is taken into consideration, the performance is equivalent to that of a Core i5-8350U in the worst situation and a Core i7-8650U in the best case.
In the stress test section below, we’ll go over this in further depth. If Microsoft had included a fan with the Core i5 variant, the higher Turbo Boost clock speeds may have been maintained for a longer period of time.
A theoretical performance improvement of roughly 40 to 60 percent is reached when compared to the cheaper Core i3-1005G1 model, but – based on our experiences with the XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 – an extra performance of 20 to 40 percent can be predicted for the Core i7-1065G7 model.
The great performance of the original Turbo Boost is still beneficial since apps can be launched quicker and multitasking is more seamless. You can’t anticipate this kind of performance under constant heavy loads, however.
Our Core i5-1035G4 page has further information and benchmark comparisons.
Our Core i5-Surface-Pro-7 outperforms all other Surface-Pro models in our database in PCMark benchmarks, including Kaby-Lake devices with the Iris-Plus-640 GPU. There were no issues with our test device save for a loose contact in the charging connection, which we were unable to duplicate on a regular basis.
The internal M.2-SSD Toshiba BG3 of the Surface Pro 6 from last year’s Surface Pro 7 has been replaced by the new Toshiba BG4. As a consequence, both read and write speeds have increased, with sequential write rates almost doubling. Despite this, the Toshiba BG4 falls short of the Samsung PM981 seen in laptops like as the Razer Blade 15.
On November 14, 2019, Intel published the newest driver (220.127.116.1163) for the Ice Lake U-Iris-Plus SoC’s graphics, which was the most recent at the time of testing. A graphics driver dated August 6th was pre-installed on our Surface Pro 7 tester (18.104.22.16801).
Attempts to update the driver or perform particular 3DMark benchmarks fail. Microsoft is aware of the issue, which is that the Surface Pro 7 is presently using outdated drivers.
Despite Microsoft’s announcement of a new graphics driver, the Surface Pro 7 is still using older graphics drivers, therefore the results of our GPU testing should be interpreted with care.
In 3DMark 11 and Time Spy, the Iris Plus G4 lags behind the Iris Plus G7 in the faster Core i7-1065G7 combination by roughly 25% to 30%. Nonetheless, the graphics performance is around 25% to 40% greater than the Surface Pro 5’s Iris Plus 640.
On the lowest settings, satisfactory frame rates of over 30 fps may be obtained in popular games with modest needs such as Overwatch, Rocket League, Starcraft II, and Fortnite. V-Sync is recommended since frame rates might vary substantially.
Levels of noise and temperature
Because the Core i3/i5 versions lack internal fans, they are extremely quiet while in use. Our test instrument, unfortunately, has coil beeps or electrical noise.
Surface temperatures on the rear are usually a few degrees higher than on the front. Under heavy load, the top portion of the tablet may reach 48°C. It is advised that you utilize the tablet in laptop mode when you have a lot of work to do. With the plus side, there’s no risk of accidentally obstructing the ventilation slots on fanless versions.
We expose the system to simulated loads in order to evaluate it for potential throttling and stability issues. When running Prime95, the CPU speeds up to 3.3 GHz for a few seconds before reaching a core temperature of 94 degrees Celsius.
The clock frequency and temperature are then reduced to 2.3 GHz and 67 °C. However, since there is no fan, the core temperature gradually increases again. When the CPU hits 76 °C, the clock frequency reduces for the third and last time, to 2 GHz, allowing for a cooler, more consistent core temperature of 68 °C.
The whole procedure is shown in the screenshot below, with the results matching the step-like path of the flowchart for our Cinebench loop test above.
The performance is unrestricted in battery mode. In battery mode, a 3DMark-11 run yields 8,534 and 3,365 points, respectively, while in mains mode, they yield 8,319 and 3,228 points, respectively.
Consumption of energy
When the desktop is idle, it consumes between 4 and 10 W, similar to the Surface Pro 6. The usage rises by around 5 W when the screen brightness is increased from least to maximum.
In 3DMark 06, the Surface Pro Core i7 model consumes between 42 W and 44 percent more power than the Surface Pro Core i7 model from last year. As a result, improved graphics performance comes at the cost of increased energy consumption.
During Prime95, the compact (9 x 5 x 2.5 cm) 65 W power supply requires a maximum of 63.5 W of electricity. This consumption peak is more than 20 W greater than the Surface Pro 6, indicating that, at least in the near term, the Surface Pro 7 can support higher clock rates.
The consumption peak, however, does not stay long, as consumption declines to 41 W and then to 32 W after around 90 seconds. This behavior is consistent with the results of our Cinebench loop test and the Prime95 test results.
Life of the battery
Despite the fact that the battery capacity is equal to that of the Surface Pro 6, the Surface Pro 7 has a 1.5-hour longer duration. With a brightness of 150 cd/m2, the new Surface Pro tablet should provide almost 10 hours of real WiFi use (or 30 percent).
It takes roughly 1.5 hours to fully charge the empty battery, which is comparable to other ultrabooks.
That concludes my Microsoft Surface Pro 7 evaluation. As I previously said, I believe it to be the greatest Windows Tablet available today. Although the design is outdated, I still find it appealing. It’s well-made, and the folding stand is quite convenient.
The good news is that we now have a USB C connection. The display frames could, of course, be a little slimmer. But I don’t believe it’s a big deal.
The display, surface pen, and type cover are all comparable to last year. In addition, the performance of the new Intel CPUs has significantly enhanced. It isn’t worth upgrading from a Surface Pro 6 – but there are major changes when compared to the Surface Pro 5.
If you’re seeking for the greatest Windows tablet and aren’t concerned with pricing, I suggest the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. It’s an excellent laptop replacement.
For this test, I replaced my notebook with it, and it works just like any other Windows computer, but it can also be used as a pure tablet to watch Netflix or take handwritten notes, which is why the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 comes out on top above the Surface Laptop 3.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is ranked second.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
- Processors that are really powerful
- Surface Pro 7 is more expensive.
- With a kickstand and a decent Surface Pen, this is a great design.
Microsoft has shown what a lifestyle Windows laptop should be with the Surface Laptop 3. Excellent craftsmanship, high-quality components, and the option to remove the Alcantara surface if desired. But not everything has gotten better.
The Surface Laptop 3 is no exception to Microsoft’s Surface product series, which has always performed a unique role. It’s one of the only laptops with a 3:2 aspect ratio display and works with Microsoft input devices including the Surface Pen, the Dial, and the Surface Dock for extension.
The third edition of the Surface laptop has a USB-C connector that can also be used for charging, the newest 10th generation Intel CPUs (Ice Lake), and a metal finish instead of Alcantara as an option.
I’ve been working with a first-generation Surface laptop for the last several weeks, and that’s what this review is about: Is a Surface update beneficial for a first-generation user?
Design & Interfaces / Ports
In terms of both style and practicality, Microsoft’s laptop takes the design crown. Apple’s MacBook series gets extremely close to the Surface in terms of simple design, but Microsoft’s attention to detail remains unrivaled.
The precisely designed display cover, for example, protrudes slightly to allow Microsoft to open it without causing a scratch in the chassis. On three sides, the glass extends to the edge, leaving less room on the bottom than a MacBook Air. It has no rubber rim, and the magnets gently drag it onto the base. We can only pull the hat for the designers at this point.
The new Laptop 3 is well designed, as are all Surface products. The gaps, for example, are very tiny and perfectly equal. This little bevel is also present on all corners, giving the appearance of an exceedingly carefully constructed item.
The amount of variation in the outside design, on the other hand, is dependent on the machine’s color. The alteration is mostly beneath the hood in the colors platinum and cobalt. The Alcantara surface surrounding the keyboard and palm rest is still present on the Surface Laptop 3 in these colors.
Microsoft, on the other hand, employs an aluminum body in the hues matt black and sandstone, which feels great. The concept of a MacBook Air also crosses to mind from time to time, along with the huge trackpad.
For the latest Surface devices, Microsoft ditches the Mini DisplayPort in favor of the more general USB type C connection – not Thunderbolt 3. That may have been included in a gadget that costs more than $900. Meaning you won’t be able to utilize a Mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort connection from an older Surface laptop.
Next to the new type-C connection and the well-known USB type-A connector on the left side is a 3.5mm jack connector.
The Surface Dock Connector connector is on the right side. As a result, old Surface chargers may still be utilized. There are no more connections available.
So Microsoft is introducing a new Surface Laptop, which, thankfully, does not expose you to all of the connectivity details. Other manufacturers only utilize USB type C/Thunderbolt 3, which means you’ll have to keep an eye on how you obtain the old USB stick from the university or the customer’s location. The dongle, hopefully, is in the bag. Greetings from Cupertino, California.
When I glance at the screen, though, the idea of a MacBook vanishes. The Surface Laptop 3 has a 3:2 aspect ratio touch display, much as its predecessors. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of laptop touch screens, but now that I’ve used one for a bit, I can see some actual benefits.
Scrolling over big lists, in particular, seems more natural. Fast zooming on cellphones has also grown so frequent that it now seems more natural to me than on a trackpad. The catch is that the Surface Laptop 3’s display is extremely reflective, making it ideal for use as a make-up mirror.
The display’s lighting is likewise quite bright. The variation in brightness between the brightest and darkest spots is less than 10%, which is not discernible to the human eye. In the centre, the brightest point reaches 350nits.
The Surface Laptop 3’s “small” 13.5-inch variant is powered by Intel’s newest Ice Lake CPUs. The emphasis is on the power-saving U variants in particular. It’s an Intel Core i5-1035G7 processor in our test model. The speed boost is especially obvious when compared to the original Surface Laptop, which used an i5-7200U processor.
The Surface Laptop 3’s performance is adequate for daily work. Even complicated photographs with multiple layers or RAW shots run considerably more smoothly in tools like Photoshop and Lightroom.
I’d prefer a laptop with a dedicated graphics unit for video editing, but Microsoft’s current generation of lifestyle notebooks can do a lot more than simply look pretty.
Life of the battery
Here, Microsoft has committed a miscalculation. For a few days, I just used the Surface Laptop 3 as my primary work tool and completed my normal office tasks on it. That includes a variety of business apps, internet, and picture processing using Photoshop and Lightroom in my instance.
The brightness of the display was adjusted to about 200 nits, and the energy-saving choices were set to “balanced.” Even on days when there was no picture editing, there was only approximately 20% battery remaining after six hours of usage.
More time may be gotten out of it with a darker display and more active power management, but I believe eight hours is too low for such a gadget. As strong as Intel’s latest CPUs are, I believe the Surface Laptop 3’s greatest flaw is in this area.
In everyday usage, the original generation still has a decent 10 hours of battery life. Microsoft seems to be aware of this, since the Surface Laptop 3 comes with QuickCharge. If you must charge, at least it will be quick.
If you wish to charge over USB-C, your power source or Power Bank, such as the HP-USB-C Power Bank, should give at least 40 watts.
Levels of noise and temperature
The degree to which noise and heat affect a notebook is always a matter of personal preference. Both of these things irritate me greatly.
The initial Surface laptop’s greatest strength was that it always kept its mouth quiet, no matter what work it was given. He is unconcerned about stress tests lasting more than 30 minutes. Yes, the fan is on, but even when I put my ear to the gadget, it is hardly audible.
Unfortunately, the current generation cannot make that claim. After 15 minutes of stress testing, the Surface Laptop 3 becomes audible. When you use demanding apps often, the same thing occurs.
Of course, the new model has far more horsepower, but it’s a shame that Microsoft hasn’t made Ice Lake CPUs quiet. Those who merely perform small duties, on the other hand, should not have any issues with the fans.
In terms of heat generation, there is nothing to complain about. The redesigned wrist rest, as well as the whole keyboard, remain cool. The temperature on the bottom of the Surface Laptop 3 is also always in the “hand-warm” level.
Upgrades to previous Surface models were not possible. Even attempting to access the notepad resulted in the unit’s destruction. When you open the laptop, you’ll discover that the RAM and SSD are soldered together.
For the first time, Microsoft permits Surface Laptop 3 devices to be officially updated. Of course, only trained Microsoft workers should do this activity, and I would suggest caution.
Look at tutorials to learn how to gently get beneath your feet and land in the precise perfect spot. Make sure you have a Torx screwdriver and that your new SSD was purchased in the correct format (NVMEe M2 2230).
As a result, you should only act if you are confident in your abilities. A tutorial on how to replace the SSD on the Surface Laptop 3 has also been issued by Microsoft. Microsoft, on the other hand, would want to emphasize that this advice is targeted for business clients.
The sound on laptops is often the same as the sound in monitors — dreadful. 98 percent of all laptops sound terrible due to a lack of a resonance chamber and poor speakers. Highs are distorted, while mids and basses are absent.
The Surface Laptop 3 doesn’t have much bass, but it does have excellent highs and a well-balanced midrange. The sound is a little flat, but generally it’s believable. Furthermore, the notebook’s speakers reach a high level, allowing it to provide sound for a small kitchen party if needed.
Touchpad & Keyboard
As long as you are standing on a straight stroke, the Surface Laptop 3 scores, which is one of the finest keyboards for laptops. The keystrokes are refreshingly brief, and even large messages are a lot of pleasure to type.
Only the MacBook’s butterfly keyboard is more straightforward. In exchange, the Surface’s odds of a keyboard failure are substantially smaller.
You can plainly observe that the new trackpad has increased by around 20% in compared to its predecessor. In all four directions, there are now a few millimeters more. Typical gestures are also accurately identified and executed.
To summarize, the Surface Laptop 3 boasts one of the greatest trackpads on the market, excluding a minor deadzone near the edge.
When it comes to naming a Windows laptop reference product, I’d go with the Surface Laptop 3. The build quality is excellent, the performance is adequate, and the keyboard and trackpad are among the best in the laptop industry.
Because to the device’s lower battery life and weaker cooling compared to its predecessor, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 ranks lower than the Surface Pro 7.
The Surface Laptop 3 is less expensive than the Surface Pro 7 and yet performs well in its price range, so if you want to save money and don’t need the performance of the Surface Pro 7, we suggest the Surface Laptop 3.
For first-generation Surface laptop users: Upgrading is beneficial for first-generation Surface laptop owners, since the performance boost is obvious after two generations. Owners of second-generation laptops, on the other hand, should see how much USB type C benefits them.
The “surface pro vs surface laptop” is a question that has been asked for years. Microsoft released the Surface Laptop 3 in 2018, but it will be replaced by the Surface Pro 7 in 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Surface Pro 7 better than a laptop?
A: Laptops are the powerhouses of the PC world, and they provide a different experience from that which you can get on a Surface Pro. However, if your workload is heavy or time-sensitive then it might be worth considering getting a laptop as opposed to ditching your MacBook for something more powerful like Windows 10.
Is the Surface Pro 7 worth it in 2020?
A: I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.
- surface pro 7 vs surface laptop 4
- microsoft surface laptop 4
- microsoft surface pro 8
- microsoft surface book