Microsoft Surface-Laptop-3 15-inch (Core i7) review: This is the one you should buy

Microsoft Surface-Laptop-3 15-inch (Core i7) review: This is the one you should buy

the Microsoft Surface-Laptop-3 (Core i7), also known as the Laptop surface 3 of the business and, finally, what Microsoft has traditionally promised, with its surfaces: a large screen, a great keyboard and a great battery life. 

The Laptop surface 3 with Intel ‘ s 10th-gen-Core-i7 chip reaches approximately 10 hours of battery life. This is more than enough to get you through the working day, and siginificantly more than what was achieved by 15-inch surface Laptop 3 with the AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, or the 15-inch-Laptop-surface 3 with Ryzen 7. Other than the CPU and memory variants, the surface Laptop 3 units that we have tested are largely the same. 

We still admire what AMD has managed with its latest Surface-Edition-chips, and look forward to next year, when its 7nm process kicks in. For now, however, this area of Laptop 3 with Intel Core i7 the only surface, Laptop 3 we recommend. 

Microsoft Surface-Laptop 3-ice lake from the back Mark Hachman / IDG

Our surface Laptop 3 (ice lake) test unit shipped, in platinum, with a metal chassis.

Laptop 3 Surface for Business (Core i7) basic specifications


  • Display: 13.5-inch (2256×1504) pixel sense; 15-inch – (2496×1664) pixel sense (as tested); both with touch function
  • the

  • processor: 13-inch,15-inch: quad-core core i5-1035G7/Core i7-1065G7 (ice-lake)
  • the

  • graphics: 13-inch,15-inch: Iris Plus
  • the

  • memory: 13-inch: 8 GB/16 GB LPDDR4x; 15-inch: 8GB/16GB/32GB DDR4 (16GB tested)
  • the

  • storage: 13-inch,15-inch: 128/256/512/1 TB (256 GB, tested)
  • the

  • interfaces: USB-C, USB-A, surface, Close, 3.5 mm Jack
  • the

  • camera: 720p (user-facing); Windows Hello enabled
  • the

  • battery: 45.8 Wh (as reported)
  • the

  • wireless LAN: 13-inch /15-inch: 802.11 ax 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth, 5.0
  • the

  • operating system: Windows 10 Pro (business)
  • the

  • dimensions: 13-inch: 12.1 x 8.8 x 0.57 in. (14.51 mm); 15-inch: 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.57 in. (14.69 mm)
  • the

  • weight: 13-inch: 2.89 pound, 15-inch: 3.36 kg (tested), with charger: 4 pounds
  • the

  • color: Sandstone (metal, as tested), Matte Black (metal), cobalt Blue (Alcantara) and platinum (Alcantara, metal)
  • price: orders start at $1,099 on; $1,599 tested:

make sure the Laptop surface 3 prices: There is a massive $400 bump between the SL3 s-256-GB and 512-GB-SSD configurations. One of the new features of the Laptop surface 3 is its ability to swap out the SSD, if it is not maintained carefully by the user. 

We have so far, the 15-inch-Laptop-interface 3 (Ryzen 5), as well as the surface Laptop 3 (Ryzen 7) is checked, both the “consumer” versions of the Laptop surface 3 for the economy. The 15-inch-Laptop-interface 3 consumer models use a semi-custom “Surface Edition” of AMD’s older Zen+ Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 chips, while the 13-inch consumer-and 13-inch /15-Inch Laptop 3 Surface for Business use Intel 10-gen-ice-lake-chips. (Full disclosure: Intel sent us these Laptop surface 3 for the review, Microsoft.)

There are also other, more substantive differences between consumer-and Business-models: the operating system (Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 home), as well as the Wi-Fi. The Intel chip is paired with an 802.11 ax to the radio while the AMD chips are coming with 802.11 ac. The first standard offers more potential bandwidth (9.6 GB / s vs 6.9 Gbit / s) and wider Wi-Fi coverage. The Laptop surface 3 for the Business models cost about $100 more than a similarly spec’d consumer model in the retail sector, although the recent discounts, the disparity have pushed to about $210.

alt-button primary Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Ice Lake Mark Hachman / IDG

The Laptop surface 3 is relatively light for its size.

– housing: The Platinum option fingerprints

spurned Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 offers a variety of chassis options, either a solid metal finish, or the now traditional Alcantara fabric interior. We tested the surface Laptop 3 for Business (Core i7) in the platinum color. But we would have preferred the nice “sand stone” option, it is available in 15-inch-Laptop-interface 3.

I surfaces actually prefer the look and feel of metal under my hand. It is not a little cool on the lap, but its conductivity, and certainly helps with the cooling. The platinum model does not refuel fingerprints like the Black Matte option, and the keyboard and touchpad contrast very nicely with the chassis itself.

surface-Laptops have always aspired to learn more than just computing devices, and the slender parts made of metal, the 15-inch-Laptop-surface 3 good to consider both and to keep. The surface of the Laptop and 3 other laptops in its class, which were shifted to lighter materials, slimmed down, and the internal components. It feels surprisingly light. Microsoft 65W charger is small. 

Microsoft Surface-Laptop 3-fabric or metal Mark Hachman / IDG

metal or fabric? It’s your choice, though you choose also determines the configuration of the Laptop surface 3, the you get.

At the same time, the surface Laptop-3 is a sturdy concern in addition. It is a standard clamshell design: It folds back 45 degrees from the horizontal plane as the previous models, but it is not completely flat. 

The fan plays a larger role

Microsoft attention paid to the cooling of the surface, Laptop 3. Note that in all three surfaces-Laptop-3s, we checked all the Windows power settings were set and the battery life to maximize the likely to hold the fan noise is reduced to a minimum. In the Ryzen 5-consumer model, the fan was almost non-existent, although it ramped up a little more with the Ryzen 7 model. With Intel ‘ s ice, lake, I noticed a noise, a silent fan, quiet air blowing in the background. There was significantly louder under certain Test scenarios, but there were no large spikes in the noise. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Core i7-vent Mark Hachman / IDG

The Laptop surface 3 a 15-inch (ice-lake) has Ryzen is a far more fan than the AMD-based models, but it is not ubiquitous. Among these bumpers a couple of Torx are screws to access the SSD but Microsoft limited this feature to the professional repair staff. .

If the surface Laptop 3 fan was called to action, it was finished almost immediately after the benchmark. In addition, while the underside of the chassis got warm, it never came close to hot, let alone uncomfortable, even with the more powerful Core i7 in games. 

Laptop displays have improved over the years, but the surface shows, including the one on the Laptop surface 3, continues to be one of the best. Microsoft is brave PixelSense display on the Laptop surface 3 for Business provides a blazing 377 lumens, more than most of its competition. The 201 Pixel-per-inch (ppi) density of the Laptop 3 s a 15-inch model remains the same as the previous generation 13-inch model. (Microsoft does not offer a 15-inch Laptop surface 2). 

At the top of the display, a small, 720p camera sits next to depth sensors for the application almost immediately with Windows Hello. The camera does not provide a built-in physical shutter button, so paranoid types need to Band with some good old-fashioned black. The image quality is certainly good enough for video conferences, and I was logged in, routinely with my face.

The camera also plays a role in the Laptop surface 3 of the new “instant-on” feature, which brightens the screen and turns off the camera in just after opening the Laptop from sleep. It is also damn convenient.

Add a USB-C is a plus

The other notable addition to the Laptop surface 3, the new, long overdue USB-C connector, which replaces the Mini-DisplayPort is found on most of the previous Surface devices.  (As we were to write this, Microsoft Surface-Laptop 3 for the Business side says that the unit had a Mini-DisplayPort; it does not work.)

Because Microsoft left the USB-A port alone, you do not have to worry about the connection of legacy-USB-hard drives, printers, and other devices. But if you have an existing surface owners, bought a miniDP-to-HDMI dongle, it is redundant with the new product line. So the Microsoft Surface Connector-on-USB-C dongle, or the much cheaper ecosystem of third-party chargers “do not Remove” product-link. But there are literally dozens of USB hubs to choose from, the much cheaper of I/O options than the surface of the Dock.

now that it is a sports-USB-C, you can charge your surface using a USB C-charger, instead of only the surface of the charger. The omnipresence of the surface of the charging devices has a thickness, a surface, as a surface, the charger basically is suitable for all Surface devices. Nevertheless, it is even less a chance now that you are without a plug-in in a pinch.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Ice Lake left Mark Hachman / IDG

A USB-C connector replaces the DP in the latest iteration of the Surface Laptop, of the Laptop surface 3 for the economy.

This surface Laptop 3 adds fast-charge: 80 percent charge in an hour. We are told by Microsoft, the fast charging works through USB-C, although they have the same power, which offers Microsoft Surface charger (60W) will allow this.

In the test phase, however, fell to the surface of the Notebook 3 fast-charge, short of Microsoft’s expectations. We passed the battery, then it was to calculate 60 minutes. It reached 66 percent, with the stock charger on the Laptop surface 3 for the economy.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Ice Lake right Mark Hachman / IDG

The magnetic connector, a staple of the surface, is always embedded in the right side of the chassis and serves as the I/O connector for the Laptop surface 3 (Core i7).

Microsoft chose not to add the Thunderbolt functionality of the USB-C connector, which means that the surface connection, is your primary display output to the surface of the Dock. Assuming you have a Dock that is not critical. You underestimated lack of any surface device so far in the inability, for output to a pair of 4K monitors in eye-pleasing 60Hz prices. The surface 2 Laptop struggled to hit a 4K/60Hz setup with a secondary 1080p monitor. For those who loved productivity, which is a great thing.

Mark Hachman / IDG

I was very pleased to see that the Surface Edition-based Laptop, 3 simultaneously output to its own display, 4K/60 setup and a 1080p monitor with serenity. As Thunderbolt I/O interfaces become more common, however, it is possible that the lack of Thunderbolt may solve a deficiency, will Microsoft be forced to.

A decent keyboard and a built-in speaker

Picking in addition to keyboard subtleties in the rule depends on the distance between the keys (the pitch) and the amount of play in the keys (the key travel). Surface keyboards are usually quite good, and the surface Laptop 3 keyboard is no exception. Generous keys offer a comfortable place to land, with good elasticity. The 19mm key pitch remains unchanged. The Laptop 3 key travel feels a little less than in the surface, Laptop 2, however, and it is 1.3 mm vs. 1.5 mm. 

Microsoft Surface-Laptop 3-ice-lake-keyboard Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft rearranged some of the Laptop surface 3 functions of the keys and slightly reduces the key travel. In contrast to the Matte-Black model, however, the surface Laptop 3 platinum chassis, hardly any fingerprints. Plus, it is just beautiful.

A short digression on Surface-keyboards: the surface of The book-series still offers what I think is that the premier-touch surface. The first Generation of Surface-to-book-key (1.6 mm gap) extend above out of the housing, while the top of the Laptop keys are level with the chassis. This means that the Laptop keyboard rests in a valley of sorts, stretching your fingers a bit. It is a subtlety, but the subtleties of the difference between a good keyboard great.

Microsoft has also, inexplicably, the function keys assigned to the Laptop surface 3 of the upper line, move the backlight button to the far left and the screen brightness buttons in the middle. We like the little guide bumps that have been added, though.

The Laptop surface 3 touchpad is 20% larger than the previous model, and it is smooth and clickable over practically the entire area—less than a finger’s width at the top. To be fair, they are probably unconsciously place a trackpad, easily clickable, but it shows Microsoft”s commitment to the basics. 

Microsoft in General, are not shy about the audio, either. The surface Laptop 3 sports a pair of “omnisonic” speakers, supported by Dolby Audio Premium. Hike through Windows’ audio controls can hunt a bit of a scavenger. They are included in the Realtek audio app? Part of the control panel? No matter, these speakers you can actually enjoy—this is something to say for laptop speakers. The Laptop 3 produces bright midrange sound and recognizable (though weak) bass.

Somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft held back on the Laptop surface 3 of unnecessary crapware, though, worthless bits, such as Farm Heroes Saga in appearance. We hope Microsoft has more to do with the interface of the app is that it bundles with Surface devices. While it provides a nice summary of the system specifications and the basic set-up options for the Surface pen (sold separately), it would be nice to see something a little more substantial. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 surface app Mark Hachman / IDG

It is probably time to freshen up, Microsoft’s Surface app. 

Next page: Performance, benchmarks and conclusion

Released on Mon, 02 Dec 2019 11:21:00 +0000

Leave a Comment