Microsoft has been focused for a few years on creating laptops, convertibles and accessories with that premium Apple halo (both by appearance and price). The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is an excellent example of this: it has a very neat and minimalist design, it is light, it has good power inside and it starts from an official price of 1,350 euros for the 13.5-inch model, which can be put in more than 2,000 euros with the configuration in 15 inches and 16 GB of RAM. I have had the opportunity to test this model for a month, checking its performance in aspects such as power, autonomy or design. Does the guy hold? Do you defend yourself well on a day-to-day basis? Is it worth what it costs? This has been my experience with the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 after a month.
Features of the 15-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
|Microsoft Surface Laptop 3|
|screen||15-inch touchscreen with 2,496 x 1,664 pixel 3: 2 resolution|
Surface pen compatible
|Processor and RAM||Up to AMD Ryzen 7 3780U|
Up to 16GB RAM
|Internal memory||128GB / 256GB / 512GB in PCIe SSD format|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics|
|Sound||Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Audio Sound|
|Autonomy||Up to 11.5 hours of use (in my experience it has been around six hours)|
|Connections||1 x USB 3.1|
1 x USB type C
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
|Colors||Platinum gray, black|
|Design and dimensions||Metal|
339.5mm x 244mm x 14.69mm (1.54kg)
|Featured Features||Optical pen compatible|
|Price||From 1,350 euros|
Premium design in a lightweight body
Here there is no doubt. Microsoft has done a good job designing this computer. The configuration that I have been able to try is matte black , although you also have it in platinum. We are facing a lightweight laptop, with 1.54 kilos for 15 inches that make it easy to transport . Of course, it does not reach the level of models like the 15-inch LG Gram that touch the kilo. But, anyway, it is a model that does not become heavy at any time (although I have not been able to try it almost on trips or trips due to the circumstances that we have to live). It is made of metal and the design is robust. Luckily, I have not had an accident to have to check its resistance live.
It is an elegant and slim notebook, just 1.5 centimeters thick , with very sober lines and a single concession to brightness with the Windows logo on the outside of the case. But not everything is perfect in this design. In this quest for minimalism, Microsoft has sacrificed connectors, which in a 15-inch laptop is more than debatable. In fact, we only have a normal-size USB port and another type-C port. No sign of the Ethernet or HDMI ports that we always find in models of this format. It is true that the design is much cleaner, but I am one of those who think that the practical part should prevail even if it means giving up a few millimeters of fineness and more loaded sides.
It has also surprised me, being a premium cut laptop, not finding a fingerprint reader to enhance the security section . What we do have is the Windows Hello facial recognition system, although I still think that the level of protection that the fingerprint gives you is not comparable.
On the other hand, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 incorporates a keyboard with well-arranged and separated keys and a very good height to type quickly and without errors. That is a point that I always value in a laptop (for obvious reasons, I have to write constantly) and in this case it has been very easy to get used to it. By the way, the keyboard is backlit in white with three different levels.
Very good quality screen
Another section that Microsoft has taken great care of is the screen. We are facing a 15-inch panel with a resolution of 2,496 x 1,664 pixels. What is most striking is its format, which is 3: 2. That is, more square than most models that go for a more panoramic format. It's not something that made a big difference while using it regularly. By the way, the bezels that surround the screen itself are not especially thin compared to other premium ultrabooks , but they are enough to leave a good feeling and not feel like they are eating the panel.
It should be noted that the screen is glossy, a decision that makes it have more reflections. The good news is that it has a fairly high brightness level, which allows you to work even when directly hit by a light source. The screen is tactile and responds well to both touch gestures and the use of the stylus.
Guts with AMD brain
The American company has distributed Intel and AMD chips among the different configurations of this Microsoft Surface Laptop. And in the more advanced configurations of the 15-inch model he has opted for AMD. In my case, I had an AMD Ryzen 5 3580U processor along with 16 GB of RAM . It is not a particularly powerful chip but it is more than enough for all kinds of office automation tasks, video and photo editing, navigation and even modern games without setting the parameters to the maximum. The graphics part is handled by the integrated AMD Radeon Vega 9 graphics. What I am not clear about is whether so much RAM combined with this processor is necessary, although it is clear that we will never have problems with the process memory filling up.
As for the internal memory, we find configurations that range from 128 GB to 512 GB of internal memory . In my case I have tried the intermediate configuration, with 256 GB of capacity. Honestly, it seems to me that at this point and for the prices that are handled, Microsoft should have opted for configurations with a larger memory (at least twice that of this model). Of course, if you look at the performance there is no problem. The start of the Surface Laptop 3 is very fast and also when it comes to accessing files .
A unique accessory ecosystem
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is very much geared towards us using it with compatible accessories. Microsoft already has a fairly complete ecosystem of gadgets and many of them with the same premium touch. This is the case, for example, of the Arc Mouse that I have been able to test in conjunction with the laptop. This gadget has a curious flat shape that curves when we want to turn it on(through a mechanical movement). We do not have separate panels for the left and right buttons, but the click will be one or the other depending on the area in which we click. In my particular case, I need a period of adaptation to start to handle with ease with this mouse, especially when right-clicking. The panel itself acts as a wheel to move from top to bottom in the browser or a program with a simple gesture from top to bottom or vice versa (this point is quick and really comfortable).
Another key to the mouse is that it is completely Bluetooth and its connection with the laptop is very comfortable and fast. This is one of the reasons why you may not miss so much more USB ports in the design, although it already forces you to fork out the 90 euros it costs. You have other cheaper options at home such as the Microsoft Surface Mobile Mouse or the Modern Mobile Mouse, both for 35 euros and also completely Bluetooth (without a key to connect to the USB port).
The other accessory I've been able to fiddle with is its stylus. It is quite accurate ( 4096 points of precision ) but perhaps a bit heavy for what I am used to in this type of pencil. It is very well integrated in different applications such as Word and you can use the other end of the tip as an eraser. Of course, to get one you will have to pay 110 euros. As you can imagine, it is very geared towards graphic designers.
Autonomy and sound
In the field of autonomy, Microsoft promises a usage time of up to 11 and a half hours on a single charge. Not bad for a 15-inch laptop. Throughout this month, the time that I have used this model is around six or six and a half hours , a quite remarkable figure considering that I usually use the brightness close to the maximum and a combined use between navigation, office applications and a little occasional gaming. Of course, it is not a figure that is too surprising. As for the sound, we have Dolby Audio compatible speakers and an Omnisonic bill. Honestly, they do their job but it is not an experience that stands out compared to what you will usually find in a laptop of this format.
Price and reviews
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is not a laptop for light pockets . It is available in both 13.5-inch and 15-inch formats. The one that I have been able to test is a 15-inch one, and its official price starts at 1,350 euros (you can find discounts already in Microsoft's own store that lower this cost a bit). In its most powerful configuration, it reaches up to 2,300 euros. Worth?
By design, yes, but by performance it gives me the impression that they had to have pushed a little more to justify the outlay. In fact, it seems to me that in the search for a very minimalist and attractive laptop, some ports such as HDMI or Ethernet have been left on the way to enjoy cable Internet. There are also aspects that could be improved for the price it has. For example, I find it strange that the WiFi 6 protocol has not been directly opted for, and I also miss a higher internal memory. If you are going to pay 2,300 euros for a laptop, at least inside you can enjoy a 1 TB memory (and the same with my configuration, which could be 512 GB).
In short, with the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 you pay a significant extra for the premium experience and sensations. It's a good laptop and very well built, but it lacks the oomph to justify the outlay for it.