Microsoft has just dropped the new Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3, much to the fanfare of Surface users around the world. If you’ve used a Surface laptop before, there’s a lot you’ll like in the new options. Let’s take a closer at what makes the new 2-in-1 Surface Pro X and slim, touch enabled Surface Laptop 3 a worthy upgrade.
The Surface Pro X is the higher end model and we’ll start with that first, but both options are designed for high level computing tasks and are suited for two different audiences. The Surface Pro X is certainly sleeker than anything we’ve seen from Microsoft before, but the Surface Laptop 3 can’t be ignored either. Just like all tech featured in the Techscheme blog, you can save up to 12% when purchasing through Techscheme. More about that at the end.
Everything You Should Know about the Surface Pro X
The Surface Pro X offers a lot. Firstly, it has a stunning 2880x1920 13 inch PixelSense display with Microsoft's beloved 3:2 aspect ratio. It also features the slimmest 2-in-1 laptop design from Microsoft yet at just 7.3mm thick. The Microsoft Surface Pro X is clearly designed for productivity on the go, and to make that even more possible, the Pro X has LTE support. Just pop in a SIM card, get a data plan, and you can use your Surface Pro X laptop on the go without WiFi.
On the inside, you get at least 8GB RAM, but an upgrade to 16GB is optional. Storage options start at 128GB and go up to 512GB. Perhaps most surprisingly, the Microsoft Surface Pro X is powered by the Microsoft SQ1 processor. Yep, that's right, no Intel or AMD on the inside this time. It's an ARM chip, which is the same architecture used for mobile processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon range of processors. In fact, the Microsoft SQ1 is actually based on Qualcomm’s 8cx - Microsoft brought in Qualcomm for some help on the Surface Pro X.
Sounds worrying, but Microsoft has worked hard to make Windows as powerful and more importantly, as power efficient on ARM architecture as possible. Despite the same architecture, a larger physical design has been used to reach higher operating frequencies and you get more cache for dealing with queuing up and processing more tasks at once.
So despite using ARM, the Microsoft SQ1 still hits a 3GHz frequency, it can use Gigabit LTE, and it helps the Surface Pro X to have a very impressive battery life. Microsoft is claiming up to 13 hours of battery life based on typical device usage. There are no benchmarks yet, but there is a comparison between the Snapdragon 8cx and the performance of an Intel Core i5-8250U. So expect i5 level performance. Pair the Surface Pro X with a stylus and a mouse and you have a powerful productivity powerhouse ready to keep you working hard on the go.
What’s New With the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
If you want a more traditional laptop experience, you can opt for the Surface Laptop 3, which now comes with a new 15 inch display size and support for AMD processors. Let's talk about the options. For the standard Surface Laptop 3 13.5", you get a 2256 x 1504 Pixelsense display, whilst the 15 inch model has a 2496 x 1664 resolution. This works out as the same pixel density and experience across each option.
Touch and Surface pen support is available on both models. In terms of interior specifications, you’ll get Intel on the 13.5”, or for the first time, AMD with the 15”. The Intel options include a quad core Intel i5-1035G7 processor or a quad core Intel i7-1065G7 Processor. Each Intel processor has built-in Intel Iris graphics.
For the 15” model, you can choose An AMD Ryzen 5 3580U with Vega 9 graphics, or an AMD Ryzen 7 3780U with RX Vega 11 graphics. Because the graphics aren’t dedicated, they do fall flat a little in performance in comparison to some other high end laptops, but it’s a price you pay for a very lightweight product with a lengthy battery life. (Up to 11.5 hours of typical device usage on both models.)
The design is sleek, and the keypad deserves some love - it is arguably amongst the best keyboards on a Windows 10 premium laptop. Despite the Surface Laptop 3 being very slim and light, the keyboard gives plenty of space between keys and satisfying clicks for each key press. The trackpad is also very large and responsive.
In summary, the Surface Laptop is lightweight, has great battery life, even on the 15 inch model, and offers some decent performance considering its ultralight status.
Summary and Pricing
Whilst some options aren’t yet available, we do have some pricing options for the Surface Laptop 3. Take a closer look at the pricing and savings through Techscheme below.
|Surface Laptop 3 13.5" with Intel i5, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM
|Surface Laptop 3 13.5" with Intel i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM
|Surface Laptop 3 15" with Ryzen 5, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM
|Surface Laptop 3 15" with Ryzen 5, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM
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