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amazon MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 3 reviews
Fans of the Surface Book lineup have been waiting for generation 3 for two and a half years. The 15-inch Surface Book 2 released nearly 5 years ago received only minor upgrades over the first version. As a result, many users had hoped that perhaps Microsoft was saving up for major changes to the Surface Book 3. Unfortunately, no major changes have been made. If you put it next to Book 2, Book 3 looks the same, and the configuration of the machine is only modestly upgraded: a more powerful GPU, the latest Intel processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and a faster SSD (on one version number).
The 15-inch version of the Surface Book 3 starts at $ 2,299.99, and if you upgrade to 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, the price will be $ 2,799.99.
Microsoft says it has focused on improving the power of the latest generation of Book, targeting the device to a group of users who are developers and designers who need flexibility: the screen can be removed to use the brush. and, when needed, mount the monitor to the keyboard base, where there’s a real GPU with full graphics power. It’s not clear how many people need this function, and it seems that the unique hinge of the Surface Book 3 is what makes it impossible to be a powerful and great laptop as expected. The Surface Book has long been a clunky laptop for a group of users… unlike anyone, and the Surface Book 3 hasn’t changed that much.
The Surface Book 2 looks exactly like the Surface Book 1, and the story repeats itself with the Surface Book 3. Microsoft uses the Book 2’s near 4K (3240 x 2160) screen for 3, and this one has an identical 3: 2 aspect ratio to other Surface devices. This is a good monitor if you work with documents, videos, and photos, though auto-brightness doesn’t always do its job well. This screen connects to the hinge located on the base, which houses the keyboard, trackpad, and discrete GPU.
The great typing experience on the Surface Book 1 and 2 hasn’t changed with the Book 3, and we can breathe a sigh of relief when Microsoft isn’t trying to test a butterfly keyboard or anything new here. The keyboard on the Surface Book 3 is good, simple. Surprisingly, the trackpad was not extended. Microsoft has a chance to make this trackpad bigger than before, as Dell and Apple did on their 15-inch (or similar) models. However, the Surface Book 3’s trackpad has a glass surface and uses the precision driver of Windows, so in terms of how it works, we don’t need to argue anymore. If only it were a little bigger, better!
Also, many are hoping to see Thunderbolt 3 on the Surface Book 3, but sadly not. Microsoft has yet to give a plausible reason for this absence except that the company thinks Book 3 users will not be interested in Thunderbolt 3. A Microsoft employee revealed last month that security vulnerabilities are probably is another reason why Surface devices do not support Thunderbolt. Either way, this feature is absent, and it’s disappointing if you’re hoping to use Thunderbolt accessories or maybe use external GPUs with Book 3.
Instead of Thunderbolt, the Book 3 has 2 regular USB 3.1 ports, a USB-C 3.1 port (with USB PD 3.0), headphone jack, UHS-II SD card reader slot, and Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connect port. The headphone jack is still in the top right corner of the screen, so if you use a wired headphone, you’ll have to accept a thread dangling down from the screen.
Most of the improvements on the Surface Book 3 are on the inside. You can choose from a 15-inch model with 32GB of RAM and a high-speed, 1TB, or 2TB M.2 2280 SSD. The 15-inch model comes with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660Ti Max-Q GPU by default, and you can switch to a Quadro RTX 3000 GPU if you want. The higher RAM capacity of the previous generation makes a big difference for developers who regularly work with virtual machines, but the CPU that Microsoft equips the Book 3 seems to be dragging the entire system down.
Specifically, Microsoft chose Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU (10th generation) for Book 3 15-inch version – a 15W quad-core chip. Rivals like Apple and Dell both use 45W chips with 6 or even 8 cores for laptops of similar sizes and prices, making them significantly more powerful when running CPU-demanding tasks. The actual performance of Book 3 will be depending on what applications you want to use on it.
Take the example with Adobe Premiere Pro software. In Book 3, to export a 5.5-minute 4K project in a standard format, the time required was 4 minutes and 28 seconds. Very fast – 6 minutes faster than a 16-inch MacBook Pro with a 45W 8-core Core i9 CPU and Radeon Pro 5500M GPU; twice as fast as the Surface Book 3 of the 13.5-inch version. Perhaps the fact that Adobe has improved video encoding via Nvidia GPU acceleration on Windows recently, combined with the much more powerful GPU of the 15-inch Book 3, has yielded such impressive results.
Other applications that specialize in rendering objects or working with large images will require a lot of CPU power, but some can also borrow GPU power to compensate for the somewhat inferior quad-core chip.
If you’re hoping for a 15W CPU for better battery life, then you’re going to be disappointed. The device only lasted about 7 hours after a full charge when using some light applications and surfing the web with screen brightness at 200 nits. Also used at the same level, the 13.5-inch version will give better battery life. Battery life drops drastically if you use Discord or Zoom and apps like Premiere Pro or Photoshop several times a day. In the case of using applications that require such CPU / GPU processing power, the machine only lasted 5 hours.
The Surface Book 2 had a pretty serious problem: the battery would run out of battery while playing certain games even if you are plugged in. The good news is that Microsoft has solved this problem on Book 3 by equipping it with a charger with a higher capacity.
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Microsoft Surface Book 3 (TLV-00001) | 15in (3240 x 2160) Touch-Screen | Intel Core i7 Processor | 32GB RAM | 1TB SSD Storage | Windows 10 Pro | Quadro RTX 3000 GPU: Buy it now
Microsoft Surface Book 3 (SLM-00001) | 13.3in (3000 x 2000) Touch-Screen | Intel Core i7 Processor | 32GB RAM | 512GB SSD Storage | Windows 10 Pro | GeForce GTX 1650 GPU: Buy it now
Microsoft has pre-installed the Nvidia Studio driver (released in February this year) for the Surface Book 3. The company says the Game Ready driver won’t arrive until June. Thus, it is difficult to accurately evaluate the gaming performance of Book 3, although the results are still impressive without the need for optimized drivers. The built-in benchmark feature in Shadow of the Tomb Raider averages 21fps when playing at Book 3’s default resolution, and even newer titles like Call of Duty: Warzone hit frame rates. 25fps picture at near default resolution, as long as you adjust most of the settings in the game to medium.
The best way to play games on the Surface Book 3 is to run them at 1080p, or simply lower the rendering resolution in titles that support the feature. You can play Apex Legends at 100fps at 1080p, Overwatch at 120fps with 1080p resolution, and Destiny 2 at 40fps.
Playing games or editing videos in Premiere Pro are a few of the very few Surface Book 3 heatsink fans running at full capacity. The fan is quiet during gaming, but like any fan, you will want to wear headphones while playing games or running CPU / GPU demanding tasks for an extended period.
Overall, the GPU performs quite well on the Surface Book 3, but there are laptops with much better CPUs and even better GPUs. If you program in Visual Studio or use applications that require a lot of processor cores, the Surface Book 3 is probably not the laptop for you. Simply put, you’ll have to make a choice: do you need more CPU performance, or do you need a laptop that can be disassembled into a tablet? That’s exactly the question you need to ask when considering the Surface Book 3.
Microsoft has a reason not to equip the more powerful 45W chip for the Surface Book 3. All the important components of the machine are located behind the screen, so the heat issue is not underestimated. Book 3 is a large tablet with a stylus, can be attached to a keyboard base with GPU and backup battery.
You will probably rarely use the Book 3 as a tablet, but at just 0.9kg, it’s surprisingly light, albeit a bit cumbersome. You won’t be able to use the machine while lying on the sofa, and since the Surface Book lineup doesn’t have a kickstand like the Surface Pro or the Surface Go, you’ll have to rely on the keyboard base if you want support and something. Adjust screen tilt angle when drawing. It should be noted that when used as a tablet, the Book 3 can only last about 3 hours at maximum. The design of the Surface Pro is still much better if you want to draw or want a tablet.
The Surface Book’s detachable design has also caused a few problems in the past; In particular, users were shocked when Surface Book 2’s GPU suddenly disappeared and stopped working. This problem persists on the Surface Book 3. Sometimes, when waking up from sleep, the Nvidia GPU no longer appears in Device Manager. It is difficult to know what is going on until you play the game: at this point, the game will switch to the Intel Iris Pro integrated graphics chip, or an error will occur.
To solve this, you need to remove the display and attach it back to the keyboard base. But even the disassembly mechanism has some problems. Occasionally, you will see the message “latch failed to open” when the screen is removed, but the screen can still be removed!
Microsoft says it has improved disassembly speed, but in practical use, there’s still a delay that forces you to wait after you’ve pressed the release button. Though faster, you’ll have to wait for a few more seconds before the trackpad and keyboard get active again after attaching the monitor to the base. Also, if you are making a Zoom call, or are watching YouTube when the screen is removed, the sound will flicker for a few seconds.
These problems seem to be resolved through driver and firmware updates. However, once you’ve spent $ 2,299 on the Surface Book 3, it’s clear that you don’t expect the machine to have such minor errors.
The wobbly screen is another issue with the Surface Book 3. Microsoft has done a pretty good job of distributing the volume between the screen and the keyboard base so that it’s balanced, but it’s still a factor you have to compromise. Perhaps Microsoft would avoid the CPU performance and detachable display controversy if it developed a Pro version of the Surface Laptop instead of developing the Surface Book 3. Surface Book 3 is equipped Intel Core i7 CPU with the identical Surface Laptop 3.
A slightly thicker Surface Laptop 3 but with a “real” GPU will be more appealing to developers and designers, which is the object that Microsoft is looking to aim for with Book 3. Surface Book 3 is sure It’s a unique device, just like it used to be, but its tablet functionality is aimed at such a tiny market, leaving us wondering who would choose it over the new XPS 15 or XPS 17. Dell, or a real gaming laptop like the Razer Blade 15? For the same money, you get greater benefits when choosing other models, unless you want a device with a detachable display. Surface Book 3 is still the only good choice for that need.
Configuration of Surface Book 3 (15-inch):
– Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 4-core, 10th generation
– 32GB RAM
– 512GB SSD
– 15-inch PixelSense display, 3240 x 2160 resolution, 260ppi
– Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with Max-Q
– Ports: 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 UHS-II SD card reader, 1 port Surface Connect
– 8MP 1080p rear camera; 5MP 1080p front camera
– Studio-quality dual microphone
– Wi-Fi 6.
– Great keyboard
– Screen is close to 4K, aspect ratio 3: 2
– Good GPU performance
– Thunderbolt 3 is not supported
– Many reliability issues with hinges and GPU
– Poor battery life.
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