Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft has given us more choices than ever with its Surface products this year. If you want a 2-in-1 tablet, you can now choose between a Surface Pro 7 or a Surface Pro X. If you want a traditional clamshell laptop, you can now choose between a 13.5-inch Surface laptop 3 or a larger 15-inch model. I’ve already taken an in-depth look at the latter máy tính 3, so in this review I’m focusing on the 13.5-inch Surface laptop 3.

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The $999 ($1,599, as tested) 13.5-inch model is the more “traditional” laptop 3, and I think it’s the one that most people should get if they are looking at buying one. It has an outstanding keyboard & trackpad; a sharp, bright touchscreen; a sleek design and sturdy build; và excellent performance for everyday productivity tasks, which is what you’re most likely to use a 13-inch laptop for.

The laptop 3 isn’t without faults, however, and you can get better battery life & better port selection from other 13-inch Windows laptops, such as Dell’s XPS 13 or HP’s Spectre X360. It also has the occasional bug that will cause things to go haywire until the máy vi tính is shut down và rebooted. Still, if those things aren’t deal-breakers for you, the laptop 3 is an excellent, traditional Windows 10 laptop.


Related

Microsoft Surface máy vi tính 3 15-inch review: it’s a bigger Surface máy vi tính

Our reviews of Microsoft Surface laptop 3 13.5"


Verge Score 7.5 out of 10
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The Surface laptop 3 finally has a USB-C port, but it doesn’t tư vấn Thunderbolt 3, unfortunately. Microsoft has done some work to make this generation easier lớn service & upgrade than prior Surface máy vi tính models, but that doesn’t mean you can just crack the laptop 3 xuất hiện and get lớn upgrading. The only part that actually can be swapped is the SSD và Microsoft says it’s not user-replaceable — you’ll have to take the máy tính 3 lớn an authorized service center to get the work done.


Microsoft Surface laptop 3 13.5-inch specsDisplay: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504 (201 ppi) touchscreen, 3:2 aspect ratioDimensions: 308 milimet x 223 mm x 14.51 mmWeight: 2.89lbsProcessor: Intel vi xử lý core i5 or i7 (10th Gen, Ice Lake)RAM: Up to lớn 16GB of LPDDR4X, 3733MHz (non-upgradable)Storage: Up to 1TB M.2 NVME SSDWireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), bluetooth không dây 5.0 (no LTE option)Ports: 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, 3.5mm tai nghe jack, Surface ConnectPrice: $999 to lớn start ($1,599 as tested)


The 13.5-inch touchscreen display is unchanged from prior models, và it maintains the signature 3:2 aspect ratio found on all Surface devices. It’s bright and sharp, with good viewing angles & punchy colors, và I really love the taller aspect for working in documents or reading websites. There is some letterboxing when I watch wide-screen videos in full-screen because of it, but for everything else I vì chưng on a laptop, this aspect ratio is better than the traditional 16:9 screen.

I also appreciate the fact that it’s a touchscreen, even if this isn’t a 2-in-1 convertible và it’s not the primary way I interact with the laptop. Being able khổng lồ casually reach up và tap the screen is a convenience I miss when I use laptops that lack touchscreens.

One thing that has bothered me during my chạy thử period is the erratic behavior of the display’s auto brightness function. It will randomly lower the screen’s brightness lớn uncomfortable levels from time lớn time before raising it again a couple of minutes later. This happens with the máy vi tính in a stationary position & none of the lighting changing.

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Like the 15-inch laptop 3, the 13.5-inch mã sản phẩm has an outstanding keyboard, with excellent spacing, travel, & feedback. It’s perhaps my favorite máy tính xách tay keyboard I’ve used in a long time. Similarly, the trackpad, which is trăng tròn percent larger than one on the máy vi tính 2, is smooth and easy to lớn use, with great tracking & palm rejection. This keyboard and trackpad combination is the best you can get in the Windows world and shows apple how a laptop keyboard should be done.

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The silver and blue version of the máy tính 3 13.5 have Alcantara on the keyboard deck; the black và gold models are all aluminum. Inside, the 13.5-inch máy tính 3 has Intel’s latest 10th gen Ice Lake quad-core processors, with either bộ vi xử lý core i5 or i7 options. I’ve been testing the bộ vi xử lý core i7 (i7-1065G7, to be specific) mã sản phẩm and it has excellent performance for any productivity task you might want khổng lồ accomplish. It’s also competent enough to handle Lightroom và Photoshop, và doesn’t have any issues playing back 4K video, lượt thích I saw with the 15-inch model’s AMD processor. (You can apply these performance results to lớn the hãng sản xuất intel version of the 15-inch mã sản phẩm that Microsoft is selling khổng lồ businesses, as it uses the same processor as the 13.5-inch model.)

In fact, the 13.5-inch model was significantly more capable than the 15-inch version when it came to exporting a 5 minute, 33 second 4K H.264 video out of Adobe Premiere Pro. The 13.5 was able to lớn chew threw that job in just 15 minutes & 26 seconds, compared lớn the over 3 hours the 15 would have taken. That’s even faster than an older 15-inch apple macbook pro from năm 2016 that has a dedicated graphics card could manage. I wouldn’t recommend the máy tính 3 as a gaming machine or a hardcore video clip editing workstation — this is a thin-and-light computer, after all — but if you need lớn get some clip editing done on it in a pinch, it’s certainly capable.

Battery life, on the other hand, has been less than stellar. In my daily workload test, which involves setting the screen to lớn 50 percent brightness & juggling between dozens of browser tabs, Slack, email, Word, Twitter, and other productivity apps, I get about seven hours between charges on the máy tính xách tay 3. That’s better than the sub-six-hour times I saw on the 15-inch mã sản phẩm (iFixit’s teardown says both the 13.5- and 15-inch versions have the same capacity battery), but it’s far from class leading và short of a full work day.

The máy tính 3 does have a new fast-charging feature, which Microsoft says can bring the máy tính to an 80 percent charge from nothing in less than an hour. My tests line up with that — I was able to lớn go from dead to lớn 39 percent in 30 minutes of charging. But the fast-charging feature only works when the máy tính is closed và sleeping — you won’t get fast charging speeds while you’re using the machine.

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Finally, as this is a Surface device, numerous weird bugs have come and gone throughout my testing period. I’ve already mentioned the display auto brightness bug, but I’ve also seen aggressive battery drain, fans ramping to 100 percent while charging, & the trackpad randomly stop scrolling in apps. Most of these bugs go away after fully shutting down the máy tính xách tay and restarting it, but they are all frustrating things to lớn experience in the first week of using a brand-new laptop. Microsoft typically does update its Surface devices with bug fixes và patches on a regular basis, so hopefully things will have settled down a few months from now, but right now, the máy vi tính 3’s experience can be hit-or-miss.

Aside from those pesky bugs và the merely okay battery life, the máy vi tính 3 13.5 is a very good laptop, & I think most people looking for a premium Windows 10 computer will be very happy with it. It doesn’t have any of the nagware or bloatware so common on machines from HP, Dell, và Lenovo, and it has simply the best keyboard you can get on a laptop. The Surface laptop isn’t inexpensive, và you’ll pay for those niceties, but for the most part, it’s worth it.

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