Surface laptop 3

Surface laptop 3 review – Premium minimalism at best?

The microsoft surface laptop 3 review. Microsoft’s 13.5 inch surface laptop 3 hasn’t changed much since last year surface book 2.

But, a few things that did change were definitely for the better. 

Before I get into those updates like the brand new Intel 10th gen isolate processor as well as the downsides of the surface laptop 3.

In this surface laptop 3 review let’s talk about what I really like about this laptop and is it worth buying?

Let us start our surface laptop 3 review with the most noticeable thing.

Design and looks

We’ve got the $1,300 model in black which now comes with a metal finish all the way around compared to last year’s black surface book laptops.

Which came with a dark grey soft touch Alcantara finish on the palm rest. So, Now you get black metal literally everywhere.

Surface laptop 3 review

It’s probably the cleanest laptop design I’ve ever seen. The bottom of the laptop lacks extra vents stickers or visible screws to the top.

This surface laptop 3 has a very simple and minimalist Microsoft logo on the top.

The display and palm rest lack logos of that annoying intel sticker that comes on typically every Windows laptops. 

I’ve honestly got to say that this is one of the most minimalistic laptops I’ve ever seen and absolutely love that thing about it.

The switch from Alcantara to metal on the palm rest actually makes a huge difference in how premium this laptop feels and in my opinion definitely worth the $300 upgrade.

Surface laptop 3

Since, you also get double the storage the only thing I don’t like about the black finish is that dust and oily fingerprints are much more visible. 

But, thanks to the metal finish it is very easy to clean. Whereas, the Alcantara finish was pretty easy to stain and quite hard to get clean.

The overall build quality and solidness of the surface laptop 3 was rivaled only by Dells most recent dell XPS 2 in 1.


If you haven’t already just like the surface book 2 display. We get a really good display for the price with more than enough resolution.

With an awesome 3 by 2 aspect ratio that’s great for browsing the web. Very decent 97 percent SRGB color accuracy and touch screen support.

Surface laptop 3 display

The displays peak brightness also reaches 400 nits which is actually really good.

but, my biggest gripe is that the display is quite reflective so you almost feel like you have to use it at maximum brightness in a well-lit room. 

Windows hello login

Now, one of my favorite things about this surface laptop 3 is Windows hello facial recognition which instantly logs you in as soon as you open it.

it just doesn’t get any more convenient than that. 


Surface laptop 3

The keyboard on Microsoft surface laptop 3 is basically as traditional as it gets and was very easy to accurately type on it.

But, just doesn’t feel as great as some other laptops like the pixelbook go and dell XPS 13 2 in 1.

It feels like it’s lacking a bit of spring after you press down. But, it’s still decent overall on the plus side.


Surface laptop 3 review

I actually really like the surface laptop 3 breeze quiet and responsive trackpad.

Quite a bit better than the pretty loud and clicky trackpad of the dell XPS.

So, I’d rate it as one of the best Windows trackpads especially for its larger than usual size. 


Another thing that really impressed me was the speaker quality.

Now if you’re trying to find the speaker grills on the surface laptop 3 you won’t find them because the speakers are actually beneath the keyboard and to our surprise they actually sound great.

Surface laptop 3

They’re not only louder and have better sound quality than the ones on the new dell XPS 13 2 in 1.

But, they’re actually a bit louder than a comparable 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro.

I’d honestly have to say that these are the best speakers we’ve heard on a 13-inch Windows laptop.

This speakers are more than good enough for streaming shows and movies so kudos to Microsoft for that.

Now, with all that being said let’s get into the big changes we’re seeing this year.

I’ll get into the new processor in a second but, I want to first mention the changes in ports. 

Ports and connectivity 


We’re still getting a full-size USB A port for those legacy connections.

Which is always nice to have along with the standard headphone jack and the Mag safe style charging port that will instantly disconnect if someone trips over the cable.

which gives you some extra peace of mind.

The main change this year is the switch from a mini Display Port which is honestly pretty useless to me to a much more usable USB C port especially.

That it’s starting to become more common the biggest downside I see here is that the USB C port doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3.

Surface laptop 3 review - Premium minimalism at best?

Even the highest end model doesn’t support it either.

So, that means you can’t connect an external GPU or get a high bandwidth connection to an external monitor or external docks.

Now if you don’t know what Thunderbolt 3 is forget about it you’ll love this laptop. But, if you do and it actually matters to you you might want to look elsewhere.

Let’s talk about the biggest change we’re getting this year and that’s the switch from Intel’s processors to the brand-new 10th gen ice Lake CPUs. 

Processor and Performance of surface laptop 3

Surface laptop 3 review

There are quite a few benefits with this first off we get better connection specs like Bluetooth 5 and integrated Wi-Fi 6 along with even faster lpddr4 Ram.

Ice Lake is also using the brand new 10 nanometer architecture so, it’s going to be more efficient using less power in staying cooler compared to before.

But, along with that we’re actually seeing a seriously great jump in performance.

We’re seeing almost twice the single core score compared to the surface book 2 and is almost 70% faster multi-core score.

It really just doesn’t get much better than this.

Surface laptop 3

Since, you still get this chip at the base $1000 price into our surprise it even out performed the base $1300 13 inch MacBook Pro.

So, the Microsoft surface laptop 3 is definitely not a slouch in the performance Department this year.

This Microsoft surface laptop 3 also gets Intel’s improved iris plus graphics compared to the standard UHD graphics that we got last year giving us a really impressive OpenCL score.

 Here ends our Microsoft surface laptop 3 review with some bottom lines and conclusion on should you buy it or leave it and look somewhere else.


There are just two things I would really want Microsoft to change this for next year the addition of thunderbolt 3 and a display that’s either a bit brighter or less reflective and maybe just a little bit more color accurate.

To get it up to 100% srgb other than that I’m really happy with the Microsoft surface laptop 3.

Overall, the one thing that may keep you from buying is the price. At a base price of $1,000 and $1,300 for the premium all-metal finish.

It’s quite a bit more expensive than other Windows laptops. but, it’s saving grace is the premium build quality, clean design, decent display, excellent speakers, awesome trackpad and of course the incredible performance.

Surface laptop 3

This Microsoft Surface laptop 3 will basically cover all the basics doing things that people do on a daily basis extremely well. 

It’s also capable of doing some of the more heavy tasks like photo and video editing every now and then.

But, not as well as some of the other laptops with dedicated graphics cards.

I’d recommend the 13.5 inch surface laptop 3 to anyone who wants to spend up to $1,300 on a premium Windows laptop you won’t really get much more value by upgrading.

To get more storage or RAM since it’s still lacking Thunderbolt 3. But, the base model is actually a pretty great deal for what you get.

This was our Microsoft surface laptop 3 review.

Let us know what you think about this surface laptop in the comments section below.

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10 thoughts on “Surface laptop 3 review – Premium minimalism at best?”

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