Review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3


Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

This is Surface Laptop 3 and the best Windows PC that I have used anytime. Open the lid, a blink of the eye and it will be right on your desktop – as fast as that.

I have got Platinum Surface with Alcantara® material palm rest which is soft and luxurious to use (for those sceptical about its cleaning need not to be as I clean it with a damp cloth with liquid cleaner and it works every time). Although, I would choose Black Matte finish over anything anytime, but as it was unavailable in India till the last week I bought this, I got Alcantara® finish as Surface is the only laptop to have that. One more thing that appeals to me about this laptop is its weight of 1.27 kilograms with a premium finish.

A display is the most underrated part of the laptop, but for me personally, having a great display is a huge addition. I love its dynamic 13.3 inch display with a resolution of 2256×1504 at 201 ppi and is touch screen enabled. Although, the touch screen on the Surface Laptop is not as useful as that of Surface Pro or a Surface Book, as the angle at which a laptop screen works is not a comfortable one to work on with a pen. It can be handy at times, though.

This laptop has 256 GB of SSD, but base model with 128 GB is available for a lesser price as well. This is surely upgradable but you have to search for M.2 NVME type SSD to make it compatible in Surface. I like its performance which gives me a read-write speed of ~1 GBps and ~275 MBps respectively. I feel Microsoft must have given NVIDIA graphics card for accelerated performance at this price range, but INTEL IRIS graphics does a decent job for me while playing games or a beginner’s work to CAD and 3D modelling as I am not an artist or anyone with animation background.

Crystal Disk Mark 6.0.2 benchmark with a data of 1 GB 5 passes
Crystal Disk Mark 6.0.2 benchmark with a data of 32 GB 5 passes
GFX Benchmark: Intel IRIS Plus Graphics on Surface Laptop 3

It took me 2 hours to charge the battery from 5% to 99% which lasted 12 hours on sleep standby during night and 8 hours of typical web browsing and listening music. On a typical day of work with video calls/meetings, mild coding sessions, the battery lasts for 8-9 hours. As the brightness is quite good (150 nits) for a display, this screen is easy to view in a broad daylight. At nights, I like having the ‘night light’ feature in Windows ON while working and the display is very comfortable to use in the outdoors with little or no light.

The keyboard on one hand is too comfortable and soft to use, it felt to me that it is bit hollow from the centre and is not solid as we have in metallic keyboards on another hand. They keys are very comfortable to use and requires a very gentle touch to type. It comes with 3 levels of back light on the keyboard and the keys have good presentation and ease of use as well.

Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504 (201 ppi) touchscreen, 3:2 aspect ratio
Surface Pen* enabled
Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics
Dimensions: 308 mm x 223 mm x 14.51 mm
(Platinum) Weight: 1.27 kg
Processor: Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G7 Processor
RAM: Up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X, 3733MHz
Storage: 256 GB M.2 NVME SSD
Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0 (no LTE option)
Ports: 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack,
Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
720p HD f2.0 camera (front-facing)
Dual far-field Studio Mics
Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby® Audio™

Windows Hello on this device works like a charm on this device. The reason is their use of M.2 NVME SSD which provides 18x faster R/W speeds than a typical low-budget SSD. Due to this, as you open the lid, the IR camera detects you within micro-seconds with an amazing accuracy. I have chosen Windows to stay on lock screen even after the authentication, the default setting comes with logging you in and open the desktop right away. It had easily signed me in a dark room with a very low or negligible light, but failed to recognise on a dark night when I was sitting in my balcony.

Talking of the camera, the video camera of Surface of better than others, but I still felt a need of a better lens and clear images. It gives a recording at 720p HD f2.0 from its front-facing Windows Hello enabled camera.

The speakers are the best. Low, mid and high tones are pretty much clear even at 100% volume and you can expect an amazing sound from these laptop speakers. There is 1 USB type-A port, 1 USB type-C port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the left hand side of the keyboard and a charging port on the right hand side of the keyboard. Keeping my cloud usage in mind, I didn’t face issues so far with the ports, but copying from one disk to another was a challenge and I had to use my old laptop to do so.

Overall, this laptop has been on my wish list for a long and having this in hand has not disappointed me anywhere. Although, the price in India is too high, as I found 256 GB of black matte finish on Amazon.com at a cheaper price than Amazon.in. The verdict is, if you are a premium home user, this laptop is going to give you the best screen time and the best experience above all.

The bestThe betterNeeds improvement
Display (resolution, brighntess)Touch-padKeyboard
SpeakersCamera, Windows HelloIR Windows Hello Camera in dark backgrounds
Studio Mics Alcantra(tm) materialGraphics/GPU
Weight, dimensions, finishGive us a lifetime MS-Office in this laptop

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