Microsoft is set to release the Surface Book 3 in 2020 with a smaller design and more powerful specs. It will also be available in different colors like red, gold, green, blue and purple. The new device is expected to cost $2199 when it releases next year.,
The “surface book 2 vs surface book 3 gaming” is a comparison between the Microsoft Surface Book 2 and Microsoft Surface Book 3. The first one was released in 2017, while the second one will be released in 2020.
We put the Microsoft Surface Book 3 to the test and compared it to the Surface Book 2 in terms of performance, price, battery life, display quality, portability, and more.
The rankings and results can be seen above, while detailed reports on each Microsoft Surface Book test can be found below.
Microsoft Surface Book 3 comes in first place.
- Much better than the Surface Book 3 in terms of performance.
- Touchscreen display is fantastic.
- Long-lasting battery
- Surface Book 2 is more costly.
Surface Book 3’s overall idea is still fantastic. In Microsoft’s most costly laptop, however, there is much too little innovation.
The Surface Book has been able to persuade as – at least in our view – one of the greatest laptops for many years thanks to its detachable display, segmented folding hinge, and powerful technology in a reasonably small casing.
The Surface Book, now in its third edition, delivers even more of the tried-and-true recipe. Will the gadget be able to persuade in 2020? We’d argue that the choice is at the very least more tough.
Because we’re still blown away by the amount of functionality packed into Microsoft’s most costly laptop. We can use it as a tablet, write on it, edit photos, draw on it, and even play the occasional game on it.
Even while we still consider the keyboard and craftsmanship to be among the finest on the market, we believe the notebook would have benefitted from significant alterations to the chassis.
The gadget resembles its predecessor, the Surface Book 2. (review). A USB port (3.2 Gen2) with power supply is still available. Two USB A 3.2 Gen1 connections and a full-size SD card reader are located on the left side. When employing SD cards as storage medium, the latter might be beneficial for transferring images from a camera.
The magnetic surface dock port is used to charge the laptop. Microsoft has also included a 102 watt power supply, ensuring that the laptop does not discharge when connected to the mains. This was still the case with the predecessor’s 90-watt power supply.
When we put the Surface Book 3 next to contemporary light devices like the Dell XPS 13 or the HP Spectre Folio, we can see how clumsy and antiquated it is in several areas. In recent years, an increasing number of manufacturers have made the switch to the smallest display edges and flat chassis feasible.
Not so with Microsoft: the same 1.3 cm thick margins may be seen here as they were five years ago. Of course, they are useful in tablet mode, but products like the iPad Pro illustrate that pure tablets may also have narrower borders. In the meantime, we would have wanted to witness that.
The Surface Book 3 is still remarkably balanced since the tablet component has an extra battery, CPU, RAM, and mass storage. When used on the lap or in the hand, the lid is rather hefty, allowing the whole gadget to tilt backwards more rapidly.
In general, the gadget isn’t exactly light for a 13.5-inch laptop, weighing in around 3.61 pounds. A more compact chassis would undoubtedly save a few ounces here.
When it comes to disconnecting the tablet from the keyboard, Microsoft has made some adjustments. The undocking procedure has been substantially expedited, and we can now remove the tablet from the dock after just one to two seconds of pushing the button.
The technology that locks the display to the keyboard using motorized clamps is still as interesting as it was before. Even with force, the two components cannot be separated. However, the system is not without flaws.
When we released the tablet during application installs and active downloads, for example, the whole system crashed and froze. By the way, this hasn’t occurred with other – admittedly simpler – devices, such as a privately owned Surface Pro 6.
We can use it as a huge 13.5-inch tablet weighing 1.57 lbs after removing the display from the keyboard. We can argue that with Windows 10, there is barely a better touch device, since there is also a pen digitizer built in for the fantastic Surface Pen. However, the pen does not included with the gadget, which seems odd given the purchase price of at least 2,500 dollars.
The Surface Book 3 is ideal for digital sketching because to the rubbery pen tip and the beautiful huge display. We didn’t notice any input lags or bothersome parallaxing (a variation in location between the virtual and actual pen tip), which makes writing and drawing much more enjoyable.
Only the Surface Pro’s foldable stand is absent. Alternatively, we may utilize the keyboard dock on the laptop by flipping the display 180 degrees and placing it there.
The display mimics the size of a DIN-A4 sheet of paper thanks to the 3:2 format, yet it nonetheless resolves with a high resolution of 3.000 x 2.000 pixels. It also glows brightly enough, despite the absence of an anti-reflective coating.
We recorded a maximum of 353 cd/m2, which is much lower than the 15-inch model’s average high of 450 cd/m2, which has previously been evaluated by other publications. Despite this, the panel is capable of detecting material in brightly lit spaces. However, avoid direct sunlight. With the reflecting display, they might irritate you.
The color space coverage of the IPS display is lacking. With a maximum deviation Delta E of 2.18, it can show around 68.4% of the DCI-P3 color space. This is little higher than the suggested number of 2, but it will be hardly noticeable. For professional picture editing, we should still need an external screen.
The Surface Book 3’s lighted keyboard is a straight replacement for the Surface Book 2. We found the typing sensation on the flat and big keys to be superb, with a tight and clearly defined pressure point.
Because the keycaps do not wobble, they provide a very high-quality feel. We only have experience with products like the Surface Laptop and the newest Macbook Air.
The keyboard, on the other hand, is a bit more appealing to us. The delightfully spacious trackpad has stayed unchanged, allowing us to use it as a comfortable alternative to the touchscreen. However, a bigger version would have been preferable in this case.
The Surface Book 3’s hardware, which is primarily soldered and bonded, is intended to serve practically all tasks.
Life of the battery
The strong battery life demonstrates that the Surface Book 3 is appropriate as a portable writing tool, despite its substantial weight, which takes some getting used to. We get around 11 hours of usage with a brightness of roughly 200 cd/m2 in regular use with nearly mainly writing activity.
With the same brightness, roughly 5:53 hours of battery life is still feasible in PCMark8, which also takes casual gaming and video conferencing into account, which is a little below expectations.
However, in the same situation, this number is greater than the 15-inch Surface Laptop with AMD processor (test), which amounts to roughly 5:23 hours. The two batteries in the laptop total 69 watt hours, including 18 watt hours in the tablet and 51 watt hours in the keyboard dock.
The performance of the Surface Book 3 has improved once more in gaming and picture editing. This is owing to the specialized Nvidia-GTX-1650-Max-Q-GPU and the Intel Core i7-1065G7 with eight threads. We could already test this with the Razer Blade Stealth 13 gaming laptop.
It should come as no surprise that the Surface Book 3 performed well in Borderlands 3, The Division 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
However, to keep games playable, we need lower the resolution and acclimatize to low details. Furthermore, the gadget typically lags behind the rates we tested in the Razer Blade Stealth 13, which is quite similarly equipped.
This is likely owing to the GPU’s 35 watt power budget not being continually depleted in games, since the laptop favors a reasonable operating temperature and pure power loudness.
The gadget does, in fact, ruffle noisily when fully loaded, although the noise is hardly audible — even in crowded workplaces. This behavior is also seen on the CPU, which runs at roughly 1 GHz and does not grow extremely hot at around 60 degrees Celsius.
Microsoft may be attempting to keep the hardware from overheating. The Surface Book 1 has to deal with bent casings and inflated batteries. Extreme heat accelerates this kind of behavior.
We were able to get 59 frames per second in Borderlands 3 with a 3:2 resolution of 1,620 × 1,080 pixels and low quality settings.
At the same resolution and low detail settings, this lowers to 41 frames per second in The Division 2. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is also a challenging game. With the same resolution and minimal graphical details, a maximum and almost acceptable 32 frames per second is feasible.
The decreased resolutions, fuzzy textures, and particle effects are less evident on a tiny 13.5-inch screen, though. However, the IPS panel’s pixel response times are a little long, so we detect tiny lags, notably during quick movements in CS:GO, which runs at 85 frames per second in low quality and 1080p resolution. We may also link the gadget to an external monitor if required.
The Ice Lake U chip Intel Core i7-1065G7 performs well in the multi-core test Cinebench R20, at least for a CPU rated at 11 watts. The first run yielded 1,193 points, while subsequent runs yielded an average of 1,062 points.
In this test, the CPU runs at a substantially faster 1.6 GHz, while the temperature hovers at 65 degrees. The system is also incredibly quiet when the dedicated GPU isn’t utilized, and the fan is hardly audible, even under unrealistically high loads.
When it comes to sheer computing power, though, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 comes out on top. The 15-inch unit’s similarly manufactured CPU is rated at 15 watts, resulting in 1,631 Cinebench R20 marks in the Golem.de test. As a result, with a bigger performance budget, the CPU’s performance grows virtually linearly.
Here, the trade-off between pure processing power and a specialized GPU should be taken into account. Before purchasing, it’s also a good idea to figure out how much LPDDR4X memory we’ll need: 8, 16, or 32 GBytes. This, like almost everything else on a notepad, is not editable.
SSD / Storage
With the Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft has already shown improved repairability. We had hoped to see something similar with the upcoming Surface Book 3.
People who wish to refit their equipment afterwards, on the other hand, are entirely incorrect. Not only are critical components like the RAM soldered, but the whole chassis is glued together.
As a result, opening the notebook is difficult, if not impossible. It’s unclear why Microsoft continues to use a plugged NVMe-SSD. Depending on the equipment, it may simply be cheaper to swap it during production.
By the way, the SSD is quite fast. In our tests, the popular BC501 from SK Hynix scored 2,065 MByte/s in consecutive reading and 804 MByte/s in sequential writing.
However, this does not prevent the device from displaying unusually high loading times on occasion, particularly in games. Opening files, transferring massive quantities of data, and altering big photos are all simple tasks.
The Surface Book 3 is and will continue to be an all-arounder that allows us to effectively do a variety of tasks. Once again, the chassis is well polished. We’ve already noticed the machine’s pricing. When the first Surface Book was published in 2015, however, this was already the case. And this lays the third generation’s problem: a lack of inventiveness.
The laptop is still fairly hefty and has a display with centimeter-thick edges after five years. We would have like Microsoft to follow current trends and catch up to rivals such as Dell, HP, and other manufacturers in this area.
Of course, we’ll get the same great keyboard and trackpad, which are still a joy to use while writing and clicking. We’re still intrigued by the notebook’s docking technology, particularly now that Microsoft has sped up the decoupling process by a few seconds.
The tablet dock may be utilized as a great sketching instrument on its own, with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels. However, Microsoft continues to exclude the costly Surface Pen from the laptop, which is very problematic given the price tag of more than $2,500.
If we drop the resolution and visual details, the Intel Core i7-1065G7 and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Max-Q combo can impress in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, The Division 2, Borderlands 3, and CS:GO.
Dedicated gaming laptops, such as the similarly equipped Razer Blade Stealth 13, outperform the Surface Laptop 3, which computes quicker in Cinebench R20 with the same CPU.
The Surface Book 3 strives to strike a balance between too many variables at the same time. In this situation, some performance is sacrificed in order to provide a smooth and temperature-controlled functioning. In any event, the gadget is quiet, which we like. In addition, the Surface Book’s battery life is still adequate. We made it without a power outlet for nearly 11 hours.
What we don’t like: owing to the bonded and soldered elements, opening the gadget or even replacing components is difficult, if not impossible. The Surface Laptop 3 is a step in the right direction for Microsoft, but it’s a squandered opportunity.
The third Surface Book 3 will remain a very good choice for people who want to use their device for as many things as possible, be it drawing, writing, rendering, or playing, as long as there are no real competitors for this niche, which is why the Microsoft Surface Book 3 ranks first vs Microsoft Surface Book 2.
Microsoft Surface Book 2 is ranked second.
- Keyboard that is easy to use
- Surface Book 3 is more expensive.
- Even with increasingly demanding apps, the performance is still superb.
- Power usage is high.
- Under high load, it’s rather noisy.
The Surface Book 2 is a thin and light notebook that can also be used as a tablet and is designed to take the role of a gaming laptop. The exam will reveal what this all-rounder is capable of.
Microsoft claims that the Surface Book 2 can accomplish everything: It’s an ultra-portable notebook that can also be used as a tablet and is designed to take the place of a gaming laptop.
The flawless design will inspire you right away after unpacking: The matt-grey magnesium casing is impervious to finger bath pressure, and the laptop can be opened with one hand owing to a notch on the front. The huge palm rest gives a comfortable spot for your hands to rest while typing, and the touchpad is also rather spacious.
The lid and casing are reliably closed by a magnet on the front: When you put the Surface Book 2 upright in a bag or backpack, it won’t open. Due to the semicircular docking mechanism, there is a gap at the rear where the display and case base meet.
This hasn’t changed since the first Surface Book: You must first hit a button on the keyboard or an icon in the task bar to remove the display and use it as a tablet. After a brief delay, a green LED on the unlock button illuminates, and the display may be removed. This process, however, only works while the laptop is powered up.
You may even remove the display while the laptop is operating as long as no programs that need the GPU in the case’s base are running. After pushing the unlock button in this situation, a notice displays advising that the related application must be closed first, and the button LED turns orange-red.
The display may alternatively be mounted in the housing facing away from the keyboard, in which case the screen will face outwards in presentation mode.
Even Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 can’t fix an issue that many 2in1 devices have: The laptop is top-heavy, and when standing on an uneven surface – such as your thighs – it tends to tip backwards owing to the hefty display. Microsoft attempted to control this tendency with the Surface Book 2 by restricting the screen’s opening to less than 90 degrees.
In tablet form, the undocked screen fits extremely pleasantly in the hand: Despite the fact that it is somewhat hefty (1.57 lbs), the weight is evenly distributed.
In system benchmarks such as PC Mark 8 and PC Mark 10, the Microsoft notebook outperforms notebooks with a core processor from the U series, but falls short of gaming laptops with a quad core from the HQ series with a 35 watt TDP.
The Core i7-8650U is one of the first 15-watt CPUs with four cores, and it’s included in the Surface Book 2. It’s part of the new Kaby-Lake-R generation. It processes eight threads thanks to Hyper-Threading.
It is therefore nearly twice as fast as the previous Core i7 with two cores in Cinebench R15 and around 5% slower than a Core i7-7700HQ. However, it won’t be able to fully use its capabilities in Surface Book 2: It seldom exceeds the maximum turbo frequency of 4.2 GHz.
Under stress, it can reach a maximum of 3.2 GHz – but only for a brief period. If the system is overloaded for many minutes, the CPU slows down to avoid overheating; the clock rate then varies between 1.6 and 1.3 GHz.
Larger gaming laptops offer greater space to disperse CPU heat, allowing a quad core to function at a faster clock rate for longer periods of time. As a result, the Surface Book 2 lags substantially behind competing quad-core laptops, particularly when doing applications that need a lot of CPU power, such as video editing and rendering.
The Surface Book 2 performs well in all situations where CPU power is less relevant. However, its advantage over laptops with dual-core CPUs is dwindling. The SSD is a Samsung PM961 M.2 plug-in card linked through PCI Express and running on the NVMe protocol.
In Crystaldiskmark, it easily outperforms SATA SSDs, even when linked in Raid 0, like in the Acer Travelmate P648. The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, on the other hand, has a quicker SSD than the Microsoft laptop.
The Nvidia GPU Geforce GTX 1050, with 640 cores and a clock rate of 1354 MHz, is the most powerful hardware in the Surface Book 2. (1493 MHz boost clock).
It’s also present in several gaming laptops under $1,000, such as the Asus ROG Strix GL753VD. The GPU in most gaming laptops has 4 GB GDDR5, however Microsoft only provides you 2 GB GDDR5.
Nonetheless, many games at Full HD resolution run quickly enough: At Rise of the Tomb Raider, for example, the Surface Book 2 manages 34 frames per second in high quality settings. Battlefield 5 is a high-definition shooter that runs at 39 frames per second. However, when the power strategy is set to “Longest battery life,” Microsoft slows down the Surface Book 2.
Depending on the game, the option “Best performance” adds four to nine frames per second. GTA5 and other older games work flawlessly at the native resolution of 3000 x 2000. However, unless you drastically limit the detail level, no more than Full-HD will suffice in today’s games.
The Surface Book 2 15-inch variant, which is currently only available in the United States, has received unfavorable press due to its excessive power consumption while gaming: the battery drains during complex games in the “Best Performance” option, even when the laptop is plugged in.
This behavior is not present on our test device with the GTX 1050, although it may be present in other games and visual settings. In any event, given the computationally powerful components, the adapter’s performance is quite tight.
Levels of noise
However, the noise of the fan differs significantly between “Best performance” and “Longest battery life.” The fan emits a loud noise of roughly 2 sone on the highest level, while it is definitely heard but not bothersome on the lowest setting. The Surface Book 2 is virtually always quiet when the GPU is not in use.
During gaming, the Surface Book 2 likewise warms up, but just on the back of the display, not the keyboard or the bottom. The GTX 1050 improves performance not just in games, but also in multimedia products that support the graphics card.
The Surface Book 2 is roughly 30% quicker in notebook mode, where the GPU is active, than in tablet form, when just the CPU graphics are employed, in Tablet Mark 2020.
Life of the Batteries
The laptop base houses not just the GPU, but also a 57-watt-hour battery. The Surface Book 2 has a total capacity of 69 watt hours, including the battery in the display component. In the WiFi test, this translates to almost 11.5 hours of battery life — a new runtime record.
The tablet, on the other hand, barely lasts 2.5 hours. The Surface Book, at 3.61 pounds, is not as light as 12 or 13-inch laptops, but it is lighter than many 14-inch professional notebooks despite its strong components.
The 13.5-inch screen, like its predecessor, has a resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels and employs the reader-friendly 3:2 page format. It has an exceptional brightness of about 400 cd/qm, ensuring that the display is always easy to view, even under changing lighting situations.
The contrast is high (1270:1), and the colors are shown in a natural way. Details in images also come out quite nicely because to the high dot density of 267 ppi.
The keyboard is also worthy of praise: the keys give good pressure feedback, the stroke is long enough for comfortable typing, and the keyboard is silent even when typing quickly. The big touchpad allows for multi-finger motions, responds fast and reliably to input, and provides good feedback when the mouse is clicked.
The wonderful keyboard has just one flaw: the keyboard lighting is more distracting than it uses as long as it isn’t entirely dark. This is because the key labeling blends in with the bright keys, making it more difficult to read. So, if the illumination isn’t absolutely essential, you should turn it off.
The Surface Book 2 is Microsoft’s first mobile device to have a USB type C port, which is positioned on the right side of the base casing. It delivers data at USB 3.0 speeds, provides video output, and charges the laptop. With Thunderbolt 3, Microsoft could have done a lot more, but they didn’t. The provided power supply cable, however, is only compatible with the Surface Connector socket, which is also on the right.
You’ll need an adaptor to connect an external monitor since there’s no longer a display output — Microsoft sells a type C HDMI dongle or the Surface docking station.
On the left, there are two USB 3.0 standard size plugs and a slot for SD cards for standard peripherals. There is no LAN port, and the Surface Book 2 connects to the network through 11ac WiFi (22) setup. There is no variant with LTE.
For facial recognition login, the front camera supports Windows Hello. The Surface Pen, a $100 active input pen, and the Surface Dial, a rotating control module that you attach on the display to make compatible apps like Photoshop simpler to use, are two other accessories.
The 13.5-inch Microsoft Surface Book 2 merits a high score in this test since it has everything that notebook customers want: It’s an ultra-portable work tool with long battery life, a fantastic display, and a fantastic keyboard.
It’s also a video game console. Is it really necessary to cram everything onto one device? It doesn’t matter; the Surface Book 2 demonstrates that it can be done. However, it will set you back more than a quality gaming laptop and an ultra-portable business notebook would.
The “surface book vs surface book 2 vs surface book 3” is a comparison of the Microsoft Surface Book, Surface Book 2, and Surface Book 3. The 2020 release will be an updated version of the Surface Book.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are surface Book 2 and Surface Book 3 the same size?
A: The Surface Book 2 is 14% smaller than the Surface Book 3, and also has a screen resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels.
Is Surface Book 2 outdated?
A: No, Surface Book 2 is still cutting edge.
Is it worth upgrading to Surface Book 3?
A: Thank you for this question. It is difficult to say if it is worth upgrading because the Surface Book 3 has a very high price tag which may be too much in your opinion and yet, there are many people who feel that its well worth paying such a hefty sum.
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