June 1, 2020


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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13.5-inch) review: Thin, light and classy Review

Microsoft carries on to grow its Floor variety of laptops and convertibles, and late past year launched fifteen-inch and thirteen.five-inch variations of the Floor Laptop three. The smaller product also experienced a beauty make-in excess of, with new colors and a new steel end. The improvements are more than just pores and skin-deep even though, as the thirteen.five-inch Floor Laptop three also gains the most current tenth generation Intel processors, resulting in a slim, powerful laptop computer that can go toe-to-toe with rivals such as Apple’s thirteen-inch MacBook Professional.

Style and design

The Floor Laptop three is accessible with the exclusive Alcantara material surrounding its keyboard panel, in Platinum and Cobalt Blue. There are also two choices with a intelligent aluminium chassis, which Microsoft refers to as ‘metal’. The steel models are Sandstone (the colour of pink champagne) and a more sedate Black. 

The thirteen.five-inch Floor Laptop three will come in two ‘metal’ finishes — Sandstone and Black. It is really a slim and mild unit, measuring 14.5mm thick and weighing 1.29kg. You can also get Platinum and Blue variants, with Alcantara material surrounding the keyboard.

Photographs: Microsoft

The metallic style and design seems and feels extremely intelligent — slim and mild enough to have an air of elegance, still strong enough to cope with lifestyle on the street when you are travelling. The thirteen.five-inch PixelSense touch screen with 2,256 by 1,504 resolution (201dpi) seems awesome and spacious and offers a vivid sharp picture, no matter if you are streaming online video or working spreadsheets. Nonetheless the Floor Laptop three has a footprint only slightly more substantial than an A4 sheet of paper, measuring 308mm wide by 223mm deep.

It is really slim and mild too, with the Sandstone steel product we analyzed measuring just 14.5mm thick and weighing 1.29kg. That is both of those slimmer and lighter than the thirteen-inch MacBook Professional (14.9mm and 1.37kg), when the Alcantara models are even lighter at just 1.26kg.

Microsoft has acquired all the essentials ideal, but it pays very good consideration to depth too, with capabilities such as a well-developed hinge that keeps the foundation of the laptop computer lying flat and stable so that it isn’t going to carry upwards as you open up the higher screen segment. Apple could find out a lesson from the keyboard too, which feels agency and cozy regardless of the laptop’s slim style and design.


The backlit keyboard feels agency and gives 1.3mm of key vacation, when the significant glass touchpad supports 5-finger multitouch gestures.

Impression: Microsoft

This is undeniably a classy piece of package — whilst, ironically, that helps make a pair of insignificant blemishes stand out even more. Connectivity is pretty confined, with only 1 USB-C port, 1 USB-A port, and a headphone jack. There is a slot on the ideal-hand edge of the laptop computer that seems like it is really developed for SD playing cards, but is in actuality the proprietary Floor Hook up port.

Best ZDNET Opinions

When it will come to accessibility for updates and repairs, the thirteen.five-inch Floor Laptop three scored five/10 in iFixit’s teardown — “a spectacular advancement in excess of its predecessors”.

Rate & choices


Ports on the Floor Laptop three are confined to USB-C, USB-A, three.5mm audio-out and the proprietary Floor Hook up port for electricity, adapters and docks.

Photographs: Microsoft

The pricing structure for the Floor Laptop three is a small puzzling, as prices rely on the colour and the alternative of steel or Alcantara end, as well as the genuine hardware configuration. Microsoft’s web site states that the Floor Laptop three begins at £749.seventeen (ex. VAT £899 inc. VAT, or $799), but that price is only accessible for 1 precise configuration — an entry-stage product with Platinum Alcantara end, working Windows 10 Dwelling on a Core i5 processor, with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB stable-condition travel. Other colors are more high-priced, and business customers who also call for Windows 10 Professional will want to decide for the Floor Laptop three For Business, which begins at £809.seventeen (ex. VAT £971 inc. VAT, or $999) for a Core i5-based mostly Platinum Alcantara product.

Our review unit was 1 of the leading-of-the-variety models, geared up with a quad-core Core i7-1065G7 working at 1.3GHz (up to three.9GHz with Turbo Enhance), with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. That specification will come to £1437.fifty (ex. VAT £1,725 inc. VAT, or $1,899) with the tasteful Sandstone (steel) end.

SEE: twenty professional recommendations to make Windows 10 work the way you want (no cost PDF)    

You will find 1 other solution that doubles the storage to 1TB, for a complete price of £1,957.fifty (ex. VAT £2,349 inc. VAT, or $2,399) — whilst, as the stating goes, you can have it in any colour as prolonged as it is really Black (steel).

Effectiveness & battery lifestyle

The Core i7 processor in our review unit performs extremely well, attaining scores of 1,308 (single core) and 4,900 (multi-core) when working the Geekbench five CPU check. That efficiency will be more than satisfactory for working productiveness program such as Microsoft Business, and it is really backed up by robust efficiency from the integrated Iris Moreover graphics too. The Compute GPU check in Geekbench five made a score of 10,600, when 70fps in Cinebench R15 is 1 of the most effective effects we’ve noticed from an integrated GPU. The Floor Laptop three struggled a little bit with the more demanding Unigine Valley, dropping to just 11fps, but that stage of efficiency usually means that it will nevertheless be a good solution for displays, image-enhancing, or a location of everyday soon after-hours gaming.

That powerful Core i7 processor has a price tag in conditions of battery lifestyle, even though. Microsoft emphasises the ‘fast charging’ mode that will allow you to charge the laptop computer to eighty% of whole battery capacity in just 1 hour. You might well want that characteristic as, even with the display turned down to fifty% brightness, the Floor Laptop three could only manage six.five hours of streaming online video on the BBC iPlayer. If you are not using wi-fi all day prolonged then you could be capable to accomplish a whole 8-hour functioning day on battery electricity, but that is nevertheless a small disappointing for a laptop computer that puts so a great deal emphasis on portability. We might be curious to see if the more modest Core i5 configuration sent more powerful battery lifestyle, but that wasn’t accessible for testing at the time of this review.



Impression: Microsoft

The sheer high quality of its style and design ensures that the thirteen.five-inch Floor Laptop three is a delight to use. It is really slim and mild, and has a hanging metallic end, still also delivers a spacious, interesting screen and efficiency that will fulfill all but the most demanding qualified and resourceful customers. The only fly in the ointment is the relatively modest battery lifestyle from the Core i7 configuration, which unquestionably leaves room for advancement.

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