Get the Finder app 🥳

Connect your accounts & save

Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5” review

Last updated:  

Quick verdict: If you're upgrading from an older Surface Book and you still crave that removable tablet action, then the Surface Book 3 is a decent update. In the wider ultrabook market, though, it's becoming increasingly hard to justify buying one.

  • Range of configuration options
  • Up to RTX 2070 GPUs available
  • Great keyboard and trackpad
  • Can still sometimes get stuck docked
  • Expensive
  • Better performance can be had for less money

Microsoft's Surface Book has hit its third generation, although it has been a while since the Surface Book 2 was actually "new". That gap alone means that simple advancements in processor technologies will result in the Surface Book 3 being a better unit than its predecessor, but looking just at internal components probably isn't asking the right question of the Surface Book 3.

That question really should be what the Surface Book 3's unique selling point is best for and whether Microsoft's designed for it and priced for it accordingly.


Design

Design

  • 13.5- or 15-inch display
  • Removable tablet
  • Great keyboard
  • Limited ports
Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5

Performance

Performance

  • Range of processor choices, but not the fastest
  • GPU only available when docked
Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5

Battery life

Battery life

  • Decent battery life when docked
  • Surface Connect charger is well designed
Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5

Should you buy the Microsoft Surface Book 3?

Finder score: 3.0

The original Surface Book really did seem to show Microsoft doing what it always envisaged – having a range of devices that were "best of breed" while also having innovations that its partners could then build upon. Microsoft has long said it doesn't want to compete with the likes of Dell, Lenovo, Acer or Asus, but instead inspire them to make even more exciting laptops.

However, in the years since that first model hit the market, pretty much nobody has jumped on the idea of a laptop with a fully removable head. That makes the Surface Book 3 pretty unique, and if you were keen to upgrade from an older model and you liked this idea, then you're not going to be disappointed with the Surface Book 3. Not that much has changed beyond a bump in processor specifications over the years.

However, in the wider productivity space, we've seen a lot of thinner, lighter and more agile laptops, many of which don't command the asking price of the Surface Book 3. The recently reviewed Lenovo Yoga C94 springs to mind because it's of the same vintage but can be had cheaper, and it's lighter with better overall performance.

Where Microsoft once innovated, it seems to be resting on past glories rather than making the Surface Book 3 a truly innovative device, so this is one for the truly obsessed Surface fans only.

Pricing and availability

Price

RRP $2,649

Where to buy


Specifications

Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5
Finder score: 3

General

Processor Family
Intel Core i7 or Intel Core i5
Processor Model
i7-1065G7 or i5-1035G7
Processor Cores
Quad-core
RAM options
8GB, 16GB, or 32GB

Display

Screen Size
13.5 inches
Resolution
3000 x 2000px

Features

USB-C Ports
1
Bluetooth
v5.0
Wi-Fi
802.11ax
Card Reader
Full-size SDXC
Webcam
Yes
Touchscreen
Yes

More Finder reviews

Ask an expert

To ask a question simply log in via your email or create an account.

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site