Microsoft today unveiled the Surface Book 3, its “most powerful laptop ever.” The company promises “up to 50% more performance” over the Surface Book 2 released 2.5 years ago. Battery life lasts up to 17.5 hours, a minor bump compared to its predecessors’ 17 hours. Starting at $1,599, it’s also $100 more expensive than the Surface Book 2. Both 13-inch and 15-inch flavors are available for preorder now and start shipping on May 21.

Surface Book 3 is powered by the latest Intel 10th-generation Core CPUs and Nvidia discrete GPUs. There are Nvidia GeForce GPU options “with enough power to play the top Xbox Game Pass for PC titles at 1080p in a smooth 60 frames per second.” There’s also a new option: an Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 “to better meet the needs of commercial customers and higher education institutions.” Developers, designers, and professionals use the Surface Book for coding, compiling, and gaming. Microsoft wants to expand that list — Quadro graphics cards are better suited to applications like CAD, CGI, DCC, scientific calculations, and machine learning. Surface Book 3 also comes with up to 32GB of RAM and “the fastest SSD we have ever shipped,” Microsoft says.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we unfortunately cannot watch Panos Panay, head of engineering for all of Microsoft’s devices, take the stage and wax poetic about why you need this laptop. But Panay did explain this week that the pandemic has caused Microsoft to pull back on Windows 10X, a new flavor of Windows 10 designed for dual-screen PCs. Microsoft has pivoted Windows 10X toward single-screen devices, at least for now, with dual-screen devices coming later. We asked Microsoft whether the Surface Book 3 will get Windows 10X later this year, but the company declined to comment.

Surface Book 3 specs

Again, this release lacks Panay’s excitement. Here is how he describes the Surface Book 3 in one sentence: “Designed for professionals who need desktop-level performance from anywhere, this is the powerhouse workstation.” It’s just not the same. On to the full Surface Book 3 specs.

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Surface Book 3 from different angles

13.5-inch:

  • Display: 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI), 1600:1 contrast ratio, 10 point multi-touch
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G7 or i7-1065G7
  • Memory: 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Dimensions: 12.3″ x 9.14″ x 0.51″-0.90″ for i5, 2.3″ x 9.14″ x 0.59″-0.90″ for i7
  • Weight: 1534g (3.38lbs) for i5, 642g (3.62lbs) for i7
  • Power Supply: 65W for i5, 102W for i7
  • Battery life: Up to 15.5 hours

15-inch:

  • Display: 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI), 1600:1 contrast ratio, 10 point multi-touch
  • CPU: Intel i7-1065G7
  • Memory: 16GB or 32GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000
  • Storage: 56GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB PCIe SSD
  • Dimensions: 13.5″ x 9.87″ x 0.568-0.90″
  • Weight: 1905g (4.20lbs)
  • Power Supply: 127W
  • Battery life: Up to 17.5 hours

The rest of the specs are the same across both:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible, Bluetooth Wireless 5.0, Xbox Wireless built-in (15″ only)
  • Ports: Two USB-A (version 3.1 Gen 2), One USB-C (version 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0), 3.5mm headphone jack, Two Surface Connect ports, Full-size SDXC card reader
  • Security: HW TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security, Windows Hello face sign-in
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer
  • Cameras: 5MP front-facing with 1080p HD video, 8MP rear-facing autofocus with 1080p HD video
  • Audio: Dual far-field Studio Mics, front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Keyboard and Trackpad: Full size backlit keyboard with 1.55mm of full key travel, glass trackpad with anti-fingerprint coating and improved multi-finger gestures
  • Modes: Laptop Mode, Tablet Mode, View Mode, or Studio Mode

Microsoft today also announced that the Surface Go 2, Surface Headphones 2, and Surface Earbuds ship on May 12.