We’ve been seeing a huge amount of leaks in the run up to the event. For example, we’ve seen a number of rumors that suggest that Microsoft will release a version of the Surface Laptop 3 with an AMD processor, which is noteworthy as Microsoft usually uses Intel CPUs for its previous Surface Laptop devices. Another showed off possible images of the Surface Laptop 3.
So, we’re happy to get all the official details from Microsoft itself, starting with its release date of October 22.
When the first Surface Laptop first came out a little over two years ago, stuck with Windows 10 S Mode, it didn’t make for a compelling device, especially next to the rest of the Surface lineup. However, Microsoft refined the formula enough and redefined the Surface Laptop image, and when the Surface Laptop 2 finally hit the streets last year, it became one of the best laptops on the market.
Which leaves us thinking: how exactly does the new Surface Laptop 3 compare to its predecessors and what innovations will it bring to the table?
To start, the new Surface Laptop 3 will be available in 13-inch and 15-inch models, and will rock the quad-core 10th generation Intel processor as well as the AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition processor specifically in its 15-inch model.
Microsoft also seems to be trying to set records here, as the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 is supposed to be the lightest and most performant laptop in its class as well as the first 15-inch laptop touting a 3:2 display.
Here are all the details we gathered from the Microsoft event. Be sure to keep this page bookmarked, and we’ll update it with any news Surface Laptop 3 release date news and rumors that comes our way.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next Surface Laptop
- When is it out? October 22, 2019, available for pre-order now
- What will it cost? $999 (about £780, AU$1,385) for the 13-inch and $1,199 (£974, AU$1,790) for the 15-inch model
Surface Laptop 3 release date
Unlike the Surface Pro 7, for example, Microsoft has only released two Surface Laptops. This isn’t surprising, as it’s a product line that has only been around for less than two years. Though that also means that we have less information to work with when guessing the release window.
The original Surface Laptop came out in June 2017, alongside the Surface Pro. However, the follow up, Surface Laptop 2, saw an October 2018 release. So, it’s not a surprise that Microsoft has given the Surface Laptop 3 an October 2019 release date – more specifically, October 22.
Bear in mind, however, that the laptop is already available for pre-order as of October 2 after being unveiled at the Microsoft event, if you want to get ahead of everyone else.
Surface Laptop 3 price
Microsoft is releasing the Surface Laptop 3 in both 13-inch and 15-inch models, with the 13-inch setting you back $999 (about £780, AU$1,385) and and the 15-inch costing you a $1,199 (£974, AU$1,790).
That’s a $200 price jump from the first Surface Laptop, which was released touting a $799 (around £560, AU$1,000) price tag with an Intel Core m3 processor and Windows 10 S out of the box.
However, it costs the same as the Surface Laptop 2 when it was released at $999 (£979, AU$1,499). This higher price point did come with full-fat Ultrabook processors in every configuration – not to mention, the full Windows 10 Home. So the upgrade was worth the price increase.
The Surface Book 3 price point definitely keeps it competitive with similar Ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13.
Surface Laptop 3 design
Alongside its unveiling, Microsoft also shared a few images to showcase what the new Surface Laptop 3. Check out the gallery below to see what the Surface Laptop 3 13-inch and 15-inch models look like:
Surface Laptop 3
Surface Laptop 3
Surface Laptop 3
Surface Laptop 3
The big change here is that as well as a 13-inch laptop, there’s now a 15-inch option. Furthermore, the new Surface Laptop 3 appears to have ditched the Alcantara fabric surround on the base of the existing Surface Laptop 2.
What we want to see
The Surface Laptop 2 already considerably improved on the Surface Laptop that it’s trickier to know what else Microsoft could do to make it even better. Still, we’ve come up with a few things we’d like to see in the Surface Laptop 3, using our tech expertise as our guiding hand.
The Surface Laptop 2 had vastly improved upon the processors on offer, moving from dual-core Kaby Lake chips to quad-core 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips. Still, more speed is never a bad thing, and we’d love to see more power behind the Surface Laptop 3.
There are technically faster and more powerful Ultrabook-class processors out already, starting with Intel’s Whiskey Lake chips. However, those deliver such a small upgrade in performance, that it really isn’t worth upgrading.
At CES 2019, Intel announced its 10nm Ice Lake processors, promising a two-fold increase in performance for certain workloads. While Intel’s performance claims should be taken with a grain of salt, the gains to performance and battery life that a 10nm process would afford are still exciting.
Luckily, the new Surface Laptop 3 devices will feature these quad-core 10th generation Intel processors, as well as the AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition processor in its 15-inch model.
Thunderbolt 3, please
Now that Thunderbolt 3 has become a standard, Microsoft absolutely needs to include the technology in its next line of laptops. There are so many monitors, external hard drives and other peripherals are using Thunderbolt 3, and Microsoft has to bring its port selection on the Surface Laptop to the modern age – that Surface connection isn’t going to cut it for much longer.
Luckily, Microsoft has patented a new magnetic USB-C charger, that would have the best of both worlds. We just hope the technology is ready and on the Surface Laptop 3 before its release.
Microsoft did give the Surface Laptop 3 a USB-C port. However, it seems like it still uses the Surface Connect port for charging.
Freshen up the design
The Surface Laptop 2 largely inherited the look and feel of its predecessor, so beyond adding a new black color option, there wasn’t a big change design-wise. For the Surface Laptop 3, however, we’d like to see Microsoft offer a slimmer design.
And, it’s not like Microsoft is against pursuing thinner designs. Microsoft has patented a thinner Type Cover, with a touchpad built right into the printed circuit board. This could possibly lead to the Surface Pro 7 having a smaller footprint overall, but we’d also be interested to see if this design philosophy would carry over to other Surface devices.
There’s no word yet on whether or not the Surface Laptop 3 is thinner, but Microsoft says that it’s definitely lighter. In fact, it’s supposed to be half a pound lighter than the MacBook Pro 2019.
In addition, the Surface Laptop 3 will also feature a 3:2 display, a precision touchpad that’s 20% bigger and supposedly a fast-charging, all-day battery life. Oh, and did we mention that it will be available in a new machined aluminum finish, dropping the Alcantara fabric?