Move over, MacBook – Surface Book 3 is Microsoft's "most powerful laptop ever"

Move over, MacBook – Surface Book 3 is Microsoft's "most powerful laptop ever"
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has announced the new Surface Book 3, the latest in its line of tablet-laptop hybrids – and the company is pulling no punches, shouting that the newest Surface is "our most powerful laptop ever".

The announcement for Surface Book 3 comes just days after Apple revealed its latest 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is clear that Microsoft is gunning for the pole position held by its rival in both the 13- and 15-inch categories. 

Microsoft promises that the new Surface is designed with professionals in mind to deliver "desktop-level performance from anywhere", specifically citing Adobe workflows, positioning this as the best tablet for photographers

Indeed, the Surface Book 3 can deliver double the performance of the Surface Book 2, with 10th Generation Intel Core i5 / i7 processors and either Nvidia GeForce GTX (which has the horsepower to play Xbox Game Pass titles in 1080p at 60 frames per second) or Quadro RTX GPUs, along with 32GB of RAM and Microsoft's fastest ever SSDs with up to 2TB capacity.

Better yet, Microsoft claims up to 17.5 hours of battery life for the 15-inch model, with 15.5 hours for the 13.5-inch – though we're sure that intensive Photoshop and Lightroom use will take a big chunk out of that. 

In terms of the physical specs, the 13.5-inch Surface Book 3 measures 312 mm x 232 mm x 13-23 mm and weighs 1,534g (including keyboard) for the i5 version, with the i7 coming in at 312 mm x 232 mm x 15-23 mm and 1,642 g. The 15-inch model, meanwhile, measures 343 mm x 251 mm x 15-23 mm and weighs in at 1,905g.

Both Surface Book 3s feature a 3:2 PixelSense Display with 1600:1 contrast ratio and 10-point multi-touch G5, the smaller model having 3000 x 2000 resolution (267 PPI) and the larger 3240 x 2160, (260 PPI). All versions have a 5MP front-facing camera and 8MP primary autofocus camera, each capable of 1080p video.

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 13-inch starts at $1,599 / £1,599 / AU$2,649 and will be available 21 May, while the 15-inch model starts at $2,299 / £2,199 / AU$3,699 and availability commences 05 June.

Pre-order the Microsoft Surface Book 3

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.