Microsoft's latest 15-inch Surface Pro 3 laptop is a masterpiece for people who like big screens and are willing to pay more for a cutting-edge design
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- Microsoft's 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 is slim and light and a great choice for people who like big screens but don't want something big, chunky, and overpowered.
- It's among the best-looking Windows 10 laptops I've used. The screen, keyboard, and touchpad are great, and it handles my intense workload without issue. The battery life isn't anything to write home about, though.
- While it handles what I do admirably, it's not the best option for those who demand raw power, like video editors.
- There are cheaper 15-inch laptops out there with more power that pose better value, but they're typically not as slim and light as the Surface Laptop 3.
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For some reason, laptop makers think that people who like big laptop screens only want raw performance, and they add powerful processors and graphics chips that add weight and call for chunkier designs.To be honest, these companies are likely responding to the demand. But what if I want regular laptop performance in a portable laptop package that also happens to have a nice, big 15-inch screen? I often wish laptop makers would just make 15-inch versions of their slim and light 13-inch laptops, but they rarely do. Advertisement
Microsoft is one of the few companies that makes 15-inch laptops that remain slim and light and aren't overpowered. And the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 is a beautiful blend of portability, a large 15-inch screen, and enough power and performance to satisfy most people.
I've seen several disappointed reviewers comment on the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3's performance not matching its price, which starts at a pricey minimum of $1,500. They're not wrong and certainly have a point. Other 15-inch laptops have way more power for lower prices. But they're often things you should keep on a desk rather than lugging around in a backpack. And slimmer, lighter, and prettier gadgets like the Surface Laptop 3 tend to be more expensive than chunkier, heavier ones.The Surface Laptop 3's gets a lot of other things right - and some less right - too. Check it out:
The all-metal Surface Laptop 3 is clean, sleek, and minimalist. It's one of the best-looking Windows 10 laptop there is, in my opinion.
The battery life is nothing too stellar. It's good enough that I'm rarely surprised that I need to plug in to charge, and I don't feel like it hasn't lasted long enough on a single charge.Advertisement
The screen is touch enabled, and can be used with Microsoft's Pen stylus. It's bright, crisp, and clear, giving you the sense that you're using a premium machine. It's more squarely shaped than regular laptop screens, which not everyone might like.
The touchpad is smooth and accurate, and the keyboard is fantastic. It's one of the best touchpad-keyboard combos I've used on a Windows 10 laptop. But the touchpad could have been a little larger.Advertisement
The Surface Laptop 3 is pretty minimalist with ports, but it's arguably all you really need. And it's lacking one big feature that makes it less useful for certain people.
One of the more interesting things about the Surface Laptop 3 is that it runs on a custom chip from AMD rather than Intel. It's been controversial for some reviewers, but it's the perfect chip for most people.Advertisement
The only thing that prevents me from recommending the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 outright is its price tag. It depends on whether you value performance or portability more.
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