Surface Laptop 3 is Microsoft's most powerful laptop yet, and it charges fast, too
Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 has USB-C, a bigger screen and a modular design. It comes in 13.5- and 15-inch models and starts at $999.
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Microsoft announced the new Surface Laptop 3 on Wednesday at its Surface event in New York. Like the Surface Laptop 2, the Laptop 3 is a 13.5-inch clamshell touchscreen laptop, but will now also come in a larger 15-inch size. They'll also be the first Surface Laptops to have a USB-C port instead of mini-DisplayPort, and will run on Intel's new 10th-gen 10nm processors and unique AMD Ryzen chips.
The two new Surface Laptop 3 models have a 20% larger trackpad and the keyboards have 1.3mm of travel, a 19mm pitch between keys and a subtle dish on the keys, said Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay.
Panay used the keyboard discussion to dive into the new serviceability of the design. Instead of accessing the internal components through the bottom, Microsoft designed the keyboard deck to be removable with a tool. This allows for a more seamless design of the aluminum chassis, but you'll still be able to upgrade or repair the laptops.
Watch this: First look at Surface Pro X, Pro 7, Laptop 3
Inside you'll find 10th-gen quad-core 10nm Intel processors which Panay said will make the 13.5-inch Laptop 3 three times more powerful than a current MacBook Air. AMD got involved with the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, too, creating a Ryzen Surface Edition graphics processor.
"This is the most powerful mobile processor AMD has ever created," Panay said. "It's actually the fastest processor for any laptop in its class today."
That "class" is a 15-inch ultraportable, so this won't be a graphics powerhouse on the level of a high-end gaming laptop or a MacBook Pro. However, the architecture is based on the Xbox One's GPU and for a 15-inch laptop with up to 11.5 hours of battery under normal use and a weight less than 3.5 pounds, it could be a standout performer. Microsoft said Adobe Lightroom and Premiere Rush for video editing and games like Rocket League, League of Legends and Forza Horizon 4 will run well on the 15-inch Laptop 3.