Surface Laptop 3

Best Surface Laptop 3 Alternatives Windows Central 2021

The Surface Laptop 3 is superb, but it's not going to be for everyone. If you're looking for something similar, but perhaps has some qualities that the Surface Laptop 3 lacks, you're in luck. The most obvious alternative is the HP Envy x360, but there are other options available, too.

Best Overall: HP Envy x360

HP Envy x360

The HP Envy x360 is a stellar alternative to the Surface Laptop 3, offering similar hardware and overall experience while undercutting on price. The last of those alone might be enough to convince many it's the better choice.

HP has both a 13-inch and 15-inch version of the Envy x360, just as Microsoft does, and they're available with AMD Ryzen APUs just like the larger Surface Laptop 3. The x360 has to make do with one less Vega GPU core, but performance is certainly on par with the Surface Laptop 3.

The Envy x360 also has a touch display that supports digital inking, and since it's a proper convertible you can rotate it 360 degrees and use the laptop either as a tablet or somewhere in between. The display is lower resolution than the Surface Laptop 3, but it's still great for watching a movie. You're also getting USB-C and a design that in its own way stands out from the crowd.


  • 13-inch and 15-inch models
  • AMD Ryzen and Radeon Vega powered
  • Supports inking
  • Convertible


  • Lack of 3:2 aspect ratio display
  • Lower resolution display

Best overall

HP Envy x360

Ryzen-powered and a lot more affordable

If you crave a Surface Laptop 3 15-inch but like the idea of saving hundreds of dollars, this 15-inch HP Envy x360 is the best alternative.

Runner up - Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

The XPS 13 2-in-1 features 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. This is on par with the Surface Laptop 3, using similar internals to the smaller model. As such, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is a great performer and alternative if you're looking for a convertible.

The 13.4-inch touch display has a 16:10 aspect ratio and works with an active pen for inking. You get either a 1920x1200 or 3840x2400 resolution display and there's hardly any bezel, adding to the overall thin look of the PC. It's as stylish as the Surface Laptop in its own right.

Where It has an advantage over Microsoft's laptop is that it's a proper convertible, with a fully rotating display hinge that offers the flexibility you simply don't get with the Surface Laptop 3. The only downside, if there are any, is that the XPS 13 2-in-1 can get pretty expensive and you don't get the 3:2 aspect ratio display you do on the Surface Laptop 3.


  • Convertible
  • Supports inking
  • High-resolution display
  • Great battery life


  • Lack of 3:2 aspect ratio display
  • Can get expensive

Runner up

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

A stunning convertible laptop

The refreshed XPS 13 2-in-1 features the latest Intel hardware, a beautiful unibody convertible design, and unreal display options.

Best for Gamers - Razer Blade Stealth

Razer Blade Stealth

The Razer Blade Stealth is the first true gaming ultrabook. Razer managed to squeeze an NVIDIA GTX 1650 inside the sleek, 13-inch form factor. It's a feat of engineering in itself, but it also gives gamers an option that's incredibly compact and portable.

Elsewhere you're getting a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage and either a 1080p non-touch or 4K touch display. It doesn't support inking, but you're probably not that concerned if you're looking to get your game on instead.

The Blade Stealth also comes with Thunderbolt 3, something the Surface Laptop 3 doesn't have, which means when you're at home you can push your gaming even further by attaching an eGPU. Unfortunately, you don't get the great 3:2 aspect ratio display or support for inking, but it's all manageable based on what you do get.


  • True gaming ultrabook
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Optional 4K display
  • Thunderbolt 3


  • Lack of 3:2 aspect ratio display
  • No inking support

Best for Gamers

Razer Blade Stealth 13

The new Razer Blade Stealth 13 brings true gaming performance to the table with Intel's 10th Gen CPUs and GeForce GTX 1650 graphics.

Best Budget - Microsoft Surface Go

Surface Go

The Surface Go isn't a laptop, but it's a laptop-like experience and it's the most affordable Surface product on the market today. If you're looking for a good Surface on a budget, there's nothing better than the 10-inch Surface Go.

Despite its size, this is 100% a proper Surface with a kickstand, Surface Pen support, detachable keyboard, and great-looking display. Everything is just trimmed down, including the price. This is so small it will fit inside almost any bag you own without adding much heft.

The Intel Pentium Gold processor is a surprisingly good performer, though the base model is hampered a little by sluggish eMMC storage. There's also an LTE variant, unlike the Surface Laptop 3, so you can be always connected and always productive.


  • Optional LTE
  • Supports inking
  • Great looking display
  • Great price


  • Base model has sluggish eMMC storage
  • Type Covers are expensive

Best Budget

Microsoft Surface Go

Far more affordable alternative

This is a proper Surface experience on a smaller scale with an amazing price tag to match.

Best for Business: Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

LAtitude 7400

The Latitude 7400 manages to blur the line between business and casual laptop with up to 15 hours of battery life from a charge, a brushed-aluminum body, and a ton of ports for connecting accessories. It's a little on the heavy side, but it's a full convertible, which means you get to use it as a tablet if you wish.

Unfortunately, there is no 4K display available, but the FHD low-watt display has perfect sRGB color and is compatible with an active pen for inking. Above the display is an IR camera for Windows Hello, which can unlock or lock your laptop as soon as you sit down or walk away.

4G LTE connectivity is available if you need to stay connected at all times, with a SIM slot on the right side. It also has Thunderbolt 3 for connecting external displays, docks or even an eGPU, and great sounding speakers for those times you just want to relax with a movie.


  • Low-watt FHD display
  • LTE connectivity
  • Impressive battery life
  • Generous port selection
  • IR camera for Windows Hello


  • A bit heavy
  • No 4K display

Best Business

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Excellent battery, super adaptive

Dell's revamped Latitude 7400 2-in-1 for 2019 leads the pack for 14-inch Ultrabooks and overall battery life.

Bottom line

The Surface Laptop 3 is going to be one of the best Windows laptops to buy for some time, but as good as it is, it's not the right choice for everyone. There are plenty of great alternatives, and HP's Envy x360 is the best of the bunch.

Like the Surface Laptop 3, it's available in two sizes, and you even get comparable performance to the larger, AMD-powered Surface Laptop, albeit a smidge fewer thanks to the solitary lacking GPU core.

But everywhere else, it's a match with a great looking display, inking support, and even a couple of tricks the Surface Laptop 3 doesn't have like a fully convertible display. The Surface Laptop 3 is always a laptop, the Envy x360 is a lot more versatile.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide


Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.


Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

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