In my recent review for the Surface Pro 7 and first impressions of Surface Laptop 3 13.5, I keep mentioning "Instant On" as a super cool feature that has been dramatically improved from previous iterations. Built, presumably, with Intel's Project Athena and the 10th Gen Intel platform, the feature effectively turns a laptop more into a smartphone or Apple iPad.
In this quick demo I posted on Instagram you can see a real-world example of it in action. The Surface Laptop on the left has been off for the entire night. Opening the lid, you must press the power button to resume. There, you see the Microsoft logo on the screen with the progress circle before it gets to the login screen for Windows 10. The entire process is only about 20 seconds (some laptops take even longer, like Dell).
Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 3 13.5 on the right does it all within three to four seconds – even after being off all night. Moreover, the battery drain is minimal. After eight hours of being off, the Surface Laptop 3 13.5 only dropped 3 percent of the battery. The feature works up to 72 hours before the system will finally hibernate.
There is no setting for this, or rather, this is just how these devices work out of the box.
Some of this may seem trivial, but when you are in-and-out of your Laptop 3 or Surface Pro 7 multiple times a day, being able to jump back into your flow quickly is enormous. It is one reason why so many people like the iPad (and smartphones) – they are always ready to work.
And yes, this feature takes a bite out of one of Qualcomm's bragging rights with its Snapdragon on PC technology, which behaves the same. That means it will be even harder to choose between Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X.
Finally, not to slight the AMD version of Laptop 3 15, as it wakes up very quickly too, especially in multiple succession. Windows Hello is lightning fast. But you will still occasionally see the Microsoft logo when it hibernates as it does so more frequently.
What do you think of this improvement? Shout out in comments if you believe all laptop manufacturers should focus on this tech, or if it's no big deal.
Better and faster than ever
Type-C and 10th Gen Intel are game-changers
Microsoft has finally added a loaded-out USB Type-C port to the Surface Pro 7. When combined with Intel's latest 10th Gen processor and GPU, this year's Core i5 blows away last year's Core i7 all without a fan. Minor tweaks to the RAM, going to Intel for Wi-Fi 6, and Instant On ability make this Surface Pro 7 an absolute joy to use.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Microsoft's cloud will power CES 2021
CES is going all-digital next year, and it's tapping Microsoft to power the experience. Microsoft and CTA announced today that Microsoft services like Teams, Azure, and Power Platform will all be used to put together next year's show.
Xbox Smart Delivery Games List
The full list of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S titles committed to Smart Delivery support, and other free visual upgrade offers headed into next-generation consoles.
Xbox game store pages are still a nightmare for non-English speaking users
Microsoft's push for global gaming is still set back by this basic feature disparity.
Zac Bowden's personal Prime Day deal recommendations
Amazon Prime Day is here, and some of Microsoft's products are on sale for crazy prices at both Amazon and the Microsoft Store. To celebrate the occasion, Windows Central Senior Editor Zac Bowden rounded up his personal picks for the best Microsoft product deals you can get today, plus additional accessories that might go good with a newly purchased Surface or Xbox. Today is all about...