Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs. Book 3: Which is a better buy?

Surface Book 3 Hero
Surface Book 3 Hero (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Overall, the Surface Pro 8 is the better choice for most people thanks to its cutting-edge CPUs, capable integrated graphics, LTE option, better ports, and lower price. With that said, don't overlook the Surface Book 3 if you're in need of a device with lots of GPU power. It may not have the best processors or ports, but it's got enough juice in the graphics department to power everything from gaming to advanced 3D rendering.

Surface Pro 8 vs. Book 3: Processing or graphics?

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

The main difference between the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Book 3 is that the former has top-of-the-line processors, while the latter can be outfitted with some beefy graphics horsepower. The Surface Pro 8 has a wide range of 11th Gen Intel CPUs available that outperform the Book 3's 10th Gen options, but the Book 3 can be configured with powerful GPUs like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000. The integrated Intel Xe Graphics in the Surface Pro 8 are better than the Book 3's aging Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics, but if you're serious about getting a strong GPU for gaming, video editing, or 3D rendering work, the Surface Book 3 is the clear winner. Both devices can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM, and both have excellent touch displays with high resolutions and quality color gamuts.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Surface Pro 8Surface Book 3
CPUIntel i3-1115G4
Intel i5-1135G7
Intel i5-1145G7
Intel i7-1185G7
Intel i5-1035G7
Intel i7-1065G7
GPUIntel Iris Graphics
Intel Xe Graphics
Intel Iris Plus
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000
Memory8GB
16GB
32GB
8GB
16GB
32GB
Storage128GB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
Display13-inch 2880x1920 (267 PPI) PixelSense Flow touch display13.5-inch 3000x2000 (267 PPI) touch display
15-inch 3240x2160 (260 PPI) touch display
AudioDual speakers with Dolby AtmosDual speakers with Dolby Atmos
BiometricsWindows Hello-compatible cameraWindows Hello-compatible camera
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4
1x Surface Connect
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
2x USB-A
1x USB-C
2x Surface Connect
1x SDXC card reader
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
LTE (optional)
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
BatteryUp to 16 hoursUp to 17.5 hours
Dimensions11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51 inches
13.5 x 9.87 x 0.568 inches
Weight1.96 poundsUp to 4.20 pounds

Outside of the CPU and GPU department, the Surface Pro 8 comes out on top with its modern ports, which notably includes Thunderbolt 4. The Pro 8 can also be outfitted with LTE connectivity for more effective mobile usage, and it also has a considerably lower price tag overall. The Surface Book 3 has a few advantages too — namely, an option for a 2TB SSD and a slightly better battery life — but we ultimately feel that unless you have a specific need for a powerful dedicated GPU in your laptop, you should get the Surface Pro 8.

Surface Pro 8 vs. Book 3: Which should you buy?

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Both the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Book 3 are incredibly attractive devices that are sure to make anyone happy, but between them, we think that the Surface Pro 8 will be the better choice for most people since the improved performance of its 11th Gen Intel processors will be very valuable for productivity and recreation. It also has Intel's advanced Xe integrated graphics available, which are strong enough to handle everything from the basics to light gaming and media editing. It's also got modern Thunderbolt 4 ports and a lower price, too.

Don't overlook the Surface Book 3 if you need a specialized Surface that packs lots of GPU horsepower, however. Its 10th Gen Intel CPUs aren't as good as the 11th Gen ones found in the Surface Pro 8, but its various NVIDIA GPU options crush the Surface Pro 8's Intel Xe integrated graphics when it comes to serious gaming and advanced video editing or 3D rendering tasks. It can also be configured with more storage and has a slightly better battery life as well.

If neither of these PCs are right for you, make sure to check out our roundup of the best Windows laptops available.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.