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?
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.
|Surface Pro 8||Surface Book 3|
|GPU||Intel Iris Graphics
Intel Xe Graphics
|Intel Iris Plus
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000
|Display||13-inch 2880x1920 (267 PPI) PixelSense Flow touch display||13.5-inch 3000x2000 (267 PPI) touch display
15-inch 3240x2160 (260 PPI) touch display
|Audio||Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos||Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos|
|Biometrics||Windows Hello-compatible camera||Windows Hello-compatible camera|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4
1x Surface Connect
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
2x Surface Connect
1x SDXC card reader
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
|Battery||Up to 16 hours||Up to 17.5 hours|
|Dimensions||11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches||12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51 inches
13.5 x 9.87 x 0.568 inches
|Weight||1.96 pounds||Up 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?
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.
Surface Pro 8
Best all-around option
The upcoming Surface Pro 8 will be the better choice for most people overall due to its stronger CPUs, better integrated graphics, LTE availability, and its more useful selection of ports. However, people who need options for raw graphics horsepower will be better served by the Surface Book 3.
Surface Book 3
If you need a laptop that can deliver lots of GPU power for gaming, rendering, or editing, the Surface Book 3 will be ideal for you. It also has a higher storage maximum and slightly better battery life compared to the Surface Pro 8. Unfortunately, it has weaker processors, worse ports, and it can't be configured with LTE.
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