Surface Book 3: Everything you need to know

Best Microsoft Surface Book Accessories of 2017
Best Microsoft Surface Book Accessories of 2017 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft's latest Surface Book is now shipping! Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Book 3, including specs, pricing, and more. Microsoft has updated the Surface Book 3 with new processors, more RAM and storage configurations, and better graphics power for rendering and gaming.

Design

On the outside, Surface Book 3 features the exact same design as its predecessor. Microsoft has kept everything from the bezels to the size of the trackpad the same, which means accessories built for the Surface Book 2 will work fine with the Surface Book 3.

Specs

The Surface Book 3 features Intel's latest 10th-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors with better power efficiency and more performance for productivity work. In addition, Microsoft is also offering Surface Book 3 with up to 32GB RAM and 2TB storage options. These are new to the Surface Book 3, with the previous generation maxing out at 16GB RAM and 1TB storage.

The biggest improvements come with better graphics cards options in the form of NVIDIA GeForce and Quadro graphics. Inside the 13.5-inch model is either integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics or dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics. If you want to do any video rendering, 3D object modeling, or gaming, then the NVIDIA options is what you'll want to go for.

Inside the 15-inch variant is an even more powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q) graphics card. Commercial customers can also spec out the 15-inch variant with an NVIDIA Quadro 3000 RTX graphics card designed for data processing and crunching numbers.

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CategorySurface Book 3 (13.5)Surface Book 3 (15)
Processor10th Gen Intel i5-1035G7
10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
RAM8GB, 16GB, or 32GB LPDDR4xRow 1 - Cell 2
Storage256GB, 512GB, or 1TB256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
Display size13.5 inches
Touch
15 inches
Touch
Display resolution3000x2000
3:2 aspect
267 PPI
3240 x 2160
3:2 aspect
260 PPI
GraphicsIntel Iris Plus
GeForce GTX 1650
Intel Iris Plus
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q)
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000
PortsTwo USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)
One USB Type-C w/ video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen2) data
Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)
Headphone jack (3.5mm)
Two Surface Connect ports (1 in tablet, 1 in keyboard base)
Two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)
One USB Type-C w/ video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen2) data
Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)
Headphone jack (3.5mm)
Two Surface Connect ports (1 in tablet, 1 in keyboard base)
ConnectivityIntel Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
Intel Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
Xbox Wireless
Camera5MP Front-facing 1080P
8.0MP Rear-facing AF 1080P
5MP Front-facing 1080P
8.0MP Rear-facing AF 1080P
BiometricsIR cameraIR camera
Battery70WHr
Up to 17 hours
80WHr
Up to 17.5 hours
Charger65W (Core i5)
102W (Core i7)
127W
Dimensions312 mm x 232 mm x 13 mm-23 mm (12.3" x 9.14" x 0.51"-0.90")343 mm x 251 mm x 15 mm-23 mm (13.5" x 9.87" x 0.568"-0.90")
Weighti5 total: 1,534g (3.38lbs)
i7 total: 1,905g (3.62lbs)
i7 total: 1,905g (4.20lbs)

Pricing

The Surface Book 3 is available now starting at $1,599 for the 13.5-inch entry-level model. This includes an Intel Core i5, 256GB storage, 8GB RAM and integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics. We recommend stepping up to the $1,999 model that significantly improves the processor, RAM, and graphics with an Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650.

The 15-inch entry-level model starts at $2,299 for an Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB storage and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q. The top-end Surface Book 3 includes the NVIDIA Quadro 3000 RTX graphics card, along with 32GB RAM, 2TB storage and an Intel Core i7 for $3,399.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

34 Comments
  • Would've liked an AMD option. Could help them have a lower starting price while being equally powerful and still have usable graphics.
  • Perhaps the newer 4000 Renoir chips weren't yet available as Microsoft were developing the Surface Book 3. The Ryzen 4800HS or 4900HS would be perfect for this device (paired with a decent dGPU).
  • Ryzen 4800HS or 4900HS would not be ideal here as those are 35/45W CPUs, versus the 15W U-Series (TDP'd to 25W) used in the Book 3. There is simply not enough thermal space for that size chip. Perhaps Ryzen 4000 U-series (15W) would have worked, but those are just coming to market now and we don't know what the price/limitations/pros/cons are (beyond what AMD has promised).
  • Same, the lack of Ryzen is the sole reason I won't buy. I wouldn't even demand a lower price, though AMD stuff unquestionably affords OEMs that luxury. AMD's stuff is simply better now, sucks that Microsoft has done so little to take advantage. If we are surprised with an AMD model, I'm all-in for it. If not, I'll probably have to grit my teeth and get the HP Envy 360, since it appears to be the only near-ready Ryzen 2-in-1.
  • True for desktop, but not laptop. And yes I know their new chips are competitive
  • wasnt MS working on a new hinge for this?
  • I would hope so. The current one is more of a gimmick than anything. I would REALLY like to see them put something together that can properly fold back like a 2-in-1. The current design is insanely clunky if you're wanting to use it back and forth between tablet and laptop modes. Deatch-rotate-attach-detach-rotate-attach just sucks, if you're someone who likes to bounce between form factors. I do it A LOT with the Surface Pro at work, which is quite nice. The Book is an incredibly expensive downgrade, in that respect. It's top-notch as a tablet or a laptop (software issues aside), but it's well behind things like the XPS, Yoga, Surface Pro, and such as a proper 2-in-1.
  • Design is the same. That means no new hinge.
  • The lack of kickstand on the tablet section has been hard to accept in my SB2, coming previously from the Pro line
  • The downside with foldable 2-in-1s is the weight. When I had the original surface book I appreciated the much lighter tablet mode. Though that made me realize I just much preferred a regular surface over the book, so maybe the surface book form factor just wasn't for me.
  • I think you’re right about a new hinge design to make it into a 2-in-1. When everyone under embargo says no redesign that usually means there will be one. They’ll probably call it ‘Surface Book Pro’ to compete with the MacBook Pro. I guess we’ll see. I hope they do.
  • Hope they get Windows Hello right this time. It's flawed in the SB2
  • As I used Windows Hello to sign on just now and read your comment, I'm wondering how is it flawed? On my Surface Book 2: it's fast (although not as fast as on my Surface Pro X), reliable and convenient.
  • It's spotty at best. After update 1903 it is unstable. Now on 1909 and still the same. I turn my SB2 15" off with the Hibernate function (to save battery) and that seems to not be compatible with Hello. There are quite a few users reporting this problem. The camera works but it turns on to late and jumps to the PIN option. I did reconfigure Hello and it seems to be a little better but still occurs. Even after a complete re-install including latest drivers and firmware it's not solved. So that leaves me to the comclusion that the design implementation of Hello within the SB2 is flawed.
  • Have you re-configured your recognition recently? I haven't had any issues since I got it, outside of the first restart after major updates.
  • I wonder if the will redesign the base chassis to allow upgrades like the surface laptop. Might be cool.
  • I have never understood the use case for the Surface Book. But they must be selling them since they are on generation 3.
  • Its one of a kind device, there is no direct competition.
    The main use case is being able to swap between laptop form and (holdable) tablet form (handy to casually read and markup pdf's with pen, browse sites etc). Other interesting features are long battery life when in laptop form, 3:2 touchscreen and of course the dgpu option. And some other things like good touchpad etc.
    There some other laptops like 15 Zenbook flip that share some features (like dgpu, 2-1, sleek design) for a much lower price but those also miss some of the other above mentioned features (mainly being heavy when using it as a tablet).
  • True, Surface Book is still uniquely positioned in the market right now having a form factor that can be a true tablet and not just flip screen. The advantages of this is to allow true tablet usability (except for the OS) without a bulk of a full laptop. Yet this is still a true laptop unlike Surface Pro. For me who also do digital art and graphics as well, this device is pretty much perfect to me. It even has GPU that allows me to even game on it, not as great as a higher performance workstation laptop or gaming laptop, but still way better than most Ultrabooks. I would be sad and siappointed if they turn Surface Book into the flip screen 2-in-1. That will be pretty much any other 2-in-1 without new benefits and all the bulk of a laptop. They can change the hinge though to make it like a traditional laptop when closed. Though that may sacrificed the angled position for drawing when you flip the screen of the Clipboard back to the base. Fully flat angle is not ideal for drawing. Unless they can design a new hinge that still allows angled position for drawing.
  • Yeah I agree with that the Book should not be a flip 2-1. I think it would be more logical to make the Surface Laptop a flip 2-1 laptop (at the same time I can understand why MS won't do that but I still would be interested in that ^.^).
    Or a bigger Surface Pro with an AMD cpu. ps: currently I have a 15 inch 2-1 flip laptop. I agree with you about that angle. A possible solution is tent mode because it sets the screen at a angle while the screen cannot wobble. But it is not as perfect as the Book's Studio/angle mode and the user should lean onto the screen (not sure if it can hold much pressure that way).
  • The SB and SB2 are perfect for high school teachers. I use it for physics class with just the clipboard (tablet) in hand and with the base unit attached when at my desk preparing for class. When connected wirelessly to a video projector, the SB2 clipboard is great for lectures and problem solving using OneNote and the Surface pen. There is no other product that I know of that competes in even the most minimal fashion. I regularly walk around the classroom and write on the clipboard with the pen as I talk through various physics problems, drawing them out and solving the equations. Sometimes I hand the clipboard and pen to a student to have them write out their solutions for the class to see on the big screen. For me this is a daily teaching tool that I would be seriously constrained without. Nothing else even comes close.
  • I don't think 🤔it is going to Max out at $3399 I think highest end model will be somewhere near $3700 with that quadro and 32+2TB config. MS tend to charge a lot as they go up as we have already seen with surface devices.
  • To be fair I think most laptop brands will over charge in the 32 gb ram config (especially with a decent quadro added to it). But yeah Surface tends to be a bit more expensive except for maybe the entry models (if you can live with lower specs).
  • You don't have to guess at this. Pricing has been available since the first of the month.
  • Sadly it will be a downgrade in one area from original Surface Book.
    They won't include the Surface Pen!
  • wishful thinking: honestly there shouldn’t be a separate surface book category, It feels redundant. MS should figure out a way to convert surface pro to that form factor. So for regular users like me they can buy Alcantera keyboards and for pro users they should have option for keyboard like surface book.
  • That would be awesome. I realize a 13.5 inch Surface Pro might be heavier than the tablet part of a Surface Book but still I could live with that if if means getting a kickstand added to it and a bit bigger battery.
  • Actually that is a good idea to have Surface Book-like base for Surface Pro. Though that will require having more screen sizes of Surface Pro up to 15 inch. The have Surface Laptop Pro to be a workstation class laptop that can compete with 16 inch MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 15 and Zbook 15.
  • Is it worth the price?
  • I can see it working when they make the Surface Pro 8 have a 13 inch screen like the Pro X and make a 15 inch Surface Pro 8 also. That would require MS only have 2 versions of the tablet part and 4 versions of the keyboard (besides some small varieties in ram, gpu, color etc), so not much different than now. :)
  • If Surface Book 3 is going to be succesfull, get rid of the bezels, please. It's has an old stylish look with those huge bezels. Others can do it - get going, please, be in front there, too.
    Erik
  • "Weight
    i5 total: 1,534g (3.38lbs)
    i7 total: 1,905g (3.62lbs) ----------------------------- i7 total: 1,905g (4.20lbs)" You might want to check that i7 math.
  • It's glorious.
    Display is amazing
    Windows hello is so fast
    Keyboard feels great
  • Hi guys, Difficult choice here. My budget is USD1,599 max. Shall I get
    A. SP7 i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB, or
    B. SB3 13.5”, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Seems on paper A is more powerful than B?