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Microsoft Surface Book 3, new and more powerful

Dale Davies |
Microsoft launched its Surface Book 3, with a big promise of 50 percent more performance.

There are no big design changes this time around, and there will still be two size options: a 13.5-inch model or the larger 15-inch version. The Surface Book 3 will ship with Intel’s latest 10th Gen processors, with the base 13.5-inch model starting at $1,599 for a quad-core Core i5, and the 15-inch version using a quad-core Core i7 processor priced starting at $2,299. This is a lot of money but this is a powerful device so the price looks justified.

While the most basic 13.5-inch model will include Intel’s built-in Iris Plus graphics, there will be an option to move up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q model (starting at $1,999). The 15-inch model ships with a GTX 1660Ti or businesses can upgrade to a Quadro RTX 3000 GPU starting at $3,499. Microsoft is using Windows 10’s Game Mode to optimize thermals and power to tune for gaming performance. The SSD, RAM, and GPU bumps aren’t matched by processor performance bumps, though.

Microsoft is still using 15W Intel processors the Core i7-1065G7. There’s still no Thunderbolt 3 support, which will disappoint a lot of professionals hoping to make use of it for external drive storage or even to hook up a more powerful GPU. You’ll still get two USB-A ports, a single USB-C port with USB Power Delivery 3.0 support, a full-size UHS-II SD card reader, and a Surface Connect port. The Surface Book 3 is available to preorder starting from $1,599 on May 21st. It will roll out to other markets in the weeks to follow.

The company says that the Surface Book 3 is built with designers, engineers, developers and gamers in mind. And that's why configurations can now go up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB PCie NVMe SSDs. Microsoft announced a follow-up of the Surface Headphones called Surface Headphones 2. The centerpiece feature is still active noise cancellation, which is adjustable. The ANC has also been tuned for human voices so it should be able to perform better in this regard. ANC phones are usually struggling with that. A new black color option is available.

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