Microsoft Surface Laptop 3: Two sizes, two processors

Microsoft has just announced the Surface Laptop 3, but they’re introducing a second variant this year. You’ve got the 13.5-inch variant, that has the same touchscreen that the Surface Laptop 2 had, and overall, it looks like a continuation of its predecessor in terms of design and overall dimensions. Meanwhile, there’s a new 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, which is powered by a new AMD chip that Microsoft has developed along with AMD.

The smaller Surface Laptop now has a USB-C port, instead of the Mini DisplayPort that was found on previous Surface Laptops, along with a USB-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port. However, it’s worth noting that the USB-C port doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, which basically means that you can’t daisy chain your devices or plug in an external GPU via the USB-C port.

Available in colour options of Sandstone, Matte Black, Platinum, or Cobalt Blue, the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 is powered by Intel’s 10th Generation Core processors—with options of i5 or i7. Microsoft has also done away with the Alcantara finish that is iconic to Surface Laptops for the black and gold (Sandstone) versions, which gives customers the option to go for a more conventional metal finish.

They’re promising a battery life of up to 11.5 hours with “typical Surface device usage”, and the Surface Laptop 3 ships with Windows 10 Home, along with compatibility for Windows Hello. You can opt for a memory configuration of up to 1TB of storage, mated to 16GB of RAM.

The larger 15″ Surface Laptop 3, meanwhile, utilises an AMD chip for the first time on a Surface laptop. Microsoft says that the AMD-based Surface Edition of the Ryzen (5 or 7) will allow for users to perform more graphic-intensive work as compared to the smaller Surface Laptop, such as 3D-rendering, Photoshop, or video-editing.

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Memory configurations top out at 512GB of storage, which is paired to 32GB of RAM, and you’re looking at the same battery life estimate of 11.5 hours with typical usage. You also get the same ports as its smaller sibling: 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port.

You get more limited colour choices for the larger Surface Laptop, with a darker shade of Platinum, and Matte Black available—although there isn’t an option with the Alcantara finish.

As for local pricing, we don’t have any concrete numbers just yet, but the the 13.5″ Surface Laptop 3 starts at US$999 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (Intel Core i5), while pricing for the larger 15″ Surface Laptop 3 starts at US$1,499 for 8GB of RAM mated to 256GB of storage (AMD Ryzen 5).

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