Microsoft has made two long-awaited updates to its Surface lineup. On the low-end, there’s the new Surface Go 2, which is slightly larger and substantially faster than its predecessor. There’s also a new premium Surface Book 3 with an even higher price tag than the Surface Book 2 and the latest flagship Intel chips.
The Surface Go was Microsoft’s attempt to take a bite out of the iPad’s increasing productivity market share. That device had its fair share of shortcomings, but Microsoft has addressed some pain points with the Surface Go 2. This device is a little thinner than the first-gen device, and the screen is a bit bigger at 10.5 inches. The display resolution is just 1,920 x 1,280 (3:2 ratio), much lower than the Surface Book 3. However, that’s better than most computers in the mid-range. There’s a USB-C port this time, but Microsoft’s Surface Connect port lives on.
Inside, the Surface Go 2 has either an Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y or an 8th gen Intel Core m3. Microsoft says it’s up to 64 percent faster than the old Surface Go with the m3 chip, but you’re still limited to either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. The base model with the Pentium CPU and 4GB of RAM is $399, but that doesn’t include the keyboard cover, which adds another $129 to the price. You can use the Surface Go 2 as a tablet, but it’s not as comfortable or capable as an iPad in that respect.
The Surface Book 3 is at the opposite end of Microsoft’s Surface lineup. This laptop is for power users who will keep it attached to the keyboard most of the time. The screen portion (either 13.5 or 15-inch) detaches for use as a tablet, but there’s a second battery in the keyboard to keep the device running for up to 17.5 hours (for the larger model). Regardless of the size you choose, the display will be much sharper than the one you get on the Surface Go 2. The 13.5-inch is 3,000 x 2,000 and the 15 is 3,240 x 2,160. Those are both 3:2 aspect ratios rather than widescreen 16:9 like most laptops, which is a win in my book.
The hardware options reflect the increased price. Both versions of the Surface Book 3 have 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs — the larger of the two has a Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of graphics memory. The smaller one has a Core i5 (8GB of RAM) with integrated graphics or a Core i7 (16GB of RAM) with a GTX 1650. There are two USB-A ports, a USB-C with Power Delivery 3.0, and a pair of Surface Connect ports.
This computer starts at a whopping $1,599 for the 13.5-inch. The 15-inch costs at least $2,300. Completely decked out with 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, it runs $3,400. The Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds are also available today for $249 and $199, respectively.
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