Helping you choose between Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Book 2

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Powerful Clamshell

Surface Laptop 3

Versatile Tablet

Surface Book 2

The excellent Surface Laptop is now even better with 10th Gen Intel processors, the inclusion of AMD Ryzen CPUs (with Vega integrated graphics), and iconic design.

From $999 at Microsoft

Pros

  • Intel and AMD CPUs
  • AMD Vega iGPUs
  • Slightly more affordable
  • Great battery life
  • Slim, light design

Cons

  • Lower resolutions
  • Fewer ports
  • Not as versatile

This is still one of the best versatile Windows PCs you can buy. The only downside to the Surface Book 2 is the older Intel processors and NVIDIA GPUs.

From $1,049 at Microsoft

Pros

  • Versatile 2-in-1
  • Higher resolutions
  • More ports
  • Dedicated GPUs
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Slightly pricier
  • Older Intel CPUs

Both the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Book 2 are two great devices from Microsoft, but they serve two different roles. The Surface Laptop 3 (as the name implies) is more of a traditional clamshell experience, while the Surface Book 2 is a versatile 2-in-1, allowing you to use it as a tablet or laptop.

Surface Laptop 3 vs. Surface Book 2 tech specs

Surface Laptop 3 Surface Book 2
Processor 13.5-inch
10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7
10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7

15-inch
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 7 3780U

13.5-inch
7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U
8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U

15-inch
8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U

RAM 13.5-inch
8GB
16GB

15-inch
8GB
16GB

13.5-inch
8GB
16GB

15-inch
16GB

Storage 13.5-inch
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB

15-inch
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB

13.5-inch
256GB
512GB
1TB

15-inch
256GB
512GB
1TB

Display size 13.5-inch
13.5 inches
Touch

15-inch
15 inches
Touch

13.5-inch
13.5 inches
Touch

15-inch
15 inches
Touch

Display resolution 13.5-inch
2256 x 1504
3:2 aspect ratio

15-inch
2496 x 1664
3:2 aspect ratio

13.5-inch
3000 x 2000
3:2 aspect ratio

15-inch
3240 x 2160
3:2 aspect ratio

Graphics 13.5-inch
Intel Iris Plus

15-inch
AMD Radeon Vega 9
AMD Radeon RX Vega 11

13.5-inch
Intel UHD Graphics 620
NVIDIA GTX 1050

15-inch
NVIDIA GTX 1060

Ports 1x USB-C
1x USB-A
3.5mm audio
1x Surface Connect
1x USB Type-C
2x USB Type-A
3.5mm audio
2x Surface Connect
SD card reader
Biometrics IR camera for Windows Hello IR camera for Windows Hello
Battery 13.5-inch
Up to 11.5 hours

15-inch
Up to 11.5 hours

13.5-inch
70 Wh

15-inch
80 Wh

Dimensions 13.5-inch
12.1 x 8.8 x 0.57 inches
(308 x 223 x 14.5mm)

15-inch
13.4 x 9.6 x 0.57 inches
(339.5 x 244 x 14.69mm)

13.5-inch
12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51 – 0.90 inches
(312 x 232 x 13 – 23mm)

15-inch
13.5 x 9.14 x 0.59 – 0.90 inches
(343 x 251 x 15 – 23mm)

Weight 13.5-inch
From 2.84lb
(1.28kg)

15-inch
From 3.40lb
(1,54kg)

13.5-inch
From 3.38lb
(1.53kg)

15-inch
From 4.20lb
(1.90kg)

Gorgeous Surface design

Both Surface devices are stunning examples of Microsoft’s current design. Because they’re designed for different uses, you’ll find slight differences here and there. For instance, the Surface Laptop 3 sports a clamshell design, which restricts the hinge movement, so no tablet mode there. That’s fine for most consumers, but not so if you want a versatile device.

This is where the Surface Book 2 shines in that you can not only use it as a notebook but also detach the screen part itself for a tablet experience. The Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Book 2 come in two sizes, 13.5 and 15 inches. The specs sheet looks similar across both devices, too, aside for a few components like the processor, GPU, and display.

You’ll be able to enjoy a similar battery life, log in to Windows with the IR camera, and hook up all your accessories with USB Type-C and Type-A connections. In terms of weight and size, the Surface Book is a little heavier with all the extra moving parts and the fact you can detach the display from the keyboard half.

Comparing two stunning displays

Surface Book 2

Surface Book 2

Whether you pick the Surface Laptop 3 or Surface Book 2, you’ll be buying a device with a stunning display. Both devices house a 3:2 aspect ratio panel, but resolutions differ slightly. While the Surface Laptop 3 comes with a resolution of up to 2496×1664, the Surface Book 2 simply packs more pixels into the display, coming in at up to 3240×2160.

Should you be picking up a new Surface for creative work like video editing, the Surface Book 2 may make more sense with the extra screen real estate. That isn’t to knock down the Surface Laptop 3’s display, however, as it’s still a killer if you don’t mind sacrificing a few pixels.

Winning the performance race

Regardless of choice, you’ll manage to get through even more demanding workloads. Both the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Book 2 are designed for heavy tasks like video editing and even some light gaming. You can kit out the Surface Book 2 with an Intel Core i7 processor with a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU, unlocking some serious performance.

The Surface Laptop 3 isn’t quite as powerful as the Surface Book in the GPU department but comes rocking newer 10th Gen Intel Core processors, and you can even choose the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 with AMD Ryzen CPUs — these come with integrated Vega GPUs, though they aren’t quite as good as the GTX 1050 mobile GPU.

Both devices are more than capable enough for most tasks you’ll throw at them.

If you prefer the traditional clamshell design

Surface Laptop 3 is now better than ever thanks to the latest Intel and AMD processors, providing you more choice. It’s also at a more reasonable price than the Surface Book 2, though you’ll be missing out on more versatility.

Powerful Clamshell

Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft’s flagship laptop

Microsoft refreshed the Surface Laptop with new Intel and AMD processors, as well as a USB Type-C port! If you’re seeking one of the best Windows laptops, look no further.

Go Surface Book 2 for something a little different

The Surface Laptop 3 is a great notebook, but if you want a more unique Surface device, the Surface Book 2 is what you need thanks to a versatile design that allows for a variety of different modes.

Versatile Tablet

Surface Book 2

Versatile like a book

The Surface Book 2 can handle just about anything you throw at it thanks to powerful hardware and a design that lets you use it as a notebook or tablet. Gaming, design, or standard tasks, the Book 2 won’t complain.

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