Update 10/23/19: We’ve recently confirmed that Microsoft’s physical stores throughout the US are not only selling the Intel version of the Surface Laptop 3, but have them in stock. Anyone can walk in and request one for purchase.
A new member was added to the Surface Laptop family at the October Surface event, the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3. This larger Surface Laptop 3 shares many design elements with its smaller sibling, but comes in a larger form factor that’s preferred by people who prioritize screen size over portability. One main difference between the 15-inch model and the 13-inch model is that the 15-inch model is powered by an AMD chip. This chip came with high expectations but disappointed in our review. Luckily, for people looking for another option, an Intel-powered 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 for Business exists, and you don’t have to work for a business to purchase it.
In our testing period with the AMD-powered 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, there was a persistent battery drain. Leaving the lid closed overnight led to a 20 percent drop in battery. Geekbench tests for the device also came out lower than last year’s Intel Core i5 13-inch Surface Laptop 2 and this year’s Intel Core i5 Surface Pro 7.
The AMD-powered Surface Laptop 3 also lacks some driver support and optimization that appears in Intel devices. Additionally, it lacks WiFi- 6 and DDR4x RAM.
Without having a 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 for Business to test, we can’t guarantee that performance would be better. But it’s likely that an Intel-powered Surface Laptop 3 would at least have similar performance to a Surface Pro 7, which beat the AMD version of the Surface Laptop 3 in multiple ways. It’s worth pointing out that there may be warranty differences between the Surface Laptop 3 for Business and the consumer-aimed Surface Laptop 3.