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Thread: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

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    Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    And it confirms Surface Go 2, Surface Earbuds, Surface Headphones 2, and the Surface Dock 2.
    Read more.

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Just got a UK specific email after I uploaded the article, so for completeness:

    Product Availability Starting Price
    Surface Go 12th May £399
    Surface Earbuds 12th May £199.99
    Surface Book 3 13” 5th June £1599
    Surface Book 3 15” 5th June £2199
    Surface Headphones 2 5th June £239.99

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    No Ryzen 4000 - meh! The Asus G14 looks better than the top spec model in terms of weight and price:

    https://www.ebuyer.com/937319-asus-r...xoCOIgQAvD_BwE


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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    All that money for a "pro" machine, and no 8 core CPU?
    I'm gonna keep saying it till they listen! A surface book 15 with the quadro GPU and an 8 core chip would be a very fancy way of doing CAD & FEA on the go

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    I'm gonna keep saying it till they listen! A surface book 15 with the quadro GPU and an 8 core chip would be a very fancy way of doing CAD & FEA on the go
    Well until you can a cpu with 8 core and built in gpu that can basically run at 15w (current lowest ryzen 8core is 35w) that isn't happening anytime soon on the surface book range... remember the cpu is in the 'screen' not the chassis.

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by LSG501 View Post
    Well until you can a cpu with 8 core and built in gpu that can basically run at 15w (current lowest ryzen 8core is 35w) that isn't happening anytime soon on the surface book range... remember the cpu is in the 'screen' not the chassis.
    You may want to check your facts. The Ryzen 4800U is an 8C/16T CPU with a TDP configurable between 10W and 25W:

    https://www.amd.com/en/products/apu/amd-ryzen-7-4800u

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Really disappointed they haven't tweaked the design to mitigate the screen cracking issues and no Ryzen 4000 CPU options either.

    I definitely have a love/hate thing going on with the Surface line-up... so much potential that's left untapped, despite the seriously premium pricing.

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    I think the Surface Laptop 2 was a toe-dipping exercise for Microsoft and AMD, you have to remember that Microsoft have worked real close with Intel on the Surface line up before now, so IMHO it'll be at least the next iteration before we see an AMD powered Surface Book.

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    never understood the Surface Book value proposition, the Surface Pro I get (and it just needs more power and USB-C) but the laptop what is it actually adding? The Surface Go is interesting but the screen is too small so ok good for kids but weak on graphics (considering kids like games)

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by afiretruck View Post
    You may want to check your facts. The Ryzen 4800U is an 8C/16T CPU with a TDP configurable between 10W and 25W:

    https://www.amd.com/en/products/apu/amd-ryzen-7-4800u
    To be fair I missed that one when I checked... for some reason it was stuck after a 6 core cpu... but after checking most laptops with that cpu in are referring to it as 25w cpu so still above 15w. Yes it might be able to be turned down to hit 10w but how much performance would it lose in the process.

    Even if they could get that cpu to fit in the 15w range the odds of that ending up inside the surface book design is still pretty low because as much sticking a quadro in the surfacebook might try to make out it's a mobile workstation, it's anything but a workstation because the cpu will have thermal issues if it's used for anything 'workstation'...

    And that's ignoring the fact that the ryzen 4000 series wasn't around when it was being designed.... the sb3 is after all essentially just 2 different chips (cpu and gpu) from last time and arguably the time before it.

    Don't get me wrong I like the overall concept of the surfacebook, I just know it's not viable to put a 'workstation' grade mobile cpu in it.

    If we're going to see a ryzen 4000 cpu in anything it will be the surface laptop, which is far better suited for being a workstation device imo.
    Last edited by LSG501; 06-05-2020 at 08:14 PM.

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    No Ryzen 4000 - meh! The Asus G14 looks better than the top spec model in terms of weight and price:

    https://www.ebuyer.com/937319-asus-r...xoCOIgQAvD_BwE
    But, it has very questionable build quality - every review I read comments on how flexible the casing is...its just not premium quality. It's a MUCH better price/performance ratio though.

    I am still in the market for a 13" ultrabook that can cope with some gaming...now need to decide on a 13.5" SB3 with a 1650 or the new Razer with the ti....
    The Surface books will have really nice build quality again, compared to Razer in particular, and I like dealing with Microsoft support...but the razer is smaller, lighter and faster. Plus a grand cheaper.

    Both available at the same time in the UK.
    Nice problem to have, but it's a bit of a shame MS didn't put a slightly better GPU in their SB3

    edit: looking closer it's worse than that....only a 15w i5 on the 13.5" [by default]..and even the 15 only gets the 15w i7 part? I think they really missed the mark on this release...back in December, this would have been "OK" but given the competition at the moment it seems a bit sub par.
    Last edited by Spud1; 06-05-2020 at 07:39 PM.

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    But, it has very questionable build quality - every review I read comments on how flexible the casing is...its just not premium quality. It's a MUCH better price/performance ratio though.

    I am still in the market for a 13" ultrabook that can cope with some gaming...now need to decide on a 13.5" SB3 with a 1650 or the new Razer with the ti....
    The Surface books will have really nice build quality again, compared to Razer in particular, and I like dealing with Microsoft support...but the razer is smaller, lighter and faster. Plus a grand cheaper.

    Both available at the same time in the UK.
    Nice problem to have, but it's a bit of a shame MS didn't put a slightly better GPU in their SB3

    edit: looking closer it's worse than that....only a 15w i5 on the 13.5" [by default]..and even the 15 only gets the 15w i7 part? I think they really missed the mark on this release...back in December, this would have been "OK" but given the competition at the moment it seems a bit sub par.
    Its 1.6KG with an RTX2060,and it is probably better built than most gaming laptops. I would not touch any of the "slim" Intel 14NM powered gaming laptops with a bargepole,as they drink power and and the slim ones probably throttle.



    Look at the size difference,and look at the difference in CPU performance. Linus used an Intel laptop with probably the best cooling you could get for the CPU,and its a monster.

    From NBC:

    The visual design is an upgrade from existing Zephyrus laptops while incorporating the ErgoLift hinges from the consumer-centric ZenBook series. The chassis consists mostly of magnesium-aluminum with a smooth but slightly roughened texture that hides fingerprints very well. The perforations on the outer lid define the G14 as these can be illuminated with 1215 individual and customizable white Micro-LEDs. If successful with gamers, we suspect that Asus will expand the series to include RGB Micro-LEDs.

    As for rigidity, the base is stronger than even some larger Zephyrus laptops like the Zephyrus GX501 with no twisting or creaking when attempting to bend its corners. The keyboard center yields only slightly with applied pressure and the hinges are satisfactory with no creaking as well. Unfortunately, the outer lid is more flexible than we would like as it bends more easily than the displays of other subnotebooks like the XPS 13, MateBook X Pro, MacBook Pro 13, or the Razer Blade Stealth. The lid is more similar to the MSI GS65, Lenovo Legion Y740, or the Zephyrus GX501 in that regard.
    Look at the more "rigid" laptops they are all using anaemic CPUs,and most use integrated graphics or a very low end dGPU. In fact looking at their comments its probably as good,or better than most gaming laptops. Try finding a laptop with a RTX2060 in that same form factor,weighing only 1.6KG,etc which is better built.

    Even the Zenbook they mention in the review weighs the same with a GTX1650 and a quad core CPU.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 06-05-2020 at 08:26 PM.


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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    ... it has very questionable build quality - every review I read comments on how flexible the casing is...its just not premium quality. ...
    Consistent with my recent ASUS laptop experience - the last one that came into the house had to have both corners of the top cover super-glued down within a year, and has been replaced already. I'll be steering well clear of ASUS laptops in the future...

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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Hexus
    Build quality is solid throughout. Asus uses a metal frame that's indented around the chiclet keys. Torsional strength is good, with no obvious flex, and even the trackpad area is immune from buckling under hamfisted load.
    Also some other reviews:
    https://www.tomsguide.com/uk/reviews...g-zephyrus-g14

    The computer owes its light weight to the materials that make up its sleek body, with rigid magnesium and aluminum used for the chassis, deck and lid.
    Another one:
    https://www.ultrabookreview.com/3608...a401iv-review/

    This aside, the G14 is surprisingly well made for a Zephyrus G, given our experience with last year’s G15, as well as the 2020 update. The two have very little in common, as this is entirely made out of magnesium and aluminum alloys, feels premium to the touch, and is also built like a mini-tank. I’m not kidding, this chassis barely budges when pressed harder, and the screen is also well made.
    https://adoredtv.com/asus-rog-zephyr...t-impressions/

    So, the G14 is really premium feeling and sturdy.
    https://www.windowscentral.com/asus-...us-g14-preview

    This laptop is solid, with no flex and clean edges.
    Most gaming laptops are made of plastics with metal accents. For a gaming laptop it looks well made,especially when you consider its only 300G to 350G more than an XPS13 with a smaller screen.




    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Consistent with my recent ASUS laptop experience - the last one that came into the house had to have both corners of the top cover super-glued down within a year, and has been replaced already. I'll be steering well clear of ASUS laptops in the future...
    Reviews which compared it with other gaming laptops says its better built.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 06-05-2020 at 08:26 PM.


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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    I own a Surface Book 2 15 inch, specced out apart from the SSD. A couple of changes I'd want to see:

    -> Software issues, of which there are many. Display disconnects from the keyboard when the hinge is moved, palm rejection when drawing with the pen is terrible at best....
    -> Battery life - I have NEVER been able to achieve anywhere near 17.5 hours. Even with the laptop in low power (not power saver), screen low, I might just make it to 8 or 9. It's about on par with my 2017 15 inch MBP I had before.
    -> Speakers - they hiss a lot if the volume is on and they're pretty poor sound otherwise. I consume a lot of media on my laptop.
    -> Headphone jack - location is on the top right of the display, so when using it as a laptop, headphone wire hangs over the keyboard/trackpad and in front of the display.
    -> Trackpad - it's excellent, just wish it was bigger.
    -> Charging under load - to put it bluntly, it doesn't.
    -> Quality control - I've had more issues with the keyboard on my surface than I did from my mac. In fact, I never had an issue with it.

    There are many good things about the Surface Book. Performance is excellent from it. But it's not the same premium experience you get from a MacBook.
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    Re: Microsoft intros Surface Book 3 - its most powerful laptop ever

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Its 1.6KG with an RTX2060,and it is probably better built than most gaming laptops. I would not touch any of the "slim" Intel 14NM powered gaming laptops with a bargepole,as they drink power and and the slim ones probably throttle.
    I won't spend the time hunting the more negative reviews out on the flex/build quality, but it's fine if you and some reviewers disagree, flex & build quality will always be subjective to some degree. Plus, it's an ugly thing when opened up.

    The G14 is noticeably larger than the Blade Stealth 13 2020 for example that I am looking at - the Asus is 179/222/324mm and 1.6kg, and the BS is 153/210/304 and 1.4kg - that's quite a big difference to me. It's also running the 25w ice lake CPU, and early reviews i've read have not hit any noticeable throttling issues...but I guess we'll find out as they make their way into consumers hands this month, or when Gamers Nexus get hold of one.

    Sure, the G14 is going to be a LOT faster, but then it's also quite a lot bigger. It's a different type of machine in my opinion....good value for what it is, but high end ultrabook it isn't.

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