When introduced, Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 was a truly innovative machine, being the third generation of Microsoft’s 2-in-1 convertible detachable display. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth, however, and there is some uncertainty as to whether it will be updated. The Surface Pro 8 is the latest in the company’s detachable tablet lineup, and it makes some significant changes with a bigger screen, smaller display bezels, and (finally!) The inclusion of the grip. Thunderbolt 4 charge. It is on our list of the best laptops.
Both are great at what they do, but if you choose between them, there are some things to consider. Which machine is better, the Surface Pro 8 or the Surface Book 3?
|Microsoft Surface Pro 8||Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5 inch|
|Dimensions||11.3 inch x 8.2 inch x 0.37 inch||12.3 inch x 9.14 inch x 0.51 – 0.90 inch|
|Weight||1.96 lbs (tablet only)||3.38 lbs|
|Intel Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
|Graphic||Intel Iris Xe||Intel Iris Plus
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
|Display||13 inch 3: 2 IPS 2880 x 1920||13.5 inch 3: 2 IPS 3000 x 2000|
|256 GB PCIe SSD
512 GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
|Ports||2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x Surface Connect
3.5mm audio jack
Surface cover type
MicroSD card reader
|2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 2
1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
2 x Surface Connect
3.5mm audio jack
SD card reader
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1||Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0|
|Operating system||Windows 11||Windows 10 (upgradable to Windows 11)|
|Drums||51.5 watt-hour||69 watt-hours (Core i5) or 75.3 watt-hours (Core i7)|
|Evaluation||4 out of 5 stars||3.5 out of 5 stars|
Both machines are 2-in-1s, which means they can go from laptop to tablet by detaching something else. The Surface Pro 8 is the more traditional of the two, with a detachable keyboard that can snap in and out of the main part of the tablet. The Surface Book 3, meanwhile, is a unique design where the screen detaches from a keyboard base to become a large 13.5-inch tablet (a 15-inch version is also available). Either way, most or all of the computing power is contained in the tablet portion, while the Surface Book 3 has battery capacity and optional discrete graphics located in the keyboard portion.
Microsoft makes high-quality laptops, and the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Book 3 are no exception. The Surface Pro 8 is constructed from anodized aluminum and is rock solid, while the Surface Book 3 is made of magnesium alloy and is just as rugged. There is no bending, bending or twisting on either machine. The Surface Book 3 is a more complex design, with a pivot hinge to accommodate the heavy display portion. This makes the Surface Pro 8 simpler and less prone to long-term issues.
Understandably, the Surface Pro 8 is the smallest device, at 0.37 inches thick and 1.96 pounds for the tablet alone. Addition of the optional 180 $ Signature type cover The keyboard will add weight and thickness, but it’s still much thinner and lighter than the Surface Book 3 and, in fact, rivals the iPad Pro. Note that you might want to add a cover for Surface Pro 8 to protect it. Thanks to the aforementioned pivot hinge, the Surface Book 3 is 0.51 inch thick for the tablet only and can reach 0.90 inch thick at the hinge, and it weighs 3.38 pounds in total. . The display part is much lighter, but Microsoft does not publish its weight. Also note that the Surface Pro 8 has a built-in kickstand which makes the tablet easier to use – the tablet part of the Surface Book 3 doesn’t have a kickstand and is therefore a bit clunkier.
The Surface Pro 8’s Signature Type Cover offers a fast mechanism with good size and key spacing and can be wedged at an angle with some magnets. Our only gripe is that there is some bounce when hitting which can be awkward. The touchpad is big enough to be useful, but it’s smaller than what you’ll find on many traditional clamshell laptops, and it’s smooth and precise. The Surface Book 3 has a more conventional keyboard with a deep stroke and its own fast mechanism, with better key spacing and a more solid feel when typing. Its touchpad is larger and just as precise. You’ll enjoy typing and swiping more on the Surface Book 3 than with the Surface Pro 8, but the latter still delivers a satisfying experience.
One notable difference is in stylus support. Surface Pro 8 supports the most recent $ 130 Surface Slim 2 Pen with haptic feedback for a more realistic writing feel, and the stylus snaps into the Signature Type Cover for storage and charging. The Surface Book 3 will support all Microsoft Surface pens, but it won’t provide haptic feedback. It’s a win for the Surface Pro 8.
Finally, connectivity is another starting point. The Surface Pro 8 has fewer connections with just two USB-C ports to go with the Surface Connect port, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card reader, but those USB-C ports support Thunderbolt 4 for Faster transfer speeds and support for external enclosed graphics. Surface Book 3 has two USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 ports, one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, one Surface Connect port, one 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-size SD card reader. You’ll miss out on Thunderbolt 4 support. Both laptops support Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
The Surface Pro 8 is available with an 11th generation Intel Core i5 or i7, faster on paper than the 10th generation Core i5 or i7 available with the Surface Book 3. Our benchmarks confirm this difference, with the Surface Pro 8 score slightly higher in Geekbench 5 and considerably faster in our Handbrake test which converts a 420MB video file to H.265. In typical productivity tasks, therefore, the Surface Pro 8 will be the fastest machine.
However, the Surface Book 3 can be configured with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q discrete GPU, which is much faster than the Surface Pro 8’s Intel Iris Xe graphics. This makes the Surface Book 3 potentially faster for gaming. and any application. which can use the GPU, like Adobe’s creative suite.
Both laptops are super fast for even demanding productivity workflows, but the Surface Book 3 has the advantage of discrete graphics. If you’re looking for a creative workstation, the Surface Book 3 is the way to go. Of course, the Surface Pro 8 has a Thunderbolt 4 port and can work with an external GPU case. Add an Nvidia RTX GPU through this setup, and suddenly the Surface Pro 8 has the potential to dominate.
Surface devices have always had great displays, and these two are no different. The Surface Pro 8 has a productivity-friendly 13-inch 3: 2 aspect ratio IPS display at 2880 x 1920 resolution. It has colors slightly above the AdobeRGB 79% average and 99%. sRGB, with excellent color accuracy of DeltaE 1.4 (less than 1.0 is excellent). Brightness is 409 nits and contrast is 1,010: 1, just above our preferred threshold of 1,000: 1. The Surface Book 3 has a 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 3: 2 IPS display and it has 70% AdobeRGB and 94% sRGB average colors with 1.58 color accuracy. Brightness is lower at 362 nits, but contrast is higher at 1230: 1.
Both screens are great for productivity workers, but not colorful enough for demanding creative types. What sets the Surface Pro 8’s screen apart, however, is its 120Hz refresh rate, compared to the Surface Book 3 at 60Hz. This means the Surface Pro 8 will show smoother animations and more. movements on the screen, for a more pleasant overall experience. As mentioned above, the display also supports the haptic feedback of the Surface Slim Pen 2, which is another plus.
Without a doubt, the Surface Pro 8 is the most portable device. It’s thinner and lighter even with its keyboard attached, and it’s smaller in all dimensions. The Surface Book 3 is a much thicker, heavier machine than you’ll feel in your backpack.
Battery life makes an interesting comparison. The Surface Book 3 has up to 75.3 watt-hours of battery capacity split between the display and keyboard base, so when connected, it lasts longer than the Surface Pro 8 on its battery. 51.5 watt-hours. However, the difference is not as stark as you might expect. In our web browsing test that walks through a series of popular and complex websites, the Surface Pro 8 lasted 8.5 hours compared to the Surface Book 3, with the keyboard base attached at 8.6 hours and just 2.6 hours. hours for the display tablet part itself. Surface Pro 8 lasted 11 hours in our video test that loops local Full HD Avengers trailer, compared to the assembled Surface Book 3 at 13.7 hours and 4.9 hours for the tablet part only.
These are somewhat surprising results, making the Surface Pro 8 better than expected and mitigating some of the advantages of the Surface Book 3 over previous generations of Surface Pro. For productivity work, you’ll get similar battery life of the two, at almost a day, as long as you use the Surface Book 3 with its keyboard base attached. Comparing one tablet to another, the Surface Pro 8 lasts much longer.
Surface Pro 8 wins as tablet, while Surface Book 3 is best laptop
The Surface Pro 8 starts at $ 1,100 for a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, and goes up to a high of $ 2,599 for a Core i7, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. C is affordable at the low end, but it gets expensive quickly.
The Surface Book 3 starts at $ 1,600 for a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and an integrated graphics card. Fully configured, it’s $ 2,700 for a Core i7, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q. It’s more expensive no matter how you cut it.
If you’re looking for a tablet first and then a laptop, the Surface Pro 8 is the best choice. It’s also newer and has newer components including a newer processor and Thunderbolt 4. The latter means you can expand the Surface Pro 8 into a faster machine than the Surface Book 3. On the other hand, if You want a laptop first and a tablet second, the Surface Book 3 has its perks. It’s much more comfortable in clamshell mode, while its tablet part isn’t as practical or durable.
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