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Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5: Is it worth switching from the previous model?

Still unique: The hinge of the Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5
Still unique: The hinge of the Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5
With the third edition of its convertible, Microsoft has given the Surface Book 3 13.5 an Ice Lake CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 in Max-Q design. But does the hardware really have an advantage over the Surface Book 2?
Mike Wobker & Christian Hintze, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, 🇩🇪 🇪🇸
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After our test of the Surface Book 3 15, we were overcome with the sobering realization that Microsoft somehow missed the mark with the hardware upgrade of the third convertible generation. Now we were able to take a closer look at the smaller 13.5-inch model, and at the beginning the already known strengths of the tablet-notebook hybrid were shown.

The workmanship of the case is first-class and the unique hinge allows the display to be completely removed, making it a full-fledged tablet. The keyboard dock houses a dedicated GPU and one additional battery. All the remaining hardware sits in the tablet, e.g. the new Ice Lake CPU with its capable integrated graphics unit, so users do not have to sacrifice all the performance. If the tablet is placed on the keyboard's very stable locking mechanism, a stable notebook is also available.

Where's the added value?

Inside, Microsoft is now relying on Ice Lake CPUs and the i7 variant that we have tested has also been given an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 in the energy-saving Max-Q design. However, this is almost the only component that offers higher performance compared to the previous model. Both the Intel Core i7-1065G7 and the mass storage do no better than the components in the Surface Book 2. Instead, the SSD is a lot slower now and the CPU is at par with its predeccessor at best.

Since the battery life is significantly shorter and the connection equipment has not changed, owners of the previous model will certainly not be ready to switch. Ultimately, the plus in system performance is mainly due to the graphics card. Anyone who has always flirted with the purchase of a Surface Book will still enjoy the device. 

Quelle(n)

Our detailed review of the Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5 shows further differences between this model and its predecessor.

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Mike Wobker
Editor of the original article: Mike Wobker - Senior Tech Writer - 408 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I carried out my first IT experiments with a 386-based system and a whole 4 MB RAM. This was followed by work on various PCs and laptops that I maintained and repaired for friends and acquaintances. After training to become a Telecommunications Systems Technician and gaining a few years of experience, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Currently, I pursue my fascination for IT, technology, and mobile devices by writing reviews and articles for Notebookcheck. I have also worked for Gamestar, Netzwelt, and Golem, among others.
contact me via: @mornoc_mw, Xing
Christian Hintze
Translator: Christian Hintze - Managing Editor - 1623 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
A C64 marked my entry into the world of PCs. I spent my student internship in the repair department of a computer shop and at the end of the day I was allowed to assemble my own 486 PC from “workshop remnants”. As a result of this, I later studied computer science at the Humboldt University in Berlin, with psychology also being added to my studies. After my first job as a research assistant at the university, I went to London for a year and worked for Sega in computer game translation quality assurance. This included working on games such as Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and Company of Heroes. I have been writing for Notebookcheck since 2017.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 06 > Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5: Is it worth switching from the previous model?
Mike Wobker & Christian Hintze, 2020-06-29 (Update: 2020-06-26)