How to Choose the Best Microsoft Surface Laptop or Tablet (2021)
It’s the closest analog to Apple’s MacBook Pro series. Thanks to Intel’s standard 10th-generation Intel and an optional discriminating Nvidia GPU inside the keyboard dock, you get amazing performance for a portable device. Plus, you get the long-awaited suite of Surface goodies-Windows Hello, a beautiful high-res screen, a luxurious backlit keyboard, and a large, silky-smooth glass trackpad.
The Surface Book 3 comes in a 13-inch or 15-inch package. In our battery test, the 13-inch model lasted about 12 hours, and in our real-world test, we were comfortable using it for an entire workday before having to plug it in.
Specs: 13-Inch, Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD.
It’s a stripped down, I dare say cute, little laptop that’s on the Surface Laptop like the Surface Go 2 is on the Surface Pro. That is, the “Go” moniker means that the emphasis is on bearability and bear on price, not energy. The Surface Laptop Go (7/10, Recommended WIRED) You won’t be proud by acing benchmark tests, but it’s more portable and stylish. Lots of fun to use too.
It’s small and svelte, has clean lines and a nice solid feel – something that’s rare at this price. The top is aluminum and the bottom is polycarbonate resin, which is much harder and stronger than your typical plastic laptop. It feels like a $ 1,000 laptop, but it makes some compromises to keep the price that low. The most common is the subpar screen, which is not even HD (1080p) resolution. That means the text can appear a little pixelated.
However, if you want to carry the Surface Go hybrid, but want a more traditional clamshell design, the Surface Laptop Go is a very good option. There are three available configurations, all using the same Intel i5 chip, but different sizes of RAM and SSD. The middle option is the most cost-effective, offering 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 128-gigabyte SSD. The low-end model is $ 550, but it only has 4 gigabytes of RAM, which isn’t far off these days.
Wanted specs: Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD.
Even if the Surface line isn’t as diverse as it is today, there are still some imperfections that can affect your enjoyment of a shiny new Microsoft computer. The first frustrations start when you add a device to your cart. If you’re getting a Surface hoping to use the famous, unique Surface Pen with it, you have to buy it separately. In previous years, the Surface Pro and the Surface Book came with the Pen, but that’s no longer the case.
The ports are another mixed bag for Surface devices. You can find USB-C ports on the entire Surface line, but still no support for Thunderbolt 3. You get connector support but not full speed. Despite the USB-C ports, Microsoft sticks with the magnetic Surface Connect charger (confusingly, you potential charging also using USB-C). If you know Apple’s MagSafe era isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re expecting a bit of a connector in the future, Microsoft hasn’t delivered on that yet.