The Microsoft Surface is one of the only tablets that is actually a laptop replacement, and Microsoft introduced several new Surface models this year. All of the Surface options can run a full version of Windows 10, and there’s a wide array of options to chose from in 2019. Most of the new models will be ready this winter, and the Surface Neo and the Surface Duo (foldable dual-screen options) will be ready for the 2020 holiday shopping season. If you’re looking for a new Surface, or if you’re planning on gifting one this year, you can choose between the Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, and the Surface Go. The Surface Laptop 3 now ships with new hardware, and there is a 13.5” or 15” display option. Outside of gaming, the Surface Laptop 2 has been my daily driver, and I was excited to see the laptop get a refresh this year. The new Surface Pro models are the Surface Pro 7, and the always-connected Surface Pro X, and both have new accessories and upgrades.
The new Surface Laptop 3 is twice as fast as previous versions, and it still offers all-day battery life. The new model comes with a 10th Generation Intel Core processor, and you can choose between the Quad-core 10th Gen i5-1035G7, or the Quad-core 10th Gen i7-1065G7. The 13″ model can ship with 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and the 15″ model offers a choice between 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The 13″ model runs on integrated graphics, and utilizes the Intel Iris Plus iGPU. The 15″ model comes with the AMD Ryzen Surface Edition processor, and you can choose between the AMD Ryzen 5 3580U with Radeon Vega 9 Graphics, or the AMD Ryzen 7 3780U with Radeon RX Vega 11. If you’re picky about the color of your Surface, the new options this year are Sandstone and Cobalt, and the new finishes are Alcantara and the machined aluminum all-metal finish. The already popular Surface Laptop keyboard has full 1.33mm key travel, and a 20% larger glass trackpad, making it more like the ever-popular MacBook Pro. The Surface Laptop also offers both USB-A and USB-C and can handle Fast Charging. You’ll also find the standard front-facing camera, as well as OmniSonic speakers and dual far-field Studio Mics.
If you plan on using your Surface more as a tablet than a laptop, then you might enjoy the Surface Pro 7 or the Surface Pro X. Just like all Surface models, you can run a full version of Windows 10 on the device, and you have the option of attaching a keyboard or placing the Surface Pro on a stand and using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to work. The Surface Pro 7 is also twice as powerful previous models, and comes equipped with a 10th Generation Intel Core processor and USB-A and USB-C, with USB-C charging. The Surface Pro X only weighs 1.68 pounds, making it the thinnest, lightest, most powerful Surface Pro ever made. The device features the new Microsoft SQ1 processor codesigned with Qualcomm, which offers 2 teraflops of graphics processing power, and is the fastest Qualcomm processor ever created for a PC. The bezels are 33% thinner on the Surface Pro X, and you have the option to equip the device with the new Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard. The keyboard also includes pen docking for storage and charging for the new Slim Pen. The Surface Pro 7 starts at $749 and Surface Pro X starts at $999.
While the Surface Go didn’t get a refresh this year, this tiny portable laptop is too terrific not to mention. The Surface Go ships with Windows 10 S, but you can switch to regular Windows 10 for free in the included Microsoft Store App. The base unit runs on a 4415Y processor, and you can choose between a 64BG model and the 128 GB model with either 4GB or 8 GB RAM. While video editors and gamers will need a little more power, this device can easily handle your Office work and internet streaming. This has been my travel Laptop since it launched, and I would suggest getting the 8 GB RAM model for a more fluid experience. If you’re worried about the smaller screen, head into a Microsoft Store to test it out, you might be surprised when you see how clear and bright everything is on the 10″ screen. This model weighs just 1.15lbs, making it the perfect travel option for work or school. You can sometimes find a few bundle that throw in the Type Cover, which I strongly recommend, and there’s an LTE option for always-on coverage if you need it.
The Surface Earbuds: $249 at at Microsoft.
Microsoft introduced the Surface Earbuds earlier this year. The new device offers touch and voice controls for music, calls and apps. You can play Spotify from your Android phone with a triple tap on either earbud, and there’s screen-free integration with Office 365. You can even get live, on-screen captions and translations in PowerPoint. These are made mostly for Android users, since Apple users already have the Airpods option.
The Surface line is the best in the business if you want a laptop outside of Apple’s iPad collection. All of the models can run Windows 10, and the Surface Laptops are some of the sleekest, thinnest, and lightest options on the market, with hardware that will keep them relevant for casual and professional use for years to come. These models aren’t made to play games, but if you’re not looking for that, they are some of the best options on the market.
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