When the original Surface Book was first shown off by Microsoft, everyone fell in love. And, when the Surface Book 2 followed, it took everything the original did and turned everything up to 11 – creating one of the best 2-in-1 laptops running Windows 10 we’ve ever had the pleasure to use. So, you can understand why we’re a little hyped for the Surface Book 3 – even though we probably won’t see it for a while.
Just imagine what a Surface Book 3 could do. Just sit back and think about it for a second with us real quick – a Surface Book 2 with a sharper display, more robust hardware and Thunderbolt 3 – awesome, right? With these features, the Surface Book 3 could be the perfect counter to the MacBook Pro. If Microsoft launches a Surface Book 3 that improves on the Surface Book 2’s shortcomings, while fortifying its successes, Microsoft may create the best laptop of all time.
Now, while there is little to no concrete information about the Surface Book 3, we can at least do a bit of speculation based on past releases and our tech expertise. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into what we think the Surface Book 3 may look like.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The would-be third Surface Book 2-in-1 laptop
- When is it out? Likely between September and November 2019
- What will it cost? Likely as much as – if not more than – the current model
Surface Book 3 release date
The Surface Book 2 was released in late 2017 – it’s almost a year old. So, if we follow the release pattern of Surface devices that aren’t the Surface Pro, you shouldn’t expect the Surface Book 3 until late 2019 at the earliest.
Microsoft has teased an October 2 event where we suspect it’ll show off some new Surface devices, but we doubt the Surface Book 3 will be there.
We really don’t think the Surface Book 3 will launch in 2018 but, hey – we’ve been wrong before. Until we get some more concrete information, or even rumors, we’re going to stick with our 2019 or 2020 Surface Book 3 release date speculation.
Surface Book 3 price
Unfortunately, because there’s no concrete information about the Surface Book 3 right now, we don’t really know anything about its price. However, we can look at the pricing of the Surface Book and the Surface Book 2 and do a bit of speculation.
Right now, thanks to a new lower-storage model, the 13.5 inch Surface Book 2 starts at $1,199 or £1,149, while the 15 inch version still sits at a $2,499 or £2,349 (AU$3,649) price of admission. If you ask us, that’s already enough scratch.
Still, let’s hope and pray that the would-be Surface Book 3 stays well within that price range, as we likely wouldn’t be able to afford much more.
What we want to see in a Surface Book 3
Since the earlier mentioned Christian Today article claims that the Surface Book 3 will have an Intel ‘Skylake-E processor (i9)’, an ancient line of desktop CPUs, we really can’t rely on it for any kind of solid hardware information. So, all we can do is create a wish list for what we want to see improved in the next Surface Book.
More powerful internals
The Surface Book represents the most powerful and elegant laptops that Microsoft manufactures, so we’d like to see up-to-date components all around. Now that Intel is supposedly getting ready to release Whiskey Lake processors for laptops and Nvidia is fresh off of the Nvidia Turing announcement – the Surface Book 3 might be an extremely powerful device when it comes to market. Just imagine a portable workhorse that can do some 4K gaming in its downtime.
Use the extra space accordingly
Whether it’s through an expanded keyboard with the number pad or top-firing speakers with deep bass chambers, Microsoft has to make better use of the space afforded it with the 15-inch Surface Book design. As of now, it’s simply wasted space waiting to be utilized.
Thunderbolt 3, please
The Surface connector on the Surface Book 2 is flexible, sure, but it’s time for Microsoft to move onto Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C. Not only does Thunderbolt 3 allow for faster file transfers, it can also serve as a one plug hub for all displays and other peripherals you could want to connect. If the Surface Book 3 is really going to compete, especially in 2019 or 2020, it needs to respect this growing standard. Hey, but at least we’re getting a dongle.
Better power management
One of the fatal flaws of the Surface Book 2 15-inch was it couldn't play games without draining its battery on top of pulling charge through its Surface Connector. While Microsoft might have told us it was designed creatives and not gaming, the same company was the one who gave it a built-in Xbox controller receiver. Whatever or whoever, the next iteration is made for, it should have improved power management as to not dip into its battery reserves for extra juice.
A 4K display would be nice
The Surface Book 2’s display comes in at 3,240 x 2,160 (260 ppi) at a 3:2 aspect ration in the 15-inch model. It’s a gorgeous display, to be sure. However, while it comes close to hitting that 4K mark, true 4K assets are becoming standard, so digital creators would likely appreciate a screen that mirrors the sharpness at which they produce content.
All accessories included
For what it’s charging for current – and will charge for future – Surface Book products, Microsoft should include all of the essential accessories in the box. Yes, that includes the awesome Surface Dial alongside the Surface Pen in this case. It’s only fair for what is essentially a luxury item.
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