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A Surface Book 3 may have finally leaked after far too long a wait

(Image credit: Future)

We've all been kept waiting for a Surface Book 3, as Microsoft hasn't updated the product in over two years and neglected it when it launched new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop models. 

A new leak seems to suggest that new Surface Book 3 could be in the works, if we are to believe benchmarks posted by leaker @_rogame and shared by Notebookcheck.

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The leaked benchmarks show multiple configurations for the Surface Book 3. In one benchmark, it is configured with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, while another benchmark shows it running the same processor with a GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q. 

In those two cases, the processor is an Intel Ice Lake chip. But, @_rogame suggests that Ice Lake may not be the only chip powering the Surface Book 3.  Another benchmark shows an unspecified processor that could be a higher-performance Ice Lake chip or even a Tiger Lake chip.

Reasonable expectations

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 packs 8th-Gen Intel Core processors, so it would be fair to expect an upgrade to the latest, high-end chips from Intel with the next update. Given battery life and heat concerns that would arise from from a high-performance chip in the tablet form factor, that would likely rule out Comet Lake, leaving only Ice Lake or Tiger Lake as options. The inclusion of Nvidia 16-series graphics also seems like a likely upgrade to the current hardware options.

While these leaks provide helpful insights into the potential specs of a Surface Book 3, there are still more questions to answer.

We still have no timeline for a release, though we'd hope sometime this year. There are also few clues about other upgrades beyond a potential redesign for the keyboard to include a writing surface on the bottom.

A pairing between Ryzen 4000 and the Surface Book 3 may not be a stretch, even if these leaked benchmarks don't suggest it. Microsoft showed AMD some love with the recent Surface Laptop 3, and the new Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors are expected to show up this year with desktop-class performance. Given the Surface Laptop 3 launched with both Intel and AMD options, Microsoft could pull a repeat of that maneuver with the Surface Book 3 to give it a big performance boost.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.