Surface Laptop3 – Potential MacBook Air Rival

surface laptop 3 initial review featured image

With each iteration, the Surface Devices are getting better. The good thing is they nail the basics perfectly, so you no need to compromise on anything. What made MacBook Air so successful is it does its purpose properly, delivers an uncompromised experience to the audience to whom it was built for. In the latest iteration, MacBook Air finally got a Retina Display, if it retains the old reliable keyboard and some I/Os, definitely MacBook Air would be even better. The Surface Laptop 3 has all the best things that MacBook Air has and in some parts, it is even better than the MacBook Air. If you are in the market to buy a thin portable professional laptop, this article will help you decide which one of these two devices will be a better option for you.

Super Minimal Design

Design-wise Surface Laptop 3 is very minimal than MacBook devices. There is no cut out for you to open the lid, instead, the screen part has a slight overhang which is held nicely by the hinge. The speakers are put beneath the backlight keyboard so there are no speaker grills. When you keep both the device side by side, the MacBook Air is beautiful but the Surface Laptop 3 is more beautiful.

minimal design surface laptop 3

Another unique design element for the Surface Devices is the Alcantara material. If you do lots of typing like me, then you will love this Alcantara material. Speaking about typing, Microsoft has reworked the keyboards. The new keyboards have a good amount of key travel and nice feedback. Apple’s butterfly keyboards are love or hate design, but the Surface Laptop 3’s keyboard will satisfy all types of users.

Easy To Repair And Upgrade

Mac devices are always difficult to update and repair. In the Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft has given a removable Keyboard deck and option to upgrade the SSD. By removing a few screws, you can easily replace the keyboard and can access the entire internal components. The storage options offered by Microsoft is 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.

surface laptop 3 modularity
Source: Microsoft

Another welcome improvement to the whole Surface lineup is the trackpad is increased by 20%. The trackpads in the previous generations are good, but it is not that friendly to use. The increased trackpad is good, but still, it is not close to the MacBook’s massive trackpad.


This year Microsoft has released two Surface Laptops, 13-inch and 15-inch. The 13-inch and 15-inch use different processors. If you want slightly extra graphic power and performance you can opt for the 15-inch. If you mostly do Microsoft Office works, browsing, small Adobe Lightroom editing, and email, the 13-inch would be a good choice.

AMD RYZEN processor surface laptop 3
Source: Microsoft

In the 13-inch model, quadcore 10th generation intel i5 and i7 processors are used. For the 15 inch model, Microsoft has worked with AMD to create a custom AMD RYZON chip; it has Radeon Vega 9 and Vega 11 Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition graphics. The RYZON is still a quad-core processor so you can’t do pro stuff as you do in the MacBook PRO. But this graphic cards will help you do some gaming and graphics work smoothly.

Good I/O Options

Both the 13 and 15 inches Surface Laptop 3 have one USB-A port, one USB-C port, and a headphone jack. I would like to see two USB-C’s like in the MacBook Air, at least in the 15-inch version, let’s hope we’ll get in the next iteration. The camera quality on the Surface Laptop is better than the MacBook and the face unlock on the Surface devices is really quick.

ports in surface laptop 3
Source: Microsoft

One major update which previous Surface Laptop owners will love is the fast charging option. Now the Surface Laptop 3 can charge up to 80% in an hour, the previous generation takes almost up to 3 hours to charge fully.

MacBook Air or Surface Laptop 3

The Surface Laptop 3 starts from $999 (13-inch) and the 15-inch start from $1499. On the other hand, the MacBook Air starts from $1099.

Both of them have their unique advantages. If you are in the Apple ecosystem or need a high-res screen, still the MacBook Air is the best option. No other computer is out there to give you seamless connectivity and data sharing like in the Apple devices. But, if you are not into the Apple ecosystem, Surface Laptop 3 will be a good option. Both the laptops are well-equipped and give the value for your money. For me, I slightly prefer Surface Laptop 3 over the MacBook Air for the repairability and modularity.

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