When it was introduced, the Surface Book 3 was a genuinely innovative laptop, as it was the third generation of the Redmond company’s 2-in-1 convertible display. However, time passes and we do not know if it will be updated. Both are excellent, but if you have to choose between these two models, there are a few things to consider: Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs. Microsoft Surface Book 3.
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The Surface Pro 8 is the latest in the company’s line of detachable tablets, and some significant changes have been made through a larger screen, smaller bezels, and the inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 support.
|Microsoft Surface Pro 8||Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5|
|Dimensions||11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches||12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51 – 0.90 inches|
|Weight||1.96 pounds (tablet only)||3.38 pounds|
|Intel Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
|Graphics||intel iris xe||Intel Iris Plus
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
|Screen||13-inch 3:2 IPS 2,880 x 1,920 pixels||13.5-inch 3:2 IPS 3,000 x 2,000 pixels|
|Storage||128GB PCIe SSD
256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
|256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
|ports||2x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1x Surface Connect
3.5mm audio jack
Surface Type Cover
Micro SD slot
|2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 2
1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
2x Surface Connect
3.5mm audio jack
|connectivity||Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1||Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0|
|Operating system||Windows 11||Windows 10 (upgradable to Windows 11)|
|Battery||51.5Wh||69Wh (Core i5) or 75.3Wh (Core i7)|
|Price||From $1,100 dollars||From $1,600 dollars|
Both devices are 2-in-1, meaning they can be converted from a laptop to a tablet by simply detaching an accessory. The Surface Pro 8 is the more traditional of the two, with a detachable keyboard that can be attached and removed from the main part of the tablet.
The Surface Book 3, on the other hand, is a unique design where the screen detaches from the keyboard dock to become a large 13.5-inch tablet (a 15-inch version is also available).
In both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch tablets, most or all of the computing power is contained in the tablet and has battery capacity and optional discrete graphics located in the keyboard.
Microsoft builds high-quality laptops, and the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Book 3 are no exception. The Pro 8 is built from anodized aluminum and is rock solid, while the Book 3 is made from magnesium alloy and is just as robust.
There is no bending or twisting in any of the equipment. The Surface Book 3 has a more complex design, with a fulcrum hinge to accommodate the heavy part of the screen. That makes Pro 8 simpler and less prone to long-term problems.
Naturally, the Surface Pro 8 is the smaller device, coming in at 0.37-inches thick and 1.96 pounds for the tablet alone. Add the keyboard Signature Type Cover The $180 option will add some weight and thickness, but it’s still much thinner and lighter than the Surface Book 3 and, in fact, rivals the iPad Pro.
Please note that you may want to add a cover to keep it protected. Thanks to the aforementioned hinge fulcrum, the Surface Book 3 is 0.51 inches thick for the tablet alone and comes in at 0.90 inches thick at the hinge, weighing 3.38 pounds total.
The screen part is much lighter, but Microsoft does not publish its weight. Also note that the Surface Pro 8 has a built-in kickstand which makes the tablet easier to use – the tablet portion of the Surface Book 3 does not have a kickstand and is therefore a bit more clumsy.
The Surface Pro 8 Signature Type Cover provides a snappy action with good key size and spacing, and can be propped up at an angle thanks to built-in magnets. Our only complaint is that there is some bouncing when typing which can be distracting.
The touchpad is big enough to be useful, but it’s smaller than you’ll find on many traditional laptops, and it’s smooth and precise.
Surface Book 3 has a more conventional keyboard with deep travel and its own snappy mechanism, with better key spacing and a more solid feel when typing.
Its touchpad is bigger and just as precise. You’ll enjoy typing and swiping on the Surface Book 3 more than the Surface Pro 8, but the latter provides a satisfying experience.
One noticeable difference is in the pen support. The Surface Pro 8 is compatible with the Surface Slim Pen 2 $130 newer with haptic feedback for a more realistic typing feel, and fits into the Signature Type Cover for storage and charging.
Surface Book 3 will support any of Microsoft’s Surface Pens, but won’t provide haptic feedback. That’s a win for the Surface Pro 8.
Finally, connectivity is another starting point. Surface Pro 8 has fewer connections with just two USB-C ports to match the Surface Connect port, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card reader, but those USB-C ports are compatible with Thunderbolt 4 for transfer speeds. faster and support for external graphics.
Surface Book 3 has two USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 ports, a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, a Surface Connect port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-size SD card reader. You will miss out on Thunderbolt 4 support. Both laptops support Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
Surface Pro 8 is available with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7, which is faster, in theory, than the 10th Gen Core i5 or i7 available in the Surface Book 3. Which means, for typical productivity tasks , the Surface Pro 8 will be the fastest computer.
Our benchmarks confirm this difference, with the Surface Pro 8 scoring slightly higher in Geekbench 5 and considerably faster in our Handbrake test which converts a 420MB video file to H.265.
The Surface Book 3 can be configured with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q discrete GPU, which is much faster than the Intel Iris Xe graphics in the Surface Pro 8. That makes the Surface Book 3 potentially better for gaming and any applications you can take advantage of the GPU, such as Adobe’s creative suite.
Both laptops are fast enough even for demanding productivity workflows, but the Surface Book 3 has the advantage of discrete graphics. If you’re looking for a creative workstation, Surface Book 3 is the way to go.
Of course, the Surface Pro 8 features a Thunderbolt 4 port and can work with an external GPU. Add an Nvidia RTX GPU through this setup and suddenly the Surface Pro 8 has the potential to dominate.
Surfaces have always had great screens, and these two are no different. The Pro 8 has a productivity-friendly 13-inch IPS display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,920 pixels.
It has slightly above average colors at 79 percent AdobeRGB and 99 percent sRGB, with excellent color accuracy of DeltaE 1.4 (less than 1.0 is ideal). Brightness tops out at 409 nits and contrast at 1,010:1, just above our preferred threshold of 1,000:1.
The Surface Book 3 has a 13.5-inch 3:2 IPS display with a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels and averages colors at 70 percent AdobeRGB and 94 percent sRGB with a color accuracy of 1.58. Brightness is lower at 362 nits, but contrast is higher at 1,230:1.
Both screens are great for productive workers, but not colorful enough for demanding creative types. What sets the Surface Pro 8’s display apart, however, is its 120Hz refresh rate, compared to the Surface Book 3’s 60Hz.
That means the Surface Pro 8 will display smoother animations and other on-screen movement, making the overall experience more enjoyable. As mentioned above, the display also supports haptic feedback from the Surface Slim Pen 2, another plus.
Without a doubt, the Surface Pro 8 is the most portable device, thinner, lighter (even with the keyboard attached), and overall smaller in all dimensions. The Surface Book 3 is a much thicker and heavier device that you will feel in your backpack.
Battery life is an interesting comparison. Surface Book 3 has up to 75.3 Wh of capacity spread across the display and keyboard dock, so when plugged in, it lasts longer than Surface Pro 8 with its 51.5 Wh battery.
Although the difference is not as surprising as one might expect. In our web browsing test running through a number of popular and complex websites, the Surface Pro 8 lasted 8.5 hours compared to the Surface Book 3, with the keyboard dock attached at 8.6 hours and just 2.6 hours for the part of the tablet with screen.
The Surface Pro 8 lasted 11 hours in our video test that plays a local Full HD Avengers trailer, compared to the Surface Book 3 at 13.7 hours and 4.9 hours for the tablet alone. Those are somewhat surprising results, they make the Pro 8 better than expected and mitigate some of the Book 3’s advantages over previous Surface Pro generations.
For productivity work, you’ll get similar battery life from both, nearly a day’s worth, as long as you use the Book 3 with its keyboard dock attached. However, when comparing one tablet to another, the Pro 8 is much more durable.
The Surface Pro 8 wins as a tablet, while the Surface Book 3 is the best laptop
The Surface Pro 8 starts at $1,100 for a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, and tops out at $2,599 with a Core i7, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. It’s affordable at the low end, but gets expensive quickly.
The Surface Book 3 starts at $1,600 for a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and integrated graphics. At the highest configuration it can go for, it costs $2,700 with a Core i7, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q. It’s more expensive no matter how you set it up.
If you’re looking for a tablet first and a laptop second, the Surface Pro 8 is the way to go. It’s also newer and has more up-to-date components, including a newer processor and Thunderbolt 4, which means you can upgrade the Surface Pro 8 to a faster machine than the Surface Book 3.
On the other hand, if having a laptop first and a tablet second is more important to you, the Surface Book 3 has its advantages. It’s much more comfortable in foldable mode, while its tablet mode isn’t nearly as convenient or durable.