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Surface Book 2 vs. Surface Book 3

Microsoft has released a new laptop for 2020 called the Surface Book 3. So how does the new product compare against the older version, the Surface Book 2? You can find out in this comparison guide.

Quick Summary

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a major upgrade over the Microsoft Surface Book 2 as the newer version comes with better CPU, GPU, RAM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. If you want the best performance possible, then you should definitely get the new Surface Book 3.

If you are interested, you can purchase any of the laptops on Amazon with the following links:

Comparison Charts

13.5″ Surface Book 2 vs. 13.5″ Surface Book 3

 13.5" Surface Book 213.5" Surface Book 3
What's in the Box44 W (integrated GPU) or 102 W (discrete GPU) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (5 W) charging port

Quick start guide

Safety document

Warranty document
65W (Intel Core i5) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (5W) charging port or 102W (Intel Core i7) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (7 W) charging port

Quick start guide

Safety document

Warranty document
DimensionsIntel Core i5: 12.3” x 9.14” x 0.51” to 0.90” (312 mm x 232 mm x 13 mm to 23 mm)

Intel Core i7: 12.3” x 9.14” x 0.59” to 0.90” (312 mm x 232 mm x 15 mm to 23 mm)
Intel Core i5: 12.3” x 9.14” x 0.51” to 0.90” (312 mm x 232 mm x 13 mm to 23 mm)

Intel Core i7: 12.3” x 9.14” x 0.59” to 0.90” (312 mm x 232 mm x 15 mm to 23 mm)
WeightIntel Core i5: 3.38 lbs (or 1,534 g) including keyboard

Intel Core i7: 3.62 lbs (or 1,642 g) including keyboard
Intel Core i5: 3.38 lbs (or 1,534 g) including keyboard

Intel Core i7: 3.62 lbs (or 1,642 g) including keyboard
Display Specs Display Resolution: 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI)

Aspect Ratio: 3:2

Contrast Ratio: 1600:1

Touch: 10 point multi-touch G5
Display Resolution: 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI)

Aspect Ratio: 3:2

Contrast Ratio: 1600:1

Touch: 10 point multi-touch G5
CPU Configurations 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U dual-core processor

8th Gen Intel Core i5-8350U quad-core processor

8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor
10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 quad-core processor

10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 quad-core processor
GPU Configurations Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU (on Intel i5-7300U models)

Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU (on Intel i5-8350U models)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPU with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory (on Intel i7-8650U models)
Intel Iris Plus Graphics (on Intel Core i5-1035G7 models)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design with 4GB GDDR5 graphics memory (on Intel Core i7-1065G7 models)
RAM Configurations 8 GB or 16 GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR38 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x
Storage 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB PCIe SSD256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB PCIe SSD
Connections 2 x USB type-A (version 3.1 Gen 1)

1 x USB type-C (version 3.1 Gen 1 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0)

3.5 mm headphone jack

2x Surface Connect ports

Full-size SDXC card reader

Compatible with Surface Dial on- and off-screen interaction
2 x USB-A (version 3.1 Gen 2)

1 x USB-C (version 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0)
3.5 mm headphone jack

2x Surface Connect ports (one on base, one on tablet)

Full-size SDXC card reader

Compatible with Surface Dial on- and off-screen interaction
Wireless Connections Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible

Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology
Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible

Bluetooth Wireless 5.0 technology
SensorsAccelerometer

Ambient Light Sensor

Gyroscope

Magnetometer

Proximity Sensor
Accelerometer

Ambient Light Sensor

Gyroscope

Magnetometer

Proximity Sensor
Camera, Video and Audio Features 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video

8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video

Dual microphones

Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Audio

Support for Windows Sonic for Headphones

Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video

8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video

Dual far-field Studio Mics

Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos

Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
Exterior FeaturesSilver

Magnesium casing

Power button

Volume buttons
Platinum

Magnesium casing

Power button

Volume buttons
Battery Life Up to 17 hours on video playbackUp to 17.5 hours on typical device usage
Software30-day trial for Microsoft 365

Windows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bit

30-day trial for Microsoft 365 Family

Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro
Security HW TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security

Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
HW TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security

Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
Warranty1-year limited hardware warranty1-year limited hardware warranty
PricingCheck Price on Amazon.Check Price on Amazon.

15″ Surface Book 2 vs. 15″ Surface Book 3

 15" Surface Book 2 15" Surface Book 3
What's in the Box102 W Surface Power Supply with USB-A (5 W) charging port

Quick start guide

Safety document

Warranty document
127 W (Intel Core i7) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (7 W) charging port

Quick start guide

Safety document

Warranty document
Dimensions13.5” x 9.87” x 0.568” to 0.90” (343 mm x 251 mm x 15 mm to 23 mm)13.5” x 9.87” x 0.568” to 0.90” (343 mm x 251 mm x 15 mm to 23 mm)
WeightIntel Core i7: 4.20 lbs (or 1,905 g) including keyboardIntel Core i7: 4.20 lbs (or 1,905 g) including keyboard
Display Specs Display Resolution: 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI)

Aspect Ratio: 3:2

Contrast Ratio: 1600:1

Touch: 10 point multi-touch G5
Display Resolution: 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI)

Aspect Ratio: 3:2

Contrast Ratio: 1600:1

Touch: 10 point multi-touch G5
CPU Configurations 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8350U quad-core processor

8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor
10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 quad-core processor
GPU Configurations Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU (on Intel i5-8350U models)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU with 6GB GDDR5 graphics memory (on Intel i7-8650U models)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design w/6GB GDDR6 graphics memory (on Intel Core i7-1065G7 models)
RAM Configurations 16 GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR316 GB or 32 GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x
Storage 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB PCIe SSD256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB PCIe SSD
Connections 2 x USB type-A (version 3.1 Gen 1)

1 x USB type-C (version 3.1 Gen 1 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0)

3.5 mm headphone jack

2x Surface Connect ports

Full-size SDXC card reader

Compatible with Surface Dial on- and off-screen interaction
2 x USB-A (version 3.1 Gen 2)

1 x USB-C (version 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0)
3.5 mm headphone jack

2x Surface Connect ports (one on base, one on tablet)

Full-size SDXC card reader

Compatible with Surface Dial on- and off-screen interaction
Wireless Connections Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible

Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology

Xbox Wireless built-in (15” only)
Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible

Bluetooth Wireless 5.0 technology

Xbox Wireless built-in (15” only)
SensorsAccelerometer

Ambient Light Sensor

Gyroscope

Magnetometer

Proximity Sensor
Accelerometer

Ambient Light Sensor

Gyroscope

Magnetometer

Proximity Sensor
Camera, Video and Audio Features 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video

8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video

Dual microphones

Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Audio

Support for Windows Sonic for Headphones

Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video

8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video

Dual far-field Studio Mics

Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos

Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
Exterior FeaturesSilver

Magnesium casing

Power button

Volume buttons
Platinum

Magnesium casing

Power button

Volume buttons
Battery Life Up to 17 hours on video playbackUp to 17.5 hours on typical device usage
Software30-day trial for Microsoft 365

Windows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bit

30-day trial for Microsoft 365 Family

Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro
Security HW TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security

Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
HW TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security

Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
Warranty1-year limited hardware warranty1-year limited hardware warranty
PricingCheck Price on Amazon.Check Price on Amazon.

Screen Sizes

Both the Surface Book 2 and Surface Book 3 come in two screen sizes: 13.5-inch and 15-inch.

What’s in the Box

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 and 3 come with a power supply with USB-A charging port in addition to a quick start guide safety document and warrant document. You can take a look at the specific contents included in each product below:

13.5” Surface Book 2:

  • 44 W (integrated GPU) or 102 W (discrete GPU) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (5 W) charging port
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety document
  • Warranty document

15” Surface Book 2:

  • 102 W Surface Power Supply with USB-A (5 W) charging port
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety document
  • Warranty document

13.5” Surface Book 3:

  • 65W (Intel Core i5) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (5W) charging port or 102W (Intel Core i7) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (7 W) charging port
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety document
  • Warranty document

15” Surface Book 3:

  • 127 W (Intel Core i7) Surface Power Supply with USB-A (7 W) charging port
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety document
  • Warranty document

Dimensions

The measurements are identical when you compare the 13.5″ Surface Book 2 to the 13.5″ Surface Book 3 as well as the 15” Surface Book 2 to the 15” Surface Book 3. You can take a look at the dimensions below.

13.5″ Surface Book 2 and 3:

  • Intel Core i5: 12.3” x 9.14” x 0.51” to 0.90” (312 mm x 232 mm x 13 mm to 23 mm)
  • Intel Core i7: 12.3” x 9.14” x 0.59” to 0.90” (312 mm x 232 mm x 15 mm to 23 mm)
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 on Amazon.

15” Surface Book 2 and 3:

  • 13.5” x 9.87” x 0.568” to 0.90” (343 mm x 251 mm x 15 mm to 23 mm)

Weight

The weight is also the same if you match the screen size and CPU configurations between the Surface Book 2 and 3. You can find the weight specs below.

13.5” Surface Book 2 and 3:

  • Intel Core i5: 3.38 lbs (or 1,534 g) including keyboard
  • Intel Core i7: 3.62 lbs (or 1,642 g) including keyboard

15” Surface Book 2 and 3:

  • Intel Core i7: 4.20 lbs (or 1,905 g) including keyboard

Display Specs

The display specifications are identical when comparing the 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 and 3 in addition to 15-inch Surface Book 2 and 3. You can find the screen specs below.

13.5” Surface Book 2 and 3:

  • Display Resolution: 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI)
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:2
  • Contrast Ratio: 1600:1
  • Touch: 10 point multi-touch G5

15” Surface Book 2 and 3:

  • Display Resolution: 3240 x 2160  (260 PPI)
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:2
  • Contrast Ratio: 1600:1
  • Touch: 10 point multi-touch G5

CPU Configurations

The Surface Book 3 provides a big jump in terms of the central processing unit as it uses 10th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 dual-core processor. The older Surface Book 2 come equipped with 7th/8th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 dual-core processor. You can check out the CPU configurations below.

13.5” Surface Book 2:

  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U dual-core processor
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8350U quad-core processor
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor

15” Surface Book 2:

  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8350U quad-core processor
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor

13.5” Surface Book 3:

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 quad-core processor
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 quad-core processor

15” Surface Book 3:

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 quad-core processor

GPU Configurations

The Surface Book 3 also come equipped with better graphics processing units with the best option being the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design with 4GB GDDR5. You can take a look at the GPU configs below.

13.5” Surface Book 2:

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU (on Intel i5-7300U models)
  • Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU (on Intel i5-8350U models)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPU with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory (on Intel i7-8650U models)

15” Surface Book 2:

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU (on Intel i5-8350U models)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU with 6GB GDDR5 graphics memory (on Intel i7-8650U models)

13.5” Surface Book 3:

  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics (on Intel Core i5-1035G7 models)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design with 4GB GDDR5 graphics memory (on Intel Core i7-1065G7 models)

15” Surface Book 3:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design w/6GB GDDR6 graphics memory (on Intel Core i7-1065G7 models)

RAM Configurations

The RAM for the Microsoft Surface Book 3 can be as high as 32 GB, which is double the amount of possible RAM on the Microsoft Surface Book 2. Not to mention that the LPDDR4x RAM is also faster when compared to the LPDDR3. You can find the RAM specs below.

13.5” Surface Book 2:

  • 8 GB or 16 GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR3

15” Surface Book 2:

  • 16 GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR3

13.5” Surface Book 3:

  • 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x

15” Surface Book 3:

  • 16 GB or 32 GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x

Storage

The 13.5” Surface Book 2, 15″ Surface Book 2 and 13.5” Surface Book 3 come with a maximum of 1TB PCIe SSD for storage. The 15” Surface Book 3 can include a maximum of 2 TB PCIe SSD. You can find the possible configurations for each laptop below.

13.5” Surface Book 2, 15″ Surface Book 2 and 13.5” Surface Book 3:

  • 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB PCIe SSD

15” Surface Book 3:

  • 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB PCIe SSD

Connections

The Surface Book 3 features USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, which are faster than the USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports from the Surface Book 2. You can take a look at the full list of connections for the laptops below.

Surface Book 2:

  • 2 x USB type-A (version 3.1 Gen 1)
  • 1 x USB type-C (version 3.1 Gen 1 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0)
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 2x Surface Connect ports
  • Full-size SDXC card reader
  • Compatible with Surface Dial on- and off-screen interaction
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 on Amazon.

Surface Book 3:

  • 2 x USB-A (version 3.1 Gen 2)
  • 1 x USB-C (version 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0)
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 2x Surface Connect ports (one on base, one on tablet)
  • Full-size SDXC card reader
  • Compatible with Surface Dial on- and off-screen interaction

Wireless Connections

The third generation Surface Book also comes equipped with the more up-to-date Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.0 connections. If you want to use connect your Xbox One controller directly to your laptop wirelessly, you need to purchase the 15-inch version of either the Surface Book 2 or 3. You can find the full list of possible wireless connections below.

Surface Book 2:

  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible
  • Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology
  • Xbox Wireless built-in (15” only)

Surface Book 3:

  • Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible
  • Bluetooth Wireless 5.0 technology
  • Xbox Wireless built-in (15” only)

Sensors

Both Microsoft laptops come equipped with an Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer and Proximity Sensor.

Camera, Video and Audio Features

The second generation Surface Book comes with dual microphones, Dolby Audio front-facing stereo speakers and Windows Sonic for Headphones support. The third generation Surface Book is equipped with dual far-field studio microphones and Dolby Atmos front-facing stereo speakers. Otherwise the two products have identical camera, video and audio features. You can find the full list below.

Surface Book 2:

  • 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video
  • 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video
  • Dual microphones
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Audio
  • Support for Windows Sonic for Headphones
  • Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)

Surface Book 3:

  • 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video
  • 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video
  • Dual far-field Studio Mics
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)

Exterior Features

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 comes in Silver while the Microsoft Surface Book 3 comes in Platinum. Aside from the color difference, the two computer notebooks share the same magnesium casing in addition to power and volume buttons.

Battery Life

The battery life for the Book 2 is up to 17 hours based on video playback. The battery life of the Book 3 is up to 17.5 hours based on typical device usage.

Software

The 2nd Gen Surface Book 2 uses Windows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bit as the operation system. The 3rd Gen Surface Book 3 uses either Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. Both laptops also include a one month free trial of Microsoft 365.

Security

The two laptops utilize a HW TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security in addition to providing enterprise-grade protection via the Windows Hello face sign-in feature.  

Warranty

Both the Microsoft Surface Book 2 and 3 include a 1-year limited hardware warranty.

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