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Last October Microsoft introduced a whole new range of Surface devices. All eyes focused on Surface Duo , a dual-screen phone with Android, Surface Neo, a double-screen tablet with the size of a notebook, and the Surface Pro X tablet, with ARM processor but very focused on the creative audience, a Direct competitor for Apple iPad Pro.
It was logical. The three products (the first two are currently a prototype) show the most ambitious face of Microsoft as a PC manufacturer, a role that has been exercising since 2012 with a clearly bullish trajectory. Microsoft is not the largest manufacturer of PCs but in these years it is proving to be one of the best, or, at least, one of the most interesting.
The best test is found precisely in another of the devices announced in that event, one that has gone much more unnoticed. It is the third generation of Surface Laptop computers, computers are to some extent created to be a conventional computer for the vast majority of users.
During the last two weeks we have been able to try one in Pixel and the feeling it leaves is that of a logical evolution . It is not perfect, and there is a lot of competition among Windows PC manufacturers, but as with the Pixel range on Android it is a device that fits perfectly on the Windows platform, and that allows it to stand out among other offers. It is easy to recommend and very difficult for someone to buy it to be disappointed.
Initially, the design does not change much compared to the previous version. Surface Laptop 3 repeats the same aesthetic guides of the Surface Laptop 2 model with two caveats.
The first is that not all models are finished in Alcantara, a soft textured fabric that Microsoft has so far used on the Surface Laptop's keyboard. Of the four available finishes, two (gold and black) have an aluminum surface . In Spain the gold model we have tried will not be available at first but the silver can be purchased without an Alcantara finish.
Microsoft also now offers a 15-inch version of the computer that also does not have the Alcantara finish in any of its configurations. For many it will be a relief because although Alcantara's touch is pleasant, it is also more prone to staining from the continuous rubbing with the skin.
The second caveat is that the trackpad is now 20% larger . The previous one was not small, but the new size suits him even better and Microsoft can continue to boast of having the best trackpads of the Windows ecosystem, comparable to those of Macbooks, which have always stood out in this section.
It not only boasts trackpad but also keys, a point of friction for apple computer users - among those that include me - in recent years. The keyboard of the Surface Laptop 3 is fantastic, precise and with good travel .
Nine hours of autonomy
Surface Laptop 3 is not a computer that will convince the most demanding users in terms of performance. It is not a computer for gaming and although the 15-inch model has a somewhat more powerful graphics card, it does not become the ideal type of machine to squeeze in this type of applications.
But its latest generation Intel processor does not choke any task and is more than remarkable for the usual use of a computer with an added advantage and that is that the consumption is frankly low. With the battery fully charged, the Surface Laptop 3 has endured more than 9 hours of continuous use . This figure varies among users because it depends a lot on the type of tasks that are performed with the laptop, but the feeling is that it has sufficient autonomy for a working day away from the plug and with the advantage of having a fast charging mode that theoretically puts the 80% portable charge in less than an hour.
A curious detail is that it can be charged with both the included surface charger and a USB-C cable since it now has a connection - finally! - with this standard. It is not compatible with Thunderbolt 3 but it is a step in the right direction and Microsoft does not sacrifice to integrate the traditional USB-A port. In a time when lighter and more compact computers tend to sacrifice connections, it is a strategy that is appreciated.
Part of what makes Surface devices interesting is the possibility of becoming a tablet. Surface Laptop is a bit different because its conventional laptop design does not lend itself to such flexibility.
The screen, in any case, is still touch and the truth is that accustomed as we are to touch on links and scroll with your finger there are times when you are grateful. The image is good, with bright colors and visible in varied light conditions quite clearly.
In general, the feeling left by the Laptop 3 is that of a competent and versatile team, easy to turn into a travel companion (weighs just over a kilo ) and that has the advantage of offering a pure Windows 10 experience.
It is not especially economical, especially in high configurations. The model with 16 GB of memory and 256 GB of disk costs 1749 euros but the input model, with 8 GB and 128 GB respectively, lowers that price to 1,149 euros . There are good alternatives in Windows for that price but they do not come with the seal and the quality of the finishes and the design of Surface.
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