Microsoft has finally updated Surface Book: Microsoft Surface Book 3 has the latest that Intel and Nvidia have to offer in the same powerful package with a detachable tablet display. It comes in two sizes.
It arrives just after the launch of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has been updated to the latest specs to align it with the 16-inch MacBook Pro of late 2019.
But which of them, Surface Book 3 or MacBook Pro, is the best for you? Let’s find out!
MacBook Pro vs Surface Book 3: design and size
- Surface Book available in 13.5 and 15-inch models
- MacBook Pro available in 13-inch and 16-inch models
The two types of laptop here, Mac and Surface, have a clear difference: The Surface has a detachable screen that acts like a standalone tablet. The Mac screen is very connected and is not touch.
Two sizes 13.5 and 15 inches Surface Book 3 are available. This means that both dimensions are exactly the same with respect to screen size, but the 15-inch model is much more effective, as you can learn.
The 13.5-inch model weighs around 1.5-1.6kg depending on configuration (719g for tablet only) and measures up to 312mm x 232mm x 15mm-23mm.
The 15-inch unit measures up to 343mm x 251mm x 15mm-23mm and weighs 1.9kg (tablet weighs 817g).
In terms of the MacBook Pro, the 13-inch models measure 304.1 x 212.4 x 15.6 mm and weigh 1.4 kg. That means it’s a bit thicker and heavier than the previous model, which was 14.9mm thick / 1.37kg.
The largest 16-inch models measure 358 x 246 x 16.2 mm and weigh 2 kg. Despite the larger screen size, the new 16-inch is only marginally larger than the 15-inch it replaced.
Unsurprisingly, the 13.5-inch Surface Book is generally heavier than the equivalent due to the tablet portion, but for larger models it’s the Mac that has more weight (has a bigger screen).
MacBook Pro vs Surface Book 3: screen and touch
- Surface Book 3 displays are more pixel-dense and removable
- Surface devices are touchscreen, Macs are not
- MacBooks Offers True Tone Screen
The Surface Book 3 outperforms the MacBook Pro in terms of screen resolution, with 3,000 x 2,000 (13.5-inch, 267 ppi) and 3,240 x 2,160, (15-inch, 260 ppi) PixelSense displays.
The 16-inch display is 3,072 x 1,920 pixels (226ppi) resolution on Screen, with a board of almost 6 million pixels. The 13-inch version has the same resolution as previous MacBook Pros of 23 inches, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels (227 pixels).
All MacBook Pro displays feature True Tone, 500 nits of brightness, and a wide range of P3 colors. True Tone is a technology that was first introduced on the iPad Pro, adjusting the screen to match the color temperature of the lighting in the room.
Since the surface displays are a tablet, they are absolute touchscrest, which can be used with the surface pen or surface dial available. Macs have no touch screens, but now every MacBook Pro has a touch bar; a top of the keyboard context sensitive control panel.
MacBook Pro vs Surface Book 3: processor, graphics and storage
- 10th generation Intel Core processors on Surface Book 3 and some 13-inch MacBook Pro models, all quad-core
- 16-inch Mac has 6 or 8 cores
- Surface Book has Nvidia graphics on most models
- 16-inch Mac-only Radeon Pro graphics
Surface Book 3 mainly maintains it fairly easy to use at the front of the processor with two chips from Intel’s new Core Processor Line. These are the quad core i5-1035G7 or quad core i7-1065G7 (both dimensions).
The 13-inch MacBook Pro features quad-core Core i5 processors as standard across the range. These are eighth generation in the two lower models and tenth generation chips in the two upper versions. You can also set up a tenth-generation Core i7, too.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro provides Intel Core processors for the 8th generation and provides some options for 9th generation. What the century before? More nuclei; all 6 or 8 nuclei in the larger form. There is a standard 2.6 Ghz Intel Core i7 option with 6 cores, but there are two Core i9 processors available to you with a 2.3 Ghz or 2.4 Ghz clock speed at 4.5 or 5 Ghz turbo boost speeds.
In terms of graphics, the Core i5 versions of the 13.5-inch Surface Book 3 follow the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel Iris Plus graphics. They are not far behind and are much better than the integrated graphics of yesteryear. There’s no discrete graphics option on the 13-inch Mac, which is a bit unfortunate.
If you order a Core i7 version of Surface Book, you will get additional graphical power (at the base of the keyboard, so it is only used when docked). With the 13.5-inch that is Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 and in the 15-inch the default is the GTX 1660 Ti or you can choose the Quadro RTX 3000 at workstation level.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro uses GDDR6 AMD Radeon graphics with AMD Radeon Pro 5300 M (or 5500 M) and automated graphics that turn from one to the built-in graphics of Intel.
On the Surface Book 3, you can specify 8GB (only 13.5 inches), 16, or 32GB of latest-generation LPDDR4x 3733Mhz memory by default. On the Mac, the 16-inch model can have up to 64GB of memory, while the 13-inch model can have up to 32GB. 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory is standard on the 13-inch and 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory is standard on the 16-inch.
On Mac, storage peaks at 8TB at 16-inch and 4TB at 13-inch, but it starts at 512GB and 256GB respectively. Surface Book 3 starts at 256GB for both models, but only goes up to 2TB (apparently only in the US).
MacBook Pro vs Surface Book 3: connectivity and other specifications
- Only one USB-C on Surface Book 3, up to four on Mac
- No Thunderbolt on Surface Book 3
- Microsoft is still dedicated to Surface Connect
- Surface Book has USB-A and SD card reader
All of these models support USB-C, but while the Mac has two or four ports depending on the model, the Surface Book 3 has a lean one, which is also not enabled for Thunderbolt 3 data transfer technology . Once again, Microsoft is falling behind, even if some users will welcome the old-style USB-A port on the Surface Book. The SD card reader also remains, which is not present on the Mac.
Charging to the Surface is also done through the Surface Connect port instead of USB-C. Surface Connect is also used for connections to the official Surface Dock and Surface Dock 2 docking stations, although we prefer to use USB-C. All of these PCs and Macs have a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The keyboard was completely redesigned on the MacBook Pro after massive criticism of Apple’s previous butterfly design (presented in 15-inch end-of-life and 13-inch MacBook Pros). In 2020). The old keyboard layout is still the subject of the ongoing recovery program.
For more relaxed typing the Magic Keyboard is built to be much more robust and better traversed. The secret to physical escape has also come back. Surface Book has the same keyboard it always has, but the typing was always fantastic.
Macs run Apple’s latest version of their Mac operating system: macOS 10.15 Catalina, while Surface Book 32 has 64-bit Windows 10 Pro or Home depending on your preference.
MacBook Pro vs Surface Book 3: Price
As for the Mac, it will cost from $ 1,299 / £ 1,299 for the 13 inches. The 16-inch model starts at $ 2,399 / £ 2,399.
The Surface Book 3 starts at $ 1,599 / £ 1,599 for the 13.5-inch model, which is significantly more than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The 15-inch starts at $ 2,299 / £ 2,199.
While entry-level 13-inch Mac configurations aren’t right, it’s pretty clear that you pay quite a bit for the Surface Book 3 touchscreen and detachable 13.5-inch tablet, higher-resolution display, and 10th-gen Core processors.
But things are different for larger models where we would say that Surface Book 3 and MacBook Pro are more even. While you get the next-gen Intel Core chips and tablet part, you get more Mac cores and bigger storage. In general, we would say that the Mac has a slightly better value if you do not want a touch screen.