Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review: still sleek, just no longer unique
USB-C, faster processors and new design options continue to keep Microsoft’s Windows 10 laptop near the top of the pile
Samuel Gibbs Consumer technology editorTue 11 Feb 2020 07.00 GMTLast modified on Tue 11 Feb 2020 07.03 GMT Shares 24
Microsoft’s top-quality laptop is now in its third generation, with new ports, new processors and a slight redesign, with the option to ditch the unique Alcantara for plain old aluminium.The £999 and up Surface Laptop 3 is Microsoft’s vision of what a traditional laptop should be. For the most part that’s the same as everyone else, with traditional aluminium body, glass-covered screen and hinge that does not rotate all the way round to the back.The biggest design difference, an Alcantara fabric deck into which the keyboard is mounted, is now optional. With the 13.5in Surface Laptop 3 you now have the choice of black or sandstone aluminium, or cobalt blue or platinum Alcantara. The larger 15in only comes in black or platinum aluminium.The craftsmanship of the Surface Laptop 3 is top notch, as it should be for a premium machine. The aluminium lid is smooth and stylish, fitting exactly on to the deck with solid-feeling clunk, and opening up again with one hand without tipping over backwards. The screen, too, is crisp, bright and gorgeous, rivalling the best. These are the things you should expect for a laptop costing £999 or more, but is certainly not the case for all rivals.The keyboard continues to offer arguably the best typing experience on a laptop. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianFacebookTwitterPinterest The aluminium deck is smooth and well finished, but isn’t as unique or characterful as the Alcantara alternative. It’s likely it won’t mark in the same way the fabric does, but it feels somewhat generic.The trackpad is large, smooth and responsive; arguably one of the best fitted to any Windows laptop, but it’s still not quite as fantastic as that fitted to Apple’s MacBooks.The keyboard is a dream. There is simply not a finer typing experience to be had on any other laptop. The keys are solid, well spaced, have a nice silk-like texture to them, a satisfying amount of travel and are relatively quiet.