Microsoft surprised the world with its first-ever, honest-to-goodness 2-in-1 laptop in late 2015 with the Surface Book, but, now less than a year since its follow-up Surface Book 2, we’re just about salivating over the prospect of yet another sequel.
Just imagine, a Surface Book 3 with an even sharper display, more powerful hardware guts and the latest in connectivity – the perfect opponent for Apple’s evolving MacBook Pro lineup.
While we’ve heard little to zilch in the way of reports or leaks regarding a Surface Book 2 follow-up, we can at least drum up an early wish list. So, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the possibilities of a Surface Book 3.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The would-be third Surface Book 2-in-1 laptop
- When is it out? Likely between September and November 2019
- What will it cost? Likely as much as – if not more than – the current model
Surface Book 3 release date
Microsoft released the current Surface Book 2 back in late 2017. So, if we follow the basic logic behind the firm’s release cadence of Surface products that aren’t Surface Pro, we shouldn’t expect to see a Surface Book 3 until late 2019.
Of course, we’ve heard next to nothing about when to expect the Surface Book sequel. All we have to go off of is a dodgy-at-best report from Christian Today, citing sources speaking to Gizmolead, claiming that said sequel will arrive this October. In short, there isn’t anything worthwhile to go off.
We’d be shocked to see a Surface Book 3 in 2018, but we’ve been proven wrong before. Until more concrete leaks and rumors arrive, to see the follow-up in 2019 is the expectation we’ll have to hold onto.
Surface Book 3 price
Unfortunately, we know even less about the price of the next-up Surface Book 3, because we don’t know anything else concrete about the device yet. That said, we at the very least can look at the current pricing of Surface Book 2 models and hope that the next one doesn’t go far off.
Currently, the 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 asks for $1,499 or £1,499 (around AU$2,600), while the 15-inch version holds a $2,499 or £2,349 (AU$3,649) price of entry. If you ask us, that’s already expensive enough.
So, let’s hope and pray that the would-be Surface Book 3 stays well within that price range, as we likely wouldn’t be able to afford much more.
What we want to see in a Surface Book 3
Since the aforementioned Christian Today article claims that the Surface Book 3 will have an ‘Intel Skylake-E processor (i9),’ an old line of desktop CPUs, we can’t rely on it for concrete hardware information. So, all we can do is create a wish list for what we want to see improved within the Surface Book product.
Use the extra space accordingly
Whether it’s through an expanded keyboard with the number pad or top-firing speakers with deep bass chambers, Microsoft has to make better use of the space afforded it with the 15-inch Surface Book design. As of now, it’s simply wasted space waiting to be utilized.
Thunderbolt 3, please
For as flexible as the Surface connector is on today’s Surface Book 2, it's time for Microsoft to collectively move onto Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C. Not only does it offer the fastest throughput for file transfers, Thunderbolt 3 could also serve as a one plug hub for all displays and other peripherals you want to connect. If the Surface Book 3 is to truly compete, it needs to respect this growing standard for its target audience’s sake.
Better power management
One of the fatal flaws of the Surface Book 2 15-inch was it couldn't play games without draining its battery on top of pulling charge through its Surface Connector. While Microsoft might have told us it was designed creatives and not gaming, the same company was the one who gave it a built-in Xbox controller receiver. Whatever or whoever, the next iteration is made for, it should have improved power management as to not dip into its battery reserves for extra juice.
A 4K display would be nice
The current Surface Book 2 display comes in at 3,240 x 2,160 (260 ppi) at a 3:2 aspect ratio within the 15-inch model. It’s an absolutely fantastic screen, but with 4K media assets increasingly becoming the norm, surely digital creators would appreciate a screen that mirrors the sharpness at which they produce content.
All accessories included
For what it’s charging for current – and will charge for future – Surface Book products, Microsoft should include all of the essential accessories in the box. Yes, that includes the awesome Surface Dial alongside the Surface Pen in this case. It’s only fair for what is essentially a luxury item.
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