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Surface Laptop 3 vs MacBook Pro: Can Microsoft beat Apple’s best?

Surface Laptop 3 was revealed during Microsoft’s big event this week and by the end of the event it somewhat flew under the radar. However, it remains a laptop contender and possibly its biggest rival is the MacBook Pro.

Microsoft’s event saw huge introductions for the Surface Pro X, Surface Duo and Surface Neo – there was a new Surface Pro 7 too which suffered more from a bloated event than even the Surface Laptop 3.

However, the Surface Laptop 3 is still a formidable device – if a tad pricey – and Microsoft have made a few tweaks to make it more user-friendly and up-to-date with current hardware.

The Surface Laptop has always been an attractive option for students that can afford to shell out the money for a great uni device and this puts it in direct competition with the MacBook Pro.

Let’s see if Microsoft’s latest has what it takes to take Apple down a peg.

Related: Surface Pro 7 vs iPad Pro

Surface Laptop 3 vs MacBook Pro – Specs

During the Surface event, Microsoft wasn’t massively forthcoming with the range of specs on the Surface Laptop 3 but in the aftermath with found out all the nitty-gritty details.

First off, the Surface Laptop 3 comes in 13.5-inch and 15-inch models. The base model of the 13.5-inch version includes a quad-core 10th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage and can be spec’d up to an i7, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

In a big switcheroo for Microsoft, the 15-inch model comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 3580U “Microsoft Surface Edition” processor on board – along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The larger model can be upgraded to house an AMD Ryzen 7 3780U “Microsoft Surface Edition”, up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

The MacBook Pro range currently features processors that are a bit older than the newly released Surface Laptop 3. The 13-inch starts with a quad-core 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The smaller version can be upgraded to an i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage if you so choose.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro kicks off with a 6-core 9th Gen Intel Core i7 chip, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The option is there to upgrade the processor to an 8-core 9th Gen Intel Core i9, 32GB of RAM, up to 4TB of storage and the addition of AMD Radeon Pro graphics.

Related: Surface Pro X vs iPad Pro

Surface Laptop 3 vs MacBook Pro – Price

The Surface Laptop 3 13.5-inch model starts at £999 ($999) and the 15-inch model has the starting price of $1199 ($1199).

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available from £1299 ($1299) and the 15-inch starts at £2399 ($2399).

Surface Laptop 3 vs MacBook Pro – Design

The Surface Laptop 3 design isn’t a massive change from the Surface Laptop 2, but it does appear quite striking because of the removal of Alcantara.

Alcantara was a standout design choice of the Surface Laptop but many found it to be hard to clean. Microsoft has chosen to offer a new stylish machined aluminium finish for its Surface Laptop 3 – the Alcantara is still available for die-hards, however.

The MacBook Pro design is extremely familiar now, and the Surface Laptop range has taken many design cues from Apple’s flagship laptop. The thin metal design never stops looking remarkable.

Aside from the broader design language, the Surface Laptop 3 has added USB-C to its line-up of ports as well as a removable hard drive. While neither MacBook Pro sizes have a removable hard drive, the 13-inch and 15-inch models do have two and four Thunderbolt 3 ports respectively.

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