Microsoft Surface Book 3 to get two processors and 3 GPUs

Hot on the heels of the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft's top of the line Surface Book 3 gets not one but two processors, and 3 GPUs. Really.

Surface Pro 7

Read up on the Surface Pro 7, the first Surface device to debut with a Snapdragon 8cx chip.

Surface Go 2 no longer has Intel Inside

The slow-selling and small-screened Surface Go no longer has Intel inside. It was always a weird choice, putting a fourth-generation Pentium Gold chip in a 2018 product.

Just like the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3, we can expect the upcoming "Surface Go 2 Snap" to drop the USB-A port, drop the mini-DisplayPort, and drop the Surface Connect power/dock connector, and move to USB-C only.

No Thunderbolt

While we've all been hankering for a Surface device with Thunderbolt, it hasn't happened yet, and it wont happen in the future. Intel owns Thunderbolt, and seeing as Microsoft is transitioning the Surface line to Qualcomm, there's no Intel inside the Surface, so that means, no Thunderbolt on board.

Surface Book 3 get triple the grunt

The number three in the title of the Surface Book 3 is more than just a version number.

The Surface Book 3 gets two processors, and 3 GPUs.

As you know, the Surface Book divides into a clipboard section (the screen only) and a keyboard section.

In the updated Surface Book 3, the Clipboard follows the lead of the Surface Pro 7 by featuring its own tablet-only operating mode, running on a Snapdragon 8cx processor alongside all sorts of Qualcomm-supplied goodies, its own battery, and basically becomes a bigger Surface Pro 7 on its own.

Inside the keyboard section, there's a full-fat Intel Core processor, an AMD APU, and switchable Intel low-power graphics.

Join the two sections together, and you have a machine with two processors and 3 GPUs.

However, Windows can't cope with all these competing options, so you'll have the choice of:

  • Tablet Only Mode: Windows on ARM, with Snapdragon all the way

  • Mobile Mode 1: Tablet-only plus the keyboard and trackpad. (Snapdragon power)

  • Mobile Mode 2: Intel Tablet using the Intel Core processor and Intel Graphics (intel only)

  • Performance Mode: Intel Desktop using the Intel Core processor and AMD graphics. (Intel & AMD)

We can expect the Surface Book 3 to feature:

  • A revised PixelSense touch screen display

  • A revised chassis

  • No USB-A, no mini-DisplayPort, no Surface Connect port

  • Two Thunderbolt ports on the keyboard section

  • Two USB-C ports on the keyboard section

  • An SD card slot with UHS-III

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8xx processor in the Clipboard section

  • Qualcomm integrated LTE in the Clipboard section

  • Qualcomm integrated wifi AX in the Clipboard section

  • Qualcomm integrated graphics in the Clipboard section

  • Qualcomm integrated battery management in the Clipboard section

  • Intel Core i7 processor in the keyboard section

  • Intel wifi AX

  • Intel integrated graphics in the keyboard section

  • AMD discrete graphics on-die with the Core i7 in the keyboard section

  • Bluetooth 5

  • A magnetic Surface Pen holder

  • A magnetic Type Cover connector

  • A range of revised accessories.


A range of revised accessories will be compatible with the Laptop 3, including:

  • Revised Surface Pen

  • Revised Surface Dial, possibly smaller and flatter

  • Revised USB-C based Surface Power Cord

  • Revised USB-C based Surface Dock.

The revised Surface Dock will feature fewer ports, and include Ethernet, several USB-Cs, HDMI, and an integrated charger. We also expect the dock to about half the price of the current dock.

Read our ongoing coverage of the 2019 Surface line at

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas


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