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News18 » Tech
3-min read

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 vs Dell XPS 13 vs Apple MacBook Air: Best Premium Notebooks Compared

The new Surface Laptop 3 is official, and we compare it with the two of the most popular premium portable notebooks.

Kunal Khullar | @kunalneo

Updated:October 3, 2019, 2:02 PM IST
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 vs Dell XPS 13 vs Apple MacBook Air: Best Premium Notebooks Compared
The new Surface Laptop 3 is official, and we compare it with the two of the most popular premium portable notebooks.

Microsoft announced a wide range of products yesterday at its Surface event where it introduced the new Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, a new Surface Pro X and futuristic dual-screen folding Surface Neo and Surface Duo devices. While the latter two will be arriving in late 2020, the new notebook and 2-in-1s should start hitting markets before the year ends.

The new Surface Laptop 3 is clearly targeted as a premium notebook offering with a traditional form factor. Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft even went on to compare the performance with the MacBook Air. So, it made complete sense to us to pit it against Apple's latest MacBook Air as well as the best Windows ultrabook on the market today, the Dell XPS 13.

Surface Laptop 3

The new notebook now offered in fabric as well as metal options. Microsoft’s website currently lists a total of five finishes- Sandstone (Metal), Platinum (Fabric), Black (Metal), Cobalt Blue (Fabric) and Platinum (Metal). Available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch screen options.

The range starts at $999 (Rs 72,000 approx) for the 13.5-inch variant in Platinum (Fabric) with 10th-gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The highest configuration you can opt for is the 10th-gen Core i7 with 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage in Black (Metal) finish for $2399 (Rs 1,70,500 approx). You get a 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display with 2256x1504 resolution.

As for the 15-inch variant, the base model starts at $1,199 (Rs 86,000 approx) with a special AMD Ryzen 5 3580U mobile CPU with Radeon Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in a Platinum (Metal) finish. The top variant goes to up to $2,799 (Rs 1,99,000 approx) for the AMD Ryzen 7 3780U mobile CPU with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition, 32GB RAM and 1TB storage variant in Black (Metal). Notably, there is no Intel model listed as of yet.

The new Surface Laptop now comes with a USB Type-C port and a standard USB-A port, with a headphone jack. There is also the Surface Connect port which will now offer fast charging, where Microsoft promises 0-80 percent charge under an hour. Other notable features include Windows Hello sign-in, Dolby audio support, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0.

Apple MacBook Air

Apple refreshed the highly-popular MacBook Air late last year and finally brought a design update. With that it also bumped up the pricing. While in the US the base variant starts at $1099 (Rs 78,000 approx), in India you can get it for Rs 99,900. For that price you get the 13.3-inch LED-backlit IPS display with 2560x1600 resolution. It is only available in one processor option, the 8th-gen Intel Core i5 which is a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU. You can get 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage option which is priced Rs 1,19,900. Notable features include Apple’s True Tone Retina display, integrated Touch ID sensor, two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports and stereo speakers.

Dell XPS 13

Claimed as the best Windows ultrabook year-on-year, the XPS 13 from Dell is truly and excellent machine. While the design hasn’t changed drastically over the years, but the premium finish and choice of materials have been a strong driver for the XPS series. The latest XPS 13 7390 was recently launched in India which includes the latest 10th-gen Intel processor options.

The new XPS 13 is available with up to 4K UHD resolution InfinityEdge display, 512GB of NVMe storage and 16GB of RAM. The notebook can be configured with the latest Intel Core i7-10710U processor. Dell has also moved the webcam where it should be and offers Dell Cinema, Dolby Vision, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and the smallest form factor for a 13-inch notebook. Prices for the new XPS 13 in India start at Rs 1,13,990.

While we are still awaiting the official Indian pricing of the new Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft seems to be offering a really good package here. Apart from offering a wider range of configurations, the new Surface Laptop offers the option of metal or fabric, along with improved battery life and more refined Windows experience, since it is a Microsoft product.

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