Friday, August 7, 2020

Microsoft Surface 3 Laptop Review - After 6 Months Use


So part of my blog is really trying to find a balance in life in terms of how technology can improve your life. You know, just kind of add to the quality of your life doesn't have to be something expensive. It could be something very cheap, something mid-range doesn't really matter as long as it's kind of fill in that gap for what's important to you. And laptops definitely fill that gap. And there's so many different types of laptops out there.

You need to really understand what style of laptop is good for your own needs. And sometimes you might need one, two, three, four different laptops depending on what's going on in your life. If you're going to say an event like CES, yeah, you may need a video rendering powerhouse, but how often are you going to an event like CES? If you are just a typist, you know, just writing away scripts or whatever else, maybe you need something that has a very, very comfortable keyboard. If you're just on the go nonstop, 24/7 you know, traveling salesman, you know, whatever it may be. Maybe you just need a laptop that's just always connected, you know, that always has that 4G signal where it's not going to drain the hotspot on your cell phone or something like that. So that's what we're gonna kind of look into today. Which laptop am I going to use today and why? I still don't know which one I'm gonna use.

So I decided to bring the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 out with me and we're gonna kind of go over why. One thing that I really, really like about the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is its form factor. It's got these sharp edges that are just so comfortable. They're just like machine so well. It's a really great looking piece of work and it only takes one finger to raise this. That is very, very convenient. There's way too many laptops that make you struggle to open them up just with one hand, you know. So sometimes you need two hands and maybe you're lucky you have a third hand, who knows? But yeah, this is perfect. How you interact with your laptop is key. And the trackpad is the main way people use their laptops.

Yes, we could obviously have an external mouse, but the trackpad is kind of the go-to, and it's gotta be big, smooth with lots of features and that's what the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 has. I absolutely loved this trackpad I think it's one of the best in the industry. Maybe people will argue Apple's Trackpad is better, but I think you're splitting hairs at that point because this is just spectacularly the way that this works. The keyboard is another key thing that you need for your laptop. And the keyboard for the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is also one of the best experiences in typing I've ever had on a laptop. The keys have a very nice long stroke to them. They're kind of cushiony as well. They're not loud, I hate loud keyboards and it's really just kind of a best in class style of typing experience. I can type so fast on this, it's almost as fast as probably just a regular PC keyboard, so I really appreciate how they have constructed this. It's definitely a thumbs up, yes.

Now one of the key features for the Surface Laptop 3 is this three by two display. This thing makes doing web browsing or any type of research, typing papers so much easier than your, you know, flatter 16 by nine displays. You get to see so much more on the screen because what are you doing? You're scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. So you want more on the screen this way rather than this way. Now turning this on, this is the i7 variant with a 256 gigs of storage and 16 gigs Ram, it is exceptionally fast. And look at that Windows Hello with the camera right here, sees my face, pops right on. Here's my dog Louie. Now one thing that you always use is Wi-Fi in a laptop for the most part, unless you have 4G connectivity. The strength of the Wi-Fi in this device is spectacular. Now, yes, my Wi-Fi is Depoets, obviously. And so when I go into networking settings, you know, adapter, blah blah blah. It's showing here, you know, 65 megs, it'll go up to 100, maybe even show like 287. I'm out in the courtyard here, you know, so courtyard, swimming pool. My place is up there, the next one over, all right? And yes, I'm receiving a nice, very usable Wi-Fi signal over here. Yes, I'm on Wi-Fi 6 and that's the beauty of this.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 has Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. In terms of connectivity it does have the Microsoft surface connector right here. Which is fine, it's not a standardized port or anything, but I do have a doc for it in my office and I have two monitors connected to that doc as well as the Ethernet jack and I think a mouse as well. It does have the traditional USB-A here and a USB-C port. USB-C port I do use quite often because you can even charge this thing with the USB-C port and you just have to make sure it has enough wattage. I use the Samsung 45 watt charger, you know, the same charger for my Galaxy Note 10 plus and my Samsung Galaxy Book S, charges this very fast as well. And then of course the audio jack here. So you do always have to determine, you know, is your laptop really the right one for you. Are you paying too much? Are you paying too little? This is kind of vents right here. It was still overheating on me when I first got it.

I will admit to that, but I was pushing it to its limits. I was doing a lot of video editing, 4K video editing, and DaVinci Resolve and the fans were just blowing. Luckily the fans aren't loud, which is kind of nice. But me being a tech enthusiast, I saw an opportunity to put some liquid metal on this bad boy. And if you didn't catch that video where I'm putting liquid metal on the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, definitely check that out. I'll put that link up here somewhere, you know, how that works. And it completely eliminated all my throttling. So the temperatures on this thing have been amazing and improved overall performance by about 15% on average depending on the application. So for this, yes, liquid metal made a huge, huge difference. And make sure you're subscribed because I will be doing maybe a six-month followup to see what the liquid metal looks like inside of this. I do imagine eventually it will absorb a bit more into that copper heat sink. And so I'll just have to reapply a little bit more and then that'll be good to go. That's entirely normal when it comes to liquid metal and that will happen whether it's a laptop or PC. I've always loved the sound out of this thing. It's simply amazing. Yes, it's coming out of the keyboard. So it just kind of like resonates right at you. Very crisp, clear. The face is decent, the highs are really good. It gets extremely loud.

It's just one of those things where if I wanted to play anything, I just play it and I never had to think about the quality of the sound coming out of this thing. So whether it's, you know, by zoom meetings or just jamming to some music, it's been thumbs up, definitely. So this model is an i7 with the 1065G CPU, 16 gigs of Ram. I did initially have the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 that was the i5 with only eight gigs of Ram. I found out quickly, I was completely running out of Ram for my personal needs, and i5 just wasn't fast enough. So that i7 was definitely the way to go for me. And with 16 gigs of Ram, I tend to still max out on this around like 13, 14 gigs use for my workflow, my needs. So you always have to make sure you have the right amount of Ram and the right CPU for what you need to do. So at this point I've basically been giving its praise and all of those praise are definitely warranted. I have no problem with anything that I said with any of that, but there are some downsides to this. So that also comes with picking the right laptop for your particular needs. All right, now the biggest thing in the world that I have a gripe with the Surface Laptop 3 is the horrible, horrible reflection on the screen. I love the aspect ratio of the screen. I love it when I'm inside, the screen is beautiful, you know, I like the resolution for it. Everything that I do for my needs, it's perfect.

But when you're outside, I'm basically staring at myself all the time. Let me show you what I mean. So as you can see, as I'm waving away, you can see all the reflection here and that's because it's right behind me, even though I'm in the shade here. So I always have to try to angle this in order to get some type of usable view, so that I'm not just staring at myself or other people may be walking behind me all the time. It's extraordinarily reflective and very difficult to use when outside. The main applications that I use are the full OfficeSuite, obviously email, the Microsoft Edge, the new Chromium web browser, it's great on battery life. Netflix, obviously some TeamViewer stuff to log into my system at home. Definitely Plex and of course DaVinci Resolve. This Surface Laptop 3 does a wonderful job with DaVinci Resolve in terms of just scrubbing 4K footage and even some rendering. It takes a little bit longer than maybe a traditional laptop with a nice beefy video card. But DaVinci Resolve runs perfectly fine on here. This fun little thing is kind of nice. This is the mouse that does not come with the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, this is a separate purchase.

Boom, you have your mouse there automatically connects to the Surface Laptop 3, and it's actually decently comfortable. It's not the best mouse in the world but it does use a lot of gestures. So I like it a lot, I use it maybe 30% of the time, I guess because the trackpad on the surface is so nice on its own. So let's get into why I chose the Surface Laptop 3. I got up right now because I wanted to do some writing. I wanted it to really kind of get into my thoughts. I'm a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Consultant, and all that stuff in the financial world. So I type a lot and because of that, I need a nice feeling keyboard, I need something that has a lot of real estate on the screen. A nice easy trackpad so I can quickly kind of, you know, do everything I needed to do on the laptop without struggling with really tiny trackpad. And something that has some flexibility to do other things as well, like video editing, which the Surface Laptop does for me in 4K video. So overall I really like the Surface Laptop 3. I do give it a thumbs up. There are a lot of different models, you know, there's a larger one. This is the, you know, 13-inch model, which is perfectly fine for my needs and it's nice and portable as well. So I'd say I'd give it an eight out of 10. If you're just not going to do any type of liquid cooling on it, you know, liquid metal, then yes, you are going to get some throttling.

If you're pushing it heavily with video editing. For normal tasks, web browsing, you know, the full OfficeSuite, you'll probably never get any throttling, so you don't have to worry about that. And if you are a professional video editor, you're probably not going to get this Surface Laptop 3 anyway. You'll get something with a video graphics card or something like that. So overall I'd say, you know, 8/10 definitely. Great sound, great screen as long as you're not having to deal with the reflection outside. Excellent keyboard, excellent trackpad, and the mouse that pairs with it is really nice too. So overall, yeah, I'd say it's worth it. For me, I needed it to do a lot of typing, you know, because in my field I bang out a tone of emails. I do a lot of video conferencing, so it's been great for video conferencing. Zoom I'm very disappointed with it because it drains the battery on this thing. Like I don't know what, I can get maybe two and a half hours comfortably of zoom meetings in with this Surface Laptop 3, and then the battery is dead. For like the WebEx, Skype or any other video conferencing app that I've been using, the battery lasts forever. So it's definitely Zoom's issue that they need to kind of optimize that software. All right, so I'm gonna start enjoying the rest of my day. I hope you guys enjoy this video. I chose the Surface Laptop 3 obviously because I need to get some work done. That three by two aspect ratio is perfect. The keyboard is a pleasure to type on for many, many hours and the trackpad is just perfect. So those are the three main reasons why I love the Surface Laptop 3. Of course, having the USB-C for charging is wonderful, so if I have like my big 20,000 mAh battery with me, I can just keep going for hours and hours, hours, even longer.