AMD Actually Did It

By Alex Cranz on at

Microsoft is making a 15-inch Surface Laptop for people who needed more screen and power than the 13.5-inch version, and beyond being bigger, the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 will also offer AMD inside.

This is kind of amazing.

AMD doesn’t really do flagship devices. That’s something we noted when the rumours of an AMD-powered Surface Laptop first appeared. AMD might make very nice CPUs and GPUs, and its products might be popular in the gaming sector. They also power the two most popular gaming consoles (the PS4 and Xbox One), but big flagship devices like the Dell XPS and Lenovo ThinkPad lines typically don’t lean on AMD.

So the Microsoft Surface Laptop – even just one version of it – relying on AMD is a pretty big deal. In the public consciousness, AMD has been trailing behind Intel for nearly a decade. It’s the “other” CPU maker. It isn’t the headline component maker in headline laptops.

That changes with the Surface Laptop 3, which features an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and Vega 11 GPU branded as the AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Processor. Panos Panay claims it has the fastest processor of any laptop in its class currently – which means it should be faster than Intel’s fastest H-series 8th-generation processors.

The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 also offers a 10th-gen Ice Lake 4-core CPU that Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay claims is two times more powerful than the Surface Laptop 2 and three times more powerful than the current MacBook Air.

Panay claims the new Surface Laptop 3 will charge from 0 to 80 per cent in under an hour and maintain all-day battery life.

Beyond new guts and a bigger version, the Laptop 3 has a 20-per cent larger trackpad than the Laptop 2 and improved repairability. The removal of four screws on the bottom of the device should make it easy to replace the hard drive or perform maintenance on the product.

We’re hoping to get more details after the event, but if you have to have it immediately, it’s available for pre-order now and will ship 22 October. The 13.5-inch version will start at $1,000 (£812) in the US, and the 15-inch product will start at $1,200 (£975); UK pricing is still TBA. You’ll be able to choose either the usual Alacantara fabric palm rest or a new “sandstone” machined aluminium option.

Featured image: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)