Microsoft launches Surface Book 3 to take on the new MacBook Pro

Days after Apple announced a newly-updated MacBook Pro, Microsoft has unveiled a series of new Surface devices to compete.

The Surface Book 3 headlines the announcement that also includes a new Surface Go tablet, refreshed Surface Headphones and brand new Surface Earpods that serve as a rival to the AirPods.

Microsoft’s slate grey gadgets have won considerable praise over the last few years thanks to the premium performance and excellent build quality.

The Surface Book 3 is now the most powerful laptop the company makes and comes equipped with an Intel 10th generation CPU and discrete GPU from Nvidia.

Microsoft says it has a 50% performance boost over the Surface Book 2 and boasts the battery will run for 17.5 hours on a single charge.

Like previous Surface Books, the new iteration is available with either a 13-inch or a 15-inch screen and is available with up to 32GB of RAM on board.

Meanwhile, the Surface Go 2 opts for 8th generation Intel processors that Microsoft says gives it a 64% performance boost over the previous generation.

‘We’ve added Studio Mics, our dual microphone solution, to increase voice clarity and reduce background noise for Teams meetings or video chats and a 5MP front-facing camera delivers sharp video even in low light,’ the company announced.

‘We’ve also added a new Camera app for the rear-facing camera to make it easy to scan documents, and whiteboards – whether you’re sharing notes from a meeting or turning in homework.’

The new Surface Go 2 remains the more affordable Surface option at £399 when compared to the likes of the Surface Pro X, but now has a larger 10.5-inch screen.

On the accessories side, Microsoft has refreshed the Surface Headphones with improved sound quality and better battery life. The over-ear cans will now last for 20 hours on a single charge.

They still feature active noise cancellation that can be adjusted by the on-ear dials.

Lastly, the Surface Earbuds are Microsoft’s attempt to follow the success of the AirPods.

‘We know there are times when you want to be connected without fully shutting out the world – such as listening to music while out for a run or taking a call while making dinner,’ Microsoft said in a press release.

‘Featuring an ultra- comfortable and stable fit, Surface Earbuds offer intuitive touch controls so you can start a phone call or change the song without taking out your phone. Experience rich, immersive Omnisonic sound and instantly play Spotify from your Android phone with a triple tap on either earbud.

‘Screen-free integration with Microsoft 365 lets you catch up on emails with Play My Emails in the Outlook Mobile App for iOS or allow you to dictate in Word, Outlook or PowerPoint. Enjoy all-day battery life with the included wireless charging case.’

The Earbuds will be priced at £200, the same price as the AirPods and cheaper than Apple’s AirPods Pro.

Panos Panay, the chief product officer at Microsoft, commented: ‘With every Surface we create, we are focused on two customer needs: giving you the versatility to work where, how and when you want; and harnessing the power of a seamless software and hardware experience to keep you in your flow and focused on what you want to accomplish.

‘The new products we are announcing today are rooted in that aspiration.’

The different products are being released at different times. The Surface Go 2, Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds will be available on May 12. The Surface Book 3, meanwhile, will launch on May 21.

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