Surface Book 3 vs. Surface Pro 8: Which is the Better Choice?

| Last Updated: February 28, 2022

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The Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro 8 are the latest additions to the Microsoft Surface family. Are you undecided about which one you should go for? This comparison between the two Surface laptops dives into details about their features, pros, and cons that may help you determine which one suits you best. Let's get started!

Surface Book 3

The Surface Book 3 is armed with a dedicated GPU, perfect for content-related projects, programming, video editing, and other intensive tasks. You can expect this device to take your creative projects to a whole new level.

  • Up to 17.5 hours of battery life depending on usage
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB-A ports (2)
  • Full-size SDXC card reader
  • Surface Connect port
  • Discrete graphics card
  • No Numpad
  • Weak speakers
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Most Powerful 2-in-1 Business Laptop

The Surface Pro 8 laptop is ideal for demanding business tasks, including designing presentations, large data transfers, and managing reports.

  • Up to 16 hours of battery life depending on usage
  • 5-megapixel front-facing
  • Accessible SSD
  • 453 nits
  • Intel Evo certified
  • No USB-A ports
  • No MicroSD card slot
  • Keyboard sold separately

Microsoft Surface Book 3 Overview

Combining the power of a desktop and the versatility of a laptop, this new Surface Book 3 is capable of handling any on-the-go intensive projects with demanding graphics. With a dedicated GPU, you can expect higher frame rates per second.

The thing is, it's paired with a weak 10th generation Intel Core processor that limits the graphics card potential. But it has a choice of 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB RAM and up to 1 TB or 2 TB PCIe SSD to back it up. You should be able to switch between programs and store large files without it slowing down.

The screen sizes include a choice of 13.5 or 15 inches with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Both are detachable, and users have the option to add a Surface Dial. But that feature is recommended only to digital artists who want an easy button for color and contrast adjustment.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Overview

As the name implies, this surface laptop is designed for professionals and business users. For that reason, it's Intel Evo certified, and that means it meets the requirements for a business laptop in terms of portability, efficiency, and durability.

If Surface Book 3 comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core processor, the Surface Pro 8 comes with an 11th generation Intel Core chip, giving it more processing power. This can handle any tasks thrown at it with superior speed. The downside is the integrated GPU, which we’ll be talking more about that later. 

The 13-inch screen boasts a 2880 x 1920 resolution with a 3.2 aspect ratio. Just like that of the Surface Book 3, it is also detachable and compatible with Surface Dial. And as part of the Intel EVO requirement, this laptop is ultra-lightweight, weighing only 1.96 lbs, making it convenient to carry around.

Surface Book 3 vs. Surface Pro 8 Features Showdown

Surface Book 3 vs Surface Pro 8

Processor: Winner - Surface Pro 8

With improved architecture, the 11th gen Intel Core offers 50% more performance than the 10th generation chips. That said, it provides splendid gaming, video editing, and content creation experience. 

It offers the following features:

  • Enhanced AI Performance
  • Faster and more reliable connectivity
  • Advanced overclocking
  • Accelerated AI

On the other hand, the 10th generation Intel Core processors are also reliable. With its multi-thread feature, it loads and executes various programs or windows at once. It’s just that 11th gen Intel core chips deliver higher processing power.

For this feature, the Surface Pro 8 has the upper hand. 

Graphics: Winner - Surface Book 3

Armed with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, a dedicated GPU based on the award-winning Turing architecture (TU117 chip), Surface Book 3 is the clear winner. The said graphics card is known as the supercharger for modern games. In fact, it renders better on high-end titles. 

Intel Iris XE is an integrated graphics card that isn’t far behind the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. With a 3D level and 2x faster graphics performance than the previous generation, it can render up to 60 fps in a 1080p setting. However, it might fall short with graphically demanding games.

See frame rates per second in Fortnite:

Fortnight played on Microsoft Surface Laptop
Setting Nvidia GTX 1650 Intel IRIS XE
Low / 720p 250 FPS 120 FPS
Medium / 1080p 211 FPS 65−70 FPS
High / 1080p 85 FPS 30−35 FPS
Ultra / 1080p 61 FPS 24−27 FPS
4K / 2160p 11 FPS 7-8 FPS

Note: the frame rates may vary depending on the processor. Even an advanced graphics card won’t be able to render as expected if paired with a low-end CPU. 

RAM: Tie

The Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro 8 both boast up to 32GB of RAM. That means freedom from lag in video playback, photo editing, and web browsing at once! Featuring LPDDR4x technology, both laptops use a low voltage that prolongs the battery life. 

You can also opt for 8 GB or 16 GB RAM, which is sufficient enough for basic computing tasks. 

Storage: Tie

The base models of Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro 8 are equipped with 256 GB of storage, enough for all your essential files and data such as spreadsheets, documents, and photos. However, you can go for a 1 TB PCIe SSD if your creative projects require larger storage. 

See how much each capacity can hold below:

Storage JPEG (8MP) Videos (1080P) Mp3
256 GB 96000 976 66418
512 GB 192000 1408 132836
1 TB 384000 3904 265672

Display: Winner - Surface Book 3

The Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro 8 screens are 10-point multi-touch supported with a 3:2 aspect ratio. That means they can detect multiple contact points, allowing easy access and navigation through different windows on wider screens.

Both are also detachable from the Surface type cover when you want to switch from a laptop to a tablet mode. But the screen resolution made the difference.

The Surface Book 3 display has a higher resolution with 3000 x 2000 compared to Surface Pro 8 with 2880 x 1920. Although both deliver vibrant and crisp images, Surface Book 3 produces much greater details. 

We can consider the GPU Ink Acceleration and Dolby Vision support on Surface Pro 8 an edge, though. These features allow for faster ink rendering using the Surface pen and improve settings in low-light for enhanced media experience.

Camera: Winner - Surface Pro 8

While most laptops come with an unremarkable 720p camera, the Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro 8 feature an amazing 1080p front-facing webcam, both are Windows Hello sign-in supported.

What gives the Surface Pro 8 an upper hand is the 10 MP rear camera over the Surface Book 3’s 8 MP. That said, the former can shoot up to 4k video, which delivers more realistic images, which is perfect for light content creation. 

Wireless: Winner - Surface Pro 8

These Microsoft Surface laptops come with a Killer Wi-Fi 6 with stronger and faster Internet connectivity. But the Surface Pro 8 comes with Bluetooth 5.1. So how is that any better than the Surface Book 3's 5.0?

Both have a broader range of up to 400 meters and a faster data rate of 2mbps. But Bluetooth 5.1 detects accurate location, unlike the 5.0 that can only determine how far the device is.

Also, it consumes less power through the GATT caching feature. Instead of checking it consistently, it uses cache to check the connected Bluetooth device’s location.

Lastly, it comes with a connection advertising capability that enables your laptop to broadcast the moment it turns on. And, it prevents the interruption of other Bluetooth devices by running your device on a specific channel.

Ports: Winner - Surface Book 3

Surface Book 3 is the declared winner with 2 x USB-A (version 3.1 Gen 2), 2x Surface Connect ports, and a full-size SDXC card reader. The Surface Pro 8 only has 2 USB-C ports and 1 Surface Connect port. That means there’s not enough room for your laptop accessories. But both have a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

Advantages of Surface Book 3

It is perfectly designed for content creators and developers since it is packed with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 discrete graphics card. This compliments the 3K resolution display, allowing it to handle intensive photo or video editing in Adobe Creative Cloud and CAD software. 

In addition, it has plenty of ports so that you can accommodate more mobile accessories.

Advantages of Surface Pro 8

As an Intel EVO Certified laptop, it guarantees portability, power, and durability in one package. It packs the 11th generation Intel Core processor within its slim chassis, delivering higher processing power. With that, you can do more in a short time and stay ahead of your tasks. 

Furthermore, it comes with a 10mp rear camera that can shoot up to 4K videos for vibrant and true-to-life images. 


Both the Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro 8 are premium laptops with competitive performance, but it all comes to your needs and preferences. 

Buy Surface Book 3 if:

  • You need a laptop with a dedicated GPU for advanced content creation and video editing
  • You want a device with a high-resolution screen for an unbeatable media experience
  • You need a portable workhorse with long battery life
  • You want a machine that comes with plenty of ports for power and data transfer

Buy Surface Pro 8 if:

  • You need a business laptop with Intel EVO standard
  • You are looking for a device with a high-end processor and integrated GPU
  • You want a rear camera that can shoot up to 4k videos
  • You want a laptop with a kickstand

Have you decided which Surface laptop you’d want to buy?

Let us know in the comments.


When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.