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Surface Laptop 3: The MacBook Air killer?

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft has been pretty busy recently, launching a number of exciting, shiny new products, including the new Surface Laptop 3. Available today, the device offers an impressive balance of performance and portability, with Intel’s recently-launched Ice Lake processors under the hood.

With this latest update, Microsoft is clearly looking to position the Surface Laptop 3 ahead of the competition, arming it with specs equal to (and maybe even slightly better than) that of Apple's MacBook Air. But is it enough to make creatives consider a total switch? And will it make it to our best laptops for graphic design roundup?

In our opinion, the short answer is a big yes. The smaller Surface Laptop 3 with a 13.5-inch screen, Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD will set you back $999. The similarly-specced MacBook Air, which features a slightly less powerful Core i5 processor and a screen size that is 0.2 inches smaller, costs $100 more at $1,099. 

But surely the Air has portability on its side, right? Well, the answer is yes, but only just. Both machines are just 0.6 inches thick, with the Surface Laptop 3 barely five grams heavier than its rival. 

When it comes to connectivity, the Surface Laptop 3 also outweighs the Air's two Thunderbolt 3 ports and headphone jack, with a USB-C port, USB-A input, a Surface Connect port and a headphone/mic jack. 

Add all of that up and it's hard to see why anyone would opt for a MacBook Air when the Surface Laptop 3 has almost identical features for $100 less. Okay, so there's the whole operating system question, and naturally there's an army of loyal Apple fans out there who will never be swayed. But for those looking for an equally powerful and slightly cheaper MacBook Air alternative, the Surface Laptop 3 looks to be a very worthy contender.

If you want a slightly bigger laptop to work on, you can currently get a great deals on the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 at Best Buy, more details of which you can find below. If you're looking other devices in the Surface range, be sure to bookmark our dedicated Surface Pro Black Friday deals articles, which we will update with all the best offers as they arrive. 

Not in the US? Below you'll find the best prices on the new Surface Laptop 3 and MacBook Air in your area:

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Kerrie Hughes

Kerrie Hughes is editor of Creative Bloq. Kerrie was staff writer for 3D World magazine before joining the original Creative Bloq team in 2012. Since then she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX, 3D World and Computer Arts magazines.