Review: The best 13-inch laptops for Windows 10

Laptops and convertibles from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft square off in our performance, workability, and battery tests

1 2 3 Page 3
Page 3 of 3

Running an older Intel Core i5-4300U “Haswell” processor, the Surface Pro 3 can chew through any normal business workload with aplomb. AnandTech ran dozens of performance tests and found that the Surface Pro 3, while quite capable, isn’t as fast as the other computers in this review. That’s expected, given the Surface Pro 3’s year-old design. When I put the computer through my stress test -- more than 100 Windows 8.1 patches, run back to back -- I could hear the fan whirring, but it wasn’t overly annoying. The back got a bit warm to the touch.

The 12-inch, 2,160-by-1,440 screen feels a bit retro to me, perhaps because of the 3:2 aspect ratio. As long as I was working, it felt fine, but the minute I switched to movie trailers, I lost a whole lot of real estate to letterboxing. The screen suffers from the same lack of black fidelity (in videos) that I describe with the Yoga 3 Pro. The Dell XPS 13 has much better reproduction, especially in dark scenes, as you can see immediately in the "Batman vs. Superman" trailer.

In my battery stress test -- no Wi-Fi, no volume, 70 percent brightness, running a continuous loop of wildlife.wmv with Windows Media Player -- the Surface Pro 3 lasted 5.5 hours. That’s comparable to the Dell XPS 13 and much better than the Yoga 3 Pro.

Upgrading to Windows 10 went without a hitch -- no driver problems, no hiccups. Of course, the Surface Pro 3 doesn’t have a Windows Hello-compatible camera (for face recognition) or a fingerprint reader, but all of the desktop mode and tablet mode functions work like a champ.

If you can get a good price, grab one fast. There is no tablet (or tablet wannabe) better suited to navigate the transition to Windows 10.

This story, "Review: The best 13-inch laptops for Windows 10" was originally published by InfoWorld.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 3 Page 3
Page 3 of 3
It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon