Which Microsoft Surface Device Should You Buy?

For some of the best Windows hardware on the market, look no further than Microsoft's Surface brand. Best known for innovative, tablet-like hardware designs, Microsoft has expanded its Surface line over the years and now offers a full family of computers, from a standard laptop to a giant desktop. The company was an early innovator in mobile-friendly hybrid PC hardware. It's hard to find a PC-maker today that doesn't ape the Surface's kickstand-packing, detachable-keyboard-rocking design. It's also hard to find a nicer Windows experience than what the Surface offers. The problem is one of choice; with such a diverse family of premium computers, which is best for your needs? Not to worry—we've sorted through the options and found the best Surface for everyone.

Updated for June 2020: We've added the new, much-improved Surface Go 2.

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The Best All-Arounder

Surface Laptop 3

Photograph: Microsoft
It isn't as smart or stylish as the transforming, flexible models that made the Surface brand famous, but sometimes (maybe most of the time) what you really need is a laptop. Tablets, kickstands, and clicky magnetic keyboard covers don't work well in every situation, which is why the Surface Laptop 3 is the best pick for most people.
The Surface Laptop has a gorgeous, 13.5-inch high-resolution display, a lovely keyboard, a stellar glass trackpad, and a slim case. Ports are one place where the Surfaces skimps (like MacBooks ), but you now get a USB-C port along with your good old-fashioned USB-A port. It also has a magnetic charging port. If you're a klutz who trips over your power cord all the time, this can be a lifesaver. It severs the connection between the wall plug and the computer before the laptop goes flying across the room like a Frisbee.
Last year, Microsoft added a 15-inch model to its Surface Laptop line. The 15-inch model comes in two flavors: one with an AMD Ryzen chip or one with an Intel processor . Microsoft says it worked closely with AMD to tune the chip for the best possible performance. It's not going to edit your next 4K feature film, but it's plenty powerful enough for most of us working on documents, browsing the web, and checking email. The Intel variant is more powerful, but it's also a little more expensive.