Microsoft's Surface Book 3 to reportedly include Nvidia Quadro graphics

As we've been saying for some time, Microsoft is likely holding a spring hardware event, and unsurprisingly, it's probably going to announce the Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2. After all, the Surface Book 2 is going to be two and a half years old soon, and the Surface Go is a year and a half old.

Brad Sams of Petri published a report today with a couple of interesting insights of what we can expect from the new devices. Most notably, the Surface Book 3 will come with an option for Nvidia Quadro GPUs, also speculating that this will be limited to the 15-inch model.

Nvidia's Quadro GPUs are designed for mobile workstations. The configurations that Microsoft would likely use in a Surface Book 3 wouldn't actually be any more powerful than the GeForce GTX 16xx GPUs - which we were already expecting - found in the other configurations. Instead, they're built for a different kind of workload. It's entirely possible that the consumer configurations will have GeForce GTX, while the Surface Book 3 for Business will have Quadro.

Sams also writes that the Surface Book 3 will include Intel's 10th-generation CPUs, which is also no surprise. The report doesn't specify whether Microsoft will use Ice Lake or Comet Lake though, although previous leaks suggest that Microsoft will use Ice Lake. There have even been some whispers about using the 28W Core i7-1068G7.

The report says that the form factor isn't going to change on the Surface Book 3. This is a bit surprising, given that the third generation of a Surface product tends to be the one that matures a little bit.

And then there's the Surface Go 2. Sams points out that we'll likely see another Intel processor. Some had speculated that Microsoft might use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, although there were never any actual rumors saying so. While the report doesn't explicitly say so, the only newer Pentium Gold processor that Microsoft could use is the 4425Y, which is from the Amber Lake family. There also might be a higher-end Core m3 version, also from the eighth-generation Amber Lake family.

While using a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset was always a longshot, one alternative to the Pentium Gold 4425Y, which has been out for over a year, would be AMD's Athlon 3000 series. AMD launched the product at CES, aiming it straight at Intel's Pentium Gold lineup.

As for the form factor, it should remain the same, and that's no surprise. Pricing should be similar as well, with the Surface Go 2 starting at $399 and the Book 3 starting at around $1,400.

As for what else we might see at the spring event, it's anyone's guess. Microsoft hasn't given journalists hands-on time with the Surface Duo and Neo, and now that emulators are available, it might be the right time to let people actually play with them a bit.

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