Find the best product instantly

Loading
Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 AMD Ryzen 5, 16GB Ram, 256GB (2019)
See Top Ranked Traditional Laptops

Apple MacBook Air (early-2020) vs Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (2019)

Analysis:

The Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) is one of the very best Traditional Laptops that one can get for around $860. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 AMD Ryzen 5, 16GB Ram, 256GB (2019), however, while a very good choice at its $1,200 price point, falls just short of being remarkable.

The Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) has done great in quite a few roundups from some of the most highly trusted sources available, such as Wirecutter, Wirecutter (NYTimes), Laptop Mag, and PCmag, which perform high-quality in-depth testing. It got awarded the "Top Pick" title by Wirecutter, "Top Pick" by Wirecutter (NYTimes), and "The best 13-inch Apple laptop" by Laptop Mag in their respective roundups. Earning that much praise from such respected sources is undoubtedly an impressive accomplishment.

Returning to the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 AMD Ryzen 5, 16GB Ram, 256GB (2019), it managed to impress reviewers from two sources that are considered to be some of the most highly trusted on the internet, thanks to their in-depth hands-on testing - PCmag and Laptop Mag. It performed great in their respective Traditional Laptop roundups - it was named "Best for Content Creators, Casual Gamers" by PCmag and "The best premium Ryzen laptop" by Laptop Mag. That's quite an endorsement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. hardwarezone.com.sg, Notebookcheck.net, The Verge, WIRED, Tom's Guide, and Tom's Hardware, for example, preferred the Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020), while PCmag and Techradar rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) got reviewed the highest by hardwarezone.com.sg - it gave it a rating of 9, while the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 AMD Ryzen 5, 16GB Ram, 256GB (2019) most impressed reviewers at PCWorld, which gave it a score of 9.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Traditional Laptops on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Traditional Laptops being 7.6 out of 10, whereas the Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) and Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 AMD Ryzen 5, 16GB Ram, 256GB (2019) managed averages of 8.3 and 7.8 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 AMD Ryzen 5, 16GB Ram, 256GB (2019) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
Laptop Mag
Wirecutter
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Notebookcheck.net
Tom's Guide
CNET
The Verge
Techradar
TechSpot
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020)
$949
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 AMD Ryzen 5, 16GB Ram, 256GB (2019)
$1,656
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Frequent Travelers, Everyday Computing
in “2020 Apple MacBooks Compared: Air or Pro, Which Model Is Right for You ?” 
Last updated: a month ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for college: Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more compared” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
The Verge
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best cheap Apple laptop
in “Best laptop 2020: our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
Digital Camera World
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 10
in “The best MacBooks for photo editing in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Apr 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 8
in “The Best Laptops Under $1,000 of 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Everyday Computing Under macOS
in “The Best Ultraportable Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best MacBook for most people
in “Best laptops of 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best student laptops 2020: all the best options for school” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The most affordable MacBook
in “Best Ultrabooks in 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “Tested: The Lightest Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “The Best Battery Life Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptops for graphic design 2020: top picks for graphic designers” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Basic Productivity
in “The Best Laptops for College Students in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 6
in “Best laptops for kids 2020: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Laptops for College Students” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Laptops for College Students” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best graduation gifts to buy for 2020” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “These are our favorite gifts for grads in 2020” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best business Mac in 2020: best laptop, all-in-one, workstation, mobile workstation and laptop replacement” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Content Creators, Casual Gamers
in “The Best Touch-Screen Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 17 Apr 2020
Notebookcheck.net
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.4 out of 10
in “Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Laptops” 
Last updated: 3 Apr 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Microsoft Surface” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best laptop by Microsoft
in “Best laptop 2020: our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Windows Laptop
in “Our expert guide to buying a laptop” 
Last updated: 23 Aug 2019
The Verge
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 7.5 out of 10
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best laptop 2020: Our top 10 notebooks ranked” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 14
in “Best laptop UK 2020: The finest Windows, Apple and Chrome OS laptops you can buy from £230” 
Last updated: a month ago
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 6
in “Best Laptop for Drawing” 
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best laptop by Microsoft
in “The best student laptops 2020: all the best options for school” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best laptop for DJs by Microsoft
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best business laptop 2020” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #13 out of 15
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 10
in “Best Ultrabooks 2020: the top thin and light laptops reviewed” 
Last updated: 1 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 10
in “Best 15-inch laptop 2020: top picks with 15-inch displays” 
Last updated: 7 Apr 2020
Lustre.ai Logo

Built By the Slant team

Find the best product instantly.

Lustre recommends the best products at their lowest prices – right on Amazon.

4.7 star rating
Try it now - it's free
Lustre.ai illustration
undefinedurl nextprice drop