Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 packs a 10th-gen Intel CPU

There will be a 15-inch AMD option when it ships October 22nd for $999.

Microsoft has good news if you just want a straightforward portable PC instead of one of its more exotic models: there's a new Surface Laptop in town. The Surface Laptop 3 shares much of the familiar design (more on that in a bit), but there's considerably more power under the hood. There's now a 15-inch model with special Surface Edition AMD Ryzen processors and Vega 11 graphics, for a start -- this won't be a hardcore gaming machine, but it should have some extra visual oomph. There are also quad-core 10th-generation Intel Ice Lake chips on the 13.5-inch, so you'll have some choices for computing power.

Microsoft is bragging that the Surface Laptop 3 is twice as quick as its predecessor, and three times faster than the MacBook Air (which uses a very low voltage chip). We'll have to verify those claims in real life, of course.

The design appears similar on the outside, but there are many subtle and not-so-subtle changes. It now has a machined aluminum finish that doesn't have an Alcantara layer. More importantly, though, it's serviceable. You can pop it open and upgrade the storage, for example. You can also expect a 20 percent larger trackpad, USB-A/USB-C ports and a fast charging system that can give the laptop an 80 percent charge in less than an hour (using the proprietary charger, not USB-C).

Both systems are up for pre-orders now, and will ship October 22nd starting at $999 for the 13.5-inch laptop and $1,199 for its 15-inch counterpart.

Follow all the latest news from Microsoft's Surface event here!