This gorgeous laptop is exclusively available to Surface aficionados.
What laptop should I buy? Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 5 is the company’s straightforward response. Microsoft’s universal laptop, the Surface Laptop, is like a Toyota Camry that has not changed much over the years. The only options available to you are the size (13.5-inch or 15-inch) and configuration.
You almost certainly know what to expect if you’ve read our review of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. Both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch versions of the Surface Laptop 5 are almost identical to their predecessors physically (with a few minor differences). Microsoft sent us with the 15-inch model to review.
The two most significant internal modifications are an update to Intel’s 12th-gen Core (“Alder Lake”) and the addition of Thunderbolt 4, which is dependent on the capabilities of that CPU. The latter is quietly important since it frees you from relying on Microsoft’s exclusive Surface Station and gives you the option to select from a wider range of Thunderbolt docks.
- A significant increase in external I/O bandwidth is provided via Usb and/or a Thunderbolt dock, which enables you to connect a wide range of classic devices, including two 4K, 60Hz monitors. The Surface Laptop 4’s productivity potential is therefore greatly increased.
- The removal of an AMD Ryzen CPU option, which in earlier versions offered alternatives for speed and battery life, is the second interesting move made by the Surface Laptop 5. Unfortunately, with the Surface Laptop 5, Microsoft only decided to use Intel’s 12th-gen Core (Alder Lake).
- With the addition of Dolby Vision IQ, a feature more frequently used in TVs to improve high-dynamic range (HDR) video, Microsoft made a more modest change to the display. Dolby IQ tries to improve the display output based on information provided by the laptop’s light sensor about the general lighting in the space. (For additional information, read Dolby IQ explained by PCWorld Australia.)
features of the Surface Laptop 5
The following processors are available: 13.5-inch (consumer) Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255U, 15-inch (consumer) Core i7-1255U (as tested), Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1265U
Display: 13.5-inch (2256×1504, 201 pip) and 15-inch (2496×1664, 201 pip) with touch and Dolby Vision IQ
Memory: 16GB as tested (8GB/16GB/32GB LPDDR5X)
Storage: 512TB as tested, 256GB/512GB/1TB M.2 NV Me SSD
Images: Iris Xu
Ports: Surface Connect, 1 10Gbps USB-A, 1 USB Type C (USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4), and 1 3.5mm jack are the ports.
Security: Windows Hello camera security
Camera: 720p (user-facing) camera
Battery: Design capacity: 47.7Wh; recorded full capacity: 46.0Wh.
Wireless: Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).
Audio: Dolby Atoms, Omni sonic speakers, and two far-field studio microphones
Operating systems: Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro (commercial); Windows 11 Home (consumer)
Dimensions are 13.5 inches (12.1 x 8.8 x 0.57 mm) and 15 inches (13.4 x 9.6 x 0.58 mm).
Weight: 13.5″: 2.80 to 2.86 pounds (fabric to metal); 15″: 3.44 pounds
Colors: Sage, Matte Black, Sandstone, and a Platinum Alas Antara option for the 13.5-inch model; Platinum and Matte Black for the 15-inch model.
Prices: $1,799 as tested; otherwise, 13.5-inch consumer models range from $999.99 to $1,699.99; commercial models range from $1,099.99 to $2,399.99; and 15-inch consumer models range from $1,299.99 to $2,399.99;
Cost of a Surface Laptop 5
Microsoft’s basic cost has remained constant since the Surface Laptop 4’s launch price, which is commendable in a society where “inflation” is a hot subject at the moment.
Surface Laptop 5: Brand-new
- The newest 15-inch Surface Laptop 5 seems more comfortable than anything else since I’ve used Surface Laptops as test platforms for multiple Windows editions for years. The Surface Laptop’s solid aluminum body seems quite solid when you take it out of the box, and many people compare it to an Apple MacBook.
- Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 5 is designed to be clear, straightforward, and productive; forget stickers, RGB lights, or special-purpose keys. You may get the 13.5-inch Laptop 5, which features a black Alcantara fabric option for the framework, but you’ll probably prefer the metal versions instead.
- As previously created, the Surface Laptop platform has historically contained one USB-C connector in addition to a USB-A port. Along with the old Surface Connect connector on the right side of the notebook, the USB-C port on the Surface notebook 5 has been updated to Thunderbolt 4. As a result, you now have three options for charging your device: the 65W charger that comes in the box, the new power Thunderbolt dock, and the older Surface Dock or Surface Dock 2.
Our review machine arrived with a Core i7 inside, configured to Windows 11’s “Recommended” power option. It is usually set at the lowest performance level in order to maintain battery life.
Keyboard, camera, and audio for the Surface Laptop 5
The fact that nearly none of these features have changed from the Surface Laptop 4 is a positive thing. All three of these factors fall into the range of acceptable to very good.
- The key travel on Microsoft Surface keyboards was formerly among the greatest in the business, but Microsoft has now decreased it to 1.3mm. Personally, I compare the thicker comfort on running shoes to the thicker key travel on Lenovo computers and high-end HP products.
- I think it’s safe to state that 1.3mm travel is still comfortable. The Surface keyboard’s top row of thin keys, which are reserved for typical laptop tasks, is the only other modification. The backlighting has three settings.
The trackpad on the Surface Laptop 5 is still quite good and practically completely clickable. Gestures performed as desired.
The Surface Laptop 5’s speed.
Almost any basic “X86” PC CPU from Intel or AMD will run Windows and the majority of software at this time, however there will still be some issues. When browsing, memory is more important than processing speed, and the Laptop 5’s 16GB readily supports many tabs. You will only be able to play 2D sprite-based games and few simple 3D games because your computer lacks a discrete graphics card.
There isn’t much to be desired about the laptop itself. It has excellent performance, is really quiet, has a wonderful keyboard, and although the trackpad is absurdly tiny (particularly on the 15″ model), it is still excellent overall.