The Surface family has always been attractive products for technology fans. Microsoft tried to set a benchmark for premium Windows ultrabooks with the launch of the Surface Laptop last year, but after six years, the device still needs to find a place in this diverse market. Now the fifth generation of this laptop, the Surface Laptop 5, has entered the need to compete with the MacBook Air M2 and the beautiful ultrabooks on the market.
Microsoft and Apple are two super companies in the world of technology. Apple, with a market value of about 2.4 trillion dollars, has been at the top of the table for a long time, and Microsoft has a market value of about 1.95 trillion dollars. Therefore, the two giants of the technology world are direct competitors of each other, but they are very different in the performance of their hardware products. In 2022, Apple earned about 40 billion dollars from selling the Mac family, but Microsoft’s income from the entire Surface ecosystem reached nearly 7 billion last year. This shows that the market is not happy with Surface products, and Surface Laptop is one of the reasons for this situation.
Surface Laptop 5 has been released with the same repeated design as the previous four generations, and the only noticeable change is the use of the 12th-generation Intel processor. In this way, we expect this device to be much stronger than the previous generation in terms of hardware. The introductory price of Surface Laptop 5 with the 12th generation Intel Core i5 U series processor in the global market is about $1,000.
- List of technical specifications of Surface Laptop 5
- 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels and a 60 Hz refresh rate
- 12th generation Intel Core i5-1235U processor
- Integrated graphics processor Intel Iris Xe
- 512 GB internal memory of PCIe type
- 8 GB LPDDR5X RAM memory
- 47.7-watt-hour battery
- 65-watt adapter
- Weight about 1.3 kg
Design and build quality
Surface Laptop 5 is still one of the most beautiful laptops on the market, but in this respect, it is no different from previous generations. With its all-metal body and minimal and attractive design, this laptop attracts everyone’s attention, and it is unlikely that anyone will have a problem with this design. The only thing that can question the beauty of this device in 2023 is the relatively thick border around the display. With all the beauty of the Surface Laptop 5, Microsoft could have changed this device’s design a little to compete with other beautiful products.
Surface Laptop 5 is available in 13.5 and 15-inch models in four colors: black, silver, gray, and rose gold. The colors come with a metallic inner body and are a better choice. Alcantara leather needs much care and wears out after a few months.
The back panel of the Surface Laptop 5 only has the shiny and mirrored Microsoft logo. The display hinge is also very soft and smooth but resists vibration well once fixed. The weight of Surface Laptop 5 is only 1.3 kg, and you can always carry this device with you. However, note that more modern, more beautiful, and lighter ultrabooks than this device are also in the market.
Keyboard and touchpad
Surface Laptop 5 has a standard keyboard that brings a dual experience. The keyboard keys have a suitable distance and relatively large dimensions, and you can easily find them. So even from the very first moment, you can type with this keyboard without mistakes. The surface of the keys has a slight depression so that the fingers can be placed on them well.
Surface Laptop 5 keyboard keys have good feedback, and you experience an interesting clicking sensation under your fingers. However, the movement distance of the keys is relatively small, and this issue can be annoying for long-term typing. Also, the surface under the keyboard is soft and sinks in with some pressure. The white backlight of the keyboard is also very dim and can only be seen in a completely dark environment.
The touchpad of this laptop has relatively large dimensions and gives you a pleasant experience due to its polished and frictionless surface. This touchpad also supports multi-touch gestures and can completely replace the mouse for general use.
Windows laptops usually have many communication ports with a wide variety, but the Surface Laptop 5, like other premium ultrabooks, needs more ports. Read the list of ports used in this laptop below:
- One USB Type C port with Thunderbolt 4 support
- One USB 3.1 type A port
- Dedicated Microsoft Surface Connect port
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
Interestingly, support for Thunderbolt 4 technology comes to Surface Laptop for the first time, and the previous generation Surface Laptop 4 did not benefit from this feature. We also see support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 regarding wireless communication. It is clear that the number of communication ports of this device is low, even for general use, and you have to turn to wireless peripherals. Installing HDMI image output could have reduced the severity of the crisis.
Surface Laptop 5 comes in two models with 13.5 and 15-inch screens. This 13.5-inch display uses an IPS panel with PixelSense technology and a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels, which brings a density of about 201 pixels per inch. Therefore, regarding image quality, we are facing one of the best screens in the world of Windows laptops.
This display depicts colors with good richness and appropriate contrast and has very high color accuracy. If you choose the sRGB color mode from the Windows display settings menu, you will get the most accurate colors, but if you like more vivid and saturated colors, the Enhanced way will be a better choice. The maximum brightness of the device’s display reaches about 400 nits, sufficient for use in most environments. Still, in open and bright spaces, you will also see the reflection of the environment on display due to the glossy coating of the show.
Of course, with all these interpretations, there are other ultrabooks with better displays on the market. For comparison, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro has been introduced with a 14-inch dynamic AMOLED display with 120 Hz and 3K resolution. Also, other ultrabooks with 4K screens and brightness above 500 nits can be seen in the market. Therefore, in terms of display, Surface Laptop 5 cannot compete with other products of the same category.
The Surface Laptop 5 touch screen also supports the Surface Pen, but you must spend significant money to buy it. On the other hand, using a touch screen and design in this form factor is challenging and not very useful.
The Redmonds offer their latest Surface Laptop with two processors: one model with a Core i5-1235U processor and another with a Core i7-1255U, the latest Intel chips with much more power than the previous generation. Among the specifications of this processor, it has ten physical cores (2 powerful cores and eight low-consumption cores) with a maximum frequency of 4.4 GHz and an integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics processor.
As you know, Intel’s 12th generation processors are much more potent than the 11th generation, and the difference in models of the same class reaches more than 40%. Even the 12th generation Intel Core i5 processor performs much better than the previous generation Core i7 processor. However, the U series processors are designed for general use only and are inefficient for professional tasks such as heavy video editing.
On the other hand, the processor used in Surface Laptop 5 is the same as the same processor in dozens of economic Windows laptops. So you can get the same hardware performance on a 25-30 million Tomans laptop. The table below shows the performance comparison of the Surface Laptop 5 and Acer Aspire 5 model 2022 in the R23 chest test.
Acer Aspire 5 economic laptop with the same processor has better hardware performance. On the other hand, you can upgrade most Windows laptops’ RAM and internal memory capacity at a much lower cost, but choosing higher Surface Laptop 5 models will cost you a lot. To compare, the basic model of this laptop costs about $1,000, but the 8.512 GB model is $300 more expensive, and the price for the 512.16 GB model is $1,500.
Another strange decision by Microsoft in the new generation of Surface Laptop is to be limited to Intel processors. At the same time, for Surface Laptop 4, you could choose AMD processors.
The speakers in the Surface Laptop 5 are also placed under the keyboard and do not have a specific sound output. This is why you cannot use the laptop to listen to music or podcasts by closing the screen. The overall quality of the speakers is excellent in the volume range of 40-60%. Still, as the volume increases, the minor frequencies are greatly amplified, and the overall sound quality decreases significantly. So don’t expect MacBook Pro sound from Surface Laptop 5.
Battery and charging
The energy required by the new Surface Laptop is supplied by a 47.7-watt-hour battery, which is no different from the previous generation and less than competitors. For example, the MSI Summit E13 laptop with smaller dimensions uses a 65-watt-hour battery. However, you can count on good charging for this laptop due to receiving the Intel Evo certificate.
Surface Laptop 5 completed the PCMark battery test with a result of about 9 hours, which is a perfect number. According to the development of this test and the experience of using this device, you can use this device for at least a full day without needing a charger.