Specs Comparison: Surface Laptop vs MacBooks

May 2, 2017

Microsoft introduced the new Surface Laptop at its #MicrosoftEDU event in New York City. The latest Surface device from Microsoft is a normal laptop and comes with the newest version of Windows 10 that’s competing with Chromebooks. The Surface Laptop, however, is a bit different — and it’s going head to head with Apple’s lower-end MacBook devices. At the event, Microsoft’s Panos Panay compared the Surface Laptop with some of Apple’s most popular MacBook devices. Panay mentioned that the Surface Laptop is lighter and thinner than any MacBook Pro or Air, and the laptop also had more battery life than Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Air, and even the MacBook Pro.

So how does the Surface Laptop compete against Apple’s MacBook devices? We put together a handy table where you can compare some of the key components of each of the devices. We are only comparing the entry-level model of the devices since there are quite a lot of different variants available for them:

Component Surface Laptop MacBook Pro MacBook Air MacBook
Display 13.5-inch PixelSense Display (2256 x 1504, 201 PPI, touch-enabled) 13.3-inch Retina Display (2560×1600, 227PPI) 13.3-inch display (1440×900) 12-inch Retina Display (2304×1440, 226PPI)
CPU 7th gen Intel Core i5 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor
GPU Intel HD 620 Intel Iris Graphics 540 Intel HD Graphics 6000 Intel HD Graphics 515
Battery Up to 14.5 hours of video playback Up to 10 hours iTunes movie playback Up to 12 hours iTunes movie playback Up to 11 hours iTunes movie playback
Storage 128GB SSD 256GB PCIe-based SSD 128GB PCIe-based flash storage 256GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
Ports One USB 3.0 port, one Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, 3.0mm headphone jack, SD card slot Two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, 3.55 headphone jack, no SD card slot Two USB 3 ports, Thunderbolt 2 port, MagSafe 2 power slot, SD card slot, 3.mm headphone jack USB-C port, 3.55mm headphone jack
Dimensions 12.3″ x 8.79″ x .0.57″ 11.97″ x 8.36″ x 0.59″ 12.8″ x 8.94″ x 0.68″ 11.04″ x 7.74″ x 0.52″
Weight 1.25 kg 1.37 kg 1.35 kg 0.98 kg
Price $999 $1,499 $999 $1,299

The Surface Laptop beats the MacBook Air in most parts, and it also gives the MacBook Pro a run for its money. For instance, the Surface Laptop’s battery lasts up to 14.5 hours — and the entry-level MacBook Pro’s battery life only lasts 10 hours for video playback. The device is also lighter than the MacBook Pro as well as the MacBook Air. At the end of the day, the real life experience of the Surface Laptop will reveal whether it’s a better laptop than the MacBook Pro. It is also worth noting that Apple didn’t update the MacBook Air recently, and the Air line is essentially dead for the company — so it also wouldn’t be appropriate to compare the Surface Laptop with a laptop that came out years ago.

Nevertheless, if you want to get a Surface Laptop for yourself, you can pre-order one right here.

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