Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review: A Solid but Unremarkable Upgrade
The Microsoft Surface Laptop lineup has always aimed to coalesce powerful performance with sleek design, and the fifth-generation edition of this series is no exception. The new Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 comes with improved internals and subtle refinements to further enhance the user experience. However, it doesn’t bring anything groundbreaking or drastically different to the table. In this review, we’ll explore the features of the Surface Laptop 5 and help you decide whether it’s worth an upgrade.
Design and Display
The Surface Laptop 5 sticks to the conventional design language of its predecessor – featuring a sleek, minimalist aluminum chassis with a smooth matte finish. The laptop is available in an array of color options like Platinum, Matte Black, Sandstone, and Cobalt Blue.
The display remains unchanged from the previous model – sporting a vibrant 13.5″ or 15″ PixelSense touchscreen with a 2256 x 1504 resolution for the smaller model and a resolution of 2496 x 1664 for the larger variant. Both these screens offer sharp visuals and are suitable for multimedia consumption or productivity tasks.
Under the hood, Microsoft has made improvements in terms of processing power and battery life. The Surface Laptop 5 now offers the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, providing a significant boost from the previous generation. You can configure your device with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB SSD storage to meet your computing requirements.
If you’re looking for an AMD Ryzen option in the new Surface Laptop series, Microsoft disappointingly does not offer it at this time.
One of the highlights of the Surface Laptop 5 is its improved battery life. Microsoft claims up to 19 hours on a single charge for selected models (13.5-inch), which is quite impressive for an ultrabook. Real-world usage might vary depending on your workload and settings, but you can still expect around 15 hours of battery life during regular use.
Ports and Connectivity
The Surface Laptop 5 remains fairly limited when it comes to ports. You get a single USB-C port, one USB-A port, a Surface Connect port, and the 3.5mm audio jack. The lack of Thunderbolt support might be a bummer for those who require it for their peripherals or external displays.
For wireless connectivity, you have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 which offer faster and more reliable connections.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is undeniably a solid machine with a refined design, capable performance, and a plethora of configuration options. However, it feels more like an incremental update rather than a groundbreaking leap forward for the Surface lineup.
If you are using an older Surface Laptop model or in the market for a new ultrabook, it is definitely worth considering. But if you have the Surface Laptop 4 or are looking for something substantially more cutting-edge, you might be better off waiting for the next iteration or exploring other options in the market.