Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 review (13.5in): don’t judge by the cover

Microsoft isn’t known for making spectacular design changes to its Surface range, and the Laptop 5 is no different. Inside, though, it’s a different story.

Last year the Surface Book was replaced by the Surface Laptop Studio, an innovative new flagship. But under the tree, things are a bit more predictable. It also took a long time for the Surface Laptop to get a USB-C port — and it’s still the only one, now enhanced with faster Thunderbolt 4 technology. It’s an old design, and although the aluminum shell looks pretty sleek, it’s next time it’s time for a fresh look.

Our 13.5in machine (there’s also a 15in version) has a sage finish; It is joined by Grey, Black and Gold options. Specified up to the max, it’s a chunk larger than the standard model, with 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD paired with a range-topping 12th-gen Intel Core i7. Let’s see how it performs.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 13.5in

life during core time

There has been a big improvement in performance with the jump to 12th generation Intel Core processors. And the Core i7-1255U powering our review model is certainly impressive, with 10 cores at work—it certainly coped with everything we threw at it with ease.

The PixelSense display has long been one of the best bits of the Surface range, and again the 2256×1504 screen is top-notch here. There is no HDR support, but there is Dolby Vision IQ ambient light adjustment. However, the 400-nit brightness is a bit lacking compared to some rivals.

The screen bezel is a real downfall as so many rivals have upped their game in this area. This is another reason why Microsoft really needs to redesign this laptop. Need some more space? you have to be 15 inches

Battery life is a stated 18 hours, but you won’t get that unless you actually do something… and even then you won’t get it. The Surface Laptop 5 meets Intel’s Evo standard, a benchmark for laptops, which basically means it’s good for an all-day battery life, and it’ll definitely last you through a work day , and if you really look for it, you’re looking elsewhere. 12 hour zone.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 13.5in

see through multiple windows

Setup can be a bit frustrating: once you’ve gotten past all the basics like connecting to Wi-Fi, the Office 365 trial (which requires you to enter your card details – during setup!) The choice of whether or not to store your content in OneDrive.

Windows 11 is quite enjoyable now that the creases have been fixed – it’s reliable and easy to use. There’s a bit of Microsoft bloat in terms of the widget sidebar, which seems designed to push you toward Microsoft stuff. But this is a minor complaint.

design details

The keys and touchpad work very well as always – the keyboards on Surface devices have had Apple playing catchup for a while now. And although others have gotten better now, these are still the best laptop keyboards out there.

The wedge-shaped design still looks great, but we wonder if Microsoft could shed a bit more weight to align it with the Apple MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13. Even the 16in LG Gram 16 is lighter.

Thunderbolt 4 port introduced alongside older USB-A… and Surface Connect, looks Microsoft strangely married, You can charge via USB-C, so why does Microsoft feel it needs its own port?

Surface Laptop 5 Verdict

In some ways the Laptop 5 is very modern, with latest-gen Intel hardware and one of the best displays around. But it still feels like it’s stuck in the past with some antiquated ports, a 720p webcam, and big bezels. And that means you can do better with similarly priced alternatives Dell’s XPS 13,

Surface Laptop 5 Technical Specifications

Screen 13.5in 2256×1504 60Hz PixelSense touchscreen
processor Intel Core i5/i7
to hit 8/16 GB
GPU Intel Iris XE
os windows 11
storage 256/512 GB SSD
connectivity Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, Surface Connect, Headphone
battery life up to 18 hours
DIMENSIONS 308x223x14.5mm, 1.3kg

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