Is the Surface Laptop 5 the best Surface laptop?
Compared to Surface Laptops from previous generations, the Surface Laptop 5 offers few decisive improvements. On the contrary, the impression prevails that the manufacturer Microsoft wanted to play it safe a little too much, resulting in a boring copy of previous versions where you too fewer choices have.
The biggest disappointment is that compared to the Surface Laptop 4 this time no version is available with an AMD processor. However, it performed better than the Intel processor and drew less energy from the battery. You can therefore hardly call the Surface Laptop 5 better than its predecessor with an AMD processor and therefore does not live up to expectations.
The only significant improvement over the previous generation is USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4. The advantage of this is that you can connect your laptop with a single cable to a docking station to which you can connect all your other peripherals.
Same design as the previous generation of Surface laptops
How much does the Surface Laptop 5 cost?
To begin with, you have choice between a screen 13.5 inches and 15 inches. We have tested both in our laboratory. So you can compare the test results of the base version with those of the Surface Laptop 5 15″.
By basic version – only available in one platinum color – you get one I5-1235u processor, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD. The price tag is €1,179. For €270 extra (€1,449) you can get a 512GB SSD and the option of choosing a black version in addition to a platinum one. For an extra €550 (€1,729), you also get 16GB of RAM instead of 8GB, but you can only choose a black version. That most expensive model – also available only in black version – price €1,949 and for that you get next 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD also a more powerful processor, a i7-1255U, but we haven’t tested it. In short, the upgrades are limited and, above all, expensive.
Small side note: from 256 GB SSD is there 186 GB actually usable. So about 70 GB is already occupied by the Windows 11 operating system. Of course, this applies to all devices running Windows 11, not just this Surface Laptop 5.
What can you do with the i5 processor?
That start time of Surface Laptop 5 8 seconds. For a fairly expensive model with a newer and fairly powerful processor, it’s not extraordinary. From sleep mode, the start time is only 1 second.
The basic version with the I5-1235u processor that we tested is more than suitable for you everyday work and light photo and video editing. Thanks to the built-in Irix Xe graphics graphics card you can also play games, but this device is not sufficiently equipped for a real gamer.
3:2 screen ratio
What does the screen have to offer?
The screen quality is good. Instead of the usual 16:9 screen ratio, this one 3:2 screen ratio, which makes it slightly longer and narrower. The advantage of this is that more text fits into your image, so you have to scroll less quickly when reading articles or writing a document yourself. For a 13.5 inch screen, the resolution is 2256×1504 pixels absolutely sufficient.
The text appears sharp, and the colors have a slightly warmer hue. The viewing angle is very good, but you may experience some reflections in the screen. That maximum brightness is 436 nits which is slightly better than the previous generation.
The touch screen has ten touch points and reacts quite smoothly, but with a slight delay.
How long does the battery last?
Along with the processor, the battery is the biggest disappointment for us. First, because Microsoft claims that you can use it for 18 hours with normal use, but our test for online use turned out to be quite a bit lower, namely at 6 hours and 15 minutes. Second, because the Surface Laptop 4 with an AMD processor measured a battery life of 8 hours and 15 minutes in our lab.
The battery not only performs much less well than Microsoft claims, but also less well than the previous Surface Laptop. If you only use your laptop to watch videos that you have previously saved (ie not via streaming), this will require much less of your battery and you can go 13 hours and 22 minutes without a charge.
Which and how many connections?
Four connection ports is limited, but is somewhat compensated by USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 where you can connect a docking station. The USB-C port also works with a USB-C to HDMI adapter. You also have one more USB-A 3.1 Gen 1stick left and one headphone jack. You will find one on the right Surface Connect port specifically for Microsoft devices.
Two USB ports on the left and a headphone jack
The typical Surface Connect port on the right
How fast do you surf wirelessly?
Our tests showed that WiFi 6 the card works very efficiently. We noted data transfer rates of 1755 Mbps near the modem and 621 Mbps two rooms away. It is faster than last year, but above all a guarantee that a slow working internet will certainly not be the problem with your device, because in Belgium operators offer download speeds of up to 300 Mbps. The Surface Laptop 5 can easily handle it.
Ideal for video meetings?
Unfortunately, the webcam is off 720p not the best quality. Show the pictures lots of noise, small details and pale skin tones. The sound is muted but is synchronized with the images.
Do you need extra speakers?
The overall sound quality of the speakers is good, just like the Surface Laptop 4. Our experts like the sound balanced, with good bass and a reasonable maximum volume. Although it all sounds a bit sharp, the sound quality will suffice for an average user.
Looking for the ideal laptop for you?
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