There’s an old adage: if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it.In many cases this is sage advice, but of course, in times when you can keep something (especially gadgets) running. has limitations. And it looks like Microsoft is testing its boundaries with the Surface Laptop 5. Even with the new CPU, the notebook remains slim and sleek as ever, but it’s easy to see where the aging chassis could use a few updates or quality of life. improvement. So, I’m not complaining about performance gains, but I feel like Microsoft has room for improvement.
Design, keyboard, connection
We won’t say much about what the Surface Laptop 5 looks like, as it’s the same chassis that Microsoft has used for the last three or four generations. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models feature high-3 aluminum chassis.
Two displays for increased productivity. Our 13.5-inch review unit weighed 2.86 pounds and was only 0.57 inches thick. The whole package is very slim and I can see some reasons why Microsoft didn’t want to mess with the design. This is really beautiful. As thin and minimalist as a MacBook, you can’t confuse the two. Still, I think Microsoft could tweak the current chassis to accommodate the new components without compromising its good looks.
New for this year is a sage green option, as found on the Surface Laptop Go 2. But Microsoft didn’t stop there, they also created a custom wallpaper for Windows 11 to match the system’s exterior paint job. I know this is a pretty minor change in the rough plan, but the extra color adjustments are kind of nice.
On the other hand, I don’t have many complaints about the Surface Laptop 5’s keyboard and touchpad. The keycaps are well-spaced and crisp, but after practicing with the 15-inch version, I noticed that the larger model has slightly more key travel. The 4.5 x 3-inch touchpad isn’t as big as a similarly sized MacBook, but there’s plenty of room to move your mouse around.
One of the other big changes to the Surface Laptop 5 is the new USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4 ports. This increases the bandwidth for data transfer and video transmission to external displays. Unfortunately, both the 13.5″ and 15″ models only have two USB ports.
The aforementioned Thunderbolt 4 port and regular USB 3.1 Type-A port. Thankfully, Microsoft hasn’t dropped support for wired audio, so you’ll still get a 3.5 mm headphone jack, along with its own magnetic Surface Connect connector for charging and docking.
But if you can give me a little chuckle, I wish Microsoft had removed the Surface Connect port altogether. Recent EU regulations will soon see all mobile phones supporting USB-C for charging and data, and laptops aren’t far behind, except for the proprietary port that Apple and Microsoft use on their MacBooks and Surfaces. Eliminating the Surface Connect port not only frees up space for another USB-C socket, but also makes room for a smaller, more versatile USB-C socket, it also comes with weak magnets and clunky The shape makes it less usable than USB-C.
Display and webcam
Like the chassis, the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 5 has the same 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense touchscreen that Microsoft used on previous models, which is perfectly fine. Brightness is good, hitting just under 400 nits on the light meter, with rich, saturated colors. The only new tweak for 2022 is support for Dolby Vision IQ, which automatically adjusts things like color profiles and contrast based on ambient conditions. Given that almost all phones have similar display technology, Microsoft [precisely] isn’t breaking new ground here.
The photograph best is excellent, however the Surface Laptop 5`s show is beginning to age. The bezels are some millimeters thicker than remaining year’s Surface Laptop Studio, making it appearance a touch chunkier. It additionally would not guide HDR or excessive refresh rates.
But the only that lags the maximum is the 720p webcam, that is satisfactory at best. There isn’t anyt any guide for Microsoft’s Windows Studio Effects just like the Surface Pro nine 5G. I’ve stated it earlier than and I’ll say it again.
A 1080p webcam must be the cornerstone of any top class notebook. Luckily, Microsoft maintains the integrated IR digital digicam for Windows Hello facial recognition, and it nonetheless works fine.
Under the hood, the brand new twelfth Gen Intel CPU promises a huge enhance in overall performance. The drawback is that not like the preceding technology there’s no AMD primarily based totally configuration. This may be very disappointing. However, with a PCMark 10 rating approximately 20% better than the Surface Laptop 4, we`re now no longer too upset.
Both fashions are restricted to included Iris XE graphics, so do not assume hardcore gaming. In Overwatch 2, I needed to decrease the settings reasonably to get a fairly solid 60 fps, however in case you decrease the game’s decision or flip upsampling on, you may squeeze a bit greater overall performance out of it. I can do it. But irrespective of what you do, this isn’t always supposed to play AAA titles.
Battery life and connectivity
When it comes to battery life, the Surface Laptop 5 did a respectable, if understated, performance of 12 hours and 39 minutes. By comparison, last year’s 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 outperformed by 15 points.
Other ultraportables this year, including 25, and 14 Lenovo Yoga 9i:
22 and 17 M2 MacBook Air:
As a longtime Surface user, I appreciate that Microsoft included an extra 5-watt charging port in the included power adapter. This is great for powering small peripherals such as mice and wireless headphones. And if for some reason you lose your charging brick or forget it at home, you can still charge your Surface Laptop 5 via USB-C.
The Surface Laptop 5 hasn’t received many updates, but it has a very sleek design, and the addition of a new 12th Gen Intel chip and Thunderbolt 4 port make it much faster and easier to use. Sure, it doesn’t have the sharpest webcam or tons of ports, but if you want a streamlined ultraportable for general productivity, the Surface Laptop 5 packs all the essentials in a very slim packed in a neat package.
As it turns out, Microsoft only sent the 13.5-inch model for testing. We hope to make more changes to the 15 inch version. I know my dream of owning an Xbox gaming laptop probably won’t come true, but the addition of discrete graphics and support for a few ports made the larger Surface Laptop 5 a really great deal. I think there are a lot of possibilities to turn it into an all-rounder. .
But here comes the hard part when trying to decide between the 13-inch Surface Laptop 5 and something like the XPS 13. At the same $1,000 starting price, Dell’s notebooks come with similar, rather than 256 GB drives. It comes with a CPU and a larger 512 GB SSD. However, it doesn’t have a touchscreen (although it can be upgraded if needed). So you have to decide whether you get a slightly better score on the XPS 13 or a bigger 3.
2 touch display on Surface Laptop 5. But if you want a sleek ultraportable with a great screen for productivity, Microsoft’s latest clamshell has a lot to offer. Hope it will be updated.