MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop 4

The long-running challenge between Microsoft and Apple has shifted from its software roots to a hardware battleground in which MacBooks compete with Surface laptops. For the past few years Apple has had the better of Microsoft, but each new Surface Laptop released comes closer and closer to dethroning the MacBook crown. Or at least it seemed that way until this year, when the Cupertino giant launched its own M1 processors, which give the latest MacBook Air screaming performance and epic battery life.

Microsoft responded with the Surface Laptop 4, a modest upgrade over the Surface Laptop 3, which introduces 11th-generation Intel or AMD 4000 series CPUs to increase speed and extend battery life. The chip upgrade alone solves most of the problems experienced with the previous model and combines with outstanding hardware to give the new MacBook Air a run for its money. But the question that arises is which one to choose? The answer is not as simple as you might think. But we will help you choose between the MacBook Air and the Surface Laptop 4 by pitting them against each other in a friendly competition.

MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop 4


In terms of size and weight, the MacBook Air and the Surface Laptop 4 are pretty much on par. The MacBook Air is a fraction of a pound heavier and slightly thicker than the Surface Laptop 4. However, it is also slightly smaller. However, it is also slightly smaller. Needless to say, if the only condition you have to meet when choosing your next laptop is that it be small and light, you can’t go wrong with either.

If, on the other hand, you are a bit more demanding, know that the differences are striking when you look closer. The Surface Laptop 4 has a slightly larger 13.5-inch touch screen, while the MacBook Air is left with its 13.3-inch non-touch display.

To be fair, the MacBook Air has a higher resolution of 2560 x 1600 at 227 PPI compared to its rival’s 2256 x 1504 at 201 PPI. It is also a bit brighter, at 400 nits, compared to the Surface Laptop 4’s average of 400 nits, and features Apple’s True Tone technology, which allows it to automatically adjust its color temperature based on ambient lighting.


If the ports are no good, you can’t go wrong with the displays. Both are gorgeous and offer a bright and vivid image, whether you’re watching movies, editing photos or just surfing the web. Before we even talk about the quality of the displays, the Surface Laptop 4 gets a win because of its 13.5-inch IPS touchscreen display with 2256 x 1504 pixel resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio.

Taller but narrower than a traditional 16:9 panel, the Surface’s screen shape is excellent for productivity, as it allows more vertical content to be seen on the page. The 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display of the MacBook Air is not only smaller, but also retains the old 16:9 aspect ratio.


Both laptops are also on par in terms of battery life. While Microsoft promises up to 19 hours of battery life on the Surface Laptop 4 and Apple claims up to 18 hours of video playback on the MacBook Air, we found that both devices fell short of their promises. Both laptops averaged about 11 hours in our looped video playback test, a few hours less than both manufacturers claimed.

However, 11 hours is not a value to joke about. It means that the battery has battery life to last the entire workday and a little extra juice to relax afterward. However, there is a huge difference between the two in terms of performance. The Surface Laptop 4 is powerful in its own right and a multitasking machine that can handle even 4K video editing workloads. However, compared to the MacBook Air, it feels a bit slower in performing graphics-intensive creative tasks.


The MacBook Air relies entirely on Thunderbolt 3 ports, two of which are on the left side for charging or data transfer. The right edge houses only a 3.5 mm headphone jack. In contrast, the Surface Laptop 4 has no Thunderbolt ports. Instead, there is a USB 3.1 Type-C input on the left, alongside a handy USB Type-A port and a headphone jack. On the right side is a Surface Connect magnetic port for docking and charging.

Keyboard and touchpad

For Apple fans, the good news is that the butterfly keyboard is gone for good, replaced by a traditional Chiclet-style keyboard on the latest MacBook Air model. The bad news is that the Surface Laptop 4 remains more comfortable to type on. The MacBook Air’s keys have a more tactile click, but are slightly stiffer than those on the Surface. Key travel is about equal, above average for this category, but the MacBook Air’s keys require more force to operate.

What sets the Surface Laptop 4’s keys apart is their bouncy response, which pushes fingers from one letter to the next. The MacBook Air’s 4.7 x 3.2-inch touchpad is comically large for a laptop of this size. It has a smooth glass surface and responds quickly to swipes and gestures.

Battery life

It is easy to get a full day of battery life from one of these laptops, but the MacBook Air dominated our battery test with a staggering 14 hours and 41 minutes. It nearly outperformed the Surface Laptop 4 by four hours, although Microsoft recorded a respectable 10 hours and 46 minutes. Both notebooks exceeded the average of 10:22.

Final Words

Both are rugged, attractively designed and extremely capable portable machines, equipped with premium extras you won’t find in an ordinary laptop. Both offer a high computing experience worthy of more expensive models. However, unless you have a little extra money, it is best to choose just one. When you consider the nearly four hours extra battery life, the wide margins in these categories outweigh any advantage gained by the Surface Laptop 4 with its design and keyboard.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Best Telemedicine Software: for your healthcare practice

Telemedicine software has transformed my healthcare visits. It's fantastic for patients and doctors since they can obtain aid quickly. I...
Read more
I love microlearning Platforms in today's fast-paced world. Short, focused teachings that engage me are key. Microlearning platforms are great...
Think of a notebook on your computer or tablet that can be changed to fit whatever you want to write...
As of late, Homeschool Apps has gained a lot of popularity, which means that an increasing number of...
From what I've seen, HelpDesk software is essential for modern businesses to run easily. It's especially useful for improving customer...
For all of our important pictures, stories, and drawings, Google Drive is like a big toy box. But sometimes the...