Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 vs Surface Laptop 4

The Surface Laptop 4 is one of our favorite Windows laptops, as it offers sublime build quality, long battery life, snappy performance, and a thin, lightweight chassis. Now Microsoft has announced its successor, the Surface Laptop 5, and on the surface (pardon the pun) it doesn’t look all that different. If you are thinking about upgrading it or buying your first Surface Laptop, we’ve gone through the details to understand what exactly has changed. For simplicity’s sake, we will focus on the 13.5-inch models, but most of the details also apply to the larger 15-inch model.

Microsoft recently unveiled the Surface Laptop 5, the latest in its line of high-end laptops. Before it was unveiled, hopes were high: there were rumors of a 120 Hz display, a Full HD webcam, and Thunderbolt 4 support. However, most of the improvements we saw were made to the 15-inch model. However, most of the hoped-for improvements did not materialize, and there were some unexpected changes, such as the lack of AMD processors as an option.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 vs Surface Laptop 4


The laptops retain the same design and dimensions as the previous model, with the smaller 13.5-inch model maintaining the same footprint of 13.5 x 12.1 x 0.57 inches and the larger 15-inch model maintaining its 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.58-inch silhouette. On the surface, the biggest changes this year will be the addition of new colors. While the 15-inch model will continue to be available in more muted, professional colors (you can choose from the same Platinum or Matte Black shades with metal palm rests), the 13.5-inch model features a new Sage color option, replacing the Ice Blue shade of the previous generation.

The smaller Surface Laptop 5 is available in Platinum with Alcantara-covered palm rest, Sage, Matte Black or Sandstone. The latter three colors feature a metal palm rest, and the choice between metal or Alcantara palm rests is largely subjective. Alcantara is warmer to the touch and more luxurious and inviting, but it can wear out over time.

The metal wrist rest is similar to that of most modern laptops, including the aluminum-clad MacBook Pro, and is cooler to the touch but can be more durable over time. The selection of ports is unchanged again this year. There is the same single USB-C port, a USB-A 3.1 port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and the Surface Connect port. The USB-C port on the Surface Laptop 5 also supports Thunderbolt 4 this year.


We are fans of the Surface Laptop 4 display, whether 13.5-inch or 15-inch. With the Surface Laptop 5, Microsoft is reintroducing the same features, with a subtle change to the 15-inch model. We will see the same 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen (2256 x 1504) with 10-point multi-touch support, but with Dolby Vision IQ support. However, the 15-inch model is slightly different, with a 15-inch PixelSense touchscreen (2496 x 1664) than last year’s model (2256 x 1504). The aspect ratio is still 3:2.

We have not yet tested the Surface Laptop 5, but since it is identical to the Surface Laptop 4, we know it is a very good panel that can hold its own against anything that is not OLED. Last year’s model reached a peak brightness of 334 nits, so we hope to see brighter displays on the Surface Laptop 5 models.


Microsoft has decided to focus exclusively on Intel Alder Lake-U processors in this generation, abandoning AMD altogether. Although this decision is not entirely unexpected, since the Surface Laptop 4 was one of the few Surface devices with AMD CPUs, it is still a controversial decision. The move away from Ryzen chips to Intel Core i5-1235U and Core i7-1255U CPUs will likely have an impact on performance, but it may just be the result of Microsoft’s attempt to focus on productivity rather than creative workflows. In our hands-on review of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5, we noted that if Microsoft had continued to offer both AMD and Intel, the next-generation Surface could have had a Ryzen 5000 or even 6000 CPU.

At the moment, the 12th generation Intel CPUs in the Surface Laptop 5 are among the best processors you can find in a laptop, especially one so thin. Although keeping AMD would have opened up the options a bit more, Intel’s 12th-generation CPUs certainly have a lot to offer. The chips inside the new Surface have 10 cores-two cores for performance and eight cores for efficiency-that should provide solid multi-thread performance.


Physically, the ports on the Surface Laptop 5 are also identical to those on the Surface Laptop 4. There is a USB Type-C port, a USB Type-A port, a Surface Connect port, and a headphone jack. The difference is that now the USB Type-C port has Thunderbolt 4, so you can use a Thunderbolt docking station or even an external GPU if you want to use the laptop for gaming when you are at home. With this change, all high-end Surface PCs are now equipped with Thunderbolt 4.


Here’s an important statement: Microsoft claims that the Surface Laptop 5 13.5 offers up to 18 hours of battery life, while the 15-inch option goes up to 17 hours. In our reviews of the Surface Laptop 4 models, we saw that the 13.5 version reached 10 hours and 46 minutes, while the 15-inch model lasted just over 12 hours. The Surface Laptop 5 boasts impressive numbers, and we can’t wait to see if it will earn a place on our list of laptops with the best battery life.


The webcam does not seem to be a strength of the Surface Laptop 5, which retains the same 720p camera. That said, Microsoft says there are “enhanced camera experiences” due to the interactive features in Windows 11. In addition, there is a dual Studiofield microphone. In addition, there is a dual remote studio field microphone. At least it has Windows Hello facial authentication for easy access.

Final Words

The Surface Laptop 4 and 5 are very similar in most respects. To summarize the changes, the new model offers an updated processor, Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4.0, Dolby Vision IQ support, Bluetooth 5.1, and a new color option. For most people, the Surface Laptop 4 will be an attractive option because it will probably be sold at discounted prices. However, if you need more power, the move to 12th generation Intel chips promises to be significant. The addition of Thunderbolt connectivity could also be very important, depending on your needs.

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!


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