Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio vs MacBook Pro

Both Apple and Microsoft have recently made waves with new laptops aimed at creative professionals. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio represents a new form factor for Microsoft and is the most powerful Surface ever. At the same time, the new MacBook Pro is also Apple’s most powerful laptop ever, thanks to Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. While targeting similar audiences, the Surface Laptop Studio and the MacBook Pro are radically different devices.

They have different processors, form factors, displays, and operating systems. Virtually everything is different. The debate between Surface Laptop Studio and MacBook Pro is not limited to whether one prefers Apple or Microsoft. When configured with a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPU, the Surface Laptop Studio has enough power to become a decent content creation station. However, it cannot match the video editing power of the new MacBook Pro models.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio vs MacBook Pro


In terms of design, the Surface Laptop Studio is the most interesting, with a hinge for the screen that allows it to be used as a clamshell laptop or as a tablet. It weighs 1.7 kg, and our review found that it is too heavy to be used as a tablet on the go. We also noted that it is quite sturdy, with the ability to flip the screen into a variety of positions that work well for productivity or creative work.

There are two USB-C (Thunderbolt 4) ports, a Surface Connect port, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack, as well as a built-in 1080p resolution webcam that our reviewer really appreciated. As far as typing is concerned, the Surface Laptop offers an adequate keyboard, with a combination of a solid top underneath that is comfortable to use. The MacBook Pro has more ports, with an SDXC slot, an HDMI port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a MagSafe 3 port, and three Thunderbolt 4 ports with charging support.


Let’s talk about what makes the displays on these machines special. Sure, the Surface Laptop Studio’s display is beautiful because it has a unique scrolling mechanism, but it is also a bright and colorful 14.4-inch touchscreen (2400 x 1600 pixels) capable of refresh rates up to 120 Hz. The fact that the refresh is faster than usual (most laptop displays do not exceed 60 Hz) means that it can support games with high framerates, but more importantly, the screen should be more responsive to touch inputs because it can poll the input and refresh the screen accordingly several times per second.

The Surface Laptop Studio screen achieved 105.6 percent of sRGB color gamut (usually the closer to 100 percent, the better) and 0.21 of Delta-E (the closer to zero, the better). Our brightness meter recorded an average of 487.2 nits across the entire display, although a brightness of 504 nits was achieved in the center.


Performance is one of the major improvements Apple has touted with this year’s MacBook Pro, and it resides in the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. These are incredibly powerful processors, at least according to Apple’s claims. We cannot yet verify the claimed performance, but based on the comparisons presented by Apple, there is almost no competition for it. Starting with CPU performance, the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max both have a 10-core CPU, although there is a model of the M1 Pro with an 8-core CPU.

According to Apple, the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max are capable of achieving 1.7 times the performance of an 8-core high-end Windows laptop with the same power, and this refers specifically to the Intel Core i7-11800H. But this is a 45 W processor, while Microsoft uses 35 W processors instead, such as the Core i7-11370H, which has only four cores. This means that the performance gap is probably even wider, and although the Core i7-11370H consumes less power, it is still likely to be less efficient than the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max.


Having a wide range of ports is a good thing, regardless of the intended use of the new laptop. It is especially important for professionals who regularly need to do things like connect to an external display or pull resources from a digital camera, because having the right ports means not having to deal with adapters and dongles. If you care about having options, the Surface Laptop Studio offers a disappointing range of ports.

There are two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports on the left side of the laptop and a headphone jack and a Surface Connect port on the right side. Not only is this a meager endowment that forces one to invest in a USB-C adapter or two, but it also hampers choice by placing both USB-C ports on the same side.


It took a global pandemic to make us realize that webcam quality matters, especially when video calls are the primary way to connect with colleagues, friends, and family. Fortunately, both the Surface Laptop Studio and MacBook Pro 2021 have 1080p webcams built into their top bezels that won’t make you look like a grainy, faded mess during your next Zoom call.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio combines the 1080p webcam with an infrared camera to allow you to sign in with your face via Windows Hello. The 1080p FaceTime HD camera on the MacBook Pro 2021 also offers excellent image quality, with more detail in photos and videos.

Battery life

The MacBook Pro battery is as impressive as you would expect, reaching 21 hours in our tests. The battery depletes more quickly when doing more intense activities, although it is capable of lasting a normal workday with sufficient battery life.

The MacBook Pro has a MagSafe charger included in the box, while the 14-inch comes with a 67W charger. The Surface Laptop Studio still impresses, but with less battery life than Apple’s. In our tests it reached 10 hours and will be able to last for the entire working day. Of course, the endurance is further reduced when demanding heavy workloads from the laptop.

Final Words

It was a tough fight, but it was almost inevitable that the MacBook Pro would come out on top. The higher price tag gives way to an impressive CPU capable of handling intense workloads and excellent color accuracy for those who want to engage in content creation. The greatest strength of the Surface Laptop Studio is the incredible power of its GPU. This allows it to tackle graphics work at a lightning-fast pace. If you want to edit 4K videos or create 3D animations, this is the better laptop of the two.

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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