Microsoft isn’t changing up much with the latest Surface laptop, but it doesn’t really need to. The Surface Laptop 5 debuted during Microsoft’s Surface event on Thursday, offering refreshed specs for one of Microsoft’s most popular Surface devices.
Microsoft built the Surface Laptop 5 with updated processors, more battery life, and a Thunderbolt 4 port, but the commercial version offers a design where nearly every part is replaceable. As a competitor to Apple's MacBooks (notorious for their low repairability scores) Microsoft may be learning to embrace the right to repair with its Surface Laptop.
Hopefully, this means that Microsoft is serious about incorporating repairability, especially compared to its first Surface Laptop which scored a 0 in iFixit’s chart.
Superior specs — The fifth-gen Surface Laptop is keeping the same display form factor, since it’s offered in two touchscreen options —a 13.5-inch version and a 15-inch version. Microsoft is mixing up the color choices a bit with the 13.5-inch option that comes in four colors — platinum, sage, matte black, and sandstone — while the 15-inch version only comes in matte black and platinum.
SURFACE LAPTOP 5 SPECS:
- Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen with 2,256 x 1,504 resolution or 15-inch PixelSense touchscreen with 2,496 x 1,664 resolution
- Webcam: 720p HD front-facing camera
- CPU: Starts at 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U, upgradeable to 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1265U
- RAM: 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB LPDDR5x RAM
- Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of removable SSD storage
- Battery: Up to 17 hours (15-inch version) or up to 18 hours (13.5-inch version)
- Ports: One USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4.0, one USB-A port, one 3.5mm headphone jack, one Surface Connect port
Compared to the previous version, the Surface Laptop 5 is supposedly “50 percent more powerful than its predecessor.” That’s evident from the updated processor and improved battery life. It’s worth noting that Microsoft upgraded the USB-C port to a Thunderbolt 4.0 port, making the Surface Laptop 5 way better at transferring data.
Replace and repair — While it’s only on the commercial version of the Surface Laptop 5, Microsoft clearly wanted to make it easily repairable since several interior components are replaceable.
The commercial version will come with more security features than the consumer version, but also have a replaceable SSD, display, battery, and motherboard, among other swappable components. This is a huge win for consumers since it means they can likely stretch out the lifespan of the Surface Laptop 5 by just replacing dying components. That’s definitely an edge over MacBooks.
Release and price — The most basic consumer version of the Surface Laptop 5 with the Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage starts at $999.99, but you can deck it out with a Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage for $2,399.99. The commercial version of each variant of the Surface Laptop 5 is just $100 more than its consumer counterparts. All the versions of the Surface Laptop 5 will be available on October 25.
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