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Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Hands-On: Same As Ever, But Faster

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Hands-On: Same As Ever, But Faster

(CTN News) – I would like to see one for the AMD Ryzen-powered Surface Laptop. Microsoft’s self-branded machine is now an all-Intel affair, despite impressive leaps for its Ryzen 6000 series.

Except for the new 12th-gen Core chips and Thunderbolt 4, the only real change is a few gorgeous new colors.

It has some key technical and design tweaks, though. Here’s what we learned from Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 5 hands-on.

This song isn’t new to me

It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The 12th-gen Intel chips are the best, unless you want AMD’s better integrated graphics.

You’ll have to step up to the Laptop Studio if you want that extra oomph, since even the 15-inch model only has Intel’s Xe graphics. Maybe we’ll get an Arc version next year? Who knows.

There’s nothing fancy about the Surface Laptop 5, whether you get the 13.5-inch or 15-inch model. Screens are the same resolution as before, but with Dolby Vision HQ for HDR… which I can’t say made a big difference.

Anodized aluminum deck or Alcantara soft-touch finish are available for the excellent and quiet keyboard. Unfortunately, that’s only on the smaller model, which also comes in Sage green. Man, green gadgets are really in, aren’t they?

Now in Sage, sleek as ever

In terms of user experience, well, it’s a Microsoft Surface Laptop. If you liked the previous models, you’ll like this one (unless you liked AMD hardware). If you didn’t, this won’t change your mind.

With features like Hello face unlock and Surface Pen compatibility, Microsoft’s style remains beautifully understated. You can replace the internal SSD, which is becoming a rare option for ultra-portable machines.

According to Microsoft, the 13.5-inch model has 18 hours of battery life, while the 15-inch model has “only” 17 hours.

Both are roughly the same as last year’s models – any differences are likely to come down to how hard you push them. On paper, AMD’s old versions beat out Intel’s new ones for longevity, at least on paper.

13.5-inch Surface Laptop 5 starts at $999.99 with a Core i5-1235U and 256GB SSD, but only 8GB of RAM.

Its available in gray, black, or the much more appealing Sandstone gold-ish and Sage green. (See the green version in person before you buy.) It tops out at $1699.99 with an i7-1255U and 16GB/512GB.

It’s only available in gray and black, and starts at $1299.99 for the i5/8GB/256GB model and goes up to $2399.99 for the i7 with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

They’ll both be out on October 25th, along with the new Surface Pro 9.

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