What to Buy: A Surface Pro or a Surface Laptop?

What to Buy: A Surface Pro or a Surface Laptop?

Tech Highlights:

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Review
    In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at two Surface product lines: the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop. We’ll discuss their respective designs, use cases, and price ranges — and in turn, you’ll get a better sense of which Surface machine will work best for your lifestyle, computing needs, and budget.

  • Microsoft’s Surface line encompasses a number of different designs and it would be understandable if you felt like it has too many options to sort through. But shopping for a new laptop doesn’t have to be so difficult, especially when you have our handy comparison guide below to help you make sense of your options when it comes to shopping for Microsoft’s flagship laptop series.

Surface Laptops
Surface Laptop 4 showing display, keyboard deck, and docked pen.
The latest available models of the Surface Laptop line are the Surface Laptop 3 and the Surface Laptop 4.

Internal components vary depending on the size and configuration you pick, but all of the options are fairly strong. They include quad-core 11th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 4000 processors, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 1TB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage, and either metal or Alcantara fabric palm rests. The Surface Laptop 4 is pretty lightweight overall with a range of just 2.79 pounds to 3.40 pounds. These laptops don’t have Thunderbolt ports and the bezels are a little thicker than many of their contemporaries.

Surface Laptop 4
The Surface Laptop 4 comes in two sizes: 13.5 inches and 15 inches. These laptops are outfitted with an aluminum chassis, backlit keyboards, touchscreens, HD cameras, omnisonic speakers featuring Dolby Atmos support, and displays with 3:2 aspect ratios. They have support for the Surface Pen, incorporate dual far-field Studio Mics, and have a selection of ports that include: USB-C, USB-A, Surface Connect, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Both sizes of the Surface Laptop 4 offer displays with 201 pixels per inch, but their resolutions vary: the 13-inch has a 2256 x 1504 resolution and the 15-inch has a 2496 x 1664 resolution.

Surface Laptop 3
The Surface Laptop 3 also comes in two sizes: 13.5 inches or 15 inches. If you opt to get one of these older generation Surface laptops, you can expect to see a product that still has a lot in common with the latest version, but the hardware is weaker. You’ll still get a laptop with an aluminum chassis, a backlit keyboard, an HD camera, dual far-field Studio Mics, touchscreen displays with 3:2 aspect ratios, support for Surface Pen, up to 1TB of SSD storage, and a selection of ports that includes: USB-C, USB-A, a Surface Connect port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There are also still options for metal or Alcantara fabric palm rests. AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 processors are still available too, though they’re from the 3000 series. Intel CPUs are restricted to the 10th generation, and you can only outfit them with up to 16GB of RAM. The Laptop 3s also lack Thunderbolt ports and narrow bezel displays, as well as Dolby Atmos speaker support. The display resolutions and pixels-per-inch for Surface Laptop 3s are the same as the Laptop 4s.

A person typing on a Surface Pro 7 with a red Type Cover.
The most recently available Surface Pro models are the Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Pro X.

The Surface Pro 7 is a 2-in-1 laptop that requires you to purchase its keyboard (the Type Cover) separately. The Pro 7 only comes in one size, and is outfitted with a touchscreen display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of SSD storage, a 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p FHD video, an 8.0MP rear-facing camera with 1080p FHD video, dual far-field St

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