Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review 2022


Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review

Do you ever get the sense that Microsoft dropped something? There hasn’t been any major change to the lineup for a while now, and the refreshes, like this new Surface Laptop Five, are pretty minor.


The Ditched AMD CPUs across the lineup. Also, the new Surface Studio Two Plus is a bit ridiculous for like over four grand. And it still comes with a lump gen CPU, although they have put a 30-60 in there.

And also the new stuff is Pro Nine. I haven’t had hands-on with it properly yet, but there are two goals inside of that an Intel One and an Sq 31, which is basically a collaboration between Microsoft and Qualcomm. And while there are advantages, particularly to battery life, it is still emulating software.


So for most apps, performance isn’t as good as if you use the intel version. But then, let’s come back to this guy, the Surface Laptop Five, which is still, don’t get me wrong, a very nice laptop.

Surface Laptop

I really do like this, but it’s barely any different than the Surface Laptop Four, which itself was barely any different from the Surface Laptop Three, which all makes me think Microsoft has to be working on something bigger.

My guess is it’s their own Arm-based chip, which means they can control hardware and software just like Apple did with the M One and the M Two. Okay, massive digression over, although I think it’s important for context.

MacBook Air

Let’s talk about this guy. This is my review of the Laptop Five, and it is a lovely machine with Apple-level build quality, a fantastic keyboard, and a trackpad. It’s just that when it comes to performance and battery life, right now no Windows laptop can really catch their semi-priced M One or M Two MacBook Air. So the question is, is this a good alternative to the MacBook Air or something like the Dell XPS 13? Or has dropped the Ryzen CPU option and reused the same design again with its fairly limited ports meaning it’s tough to recommend.

Windows machines

I mean, as Windows machines go, this is a pretty refined device. And if you are just using it to browse the web, watch Netflix, do some Office work, or maybe do a bit of lightroom editing, you really can’t go wrong. Now, once again, there are two options. You’ve got this 13-five-inch, which I have here, and its bigger brother, the 15.

faster DDR 5 RAM

What is new this year is we have Intel’s 12th generation five and seven CPUs, although only the seven on the 15-inch, as well as faster DDR Five x Ram and finally Thunderbolt Four. We also get this new Sage green color, which is quite nice, as well as Platinum, sandstone, black, and Alcantara, which is carried over from Laptop Four. And each color even gets its own matching Windows wallpaper, which is nice, I guess.

AMD CPU option

And that is it. New chip thunderbolt four. The new color is not the most exciting upgrade and it is a shame that Microsoft chose to drop the AMD CPU option, as Ryzen chips had been the better choice for more demanding Multifun apps and also for longer battery life last time around. Now with this guy, I get around 10 hours of light use with the screen set to about half brightness, which is around 200 nits and closer to 11 hours in my fullscreen video test. That’s not bad at all.


It’s actually very good, but it’s still less than most people were getting with last year’s Ryzenbased laptop four in similar tests, and pretty much everything else is carried over from the laptop four.

We’ve got the same three x two-pixel scent screen, which is a very nice screen, and I do appreciate its touchscreen, which of course you don’t get on the max. But we do have these fairly chunky bezels. The webcam has not really been improved, it’s still seven hundred and twenty p, and while the design hasn’t changed at all but come on, this is still gorgeous. Even closing is just there. Listen to this.

Premium Quality

Just sounds premium. I also have absolutely no complaints about build quality. There isn’t a creek or a wobble or anything out of place, and the screen even gets grilled glass five, so it’s a little bit more durable. The screen will be a bit divisive, though not everyone loves three x two, and personally, I think 16 x ten is the sweet spot.


So basically this is a bit squarer and a little bit taller than most screens that you’ll probably be used to. And also of course, if you’re watching videos and movies, you’re going to have thicker black bars. Also, while the image quality is good, it’s no match for OLED alternatives like we get on the suspension or more expensive Dell XPS, and of course being stuck at 60 Hz, unlike the Surface Pro models kind of bottlenecks just how smooth the performance feels.


Anyway, I think overall the screen is a good fit for the base models, but definitely not in the 1700-pound top-spec form. Brightness is also pretty average. We get around 380 to 400 nits, although we do have Dolby Vision IQ support, which is great if you’re watching something on Netflix that supports Dolby Vision.


But the lack of basic HDR ten means there’s actually no HDR option in Windows or YouTube, but then that 400 net brightness wouldn’t give you a particularly good HDR experience anyway. But overall it is still a very nice screen, and for most work and movies and maybe some basic gaming, it’s absolutely fine. But if your projects are more color sensitive, I would probably look elsewhere, because while the 100% sRGB coverage is good, the 67% Adobe RGB and 69% P three is pretty average, although, at one three kg for this 13-five-inch model, it’s a smidge heavier than the Mavic Air, and also a fair bit thicker actually.

So it’s not the thinnest or the lightest, but you can easily carry it around all day. There’s this classy mirrored Windows logo on the lid. We get these nice rounded corners and angled ledges that keep everything feeling slim.

Surface connector charger

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review

And as for ports, well, there isn’t really an awful lot of them. We have the Surface connector charger on this side, that is all you have on the right side, as you’re looking at. On the other side, we have a full-sized USB A, USB C, and Thunderbolt Four, which is very good to see, and also a headphone jack.


But the good news is that the Thunderbolt Four port means that you now have a ton of other options for hubs and connectivity and also means you don’t have to rely on Microsoft’s overpriced Surface dock Two, which attaches via the Surface Connect port. There’s still no WiFi CC, but it’s not the end of the world.

Windows laptop

One of the best things about the Surface Laptop Five, and any Surface device, is the keyboard. This is still one of the best keyboards for me, at least on any Windows laptop. There’s good feedback, it’s not too clacky, and my fingers always found the right key. There isn’t a ton of travel, but this is still a great keyboard. And as for the touchpad, it could be a little bit bigger, but the feedback is nice, it’s responsive, and it is accurate. I also think maybe I could have forgiven these fairly chunky bezels for a 2022 laptop if they’d improved the webcam.

If there was a really beefy, high-quality webcam in here, well, it’s 4720.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review

IR sensor for Windows

P, is no change there, although they say they have improved the image quality and the processing. So let me know what you think in the comments. I think it’s doing a pretty good job. If I change the lighting conditions a little bit you can see how it copes. We also get dual Farfield microphones, and I am impressed actually how good the microphone quality sounds on this webcam. And of course, also we get an IR sensor for Windows. Hello, face locking.

Intel Processors

Now, considering the only real upgrade with this of any significance is that jump to twelve gen intel processors. The question is how fast is it? Well, performance in everyday apps is totally fine. Even editing your photo and playing some less demanding games is no problem. And impressively even in the top-spec form of the I Seven, the fans only come in under serious load, and even then they’re still pretty quiet with temperatures sitting around the mid-eighty s.

XE integrated graphics

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review

And the chassis stayed nice and cool even under moderate load. I did try a little bit of video editing and while it’s fine for basic tatt projects, if you have a lot of assets or you’re heading with 4K, you’ll probably want to make them a bit more grunt. Also, the Iris XE integrated graphics got me just over 50 FPS in memory, six Siege, albeit on low settings, and around 60 in of Watch too.


So they’re both just about playable. As for the speakers, they’re okay. They can be a bit tinny sometimes, but these Unisonic speakers do support Dobby Atmos. So if you are watching something that does support Ammos, I did find this sound was actually quite good, but regular videos are a little bit tinny even so, voices are clear and they can get loud enough for watching movies if you have sat close by.


Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Review

But of course, a pair of headphones will always be better. And you do have this two-and-a-half-mile jack if you prefer. So how much? Well, the 13 five starts at 999 here in the UK with a 50-inch model starting at 1299. £300 more for the bigger model. Now, if you don’t mind the Alcatraz keyboard and can live with 256 gigs of storage, then I would just go with the base 13 five-inch model.

Is that about £1000? Same in dollars. It’s easily the best value. But the trouble is, if you want it to feel like a proper premium laptop, then you need to drop an extra 250 or so to get one of the color metal finishes along with 512 stores. So that’s probably the overall sweet spot for me.

entry-level spec

And at this price, I think it’s still a decent buy. But if you go any higher, I don’t think the value argument is anything like it’s vital. However, you may also want to consider one of these. This is the Del XPS 13 and the base entry-level spec is about a grand and gives you pretty much identical specs to this.

But with 512 storage you also get an extra Thunderbolt port. It’s a little bit thinner, it’s a little bit lighter.

Touch Screen

Yes, it misses on the touchscreen in the space spec, but for my money, I reckon the Dell is a better choice. And of course, don’t forget we also have the M One and N Two MacBook Airs to consider, both of which are thinner and will probably give you better battery life and performance, but obviously without touchscreen support.

Dell XPS

What I think I would do if you are really considering the Laptop Five because you want Windows, you want a nice ultrabook laptop and perhaps for whatever reason you don’t want the Dell XPS, I would consider last year’s Laptop Four. It’s pretty much just as good and you could probably get it for one to £200 less.


But what do you think? Tempted by one of these? Or do you think Microsoft’s just got a little bit lazy? If you do have any questions about this and I don’t know why I’m holding the box and actually not the laptop itself, let me know in the comments as well. I’ll do my best to answer them and if you enjoyed this review, then a cheeky like and subscribe will be very much appreciated.

Thank you so much

Hello everyone


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