Surface Laptop 5 is one of the latest devices from Microsoft, released in late-October 2022. It already has its fans and haters, which will promote their point of view. But if you want a clear picture, it’s better to ask people with vast experience in Microsoft Surface troubleshooting. They can tell you all pros and cons of this device without sugarcoating. That’s why we asked Howly experts about the strengths and weaknesses of Surface Laptop 5. And here is what they told us.
5 Main Advantages of Surface Laptop 5
It’s a great laptop with fine specs, even for 2023. It has fine hardware with one of the quietest fans on the market. The battery life of Surface Laptop 5 is the object of envy for other manufacturers. Check five main reasons why people like it that much.
Great Battery Life
Microsoft promises its customers up to 18 hours of battery life with office usage: 3-7 tabs in a web browser and 2-3 Microsoft apps opened simultaneously. In reality, the number is slightly less but still astonishing: around 14-15 hours, which is almost two full-time working days.
If you are creating content with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, DaVinci, or other software, prepare for 9-13 hours of battery life. Satisfactory performance allows you to work wherever you want.
Thunderbolt 4 Port
That may not look like a big deal to someone, but it’s a major step toward overall unification in the Surface series. Earlier, Microsoft said that Thunderbolt is an easily hackable port. But in 2022, they are finally changing basic USB-C with upgraded Thunderbolt 4.
As for now, Surface 5 has four ports: USB-C Thunderbolt, USB-A 3.1, Mini-Jack (3.5 mm), and Surface Connect charging port. It’s a bare minimum for a modern laptop, but it is still enough for most tasks.
With an updated Thunderbolt 4 port, the laptop can transfer data much faster than an old USB-C. You can connect it to the 4K monitors. You can even use it for charging if you find a fine 65W Power Delivery charger.
Surface Laptop 5 has a few hardware options. It can run on Intel m3, i5, or i7 7-generation chips. You can choose between 4 GB, 8 GB, or 16 GB RAM. We recommend you look at at least the 8 GB version, so it can work without glitches for the next 3-5 years.
You can be sure about your data security with Surface 5. This laptop has a TPM chip. It’s a physical encryptor processor located on the motherboard. TPM securely stores your passwords physical carrier. Surface Laptop 5 also has Windows Hello biometric face identification feature.
By default, the laptop has a 256 or 512 GB SSD, but you can change it for 1 TB storage. Make sure you bought M.2 2230 SSD, not the M.2 2280.
Great 3:2 Ratio Screen
This ratio can hold much more data than the usual 16:9 display. If you like to work with multiple windows simultaneously, pick laptops with this ratio.
The screen on Surface Laptop 5 has a brightness of 400 nits, which is enough to work on a sunny day. The colors are rich and saturated. Moreover, the laptop supports Dolby Vision IQ, which automatically corrects color profiles and contrast based on the environment.
Quiet Performance with High-Performing Apps
Even though Surface Laptop 5 has a built-in fan, the laptop works fine without additional cooling. It works quietly even when you edit videos or play games like GTA 5 on medium settings. Microsoft team says that 12Gen Intel chips make a laptop up to 50% more productive than its predecessors.
5 Main Disadvantages of Surface Laptop 5
Everything in our world has its cons, and this laptop is not an exemption from this rule. So we are gathering 5 flaws of this device in this shortlist.
720p Web Camera
Usually, the latest top-tier laptops get a FullHD web camera. The video quality of the Surface Laptop 5 camera is OK, but it could be a lot better. Especially given that many people have started working remotely, they need to use the camera daily. And this laptop doesn’t have the best camera option for its budget.
Lack of Ports
There are only four ports, but one uses only for charging, and the other for external wire speakers. So, in the dry residue, Surface Laptop 5 users get only Thunderbolt and USB 3.1. If you are working with data from external devices, look for a USB hub.
The Laptop Doesn’t Have a Fingerprint Scanner
Despite Microsoft promoting the Surface Laptop 5 as a device with biometric protection, it doesn’t have a fingertip scanner. You can still add your face to Windows Hello to sign in to the device, apps, or websites. But if you can’t use it (you are in a public space with a mask on your face), enter the password manually. There is no other way to sign in to some service.
Speakers Are Loud, but They Lack Bass
If you like to listen to music straight from your laptop, be prepared for lack of bass. But if you are more on the movie side, this device fits you just fine. You can watch movies or series and hear every word from a character’s mouth.
The Design Looks a Bit Outdated
The Surface Laptop 5 looks like a laptop from 2017-2018 because of its wide bezels. The fabric on the inner part of the device wears out quickly, so you should be tidy while working with this laptop. But if you primarily work from home, you may not worry about those design choices.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is a good device that fits well into the basic Surface series. It will be perfect for those who use laptops as office machines during workdays and portable game stations on weekends.
It has fine hardware and a quiet fan, so you can use it wherever you want. This laptop won’t bother anyone even when you render 4K video or play a high-consuming AAA game.
However, like everything in our world, Surface Laptop 5 has some disadvantages. Its design looks pretty old: big bezels can remind 2017-18’s devices. There is still a lack of ports and an old 720P camera.
But, if you don’t chat every day on Zoom or don’t connect dozens of external devices simultaneously, this laptop fits you well. We recommend upgrading to Surface Laptop 5 if you currently use a device older than 5 years old. In this case, you’ll feel the differences between your current and new laptops.
Christine Tomas is a tech expert, consultant, and aspiring writer. She writes for different news portals and thematic blogs for tech experts that helps her stay at the heart of programming, technology news.
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