Specs Appeal: Here is how Surface Laptop 5 compares to Laptop 4 and Laptop 3

Surface Laptop 5 135 and 15 inch models with their backs against each other

The Surface Laptop 5, Microsoft's latest and greatest laptop in the traditional form factor, features fewer changes compared to its predecessors than the Surface Pro 9. This Specs Appeal article will help owners of the previous-gen Surface Laptops decide whether the new Surface Laptop 5 is worth upgrading, and those planning to buy a Surface Laptop can determine if they should opt for the older models to save some money.

"A slightly better device" is how you can describe the Surface Laptop 5. The computer has newer processors, better memory, Bluetooth 5.1, Thunderbolt 4, and a new color variant. Unlike the preceding generations, the Surface Laptop 5 no longer offers AMD processors. If you want a modern Windows 11 laptop with fresh AMD silicon, you better watch elsewhere or consider grabbing the Surface Laptop 4 with a discount.

Surface Laptop 4 press images showing various colors
Surface Laptop 4 (and the Surface Laptop 3)

Here are key changes summed up in a list:

  • New color variant: green (Sage)
  • Dolby Vision IQ support
  • 12th Gen Intel processors with the new architecture consisting of efficiency and performance cores
  • Newer LPDDR5X memory
  • Improved security with Windows 11 Secure-core PC standard
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Improved battery life
  • Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 support
Surface Laptop 5 Surface Laptop 4 Surface Laptop 3
Chassis

13.5-inch:

12.1" x 8.8" x 0.57", 2.86 lbs
308 x 223 x 14.5 mm, 1.27 kg

15-inch:

13.4" x 9.6" x 0.58", 3.44 lbs
340 x 244 x 14.7 mm, 1.56 kg

Colors Platinum, Sage, Matte Black, Sandstone Platinum, Ice Blue, Matte Black, Sandstone Platinum, Cobalt Blue, Matte Black, Sandstone
Display

13.5-inch:

2256 x 1504 (201 ppi)
Dolby Vision IQ
10-point multi-touch

15-inch:

2496 x 1664 (201 ppi)
Dolby Vision IQ
10-point multi-touch

13.5-inch:

2256 x 1504 (201 ppi)
10-point multi-touch

15-inch:

2496 x 1664 (201 ppi)
10-point multi-touch

Processor Intel Core i5-1235U
Intel Core i7-1255U

Intel Core i5-1135G7
Intel Core i7-1185G7

AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
AMD Ryzen 7 4980U

Intel Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7

AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 7 3780U

Memory 8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR5x 8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR4x 8GB, 16GB, 32GB DDR4
Storage User-replaceable SSD
256GB, 512GB, 1 TB
Non-user-replaceable SSD
128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Security TPM 2.0 Chip
Windows Hello face sign-in
Windows 11 Secured-core PC
TPM 2.0
Windows Hello face sign-in
Firmware TPM
Windows Hello face sign-in
Network Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.1
Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
Battery

13.5-inch:

Up to 18 hours of typical use

15-inch:

Up to 17 hours of typical use

47.4 Wh nominal capacity

Up to 11.5 hours of typical use

Camera 720p HD front-facing camera with Windows Hello face sign-in
Ports 1x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C 4.0
1x USB-A 3.1
3.5 mm headphone jack
1x Surface Connect
1x USB-C
1x USB-A
3.5 mm headphone jack
1x Surface Connect
Price TBA
TBA
$1,000
$1,300
$1,000
$1,200

It appears that the only reason to pick the Surface Laptop 5 over its predecessors is better battery life (which is still something reviews have to prove) and newer processors. But it is hard to tell if those upgrades justify the price difference. You can buy the Surface Laptop 4 with significant discounts, and renewed Surface Laptop 3 configurations are available for as little as $500. It is probably safe to say that if your Surface Laptop provides sufficient battery life and enough horsepower, skip the Surface Laptop 5 and wait for more meaningful upgrades next year.

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