Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

With Microsoft being the creator of Windows, it’s hardly a surprise that the company is rather good at producing high quality laptops. But what are the best Microsoft Surface laptop options for you?

This is where we’ve decided to step in. Our team of experts test all of the latest Surface devices, and so we’ve compiled this list with the top rated options. This ranges from portable 2-in-1 hybrids to powerful MacBook Pro rivals.

Every laptop we review has undergone a thorough testing process. We test the performance via benchmark software, and test the screen with professional-grade equipment. We also determine the build quality and the battery life during testing.

If you can’t find a Surface laptop you like at the moment, we’d recommend bookmarking this list as we’ll be updating it as soon as we publish new Surface reviews, with the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5 expected to launch before the end of the month.

It’s also worth checking out our Best Laptop, Best Ultrabook, Best Student Laptop and Best Budget Laptop pages for a more general look. Or if you haven’t got your heart entirely set on a Surface, then there’s always our list of the best Asus laptops, the best HP laptops, and the best Dell laptops so you can get a broader look from other manufacturers.

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Best value laptop

Pros

  • Fantastic value for money
  • Extremely portable design
  • Smooth performance for basic tasks
  • Better battery life than the original

Cons

  • Low-resolution display
  • Lack of keyboard backlight
  • No fingerprint scanner on base configuration

The original Surface Laptop Go proved to be one of our favourite affordable and best budget laptops money could buy, and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a worthy successor.

It retains the dinky frame of the original Surface Laptop Go, with it being noticeably more compact than rival laptops. Just because it’s smaller and cheaper than a lot of other laptops doesn’t mean it feels flimsy, and with its aluminium and polycarbonate composite resin we found the Surface Laptop Go 2 to feel sturdy, with only ultra-hard keyboard presses causing the chassis to flex. A weight of just over 1.1kg also means this is a light laptop, and therefore an excellent choice for those who need to quickly sling it into a bag such as students, or professionals who need to dash from meeting to meeting.

This new generation has also brought with it a notable processor upgrade with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 packed inside, or in other words, an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 chip. While it may be a generation old, during testing, it still provided the Surface Laptop Go 2 with ample performance for the price, which allowed it to breeze through basic productivity tasks. It may not be as nippy as the Ryzen-powered Acer Swift 3, but Microsoft’s smaller candidate performs well for the price.

The battery life for the new Surface Laptop Go has also been improved with its new processor. In testing, we got the laptop to last for just over 9 hours in a PC Mark 10 Modern Office simulation. This means you’ll be able to get through a working day or so with a little bit of juice to spare, although it isn’t as lengthy as the Acer Swift 3, for instance.

The Surface Laptop Go 2 retains the same 1536×1024 resolution as the previous model which left images looking a little less sharp than they would if this were a Full HD panel (with a 1920×1080 resolution). With that being said, our colorimeter did measure some good contrast and brightness levels, so even if the images aren’t the sharpest, general picture quality is still decent.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Best 2-in-1 laptop

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Great screen for work and play
  • Reliable battery life, especially in 60Hz
  • Well-built kick stand

Cons

  • Signature Cover and Slim Pen 2 not included
  • Limited port selection

If it’s a 2-in-1 Surface you’re after, look no further than the fantastic Microsoft Surface Pro 8.

You’ll find small refinements compared to the Surface Pro 7, most noticeably with a smaller bezel around the screen. It feels great with a well built frame that features no flex. There has also been noticeable upgrades to the keyboard and stylus, with the former offering more responsible keys that features much less flex with a carbon-fibre layer, while the stylus features a built-in haptic motor to mimic the real world tactility of a pencil on paper, which works, but not as well as more specialised drawing tablets.

The display has been upgraded to feature a 120Hz refresh rate. This provides a better sense of motion with smoother scrolling and general navigation. Otherwise, the panel here is typical Surface with it offering great contrast for an LCD as well as some decent brightness, which we measured with our colorimeter. The only real issue here was more specialist-grade colour space coverage, as we only measured the Pro 8 to cover 73.4% of the Adobe RGB space and 75.7% DCI-P3, meaning this convertible may not be the best for more creative workflows.

In terms of battery life, we managed to get between 8 and 10 hours out of the Pro 8, with and without the keyboard cover attached respectively. This will give enough juice to get through a working day, but performing any more intense tasks, such as using 120Hz refresh rate or having the screen brightness all the way up, will see stamina decline.

Inside, the Surface Pro 8 is powered by an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, which proved to be more than powerful enough for everyday use, be it for opening dozens of Chrome tabs or basic photo editing. This was also backed up in our benchmark tests where the Surface Pro 8 provided scores in the likes of Geekbench 5 and 3DMark Time Spy that were similar to a Dell XPS 13 OLED.

The Surface Pro 8 is a fine choice for those who want a Windows-style iPad equivalent that isn’t short of power, battery life and modern looks. It’s a convertible that’s definitely worth your consideration.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Best laptop for content creators

Pros

  • Versatile hinge is great for digital artists
  • Sharp and vibrant display
  • Top-class design and keyboard
  • Surprisingly good battery life

Cons

  • Weak graphics power compared to rivals
  • Screen lacks pro-grade colour accuracy
  • Stylus isn’t bundled in

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is the best Surface laptop out there for those who need a versatile device for creating content.

This largely comes thanks to the fact it features a clever screen hinge, which allows the Surface Laptop Studio to be used as both a clamshell laptop and as a tablet, too. The fact you can pull the screen forward and clip it to the desk via magnets is especially clever, and means using it for drawing is a doddle. We also found the hinge itself to feel sturdy, and the general chassis of the Laptop Studio felt solid thanks to its all-metal build. The port selection proved to be a little stingy though, with only USB-Cs and a headphone jack present, alongside a Surface Connect port.

During testing, the screen proved to be excellent with a 14.4-inch panel, complete with a 2400×11600 resolution. It’s a punchy panel, with vibrant colours and some brilliant contrast, as measured to be 497 nits and 1669:1 respectively by our colorimeter. While the sRGB colour space coverage is good, the 81% DCI-P3 and 74% Adobe RGB is a fair bit behind rivals such as the MacBook Pro that’ll be better placed for work such as photo or video editing.

Inside, the Surface Laptop Studio features an 11th Intel Core i7 H-series processor that offers smooth performance for basic tasks, and a respectable showing with more intense workloads, too. We also found the SSD specs to be speedy with over 3000MB/s recorded for both read and writes. With that being said, the Studio lags behind the competition a little with a generation-old processor, and the lack of an especially powerful discrete GPUs does inhibit its overall power somewhat.

In our battery testing, the Surface Laptop Studio lasted for nearly 11 hours (10hrs 49 minutes to be exact), meaning you’ll be able to get through a working day with plenty of juice to spare. This is practically double some of the other beefier content creation laptops we’ve tested, although it is worth remembering that to get such a good endurance, the Laptop Studio doesn’t pack as much power as some of its rivals.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Best 13-inch laptop

Pros

  • Upgraded performance compared to Surface Laptop 3
  • Superb screen for watching video
  • Lightweight build
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Outdated design with chunky bezel
  • Flex under keyboard for Alcantara model
  • Lack of fingerprint reader
  • No Thunderbolt support

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a superb choice for those after a 13-inch Surface device.

The 13-inch screen features a 2256×1504 resolution, which offers a much sharper panel than the more standard Full HD resolution other 13-inch laptops tend to feature. With it, we found the display to be vibrant with a 1373:1 contrast ratio. While other laptops may have a better contrast ratio, the one on the Surface Laptop 4 is still plenty to ensure colours will be punchy and pop nicely.

Inside, the 4th generation Surface Laptop utilises an 11th gen Intel Core i5 processor that we found offered a notable boost in performance compared to its predecessor, at least in our benchmark tests. It breezed through basic productivity tasks, and with boosted Iris Xe graphics, we could even engage in a spot of light gaming, too. For a laptop at this price, the base 256GB storage seems a little stingy, it must be said.

The Surface Laptop 4 features a sleek aluminium casing with a brightly coloured lid. At 1.3kg, it’s also relatively portable and on the lighter side for a laptop, but does tip the scales at more than some other ultrabooks, including ones with larger screens such as the LG Gram 16. The design here did feel a little outdated with chunkier bezels than you’d find on competitors such as the Dell XPS 13, and there is a bit of flex when typing with the keyboard, which can be a little distracting.

On the front of battery life, the Surface Laptop. managed to last for 10hrs and 54 minutes in our PC Mark 10 Office benchmark, which gives you more than enough capacity to get through a working day. And while the score is respectable, it does lag behind some of the competition as similarly powered laptops can get closer to 15 hours than 11, such as the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review

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FAQs

Which Microsoft Surface laptop is the most powerful?

The most powerful Surface laptop right now is the Surface Laptop Studio since it can be configured with an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU. However, laptops such as the MacBook Pro offer far more power.

What is the best Microsoft Surface tablet?

Our favourite Surface tablet is the Surface Pro 8. Although the Surface Go 3 is another option if you want a cheaper alternative.

What is the difference between Surface Pro and Surface Laptop?

The Surface Laptop is a conventional laptop, with a keyboard attached to the screen. The Surface Pro is actually a tablet, which can be paired with a detachable keyboard accessory.

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Trusted Reviews test data

PCMark Battery (office)
Brightness
CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
3DMark Time Spy
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 5 single core
Contrast
Black level
White Visual Colour Temperature
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
Battery recharge time
Battery Life
PCMark 10

Comparison specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
CPU
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Front Camera
IP rating
Battery
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
GPU
RAM
Connectivity
Colours
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen
Convertible?

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