Both released around the end of 2022, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 and the Macbook Air M2 are considered two of the best ultraportables today. This means they are constantly being compared, and their competition is such that it makes it difficult for consumers to choose. To help you choose the model that’s right for you, we’ve compiled a comparison of the key features of each. Please find out about it in the following lines.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5: A Reference In Terms Of Ultraportable
Unlike the 2-in-1 PC (Surface Pro 9) released simultaneously, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 features the design of a classic computer—an attractive construction in anodized aluminum, which it inherited from its predecessor. If the aesthetics may need to be more modern for some people, it promises real comfort with a backlit keyboard adjustable on 4 levels and a particularly functional touchpad.
And although the manufacturer preferred to abandon the fingerprint reader, the face detection system offered by Windows Hello largely compensates for its absence. A task that its 720 p webcam manages to perform perfectly despite the difficulties it encounters in low-light conditions. With its 3:2 format and 2496 x 1664 px resolution, its 13.5-inch screen is relatively identical to the previous model’s. This is characterized by a Delta E of 16, an average color temperature of 6550 K, and a contrast ratio of 1300:1.
This guarantees excellent image quality. True to form, Microsoft offers a fairly limited connection with only a USB-A 3.1 port, a USB-C 4.0/Thunderbolt 4, and a mini-jack port. This is a weakness that the wireless part tries to overcome thanks to the support for Bluetooth 5.1 and Wifi 6. Another disturbing fact, the computer is difficult to disassemble. This is because of a shell connected by a plug connected to the circuit board and a delicate layout of the components.
Of course, this remains a minor problem for an average user. Embedding an Intel Core i5-1235U processor with 8, 16, or 32 GB RAM, 128 GB/256 GB/512 GB/1 TB storage, and a little thermal envelope, this ultraportable is recommended for office use. Its Iris Xe graphics processing unit is suitable for undemanding and old games, but nothing more.
Although its 30.8 x 22.3 x 1.45 cm slips very easily into a bag, its weight of 1.28 kg, much higher than its competitors, does not facilitate its transport. Not to mention that its charger adds 300 g more. And if you thought its battery life would overshadow that detail, you will be disappointed. Indeed, against all expectations, it struggles to reach 7 hours of battery life with optimal use. A figure far from the 9-10 hours expected.
The Positive Aspects Of The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5
- A remarkable finish
- An infrared module integrated into the webcam for efficient face detection
- A pleasant display
- The excellent audio quality for a 13.5-inch chassis
Weaknesses Of The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5
- thick borders
- Webcam image quality reduced to 720p (insufficient in low light conditions)
- A limited connection
- Relatively low battery life
- A set difficult to demonstrate
- Unsuitable performance for heavy tasks
The Macbook Air M2: The Rebirth Of Apple’s Essential Ultraportable
Two years after the release of its legendary Macbook Air M1 in 2020, Apple unveils its new Macbook Air M2 and takes the opportunity to make a historic change to the series. Above all, we are talking about a completely new design. With this modern and sober appearance that characterizes the devices of the Apple brand, the Macbook Air M2 has reduced edges thanks to the appearance of a notch and speakers hidden in the hinge.
An exceptional finish completes the whole thing for a PC worth its weight in gold. On the other hand, the keyboard has remained almost the same, with large and backlit keys. Guaranteeing excellent physical feedback, these are associated with a large and efficient touchpad for optimal comfort. The concern raised on this site remains the speed of erasing letters which could be faster than Windows devices.
As expected, this model comes with a brand-new screen. Incorporating a 13.6-inch LiquidRetina panel, the Macbook Air M2 offers a 2560 x 1664 pixels resolution. Its passage under a calibration probe revealed an average Delta E2000 of 1.59 and an average color temperature of 6807 K. To this is added a maximum brightness of 508 cd/m2 and a contrast level of 1380:1. An insufficient configuration to worry about the best on the market, but quite convincing thanks to very good image quality in any situation.
Not fond of bulky connectors, the Cupertino company prefers to stay in a sober style by offering two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5 mm jack port. A configuration that limits the connection to an external screen only. To compensate for this lack, the brand has equipped the Macbook Air M2 with Magsafe technology, which allows the power cable to be easily disconnected in the event of a snag. Not to mention Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility.
Besides the design, the other major change is on the performance side. Naturally, thanks to its M2 chip, the Macbook Air M2 offers greater capacities than its big brother, the Air M1. We are talking here about an SoC memory bandwidth that goes from 60 to 100 GB/s, a unified memory of 24 GB, 8 CPU cores, and 10 GPU cores. Finally, in terms of autonomy, it displays a fairly impressive score with around 13 hours of life under optimal conditions of use.
The Strengths Of The Macbook Air M2
- A sober and modern design
- An excellent performance/autonomy ratio
- A perfectly calibrated LCD screen
- Good audio quality
The Limits Of The Macbook Air M2
- A high price
- A midnight color favorable to fingerprints
- No USB port on the right side
- The number of external screens limited to one
- Insufficient webcam quality
- A store that excludes popular apps
Ultimately, no model can claim to be better than the other. Your choice must be based on your design, display, connectivity, performance, and autonomy expectations. Also, it may depend on your budget. If the latter is quite limited, opt for the less expensive Microsoft. Regarding image quality, the PC signed by Microsoft has a small head start on its competitor.
The design and connectivity, meanwhile, are at the same level. On these aspects, everything will be played on a question of preference. On the other hand, on the power side, the Macbook Air M2 wins with better execution speed and greater support. The same is true for the battery, with an average autonomy of 13 hours against 7 hours for the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5.