Microsoft’s flagship Surface Laptop lineup got a big boost at the end of 2021 with the most powerful Surface to date: The Surface Laptop Studio. Then, before that, there was the Surface Laptop 4 in April. Now that we’re in a new year and heading into the spring hardware season, it’s time to look ahead to its true predecessor: The Surface Laptop 5.
The Surface Laptop 5 is one of the most anticipated laptops of 2022, but there hasn’t yet been any official talk about said device at Microsoft. Yet, given the most recent round of rumors and leaked specs sheets, we do have a wishlist of things we hope to see and a recap of everything
Price and release date
Surface Laptop devices usually come out in the fall, but Microsoft has had a bit of a weird release schedule. The original Surface Laptop came out in June 2017, followed by the Surface Laptop 2 in October 2018. The Surface Laptop 3 and Laptop 4, meanwhile, came in October 2019 and April 2021, respectively.
Due to the strains of the pandemic, it is much more common now to see Surface devices released in the fall. According to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, the second half of 2022 could be a better option for a
As far as pricing goes, there are multiple options that we are expecting, mainly judging from past releases. There are a couple of versions of the
The AMD version of the 13-inch Surface Laptop is usually slightly cheaper than the Intel version, and Alcantara versions are cheaper than metal versions. We think this might be the case again.
Pricing on the AMD 13-inch Laptop 4 started at $900, so we expect more of the same again for a
Design — more ports, slim bezels?
Besides a switch to a metal keyboard deck option, the main design of the Surface Laptop has been unchanged since the initial version back in 2017. On the other side of things, Microsoft finally slimmed down the bezels on the Surface Pro 8 in 2021. Though there’s no indication that it’s in the works, we hope this also applies to the
We say that because slim-bezel
Looking at other design elements, Another feature that we hope could trickle down to the Intel version of the
Leaked specs sheets from the blog Windows Prime seem to add to our hunch that the new
Surface Laptop devices are usually used by students who might often game or do other media-heavy tasks.
We’d also be interested to see if Microsoft could come up with a new pen storage mechanism for Laptop 5. On the Laptop Studio, the Slim Pen 2 houses under the lip of the device. This would be cool to see on a regular Surface Laptop, but it might take a lot of engineering due to the charging mechanics.
Display — 120 Hz screen
Both of the Surface devices released by Microsoft at the end of 2021 featured 120Hz displays. The Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 benefit from the technology, making web browsing feel much more fluent. Now, judging from the leaked specs on Windows Prime, it seems as though this could trickle down to the
Considering the high-end pricing, 120Hz would make the Laptop 5 a lot more viable. 60Hz panels are just fine for basic things, but as we said when we reviewed the Surface Pro 8,
Performance — Intel 12th-generation or AMD 6000 Series
It’s been rumored by Windows Central and listed on the leaked specs sheet that the
On the AMD front, the new Ryzen 6000 processors offer a lot of performance boost. The processors sport the Zen 3+ core design based on TSMC’s 6nm process. It has RDNA 2 onboard graphics, DDR5 and LPDDR5 memory, and support for Wi-Fi 6e and USB 4 technologies. These new processors sport up to a 30% increase in CPU performance and have an onboard GPU that can outperform even low-end Nvidia MX450 graphics.
That’s a lot of power and, based on the leaked specs sheets, the specific chips we’re looking for are the AMD Ryzen 5 6680U and the Ryzen 7 6980U. However, the 13.5-inch
Over on the Intel side, the new 12th-generation mobile processors promised enthusiast-level performance in thin and light
Webcams, repairability, and more
With the pandemic forcing people to depend on webcams and microphones more, we do hope that the
The Laptop 4 had a 720p webcam, but Microsoft has shown it can bump the webcam quality on its devices. The Laptop Studio and Pro 8 both have 1080p webcams and studio microphones.
Though doubtful, it’d be interesting to see if Microsoft might want to opt for an ARM-powered chip in the
What about repairability? The Surface Laptop 3 introduced a replaceable SSD, and it also made its way to the Surface Laptop 4. With Microsoft showcasing how the education-first Surface Laptop SE is super repairable — and modular — we hope the
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