Microsoft today announced new versions of its Surface line of PCs, including the Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9. The Surface Laptop 5, in particular, hasn’t changed much over the years, but has remained a very thin and light laptop with a sleek build — in many ways, the perfect foil to Apple’s MacBook Air.
The Surface Laptop 5 makes some minor adjustments to the formula, adding a new color option and updated 12th-gen Intel processors. But in 2022, it doesn’t feel like quite enough.
Apple has spent the last couple of years transitioning to ARM-powered Apple Silicon, and it’s been a stunning transformation to watch. Underpowered thin-and-light MacBooks have gone from being overpriced to an incredible value.
The M1 MacBook Air is the best example, of course. At $999 (or even lower on sale days), it’s as a good a value as you’ll find for a laptop. Despite being two years old, the performance of the M1 still surpasses Intel’s 12th-gen U-series chips, such as the ones you’ll find as options for the
That’s a lot of benefits. But on paper, the entry-level
Those who prefer Windows as a platform or need access to Windows-specific applications will default to a laptop like the
The new Dell XPS 13 is a good example of how other Windows laptop manufacturers are attempting to sidestep the MacBook Air. Dell priced the new XPS 13 starting at $830 and even configures it with 512GB of storage. All of a sudden, the XPS 13 doesn’t have to compete with the MacBook Air in aspects that it simply can’t.
That’s the kind of approach Microsoft needed to take with the
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