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Design & Display
We call it a mild refresh because the Surface Laptop 5 features the exact same design as the previous version, including the same full-sized keyboard and trackpad. You get the same Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Atmos support and dual far-field microphones for voice calls. The only major difference is a new Alacantara keyboard finish on the smaller 13.5-inch version. Both models are available in four colour options, called Platinum, Sage, Black, and Sandstone.
When it comes to the display, you get two options, a smaller 13.5-inch panel and a slightly larger 15-inch screen size. Both of them are the same PixelSense display on the previous year's version, with the same 2256 x 1504 pixels resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. They can support a contrast ratio of up to 1300:1, as well as Dolby Vision IQ. There is even a 720p webcam tucked in above the displays.
Performance & Connectivity
The real upgrade comes in the form of the new 12th gen Intel Core Alder Lake processors, with the smaller unit featuring two options, an i5-1235U and an i7-1255U. The bigger model only comes with the flagship i7-1255U version. Both models can be paired up with up to 32GB of LPDDR5x RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage.
For connectivity, you get a more versatile IO featuring a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB-A port, a proprietary Surface Connect port, and even a 3.5mm audio jack, along with the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. There is also support for the Windows Hello facial recognition system. All of this is powered by a high-capacity battery that promises to deliver up to 18 hours of backup in the 13.5-in unit and up to 17 hours in the 15-inch version.
Price & Availability
The Surface Laptop 5 comes at a starting price of $999 for the smaller 13.5-inch version, while the larger 15-inch models start at $1,299. The base models of both devices feature a mere 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. While you can upgrade the RAM and storage of both versions, it will cost you quite a lot. The company is expected to reveal a detailed price list for all the variants soon, as the laptops are set to start shipping by Oct 25th.