Microsoft grabs a lot: Surface Laptop 5 is noble, but not really new

The Microsoft Laptop 5 is a stylish and powerful notebook that mostly makes work a pleasure.

Microsoft grabs a lot: Surface Laptop 5 is noble, but not really new

The Microsoft Laptop 5 is a stylish and powerful notebook that mostly makes work a pleasure. However, it differs only slightly from its predecessor, and the prices for the elegant aluminum laptop are really high.

Five years ago, Microsoft launched the first Surface Laptop. Even then, it left a mixed impression, since on the one hand it was a chic and solid workhorse with very good hardware, but on the other hand it was very spartan with Windows 10S and, above all, only one USB port. Not much has changed since then. The fifth generation still looks very similar to the first and little has changed in terms of the pros and cons.

ntv.de tested a variant with a 15-inch display, twelfth-generation Intel Core i7 chip, 16 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and a 512 GB SSD drive. In this configuration, a Surface Laptop 5 costs a whopping 2080 euros, with 1 terabyte (TB) of storage space and 32 GB of RAM even 2750 euros.

The cheapest 15-inch model with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD drive costs 1530 euros. With a 13.5-inch screen, prices start at 1180 euros for a Core i5 model and end at 1950 euros for the best variant with a Core i7 chip.

Microsoft has left the design almost unchanged, and you still only have the choice between a pure metal case or an Alcantara covering for the keyboard area in the smaller version. That's okay, the device still looks great and is amazingly thin and light at 14.7mm and 1.56kg (15 inches) or 14.7mm and 1.3kg.

The keyboard gives fingers a lot of space, the pressure point and travel of the individual keys are very comfortable. The large touchpad responds precisely and the fingertips glide over it with almost no resistance. The touch display is also of the same high quality as the predecessor. With a pixel density of 201 ppi, the screen is very sharp, it can shine brightly, offers good contrast and natural colors. However, because it reflects strongly, it is only suitable for outdoor use to a limited extent.

With the latest Core i7 chip and 16GB of RAM, the Surface Laptop 5 has a lot of muscle for an office notebook. You don't have to worry about breaks when editing images or videos either, as long as you don't want to work with enormously large files in the professional field. The same applies to games: The Surface Laptop 5 is not a gaming notebook, but it can definitely be used for gaming titles that are not too graphically demanding.

It's great that the fans are barely audible, even under maximum load. Another plus point is the endurance: The Surface Laptop 5 easily lasts at least one work shift in office mode without a power outlet. According to the data sheet, up to 17 hours are possible in an ideal case.

So Microsoft has made proven technology a little stronger, which is nothing to complain about. If something is already very good, you don't necessarily have to try to make it even better. However, the manufacturer has also adopted old weaknesses into the new generation. The webcam still has a measly 720p resolution. Like Apple, Microsoft should have realized with the new MacBook Air that this is no longer up-to-date - especially if you use the device professionally for video conferencing.

The few ports are a major weakness. The Surface Laptop 5 again only has one USB-C port on the left, but with USB 4.0 or Thunderbolt 4 it only allows very high data rates. Next to it you will find a USB-A input (USB 3.1) and a headphone jack. That's it. On the right side there is only the Surface Connect port, to which the cable of the power adapter attaches magnetically.

All in all, the Microsoft Surface Laptop is a classy work laptop, with more than enough power, a gorgeous touchscreen, comfortable keyboard and great touchpad. For the high prices, however, the equipment is very poor, at least a second USB-C port should have been included.

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