MacBook Air M2 vs. Surface Laptop 5: Which laptop is best?

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A new battle has emerged in the never-ending war between Apple and Microsoft with the two tech goliaths deploying a new era of troops this year: the MacBook Air M2 and Surface Laptop 5. Both are equipped with ultra-sleek designs, an arsenal of power under the hood, and battery life that keeps these machines on the battlefield for hours (as tested in the MacBook Air, at least).

In our last MacBook Air M1 vs. Surface Laptop 4, Apple’s near-perfect laptop came out victorious, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft’s excellent ultra-thin laptop went down without a fight. In this year’s skirmish, Apple pulled out its trump card: an upgraded M2 silicon chip. It even delivered a revamped design with a bigger screen and smaller bezels. But Microsoft has an ace up its sleeve with the Surface Laptop 5 now boasting a speedy 12th Gen Intel processor.

Announced during the Microsoft Surface October event, the Surface Laptop 5 will soon arrive at people’s doorsteps with shipments coming on October 25. We have yet to review Microsoft’s latest offering, so stay tuned for an in-depth look at the Surface Laptop 5. In the meantime, check out the differences between these two ultraportable powerhouses.

MacBook Air M2 vs. Surface Laptop 5: Specs

MacBook Air M2 vs. Surface Laptop 5: Specs
Specs MacBook Air M2 Surface Laptop 5
CPU M2 8-core CPU Intel Core i5-1235U/i7-1255U (13.5-inch), i7-1255U (15-inch)
GPU M2 8-core GPU, 10-core GPU Intel Iris Xe
RAM 8GB. 16GB 8GB, 16GB
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Display 13.6 inches (2560 x 1664) 13.5-inch (2256 x 1504) PixelSense touchscreen, 15-inch (2496 x 1664) PixelSense touchscreen
Size 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches 12.1 inch x 8.8 inch x 0.57 (13-inch), 13.4 inch x 9.6 inch x 0.58 inches (15-inch)
Weight 2.7 pounds 2.8 pounds (13-inch), 3.4 pounds (15-inch)

MacBook Air M2 vs. Surface Laptop 5: Price

It goes without saying that both the MacBook Air M2 and Surface Laptop 5 are sure to put a dent in most people’s wallets, but Microsoft has a slight edge over Apple when it comes to their new iterations of laptops.

The Surface Laptop 5 starts at $999/£999 for the 13.5-inch, much like last year’s Surface Laptop 4. Cutting it just below the $1,000 mark is always more appealing to customers, and with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U CPU, this isn’t a bad deal. In reality, however, those after real power will want to pick up a model with 16GB of RAM, which jacks up the price to $1,499/£1,499. Still, a low-price option is there.

(Image credit: Future)

Unlike the M1-powered MacBook Air with its favorable $999/£999 sticker, the MacBook Air M2 starts at $1,199/£1,249 (unfortunate for the U.K.). That $200 price increase makes a considerable difference as there’s no option to get the M2 chip in a MacBook Air below the $1,000 mark. You’re still getting the powerful M2 chip, though, with the higher-priced $1,499/£1,549 option offering a 10-core M2 GPU rather than an 8-core GPU.

Both options don’t come…

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