Which Microsoft Surface Model is Right for You?

22nd February 2024
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When it comes to buying the Microsoft Surface range, it’s easy to get confused as to which model is right for you. Read on to find out which Surface device is best suited to your needs.

Why should you choose Microsoft Surface Pro 9?

The standout feature of the Surface Pro 9 is its hybrid 2-in-1 design. It can function as both a laptop and a tablet, provided that the user has the detachable keyboard (which is sold separately). You are also able to use a surface pen with this laptop, enabling you to take notes, or draw.

The Surface Pro 9 is designed to be lightweight and offers respectable specifications, as detailed in the table below. In terms of battery life, it performs adequately, though it doesn’t quite match the Surface Laptop 5 (unless you consider the Surface Pro 9 5G model).

Other than the appeal of better battery life for the 5G model, the 5G capabilities themselves could be an attractive feature of this laptop for some. This feature, especially when combined with the lightness of the laptop, is particularly beneficial to those who often find themselves working on the go, enabling reliable connectivity for users.

It’s also important to note that the Surface Pro 9 is exclusively available in a 13-inch size, adding to its portability, while the Surface Laptop 5 provides a 15-inch option for users seeking a larger display. Compare the range in a table. Price, format, typical user, screen size.

 PROCESSORRAM OPTIONSSSD OPTIONSDISPLAYGRAPHICSBATTERY
Surface Pro 9 (i5)12th Gen Intel Core i5-1245U8GB  16GB128GB 256GB 512GB13” PixelSense, Flow Display 2880 × 1920 120Hz  Intel Iris XE Graphics  Up to 15.5 hours of battery life  
Surface Pro 9 (i7)12th Gen Intel Core i7-1265U16GB  32GB256GB 512GB 1TB13” PixelSense, Flow Display 2880 × 1920 120Hz  Intel Iris XE Graphics  Up to 15.5 hours of battery life  
Surface Pro 9 5GMicrosoft SQ38GB  16GB128GB 256GB 512GB13” PixelSense, Flow Display 2880 × 1920 120HzMicrosoft SQ 3 Adreno 8CX Gen 3 graphics  Up to 19 hours of battery life

Why should you choose Microsoft Surface Laptop 5?

The key difference between the Surface Laptop 5 and the Surface Pro 9 is that the Surface Pro is a 2-in-1 device – meaning that it can be used as both a laptop and a tablet, depending on whether the user chooses to purchase and use the detachable keyboard or not. The Surface Laptop 5, however, is a traditional laptop.

Surface Laptops also generally have a slightly higher battery capacity than Surface Pro’s – for example, the Surface Laptop 5 claims up to 18 hours of battery life, compared to Surface Pro 9’s 15.5 hours. Of course, the exception to this rule is the Pro 9 5G, which claims up to 19 hours of battery life.

The Surface Laptop 5 is generally the better pick of the bunch for most people – the specs are reasonable, and not everyone needs both a laptop and a tablet in one.

 PROCESSORRAM OPTIONSSSD OPTIONSDISPLAYGRAPHICSBATTERY
Surface Laptop 5 15” (i7)12th Generation Intel i7-1265U8GB 16GB 32GB256GB 512GB 1TB15″ PixelSense Display / Surface Pen Enabled*Intel Iris Xe GraphicsUp to 18 hours battery life
Surface Laptop 5 13” (i7)12th Generation Intel i7-1265U16GB 32GB256GB 512GB 1TB13.5″ PixelSense Display / Surface Pen Enabled*Intel Iris Xe GraphicsUp to 18 hours battery life
Surface Laptop 5 13” (i5)12th Generation Intel i5-1245U8GB 16GB256GB 512GB13.5″ PixelSense Display / Surface Pen Enabled*  Intel Iris Xe GraphicsUp to 18 hours battery life

Why should you choose Microsoft Surface Go?

The Surface Go is the lower priced, lower spec option when it comes to the Surface range. It’s also the smallest – these devices are only 10.5 inches.

While they do have slower intel chips, they still get the job done. These laptops are probably better for students, or individuals whose work doesn’t require a high-performing machine.

Surface Go has Surface Pen compatibility – in the context of student usage, this is an excellent feature when it comes to note-taking.

When it comes to deciding which Go is better for your needs, it’s important to note that the Surface Go 4 has a better battery life than the Surface Go 3. Additionally, the Surface Go 4 has a more varied capacity for spec upgrades: the Surface Go 3 is available with either 64Gb or 128GB, the Surface Go 4 has the same but also the option for 256GB. However, the Surface Go 3 has better battery life than the Surface Go 4 – Surface Go 3 claims up to 15 hours battery life, whereas Surface Go 4 claims up to 12.5 hours.

Surface Go 4 isn’t available to consumers and can only be purchased as a business laptop.

 PROCESSORRAM OPTIONSSSD OPTIONSDISPLAYGRAPHICSBATTERY
Surface Go 312th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U8GB 16GB256GB 512GB12.4” PixelSense Touchscreen DisplayIntel Iris Xe GraphicsUp to 15 hours battery life
Surface Go 4Intel Processor N2008GB64GB 128GBTouchscreen 10.5-inch PixelSense™ Display.Intel UHD GraphicsUp to 12.5 hours battery life

Why should you choose the Microsoft Surface Studio?

Surface Laptop Studio 2 is also a 2-in-1 laptop option, but with better graphics options than the Microsoft Surface Pro 9. However, the better specs featured within this laptop do make it the heavier option – the Surface Laptop Studio 2 weighs in at 1.8kg.

While the Surface Studio 2+ may be similar in name, it is a completely different product to the Surface Laptop Studio 2. The main reason being that the Studio 2+ is Microsoft’s Desktop PC option.

The Surface Studio 2+ is not for everyone, especially when considering its price and size – the 28-inch display and connected base mean that it’s not very portable, and this desktop could be considered expensive if you don’t have need for the special features and specs. This desktop would, however, be a good choice for artists, and those that would fully utilise the drawing board functions of the PC.

This model features a 28-inch touch screen display with a flexible hinge and Dolby Armos stereo speakers. It also has a headphone jack, usb-c tb4 ports, usb-a ports, and an ethernet port.

Not only that, but the Surface Studio 2+ has the capability of being connected to up to three 4k UHD monitors. This model comes with a surface pen, surface keyboard and surface mouse.

What is Surface for Business?

Surface for Business is the term given to the Business-centred versions of the above Surface models. This entails a few key features. For example, only Business Surface devices can be enrolled into Microsoft Autopilot, which is Microsoft’s MDM solution. Additionally, the business versions usually come with slightly faster processors – for example, the Surface Pro 9 consumer model features either an i5-1235U processor or i7-1255U processor, whereas the Surface Pro 9 for Business features either i5-1245U or i7-1265U. Surface business models also come with Windows 11 Pro as standard, whereas consumer models come with Windows 11 Home.