It’s been ten months since Microsoft launched the Surface Laptop 4 with a choice of 13.5 inch or 15 inch displays and 11th-gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen 4000U series processors. Now details about the next-gen Surface Laptop 5 are starting to leak, and if a spec sheet posted by Windows Prime is to be believed, it looks like we can expect some major under-the-hood updates.

The new models will be available with up to a 28-watt, 14-core, 20-thread Intel processor with Iris Xe graphics or a 15-28W AMD Ryzen chip with up to 8 cores and 16 threads and RDNA 2 graphics.

That marks a step up for the AMD-powered versions of the Surface Laptop 4, which shipped with Ryzen 4000U series chips at a time when other laptops were using newer, more powerful Ryzen 5000U series processors.

Perhaps more importantly though, early benchmarks suggest that Intel’s 12th-gen Core processor lineup brings a major improvement in both single-core and multi-core CPU performance over 11th-gen chips thanks to a move to a new hybrid architecture that combines a series of Performance CPU cores with lower-power Efficient cores. And while AMD’s Ryzen 6000 chips bring a less impressive boost in year-over-year CPU performance, they should bring a big boost when compared with the older Ryzen 4000 series chips used in the Surface Laptop 4… and an even bigger jump in graphics performance thanks to a move from Radeon Vega to RDNA 2 graphics architecture.

Microsoft also appears poised to bring better screens to this year’s Surface Laptop lineup with support for refresh rates up to 120 Hz (the previous-gen topped out at 60 Hz). Other display characteristics appear to be largely unchanged: both the 13.5 inch and 15 inch laptops have PixelSense displays with 3:2 aspect ratios and 201 pixels per inch and support for finger and Surface Pen touch input.

Microsoft also appears to have added a second USB-C port and upgraded from USB 3.1 Gen 2 to USB 4.0/Thunderbolt port on this year’s laptops, added quad speakers (up from stereo), improved the webcam, and increased the battery capacity to 58 Wh (up from 47.4 Wh).

Somehow the physical size and weight have barely changed though. The laptops still measure less than 0.6 inches thick and the new 13.5 inch model has the same 2.79 pound starting weight as its predecessor, while the Surface Laptop 5 15″ still starts at 3.4 pounds.

Surface Laptop 5 13.5″Surface Laptop 5 15″Surface Laptop 4 13.5″Surface Laptop 4 15″
Display13.5″
2256 x 1502
201 ppi
3:2
120 Hz
10-point multi-touch
Surface Pen
Dolby Vision
15″
2496 x 1664
201 ppi
3:2
120 Hz
10-point multi-touch
Surface Pen
Dolby Vision
13.5″
2256 x 1502
201 ppi
3:2
60 Hz
10-point multi-touch
Surface Pen
15″
2496 x 1664
201 ppi
3:2
60 Hz
10-point multi-touch
Surface Pen
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1240P (12 cores, 16 threads)
Intel Core i7-1280P (14 cores, 20 threads)
AMD Ryzen 5 6680 (6 cores, 12 threads)
Intel Core i7-1280P (14 cores, 20 threads)
AMD Ryzen 7 6980 (8 cores, 16 threads)
Intel Core i5-1135G7 (4 cores, 8 threads)
Intel Core i7-1185G7 (4 cores, 8 threads)
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U (6 cores, 12 threads)
Intel Core i7-1185G7 (4 cores, 8 threads)
AMD Ryzen 7 4980U (8 cores, 16 threads)
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
AMD RDNA 2
Intel Iris Xe
AMD RDNA 2
Intel Iris Xe
AMD Radeon Vega
Intel Iris Xe
AMD Radeon Vega
RAM8GB
16GB
32GB
LPDDR4x
8GB
16GB
32GB
LPDDR4x
8GB
16GB
32GB
LPDDR4x
8GB
16GB
32GB
LPDDR4x
Storage256GB
512GB
1TB
Removable SSD
256GB
512GB
1TB
Removable SSD
256GB
512GB
1TB
Removable SSD
256GB
512GB
1TB
Removable SSD
Battery58 Wh58W Wh47.4 Wh47.4 Wh
Ports2 x USB 4.0 / Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x Surface Connect
2 x USB 4.0 / Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x Surface Connect
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1 x USB Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x Surface Connect
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1 x USB Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x Surface Connect
Audio, video & camera1080p webcam
Window Hello
Dual far-field Studio Mics
Quad Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Atmos
1080p webcam
Window Hello
Dual far-field Studio Mics
Quad Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Atmos
720p webcam
Window Hello
Dual far-field Studio Mics
Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Atmos
720p webcam
Window Hello
Dual far-field Studio Mics
Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Atmos
WirelessWiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
OtherFirmware TPM
Ambient Light Sensor
Aluminum case
Backlit keyboard
Firmware TPM
Ambient Light Sensor
Aluminum case
Backlit keyboard
TPM 2.0
Ambient Light Sensor
Aluminum casing
Backlit keyboard
TPM 2.0
Ambient Light Sensor
Aluminum casing
Backlit keyboard
Colors / MaterialsPlatinum with Alcantara palm rest
Ice Blue with Alcantara palm rest
Matte Black with metal palm rest
Sandstone with metal palm rest
Matte Black with metal palm rest
Sandstone with metal palm rest
Platinum with Alcantara palm rest
Ice Blue with Alcantara palm rest
Matte Black with metal palm rest
Sandstone with metal palm rest
Matte Black with metal palm rest
Sandstone with metal palm rest
Dimensions308 x 223 x 14.22mm
12.1″ x 8.8″ x 0.56″
339.5 x 244 x 14.5mm
13.4″ x 9.6″ x 0.57″
308 x 223 x 14.5mm
12.1″ x 8.8″ x 0.57″
339.5 x 244 x 14.7mm
13.4″ x 9.6″ x 0.58″
Weight2.79 pounds (with Alcantara fabric)
2.84 pounds (with metal palm rest)
3.4 pounds2.79 pounds (with Alcantara fabric)
2.84 pounds (with metal palm rest)
3.4 pounds

You can find more details for the Surface Laptop 4 at the Microsoft website, and the allegedly leaked spec sheet for the Surface Laptop 5 at Windows Prime.

via NotebookCheck and MyLaptopGuide

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  1. Higher refresh rates on non-gaming laptops is definitely something that I like seeing. As someone who has been using 100-200hz monitors for a few years, it’s tough to go back to 60hz.

    However, I feel like these GPU-less x86 ultrabooks have a limited future right now. More and more important software (important to me) has been made fully compatible with Apple Silicon.

    The idea of spending $1300 to $2400 (Surface Laptop 4’s launch pricing) for an x86 ultrabook with no available discrete GPU seems like a waste of money right now. There’s currently nothing I can’t accomplish on Apple Silicon, and I get twice the battery life.

    Despite the fact that I have lots of gripes with MacOS, and I have complaints about monitor support, I can’t see myself buying anything but an M1 Macbook at the moment, for productivity/work related use.

    1. Grant, I definitely agree. I feel like dGPU-less ultrabooks really need to stay sub-1200 USD. The only saving grace I see here is with the AMD offerings. Early leaks of laptop hardware and tests from the Steamdeck suggests that a full fat AMD Ryzen 6000 iGPU should be better than a 1050 Ti with DDR4 and possibly 1650 level with DDR5. I guess we will see but I can’t imagine paying more than $1200 for one of these as I would rather just get the revised ASUS X-Flow 13 for the same money.

    2. Wait, you’re slamming MS for putting out dGPU-less ultrabooks but praising Apple for pushing their dGPU-less “solution”? I’m missing something.

      The only thing I will say is that Windows on ARM is a failure, while Apple’s transition to ditch Intel and use their own silicon has proven to work really well thus far (loving the 1st-gen 13-inch MBP I’m typing this on).

      1. No, I specified “x86”. I’m just saying that I don’t see myself buying an x86 laptop that lacks a discrete GPU for more than $1000.