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Best Microsoft Surface laptop 2023

Microsoft Surface is one of the most iconic laptop brands in the world, with a wide range of products in the range. But what’s the best Microsoft laptop for your needs in 2023?

We’re best placed to answer that question, as we make sure to review all of the latest Microsoft Surface devices as soon as we can get our hands on them.

For the review process, we make sure to test the screen with professional equipment, while also using industry-recognised benchmark software to evaluate the performance. We also make sure to spend at least a week with each device so we can judge the quality of the design, battery life and software, as well as any special features.

Until then, it’s also worth checking out our Best LaptopBest UltrabookBest Student Laptop and Best Budget Laptop pages for a more general look. Or if you haven’t got your heart entirely set on a Surface, then there’s always our list of the best Asus laptops, the best HP laptops, and the best Dell laptops so you can get a broader look from other manufacturers.

Best Microsoft Surface laptops at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Best overall
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  • Fantastic value for money
  • Extremely portable design
  • Smooth performance for basic tasks
  • Better battery life than the original


  • Low-resolution display
  • Lack of keyboard backlight
  • No fingerprint scanner on base configuration

The original Surface Laptop Go proved to be one of our favourite affordable and best budget laptops money could buy, and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a worthy successor.

It retains the dinky frame of the original Surface Laptop Go, with it being noticeably more compact than rival laptops. Just because it’s smaller and cheaper than a lot of other laptops doesn’t mean it feels flimsy, and with its aluminium and polycarbonate composite resin, we found the Surface Laptop Go 2 to feel sturdy, with only ultra-hard keyboard presses causing the chassis to flex. A weight of just over 1.1kg also means this is a light laptop, and therefore an excellent choice for those who need to quickly sling it into a bag such as students, or professionals who need to dash from meeting to meeting.

An Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor is packed inside, or in other words, an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 chip. While it may be a generation old, during testing, it still provided the Surface Laptop Go 2 with ample performance for the price, which allowed it to breeze through basic productivity tasks. It may not be as nippy as the Ryzen-powered Acer Swift 3, but Microsoft’s smaller candidate performs well for the price.

The battery life for the new Surface Laptop Go has also been improved with its new processor. In testing, we got the laptop to last for just over 9 hours in a PC Mark 10 Modern Office simulation. This means you’ll be able to get through a working day or so with a little bit of juice to spare, although it isn’t as lengthy as the Acer Swift 3, for instance.

The Surface Laptop Go 2 retains the same 1536×1024 resolution as the previous model which left images looking a little less sharp than they would if this were a Full HD panel (with a 1920×1080 resolution). With that being said, our colourimeter did measure some good contrast and brightness levels, so even if the images aren’t the sharpest, general picture quality is still decent.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Best 2-in-1
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  • Bright and smooth PixelSense display
  • Improved range of colour options
  • Ultra-portable productivity


  • Not great value for money
  • Aggressive fans
  • Expensive and flexible keyboard cover

The Surface Pro 9 is the best 2-in-1 laptop you can buy, and not just in Microsoft’s stable of devices. It doesn’t have a whole lot of competition but it tops the likes of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. Its stiffest competition comes in the form of a more mobile-centric device, the iPad Pro (2023), but that just won’t do if you’re after a Windows option.

Microsoft’s flagship tablet hybrid hasn’t changed all that much from the previous generation and, as a result, it might be worth considering the Surface Pro 8 if the new model is a bit more than you’d like to pay. Nevertheless, the Surface Pro 9 is a better machine, just not by leaps and bounds. It’s definitively better for multi-core workloads, like editing and coding.

The total package offers a stunning 2.8K PixelSense display that’s ideal for watching movies and browsing the web. It also comes with a 120Hz display, adding that extra bit of smooth scrolling. The Surface Pro 9 is at its best when viewed as a luxe, ultra-portable, productivity machine. The performance on offer, depending on the skew you select, will comfortably tackle plenty of tabs in your web browser of choice and run well when paired up with other apps, like Spotify, Zoom and the like. This is all achieved with Intel’s latest 13th Gen chips, up to 32GB RAM and up to 1TB SSD storage. Plenty of power for this slimline device.

One of the new additions to the Surface Pro 9 is a Forest green colourway. If you find the Platinum or Graphite a bit dull and the Sapphire a bit garish, the green sits nicely in between. But Microsoft gives with one hand and takes away with the other. The Pro 9 does ditch the headphone jack, so get that dongle ready if you’ve not made the switch to wireless audio.

Despite its gloriously slim frame and lightweight, it’s worth noting we were pleasantly surprised by the battery life on offer. Those who have fairly intense productivity workloads should be able to get a full working day out of the Surface Pro 9, stretching even further if you spend a lot of time watching movies or in just a few tabs.

Reviewer: Adam Speight
Full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Best for content creators
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  • Versatile hinge is great for digital artists
  • Sharp and vibrant display
  • Top-class design and keyboard
  • Surprisingly good battery life


  • Weak graphics power compared to rivals
  • Screen lacks pro-grade colour accuracy
  • Stylus isn’t bundled in

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is the best Surface laptop out there for those who need a versatile device for creating content.

This largely comes thanks to the fact it features a clever screen hinge, which allows the Surface Laptop Studio to be used as both a clamshell laptop and a tablet, too. The fact you can pull the screen forward and clip it to the desk via magnets is especially clever and means using it for drawing is a doddle. We also found the hinge itself to feel sturdy, and the general chassis of the Laptop Studio felt solid thanks to its all-metal build. The port selection proved to be a little stingy though, with only USB-Cs and a headphone jack present, alongside a Surface Connect port.

During testing, the screen proved to be excellent with a 14.4-inch panel, complete with a 2400×11600 resolution. It’s a punchy panel, with vibrant colours and some brilliant contrast, as measured to be 497 nits and 1669:1 respectively by our colourimeter. While the sRGB colour space coverage is good, the 81% DCI-P3 and 74% Adobe RGB are a fair bit behind rivals such as the MacBook Pro but will be better placed for work such as photo or video editing.

Inside, the Surface Laptop Studio features an 11th Intel Core i7 H-series processor that offers smooth performance for basic tasks, and a respectable showing with more intense workloads, too. We also found the SSD specs to be speedy with over 3000MB/s recorded for both read and write. With that being said, the Studio lags behind the competition a little with a generation-old processor, and the lack of an especially powerful discrete GPU does inhibit its overall power somewhat.

In our battery testing, the Surface Laptop Studio lasted for nearly 11 hours (10hrs 49 minutes to be exact), meaning you’ll be able to get through a working day with plenty of juice to spare. This is practically double some of the other beefier content creation laptops we’ve tested, although it is worth remembering that to get such a good endurance, the Laptop Studio doesn’t pack as much power as some of its rivals.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

Best 13-inch
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  • Slim and portable design
  • Finally has Thunderbolt 4 connectivity
  • High resolution display
  • Good battery life


  • Design looks severely outdated
  • Slower performance than competition
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Lacks a killer feature

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is the latest iteration of the company’s classic 13-inch and 15-inch laptops. Costing the same amount as its predecessor, the laptop features upgrades such as a 12th Generation Intel Core processor and support for Thunderbolt 4 connectivity.

Those are admittedly minor upgrades, but enough to make the Surface Laptop 5 a better purchase than the Surface Laptop 4 when priced the same. During the tests, we found the new chip to be comfortably powerful enough for basic productivity workloads, while the sharp screen resolution proved to be great for watching video.

You can admittedly get better value elsewhere beyond the Surface branding. The M2-powered MacBook Air offers more power at the same price, while the Dell XPS 13 OLED feels far more luxurious for just a couple hundred quid more.

But if you’re committed to the Microsoft Surface brand, and want a classic 13-inch clamshell laptop, then the Surface Laptop 5 should still serve you perfectly well. Although given the minor upgrades, it’s worth checking to see whether the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Laptop 4 are available at a discounted price beforehand.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 review

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Best value
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  • Solid performance
  • Great screen for work and play
  • Reliable battery life, especially in 60Hz
  • Well-built kick stand


  • Signature Cover and Slim Pen 2 not included
  • Limited port selection

If it’s a 2-in-1 Surface you’re after, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 may represent the best value if you can find it cheaper than the new Surface Pro 9. The new model offers little improvement upon the previous generation.

You’ll find small refinements compared to the Surface Pro 7, most noticeably with a smaller bezel around the screen. It feels great with a well-built frame that features no flex. There have also been noticeable upgrades to the keyboard and stylus, with the former offering more responsible keys that features much less flex with a carbon-fibre layer, while the stylus features a built-in haptic motor to mimic the real-world tactility of a pencil on paper, which works, but not as well as more specialised drawing tablets.

The display has been upgraded to feature a 120Hz refresh rate. This provides a better sense of motion with smoother scrolling and general navigation. Otherwise, the panel here is typical Surface with it offering great contrast for an LCD as well as some decent brightness, which we measured with our colourimeter. The only real issue here was more specialist-grade colour space coverage, as we only measured the Pro 8 to cover 73.4% of the Adobe RGB space and 75.7% DCI-P3, meaning this convertible may not be the best for more creative workflows.

In terms of battery life, we managed to get between 8 and 10 hours out of the Pro 8, with and without the keyboard cover attached respectively. This will give enough juice to get through a working day, but performing any more intense tasks, such as using a 120Hz refresh rate or having the screen brightness at maximum, will see stamina decline.

Inside, the Surface Pro 8 is powered by an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, which proved to be more than powerful enough for everyday use, be it for opening dozens of Chrome tabs or basic photo editing. This was also backed up in our benchmark tests where the Surface Pro 8 provided scores in the likes of Geekbench 5 and 3DMark Time Spy that were similar to a Dell XPS 13 OLED.

The Surface Pro 8 is a fine choice for those who want a Windows-style iPad equivalent that isn’t short of power, battery life and modern looks. It’s a convertible that’s worth your consideration.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed

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Which Microsoft Surface laptop is the most powerful?

The most powerful Surface laptop right now is the Surface Laptop Studio since it can be configured with an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU. However, laptops such as the MacBook Pro offer far more power.

What is the best Microsoft Surface tablet?

Our favourite Surface tablet is the Surface Pro 9. Although the Surface Go 3 is another option if you want a cheaper alternative.

What is the difference between Surface Pro and Surface Laptop?

The Surface Laptop is a conventional laptop, with a keyboard attached to the screen. The Surface Pro is actually a tablet, which can be paired with a detachable keyboard accessory.

Trusted Reviews test data

PCMark 10
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
3DMark Time Spy
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed
Brightness (SDR)
Black level
White Visual Colour Temperature
Adobe RGB
PCMark Battery (office)
Battery Life
Battery recharge time

Comparison specs

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Front Camera
IP rating
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Refresh Rate
Audio (Power output)
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen

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