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Surface Laptop 7 vs MacBook Air M3: Windows or MacOS?

Microsoft recently announced its newest Copilot Plus PC series which includes the Surface Laptop 7.

While we haven’t reviewed the Surface Laptop 7 yet, we have reviewed Apple’s latest MacBook Air M3 and gave the laptop a near perfect 4.5-star rating. With that in mind, how do the specs of the Surface Laptop 7 compare to the MacBook Air M3?

The Surface Laptop 7 is available as a 13.8-inch or 15-inch model and the MacBook Air M3 is also available in two sizes, either 13-inch or 15-inch. 

We’ve put the specs of the new Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 against Apple’s MacBook Air M3 and noted the differences between the two flagship laptops below.

The MacBook Air runs on Apple’s own M-series chip

Macs have run on Apple’s own M-series chip since 2020, with the latest version for computers being the M3. Apple states that the MacBook Air M3 leverages the AI performance of the Neural Engine to deliver macOS features that “enhance productivity and creativity”, including camera features and real-time speech to text.

Overall, we concluded that the MacBook Air M3 is a capable processor: “For most people who might partake in photo editing, light video editing and general daily tasks there’s more than enough grunt here.”

In comparison, the Surface Laptop 7 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X series. Designed as a rival to the M-series, there are two editions of the Snapdragon X series that can be found in the Surface Laptop 7: X Plus and the more premium X Elite. The former is only available in the 13.8-inch model.

Qualcomm promises that the Snapdragon X Elite processor is its most powerful of the two and offers “best-in-class CPU with high performance and remarkable power efficiency”. Both the X Plus and X Elite are built for AI, offer “cutting edge responsiveness”, and support the new AI-driven Microsoft Copilot Plus.

As we have yet to try the Surface Laptop 7, we can’t verify whether these claims add up, however the specs themselves sound promising.

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The Surface Laptop 7 is a Copilot Plus computer

The Surface Laptop 7 is one of the first Copilot Plus computers, alongside the Surface Pro 11. Microsoft has hailed Copilot Plus PCs as “the fastest, most intelligent Windows PCs ever built” and have been designed with AI in mind. Copilot Plus’ AI features include Recall which helps you find anything you’ve seen on your computer, and Cocreater which allows users to generate AI images straight onto their devices. 

All Copilot Plus PCs will also be equipped with an AI assistant that Microsoft promises will give access to the latest AI models, including GPT-4o.

The Surface Laptop 7 has a touchscreen display

Unlike the MacBook Air, the Surface Laptop 7 has a touchscreen display that’s fitted with Microsoft’s PixelSense Flow technology which means more than one object (whether that be your fingers or a compatible stylus) can be used at once to interact with the display. 

It’s not just the touchscreen that differentiates the two laptops. The Surface Laptop 7 has an LCD HDR display whereas the MacBook Air has a Liquid Retina display. While we praised the MacBook Air’s screen as “bright enough for all situations and is clearly a high-quality LCD” its lack of an OLED option means there’s no HDR playback. 

Finally, the MacBook Air lags behind with a smaller refresh rate of 60Hz compared to the promised Surface Laptop 7’s dynamic refresh rate of up to 120Hz.

The Surface Laptop 7 is slightly cheaper

The Surface Laptop 7 has a cheaper starting cost of £1,049 for the 13-inch model with 16GB RAM and 256GB storage. The MacBook Air M3 has a slightly more expensive starting RRP of £1,099 for the 13-inch model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

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