It’s arguably never been a more overwhelming time to buy a laptop, with more options on the market than ever before. Both Apple and Microsoft have thrown their respective hats into the ring this year, but which really wins out?
The Microsoft Surface event blew us all out of the water with the announcement of three brand-new laptops; the Surface Go 4 for Business, the Surface Laptop Go 3 and the highly anticipated Surface Laptop Studio 2.
We’ve already run through how the Surface Laptop Studio 2 compares to its predecessor, but it’s just as important to consider how it stacks up to other brands on the market.
Today, we’re going to be taking a deeper look into the Apple MacBook Pro (2023) to see if it’s a worthy rival to the latest Surface Laptop Studio. It’s worth noting that we haven’t had the chance to review the latest Microsoft laptop just yet, but we can use the specs to see how they compare on paper.
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 has not been given an official release date, but we do know that it has a starting price of $1999. We will be sure to update this article once we know more about the release date and UK pricing.
With all of that out of the way, keep reading to find out all the critical differences between the Apple MacBook Pro and Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2, so you can decide who wins out, Apple or Microsoft.
Apple Silicon vs Intel and Nvidia
Apple has given consumers more than enough configuration options when it comes to the MacBook Pro; it can be kitted out with two different M2 Pro chipsets as well as the more powerful M2 Max. You can find out more about these Apple Silicon chips by clicking on the links prior, but from our experience, we know that these chipsets are more than powerful enough to tackle productivity tasks, as well as intensive graphical workloads.
The Surface Laptop Studio 2, on the other hand, comes with a Raptor Lake Intel Core i7-13700H processor. There are a couple of graphics card options, too, including the Nvidia RTX 4050, RTX 4060, RTX 2000 and Intel Iris Xe Graphics. Until we test out this laptop we can’t make any claims on its performance, but the higher-end GPU options should be powerful enough for both gaming and creative workloads. Apple Silicon is known for its raw power, but it’s not so impressive in the gaming realm, so the Microsoft alternative may be the best option for any gaming enthusiasts out there.
Surface Laptop Studio 2 comes with a touchscreen
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 comes with a 14.4-inch PixelSense touchscreen display. The resolution sits at 2400×1600 with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and Dolby Vision IQ support. The high refresh rate combined with the high resolution should allow for a crisp and smooth viewing experience for users, and the touchscreen capabilities should make scrolling through documents and files a lot easier.
Apple decided to kit out the MacBook Pro with a 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with a 3024×1964 resolution. It comes with Apple ProMotion technology with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz and a top brightness of 1600 nits – although that is limited to HDR content. We noted that this laptop gets ridiculously bright while watching HDR content, although we did think that ProMotion would be more effective if the display was touchscreen.
Hybrid design on the Surface Laptop Studio 2
One of the biggest selling points of the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is that it has a hybrid design, allowing users to transform the laptop into different configurations. The inclusion of touchscreen support means that users can draw and doodle while in tablet mode and easily navigate the device to watch media content while in the tent configuration.
The Apple MacBook Pro is a clamshell laptop, with no options to arrange it into a different build. We felt that it had a boxy design that felt sturdy to use while still being light enough to take on the go without issue. If you don’t plan on drawing with your laptop, then you will have no issues with the MacBook Pro, but the Surface Laptop Studio 2 will be the better pick for anyone hoping to doodle or write directly onto the screen.
More storage capacity on the MacBook Pro
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 comes with two storage options; 512GB and 1TB. The RAM options include 16GB, 32GB and 64GB LPRRD5X.
The MacBook Pro comes with myriad storage options. We won’t list them all here, but each chip can be configured with up to a whopping 8TB of storage, which should be more than enough for productivity and creative workers. The memory is a similar story, with the lowest option being 16GB and the highest at 96GB.