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Home / Hot Stuff / Microsoft’s latest Surface Laptops pack AI to try and dethrone the MacBook

Microsoft’s latest Surface Laptops pack AI to try and dethrone the MacBook

There's a new Surface Laptop and Surface Pro on the scene, both packing new hardware and all the AI smarts you could think of.

AI Surface Laptops

Apple’s MacBooks are undoubtedly one of the best laptop options kicking about. But is all that about to change? Microsoft’s latest Surface laptops look set to dethrone the MacBook with a combination of Arm-powered hardware and AI smarts.

Surface Laptop: Qualcommmendable AI power

New Arm Surface Laptop

Microsoft revealed the new Surface Laptop. It’s an Arm-based beauty ready to take on the big boys like Apple’s MacBook. The Surface Laptop ditches Intel for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite or Plus chip, making it a formidable laptop contender. It comes with a minimum of 16GB of RAM and 256GB storage, with options to ramp up to 1TB storage and 32GB of RAM. You also get a Qualcomm Adreno GPU, and the choice of four colours: black, platinum, dune, and sapphire.

The display is nothing to scoff at either, with a 2304×1536 resolution on the 13.8-inch model and 2496×1664 on the 15-inch. Both sport 120Hz variable refresh rates and Dolby Vision IQ support. Ports? You get two USB-C ports, one USB-A 3.1, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Fast-charging is in, with a 65-watt power supply for the 15-inch and a 39-watt charger for the 13.8-inch.

Microsoft promises this laptop is “80% faster than the previous generation” and offers “up to 22 hours of local video playback”. Plus, it can support three 4K monitors simultaneously – take that, M3 MacBook Air. It’s also equipped with AI features thanks to a neural processing unit, making it part of the new “Copilot+ PCs” category (more on that later).

Starting at $1000 for the 13.8-inch model and $1200 for the 15-inch, this machine is available for pre-order today and ships on 18 June.

Surface Pro: a hybrid you won’t want to break up with

2024 Surface Pro

Next up, the Surface Pro has been revamped. This hybrid device ditches the model numbers for a fresh start. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X processors, it’s touted as being up to 90% faster than its predecessor. You can opt for 5G, better battery life with up to 14 hours of video playback, and an optional OLED screen.

The Surface Pro features Wi-Fi 7 support and the new Surface Pro Flex Keyboard, which costs $450 and includes a Slim Pen. This keyboard can be used attached or detached. It offers bold keys and a 14% larger touchpad for better accessibility. The Pro itself is under 900g, with improved cameras – an ultrawide, quad HD front camera for AI features, and a 10MP rear sensor.

The base model at $999 gets you an LCD display, an X Plus processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. For the X Elite and OLED screen, you’re looking at $1,500, and the top-tier version with 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and the platinum finish will set you back $2,100. You can pre-order them directly from Microsoft.

Copilot+ PCs: Surface isn’t your only AI option

Copilot+ PC marketing image

Microsoft is going all-in on AI with its new “Copilot+ PCs”. These machines are set to have built-in AI hardware and support AI features across Windows 11. This new branding will be seen across devices from Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Acer, Asus, and Microsoft’s own Surface line.

These PCs will include a neural processor for advanced AI tasks. They’ll run over 40 AI models as part of Windows 11 and include support for OpenAI’s GPT-4o model. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Windows exec, claims these laptops will be “58% faster” than the M3 MacBook Air and offer all-day battery life. Copilot+ PCs will need to meet certain specs: at least 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and an integrated neural processor. Arm-based models with Qualcomm chips are said to offer up to 15 hours of web browsing.

These machines will run AI models locally, meaning you can skip connecting to the cloud. Microsoft’s new standout Copilot feature, Recall, acts like a photographic memory. It lets users intuitively find files and emails based on relationships and associations unique to them. AI-powered image creation and editing come to apps like Paint and Photos, allowing real-time generation and iteration of images. Restyle Image reimagines photos with new styles, combining image generation and editing.

Partnerships with major apps bring new AI experiences: Adobe, DaVinci Resolve Studio’s Magic Mask, CapCut’s Auto Cutout, Cephable, LiquidText, and djay Pro. Live Captions now includes real-time translations from over 40 languages, and enhanced Windows Studio Effects improve video and audio quality. Each Copilot+ PC also features easy access to AI via the new Copilot key.

The first Copilot Plus PCs will be available on 18 June with Qualcomm processors. Intel and AMD models will follow later.

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About

Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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