Which Machine is Greatest for You?

When looking to buy a Windows computer, Microsoft has some of the best options for students, professionals, and everyone in between.

In the past few years, Microsoft has launched seven Surface devices to diversify its product line and allow consumers to choose a computer based on price, features, and design.

With so many options available right now, we created this Microsoft Surface comparison to help you find the right device for you.

Surface Studio 2 is Microsoft's second all-in-one desktop and an impressive device. The Studio 2 uses a gravity hinge for the display so you can come down at an angle for pen input and easily sketch, draw, and write on it.

It also has the largest and highest resolution panel in the range with 28 inches and a resolution of 4500 x 3000. As a result, you get a comfortable 4K panel with an aspect ratio of 3: 2. This control panel is a touchscreen and with the Surface Pen and the Surface Dial compatible.

The design of the Surface Studio 2 is incredibly unique and comes at a cost. The Surface Studio 2 is the most expensive device in the Microsoft product range. However, if you are looking for a dedicated desktop in the market that integrates well with a creative workflow, this may be the ultimate machine for you.

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Key Features

  • Gravity hinge
  • Surface Pen support
  • Surface choice support

Specifications

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Warehouse: 1 TB / 2 TB
  • CENTRAL PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-7820HQ
  • Memory: 16 GB / 32 GB
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
  • Ports: 4x USB 3.0, SD card reader, 1 x USB-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Display (size, resolution): 28 inches, 4500 x 3000

advantages

  • Expansive screen real estate
  • Unique design for creative workflows

disadvantage

  • Expensive
  • Hardware from 2018

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The Surface Laptop 4 is the most powerful Windows laptop in the Microsoft product range. This device is an incremental upgrade of the Surface Laptop 3, but the most notable improvements are that the laptop is now lighter and thinner.

The computer is available in two versions. Intel-based or AMD-based. The Intel Edition offers 11th generation EVO processors and integrated iris graphics. If you choose the AMD version, you get the AMD Ryzen 4000 series processor and Radeon Graphics.

Regardless of your choice, both offer a great balance between performance and battery life. The Surface Laptop 4 also offers the choice between a 13.5-inch and a 15-inch display.

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Key Features

  • 1440p touchscreen display
  • Compatible with the Surface Pen
  • Dolby Atmos support

Specifications

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Warehouse: 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
  • CENTRAL PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-1135G7 / Intel Core i7-1185G7 / AMD Ryzen 5 4680U / Ryzen 7 4980U
  • Memory: 8 GB / 16 GB / 32 GB
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery: 47.4 WH / 45.8 WH
  • Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 x Surface Connect port
  • Camera: 720p
  • Display (size, resolution): 13.5 inches, 2256 x 1504/15 inches, 2496 x 1664
  • Weight: 1.265 g / 1.542 g
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics / AMD Radeon Graphics

advantages

  • Fast chipsets
  • Good battery life
  • Better speakers
  • Fast charge
  • Decent camera and microphone system

disadvantage

  • No SD card slot
  • USB-C is not Thunderbolt 3 compatible

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The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is the first full laptop in the Go line of business and is great value for what you get. The Surface Laptop Go uses the 10th generation Intel i5 processor. As a result, you get the same performance as the i5 editions of the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7.

The only caveat you'll find is that the base model only has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. If you are in the market for such a device, go for the mid-sized 128GB or 256GB models as they have more storage and RAM.

This device is best for everyday productivity tasks like making video calls, creating documents, and surfing the web. In the Surface area, it's somewhere between the Surface Go 2 and the Surface Pro 7.

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Key Features

  • Available in several colors (platinum, ice blue and sandstone)
  • Windows Hello authentication with an integrated fingerprint scanner
  • Has a touchscreen display

Specifications

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Warehouse: 256 GB
  • CENTRAL PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Operating system: Windows 10 S.
  • Battery: 13 hours
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm socket
  • Camera: 720p
  • Display (size, resolution): 12.4 inches, 1536 x 1024
  • Weight: 2.42 lbs
  • GPU: Intel UHD graphics

advantages

  • Good price
  • Adequate performance
  • Decent battery life

disadvantage

  • The base model only has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage

The Surface Pro 7 is Microsoft's incremental update to the company's Surface Pro line of devices. The Surface Pro 7 has a built-in stand, making the tablet ideal for taking notes, drawing, or editing with the Surface Pen.

The main improvements that this device has over its predecessors are the improved Intel 10th generation processors and a removable SSD. Microsoft chose not to make any aesthetic changes to previous editions, so the design feels slightly dated.

Even so, this is still an excellent device for older students – high school or high school graduates – as its performance, battery life, and flexibility allow this device to address the classroom environment.

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Key Features

  • Available in two colors
  • Three modes including laptop, studio and tablet
  • Built-in stand
  • Surface Pen support

Specifications

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Warehouse: 1 TB
  • CENTRAL PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-1065G7
  • Memory: 16 GIGABYTE
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
  • Battery: 10.5 hours
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm audio, MicroSDXC card reader
  • Camera (back, front): 8MP, 5MP
  • Display (size, resolution): 12.3 inches, 2736 x 1824

advantages

  • Good performance
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Detachable SSD

disadvantage

  • Dated design
  • No Thunderbolt 3 support

The Surface Go 2 is the cheapest Surface device available and is a decent entry-level device for kids or students. The Surface Go 2 has a smaller version of the Surface Pro design and uses the same materials. This makes it feel top notch when compared to similarly priced devices such as Chromebooks.

The built-in stand makes the device ideal for watching videos and making notes. The main limitation of the Go 2 is its performance; The base Pentium 4425Y is not enough to run Windows properly. Even the improved m3 variant is still not equivalent for carrying out more intensive applications.

Overall, the Surface Go 2 is an excellent choice for students and children as its features make it ideal for school work and downtime.

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Key Features

  • Has Surface Pen support
  • Built-in stand
  • 10 hours of battery life

Specifications

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Warehouse: 256 GB
  • CENTRAL PROCESSOR: Intel Core m3 8100Y
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Battery: 10 hours
  • Ports: USB-C, 3.5mm audio
  • Camera (back, front): 8MP, 5MP
  • Display (size, resolution): 10.5 inches, 1920 x 1280

advantages

  • Affordable
  • Has an LTE version
  • Premium design

disadvantage

  • The base model is not very capable
  • A smaller design means a slightly worse battery life

The Surface Book 3 is Microsoft's most powerful 2-in-1 solution and features 10th generation Intel processors and dedicated graphics. The computer has the GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q (15 inch) or the Quadro RTX 3000 (15 inch).

The specialty of the Surface Book line (even with an almost identical design as the predecessor) is still the design. Thanks to the unique detachable screen and hinge, the device can be used as a dedicated laptop and tablet at any time.

The Surface Book 3 is ideal for users with a dense workflow that consists of graphically intensive tasks such as 3D animation, code compilation or even games.

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Key Features

  • Detachable screen
  • Pen support
  • Dolby Atmos speakers

Specifications

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Warehouse: Up to 2 TB
  • CENTRAL PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-1065G7
  • Memory: Up to 32 GB
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Battery: 16 hours
  • Ports: 2 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 3.5mm audio, SD card reader, surface connector
  • Camera (back, front): 8MP, 5MP
  • Display (size, resolution): 13.5 / 15 inches, 3240 x 2160

advantages

  • Powerful graphic performance
  • Good port array
  • Fast charge

disadvantage

  • The USB-C port does not support Thunderbolt 3
  • Dated design

The Surface Pro X is one of the greatest devices in the Microsoft Surface Division. The slim design of the Pro X offers great portability without sacrificing a great display or long battery life. The Pro X runs on the ARM-based SQ1 or SQ2 chipsets from Microsoft. ARM chips are much more energy efficient when compared to their x64 and x86 counterparts.

However, the same custom chips will limit the performance of the Surface Pro X slightly. Many apps on Windows are not optimized for ARM chips, so the device must emulate x64 or x86 for them to work. As a result, you will not get the performance you want on this computer when compared to its Intel or AMD counterparts.

Many apps no longer work on the device these days, but the situation is getting better with more and more software updates. We recommend the Surface Pro X for people who want a portable device with the form factor of a laptop or tablet but with the advantages of a smartphone like LTE connectivity.

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Key Features

  • LTE connectivity
  • Comes in platinum or matte black
  • Built-in stand

Specifications

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Warehouse: 512 GB
  • CENTRAL PROCESSOR: Microsoft SQ2
  • Memory: 16 GIGABYTE
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Battery: 15 hours
  • Ports: 2 x USB-C, nano-SIM
  • Camera (back, front): 10MP, 5MP
  • Display (size, resolution): 13 inches, 2880 x 1920

advantages

  • Slim design
  • Good camera and microphone array
  • Great display with minimal bezels

disadvantage

  • ARM on Windows still does not perform well
  • Many apps on ARM are not supported
  • Expensive

FAQ

Q: What is the surface connector used for?

You can use the Surface Connector to charge your device. The connector is magnetic. So if you accidentally trip over the cable, it will not pull your computer.

Aside from charging, it lets you connect to a Surface Hub and connect your computer to multiple displays and other devices while using a port.

Q: Can I use an external GPU with my surface?

Unfortunately, none of the Surface computers with USB-C ports support Thunderbolt, so you won't be able to connect an external GPU to your computer.

Q: What is Windows Hello?

Windows Hello is a biometric security system from Microsoft. This feature allows you to securely log in to your device using biometric security. On the Surface range of devices, you can set up facial recognition to authenticate and sign in to your device.

Windows Hello is available on all Surface computers, but the base model doesn't support biometric security for the Surface Laptop Go. The top model of the Laptop Go uses a fingerprint scanner built into the power button to log you into your device.

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About the author

Zarif Ali
(13 articles published)

Zarif is a writer at MakeUseOf. He is a graphic designer, photographer, and student studying in Toronto, Canada. Zarif has been a tech enthusiast for over 5 years and has a keen interest in everything Android and iOS.

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