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Best Microsoft Surface laptop 2024: Our top 5 picks

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 2024?

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 Microsoft Surface
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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. We’ve also decided to keep this second iteration at the top of this list despite the Surface Laptop Go 3, as the previous model remains excellent and represents better value for money.

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 Microsoft Surface
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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 2

Best Microsoft Surface for content creators
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  • Solid creator capabilities
  • Impressive battery life
  • Bright and detailed 3:2 display
  • Top-tier design and portability


  • Can get hot and loud
  • Performance falls short of rivals
  • High starting price

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 is by no means perfect but its combination of modern specifications and a design focused on aiding creative workflows make it the best Surface for content creators.

The design is the first thing that catches your eye with the Surface Laptop Studio 2, with a unique plinth-like design making room for plenty of vents on the underside of the device. But, it’s the display that’s the star. It can be pulled forward to sit in front of the keyboard for a better video-watching experience or to provide an improved angle for drawing on the display. Then, you can bring it forward even further to have it lie flat, making another handy drawing angle. The Surface Slim Pen 2 works excellently too, with a natural feel to the stylus both in its design and how it feels on the display – but it will cost you extra.

We were impressed by the performance even if it can’t keep pace with powerhouse gaming laptops, even those with similar specifications. However, the portable form factor of this laptop and its 14.4-inch display make it far more portable than those competitors. As such, if you’re a serious creator who is always on the go, this could make the Laptop Studio 2 perfect for you. The specs under the hood consist of a 13th Gen Intel Core H-series chip, with an NPU also included to enable AI features like Windows Studio effects for your webcam, as well as up to an Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU.

Strong power in a rather portable chassis, and it’s a Windows machine, you’d be right to be concerned about battery life given how that combination has performed in the past. However, we were surprised by the stamina of the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2, lasting above 10 hours in our testing. It seems a minor miracle that Microsoft has managed this given the relatively dinky 56.3Wh inside.

Reviewer: Adam Speight
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 review

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

Best 13-inch Microsoft Surface
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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 Microsoft Surface
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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

See all reviews


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
PugetBench for Premiere Pro
Cinebench R23 multi core
Cinebench R23 single core
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
3DMark Time Spy
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
CrystalDiskMark Write Speed
Brightness (SDR)
Black level
Contrast ratio
White Visual Colour Temperature
Adobe RGB
PCMark Battery (office)
Battery Life
Battery recharge time
Cyberpunk 2077 (Quad HD)
Cyberpunk 2077 (Full HD)
Cyberpunk 2077 (Full HD + RT)
Cyberpunk 2077 (Full HD + Supersampling)
Returnal (Full HD)
Rainbow Six Extraction (Quad HD)
Rainbow Six Extraction (Full HD)

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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