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Meet Surface Laptop 5 and Pro 9 through the lens of today’s hybrid workers

Hybrid and highly mobile workers require devices that keep them productive and secure. Wherever they happen to set up their workstation – at home, in the office or at a café – the transition from mobile to desktop should be simple and frictionless.

This has always been the guiding principle behind Microsoft’s two most popular surface devices, Surface Laptop and Surface Pro. So, when Microsoft dropped news of the latest generation of Surface devices during their annual hardware event in October, I expected the latest iterations of Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9 to provide additional features and upgrades to reflect our increasingly hybrid workstyles. I wasn’t disappointed! While it would be a stretch to say these two devices have been entirely transformed, they’ve definitely undergone some finetuning to maintain their positions as valuable business staples for modern workers.

So, let’s take a look at the new Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9 through the lens of today’s hybrid workplaces. Will they support your team and boost productivity? How will they perform in all those video conferences? What about power – do they enable multi-tasking and support bandwidth-hungry apps? Let’s find out.

I should add, that like the previous Laptop and Pro launches, we expect demand to be high for these devices. Therefore, if you’re looking to upgrade your fleet, I highly recommend reserving stock now to ensure you get the device you need.

If speeds and feeds is more your thing, jump straight into a specification comparison between current release models and their predecesors.

Surface Laptop 5

Australian release date: 25 October 2022

Most suited for: information workers, executives, engineers, designers, developers and researchers

Upgrade focus: Style, speed, and performance for your hybrid workforce

 

Five years after the first Surface Laptop was released, Microsoft is back with its latest iteration: Surface Laptop 5. Along with a new colourway and improvements to the touchscreen, display, camera, battery life and connectivity – hello Thunderbolt! – there’s a generous boost to processing power.

Here are the notable enhancements (you can also use the table further down to compare specs).

Style and form factor

Not too much has changed aesthetically. Depending on your employees’ needs, you can continue to choose from either a 13.5” or 15” PixelSense touchscreen. The device also remains slim and light – between 1.27 kg to 1.29 kg – so it slips into a bag for easy travel, while its timeless style of previous models makes it a standout at meetings. There’s the same choice of two durable finishes – either a soft-touch Alcantara keyboard surround or an all-metal chassis – and colour-wise, Microsoft scrapped ice blue in favour of a more on-trend sage green.

Speed and performance

Surface Laptop 5 delivers some serious multitasking power. The 12th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors suit creators and employees who need ultra-performance. Users can crunch large amounts of data or run graphics-heavy apps just as efficiently as they can email or collaborate online with employees without any noticeable lagging. Designers and engineers are just as suited to Laptop 5 as information workers who require a little less grunt.

Breezy video conferencing

The high-quality cameras enhanced by Windows 11 smart features and Studio Mics provide a great conferencing experience with clear video and crisp sound. Microsoft has also promised minor improvements to touchscreen responsiveness and a more vibrant display in this generation.

When setting up a mobile workstation, Surface Laptop 5 adds Thunderbolt for dual screening – and with 17 hours of battery life and up to 80% charge in less than an hour, there is little need for lugging a charger around all day.

Predecessor Comparison

Surface Laptop 4

Surface Laptop 5

Design (ID) Available in 13.5” and 15”, choice of 4 colours Available in 13.5” and 15, choice of 4 colours
Performance Intel Core i7
AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition
Surface Laptop 5 13.5? – Intel Core i5
Surface Laptop 5 15? – Intel Core i7
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E: 802.11ax

[Improved]
Ports 1 x Surface Connect
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x USB-C 3.2
1 x USB-A 3.2
1 x Surface Connect
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x USB-A 3.1
1 x USB-C with USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4

[Improved]
Display 13.5″ PixelSense display 13″ PixelSense display, Dolby Vision IQ and Gorilla Glass

[Improved]
Audio & Mics Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Atmos, Dual far-field Studio Mics Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision IQ support, dual far-field Studio Mics

[Improved]
Camera Front-facing 720 HD camera Front-facing 720 HD camera
Security Windows enhanced hardware security Windows 11 Secured-core PC

[Improved]
OS Windows 10 Windows 11

[Improved]

 

 

Surface Pro 9

Release date: 25 October 2022

Most suited for: Customer relationship managers, information workers, engineers, designers, developers and researchers

Upgrade focus: Minimal change to form with a focus on performance, and option of 5G model. For its latest iteration, Surface Pro 9 certainly lives up to its pro moniker with two new models, upgraded performance, a new 5G connectivity option, improved ports and better screens. Let’s take a look at some of this generation’s highlights. Or use the table below to carefully compare specs, including last year’s Surface Pro 8.

A powerful, mobile workstation

Surface Pro 9’s pro-level performance is powered by the latest generation Microsoft SQ 3 with Neural Processing Unit and an optional model with instant 5G access and runs for 19 hours on a single charge.

The flexible form factor allows users to match the mode of the device to the task at hand, taking the device from laptop to tablet to portable digital canvas. For example, put the device in tablet mode to sign, sketch and annotate accurately with the Surface Slim Pen; it feels just as natural as writing on paper. Or use the built-in Kickstand to adjust the screen to the perfect angle and type using the best-in-class clip-on Surface Pro Keyboard. The keyboard has always been a user favourite. Whether you are writing, coding or editing, the mechanical keyset, backlit keys, optimum key placement, and a large glass trackpad all ensure precision input.

The 13″ PixelSense display is virtually edge-to-edge and adjusts to the environment- it shines just as well under fluorescent lights as it does in dimly lit spaces.

Finally, the connectivity is class-leading. A built-in eSIM supports 5G ensuring your team experiences a secure, stable connection wherever they set up shop.

The famously flexible form factor

Surface Pro hasn’t changed a lot in appearance over its lifespan. This time, the tablet disguised as an ultra-portable laptop has stayed true to its earlier iterations. But the range of available colours has changed. Choose from platinum (Pro 9, Pro 9 with 5G) or graphite (Pro 9 only).

Video conferencing with Surface Pro 9

Microsoft would be remiss not to ensure Pro 9 is hybrid ready. Pro 9 has everything users need to conference without interruption. There are brilliant HD cameras, Studio Mics, and optimised speakers to support conferencing. They have done away with the 3.5mm headphone jack, which presumably means Bluetooth connections only.

Predecessor Comparison

Surface Pro 8

Surface Pro 9

Surface Pro 9 with 5G

Design (ID) 2-in-1, form-factor, ultra-thin bezels, choice of 2 colours, 1 colour for keyboard, integrated pen storage and charging 2-in-1, form-factor, ultra-thin bezels, choice of 2 colours, 1 colour for keyboard, integrated pen storage and charging 2-in-1, form-factor, ultra-thin bezels, choice of 2 colours, 1 colour for keyboard, integrated pen storage and charging
Performance 11th Gen Intel Core i5/i7 Intel Evo 12th Gen iS, i7 from 256 storage and above

[Improved]
Microsoft SQ3 with Neural Processing Unit

[Improved]
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6E

[Improved]
Wi-Fi 6E, 5G

[Improved]
Ports 2 x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, 1x Surface connect 2 x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, 1x Surface connect, 1x Surface keyboard port

[Improved]
2 x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, Nano-slim slot, 1x Surface connect, 1x Surface keyboard port

[Improved]
Display 13.5″ Pixelsense display, up to 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision 13.5″ Pixelsense display, up to 120Hz refresh rate, Adaptive colour, Dolby Vision IQ

[Improved]
13.5″ Pixelsense display, up to 24Hz-120Hz refresh rate, Adaptive colour

[Improved]
Audio & Mics Dolby Atmos, Studio Mics Dolby Atmos, Studio Mics Dolby Atmos, Studio Mics
Camera 5.0MB Front-facing camera with 1080p full-HD video, 10.0MP rear-facing camera with 1080p full HD and 4K video 5.0MB Front-facing camera with 1080p full-HD video, 10.0MP rear-facing camera with 1080p full HD and 4K video 5.0MB Front-facing camera with 1080p full-HD video, 10.0MP rear-facing camera with 1080p full HD and 4K video
Security Enterprise-grade protection Microsoft Secured Core PC

[Improved]
Microsoft Secured Core PC, Microsoft Pluton

[Improved]
OS Windows 11 Windows 11, support for N-1

[Improved]
Windows 11, no support for N-1

[Improved]

 

Finally, it’s worth noting that both devices are powered by Windows 11, saving IT time and money with streamlined zero touch deployment, modern device management, and built-in, cloud-powered security. In both devices, a removable hard drive keeps sensitive information under the control of IT. Or for Pro 9, replaceable components help extend the device’s life.

The wrap

While there have been plenty of enhancements to these ultraportable devices, what hasn’t changed is each device’s suitability as an all-around productivity laptop for hybrid workers. Their mobility and connectivity features, as well as impressive battery life, ensures they both more than meet the increasingly mobile demands of the modern information worker. Peerless video and audio tools provide a premium conferencing experience, and their stylish exterior makes them the ideal productivity companion for workers on the go.

Ready to refresh your Surface fleet?

Data#3 is your go-to partner for end-to-end support, maintenance and training for all your Surface fleet requirements. Find out how we can transform your team with the Surface suite at the best possible prices, or pre-order from the new Surface family with us.

The Microsoft Surface Family 2022

Contact a Surface Specialist here:

 

 

 

 

Tags: Devices, Holiday Release, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Mobile Worker, Surface Laptop 5, Surface Pro 9, Surface Pro 9 5G

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