The difference a year makes
With a number of fleet owners having to make the difficult decision between a Surface Laptop 4 on clearance pricing versus the new Surface Laptop 5, we're running the numbers for you.
Advantage: Surface Laptop 5
The additional processing cores of the 12th gen Intel Core provide substantially more performance in applications that are optimised for multi-core processing, primarily used by power users and creatives, common applications including Chrome, Excel, and by Windows itself for running myriad background services and applications. Similar single-core performance between the two helps make application responsiveness similar for non-power users.
Intel iRIS Xe is carried over both generations with i7 models having more 20% more execution units for faster graphics performance. Given many creative and 3D applications make use of CPU + GPU performance, the Surface Laptop 5 with Intel Core i7 is recommended for these users types. Less time waiting equals more productivity.
Advantage: Surface Laptop 5 (for power users)
Users of basic USB-C docking stations and accessories, or the Surface Dock will have similar connectivity.
Surface Laptop 5 power users can take advantage of a suitable Thunderbolt Dock to connect 4K monitors at the same time as high quality webcams and a wired network connection for an appreciable performance boost compared to USB-C-only solutions. Thunderbolt 4 also supports external GPUs, which could make the Surface Laptop 5 15 inch in particular of interest to power-user creatives and visualisers.
Advantage: Surface Laptop 5
Both displays offer similar overall performance and are among the best performing displays available on any laptop.
Creative users will appreciate Surface Laptop 5 Colour Calibration out of the box for more reliable colour matching. The Surface Laptop 5 adjusts screen brightness and contrast based on the user's ambient lighting, while the Surface Laptop 4 adjusts screen brightness only. The differences are most appreciable in evenings, on overnight flights and in darkened conference rooms.
The vast majority of users opt for the lighter 13.5" model, the 15" inch model offers more screen real-estate while matching features, performance overall, at 1.54kg instead of under 1.288kg. We recommend you try each for size before buying with our Surface demo programme. Contact us or speak to your account manager at The Laptop Company to access a demo.
Current deal pricing for the outgoing Surface Laptop 4 and Surface Pro 7+ are among the best we've seen in recent history for the brand. We have also seen competitive discounts for Wi-Fi models of the Surface Pro 8 (the LTE version will be continued through 2023). Given Microsoft's position as a premium brand in the marketplace, their current Surface Laptop 4 prices are extremely tempting for remaining stocks.
Advantage: Surface Laptop 4 (while stocks last)
With most other factors between the two similar, we think the Surface Laptop 4 is particularly attractive given the clearance pricing we can access for our buyers. However, power users and creatives really should consider the Surface Laptop 5 for its higher multi-core processor performance and increased display capabilities. Fleet managers and buyers should also remember that Windows 11 provides a greater performance delta between the two compared to Windows 10 due to the latter's lack of support for Intel Thread Director, which optimises the new P + E core architecture in the Surface Laptop 5.
Often, the greatest determiner of user satisfaction, device performance and stability comes down to software and device management. The Laptop Company has been helping the country's largest high performance teams manage end-user experiences, device rollouts and platform migrations through our Fleet Management services with UXx Enhanced User Experiences, which is available with Surface devices. To find out more about how you can optimise your existing fleet and make the transition to Microsoft Surface and Windows 11 while reducing your workloads, speak to us.
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