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Four Surface Laptop 5 models in different colors

August 22, 2023

The difference between a Surface Laptop vs. a Surface Pro

There are plenty of options to choose from when you’re looking to buy a new Microsoft Surface device. Surface Laptops and 2-in-1 PCs are two popular types of devices. Although they’re both designed for productivity and performance, they have differences, too. Learn about the differences between a Surface Laptop versus a Surface Pro 2-in-1 to find out which device type is better for you.

Form factor

One of the biggest differences between a Surface Laptop vs. Surface Pro is the design. Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Laptop Go 2 are designed like traditional laptops that have built-in clamshells. Surface Pro 9 is a 2-in-1, so it can be used with a without a detachable keyboard. Pair your Surface Pro 9 or Surface Go 3 with a Surface Slim Pen 2 or Surface Pen so you can write, draw, and navigate your 2-in-1 PC’s screen without a keyboard.¹ Surface Laptop Studio has a unique design that starts off as a traditional laptop while allowing you to lift or flatten its screen angle. All of these devices have PixelSenseᵀᴹ touchscreens, but if you want more flexibility and versatility in your device’s form factor, you may lean more toward a Surface Pro or Surface Laptop Studio.


Surface Laptops and Surface Pros are great devices to buy if you’re looking for a powerful computer to complete heavy-data tasks. Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5 come with options of 12ᵗʰ Gen Intel® Coreᵀᴹ i5 or i7 processors that help you quickly check emails, browse the web, play online games, and edit content. Surface Laptop Studio comes with options of 11ᵗʰ Gen Intel® Coreᵀᴹ H35 i5 or i7 processors to easily browse the web, play games, create content, edit media, and more.

Surface Laptop Go 2 is another great option for on-the-go performance. It’s a lightweight device that weighs only 2.48 lbs. It has an 11ᵗʰ Gen Intel® Coreᵀᴹ i5 processor that empowers you to work, play, shop, and stream with up to 13.5 hours of battery life.¹ You can buy Surface Laptop Go 2 in Sage, Ice Blue, Sandstone, or Platinum to find a color that matches your style.

If you plan to complete graphics-heavy tasks like 3D rendering, creating games, or editing videos, you’ll want a device with a speedy graphics processing unit (GPU). Surface Laptop Studio’s i7 model comes with NVIDIA® GeForce RTXᵀᴹ3050 Ti graphics that helps your device quickly run several tasks simultaneously. Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5 come equipped with Intel® Iris® Xe GPUs, which can manage heavy-duty tasks with ease.

Battery life

Battery life is an important factor to consider when deciding between a Surface Laptop versus a Surface Pro. If you’re always on the go, you’ll want a device that stays powered throughout the day. The 15” Surface Laptop 5 and the i7 Surface Laptop Studio have batteries that stay powered for up to 18 hours with typical device usage.² Surface Pro 9 has up to 15.5 hours of battery life with typical device usage.² Surface Laptop Go 2 has up to 13.5 hours of battery life with typical device usage.²


Microsoft Surface offers powerful devices for users at a variety of price levels, so you can find a Surface Laptop or Surface Pro that fits your needs and your budget. Configure most of these devices by adjusting features like processing speed, graphics, network connectivity options, and more, which may affect the price.

Ultimately, choosing whether to buy a Surface Laptop versus a Surface Pro depends on your specific preferences and needs. If you want a more traditional laptop, Surface Laptop Go 2, Surface Laptop 5, and Surface Laptop Studio are powerful choices. If you want a versatile device with easy portability, a 2-in-1 PC like Surface Pro 9 or Surface Go 3 could be your perfect fit. Use the Help me choose tool to find the Surface Laptop or Surface Pro that’s right for you.

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  • [1] Chargers, software, accessories, and devices sold separately. Availability may vary by market.
  • [2] Battery life varies significantly based on usage, network and feature configuration, signal strength, settings and other factors. See documentation on Surface battery performance for details.