Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1

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Apple announced its new M1 chip powered MacBook Air last year and it has received really great feedback from the users. It is one of the best laptops in the price range. On the other hand, Microsoft has launched its new laptop called the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. The base variants of both the laptops can be compared so let’s just do the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1 comparison.

In this article, I am going to compare Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1 and see which one is the best to buy in 2021.

Also, Read: ROG Phone 5 vs Legion Phone Duel 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1

Basic Specifications

Mircosoft Surface Laptop 4MacBook Air M1
Screen Size13.5-inch13.3-inch
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home or PromacOS
RAM8/16/32 GB LPDDR4x @ 3733MHz8GB
Storage256/512 GB, 1TB SSD256/512GB SSD
Processor Intel i5 11th GenIntel i7 11th GenAMD Ryzen 5 4680UAMD Ryzen 7 4980UApple M1 Chip
Graphics Intel Iris XeRadeon RX Graphics
Battery LifeUp to 19 hours with Ryzen 5 and Up to 17 hours with Intel i5Up to 15 Hours

Design and Display

One of the things that Microsoft has definitely nailed is the choice they give when it comes to colors and they also have an overall better-looking laptop than Apple’s MacBook Air.

You get two finishes on Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 and those are Alcantara and Metal. Then you have some beautiful colors like Platinum, Ice Blue in Alcantara finish and Matte Black or Sandstone finish in metal.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

On the other hand, the MacBook Air M1 still quite looks the same as its previous generation. In fact, the new Gold color just looks bad and most people buy it because that is the only color available in their regions at the time. So that just leaves users to one good color option that is the Space Grey variant.

Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1
Apple MacBook Air M1

On the display part, I would say that both the laptops have a really good crisp display. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 has a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 2256×1504 pixel and 201PPI. It also has support for Surface Pen and 10 point multi-touch.

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On the other hand, the MacBook Air M1 has a 13.30-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels and 227PPI. It has 400 nits brightness and it is a P3 color gamut display with no touchscreen support.

So in terms of design, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 has an edge and in terms of display, the MacBook Air M1 is slightly better.

Performance

Let’s just dive straight into the performance aspect of both of the laptops. So ever since the launch, the new ARM-based M1 MacBook Air has been eating its competition on benchmarks and in real-life performance too. So how well does the new Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 stand against the notorious M1 chip?

Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1
Apple M1 SoC in MacBook Air

Well, the new Surface Laptop 4 has got some pretty sick upgrades and it has two CPU options to choose from. So you can either choose the 11th-Gen Intel i5 or i7 Processors or you can go with the AMD processors. Looking at it from a positive side, it is good that Microsoft is giving you a lot of options to choose from making the laptop more customizable. But it also leads to the life-long debate of Intel vs AMD. This time Microsoft has made it quite clear that the AMD models are better for multi-thread performance and the Intel ones are better in terms of single-thread and GPU heavy performance.

Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1
AMD Ryzen and Intel i5/i7 CPU in Surface Laptop 4

Despite not having a dedicated GPU, the M1 chip still just dusts the competition in rendering 4K videos and running multiple 4K timelines. Overall, the performance on the new MacBook Air M1 is actually even better than the old MacBook Pros on some occasions. So in terms of performance, the MacBook Air M1 is still quite better than the Surface Laptop 4.

Connectivity and Ports

The MacBook Air M1 comes with Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi support. It also has a headphone jack, an average web camera, and talking about ports, It has 2 Thunderbolt 3 Type C ports.

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The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 comes with Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack. The webcam is decent too. Talking about ports, it has 1 USB C port, 1 USB A port, and 1 Surface Connect port. It is quite disappointing to see that it doesn’t come with any Thunderbolt ports even on the Intel models.

Keyboard

We have got to talk about keyboards when it comes to MacBook Air. So the previous generations of MacBooks had the Butterfly keyboard mechanism and it was one of the worst keyboards on any laptop ever. With the new MacBook Air M1, we have the scissor mechanism and it is just way better to type on the new MacBook Air compared to the previous generation.

Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1
MacBook Air M1 Magic Keyboard

This however is not quite the case with Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. The keyboard on the new laptop is kind of flat and not really fun to use. The keyboard is just not that snappy as you expect it to be.

Other Things To Keep In Mind

So ultimately, the MacBook Air M1 actually has a lead in pretty much all the important aspects of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1 comparison but there are certain things to keep in mind. Well, first of all, both macOS and Windows are totally different operating systems and you just can’t compare them straight up. Both have their Pros and Cons. You can’t really do gaming on macOS so for that you will need Windows. Then the cooling system on Surface Laptop 4 is way better. So you have to decide for yourselves what are your work requirements and then decide which one will suit you the best. If video editing and photo editing are something you do, then MacBook Air M1 is perfect for you.

Pricing

The entry-level Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 with Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM, and 256GB of storage starts at USD 999. That is roughly about 70-75K INR in India. As of now the base variant of the MacBook Air M1 with 8GB RAM and 256GB Storage is available for INR 92,900 in India

Closing Phrase

So that was all about the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1. Both are very powerful compact laptops. However, the MacBook Air M1 takes a little bit of edge in terms of slightly better performance and better keyboard. On the other hand, the Surface Laptop 4 is quite affordable compared to MacBook Air M1. So the whole thing comes down to the user requirements. If you are a Mac user, chances are that you will never go to Windows. And if you are a Windows user who does photo and video editing, you should try the MacBook Air M1 this time. I hope you liked my Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 vs MacBook Air M1 comparison.  

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