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Surface Laptop vs. the competition: Back to basics

Microsoft's newest machine may be a solid-looking laptop, but does it have the internals to distinguish itself in a crowded field?
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Microsoft finally built a real laptop -- not a tablet with a keyboard, or a machine with a detachable display. Just a solid traditional laptop, though one with an incredibly slim build, smooth touch and the stripped down Windows 10 S along for the ride. But, as a more straightforward machine, the Surface Laptop goes directly against competing devices from the likes of HP, Dell and Apple. With the Surface and the current MacBook Air both starting at $999, we've lined up the specs of some leading 13-inch machines to see what they can offer you for a grand and more.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Dell XPS 13 HP Spectre 13.3
Price $999 / $1,299 / $1,599 / $2,199 $999 / $1,199 $800 / $1,000 / $1,150 / $1,300 / $1,400 / $1,650 / $1,850 $1,100 / $1,170
Dimensions 12.13 x 8.79 x 0.57 inches (308.1 x 223.27 x 14.48 mm) 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.68 inches (325 x 227 x 17 mm) 11.98 x 7.88 x 0.33 inches (304 x 235 x 15 mm) 12.8 x 9.03 x 0.41 inches (325.12 x 229.36 x 10.41 mm)
Weight 2.76 pounds (1.25 kg) 2.96 pounds (1.35 kg) 2.7 (non-touch) or 2.9 (touch) pounds (1.2 or 1.29 kg) 2.45 pounds (1.11 kg)
OS Windows 10 S MacOS Sierra Windows 10 Windows 10
Display 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen 13.3-inch LED 13.3-inch InfinityEdge touch or non-touch 13.3-inch BrightView LED / IPS LED
Resolution 2,256 x 1,504 (201 ppi) 1,440 x 900 (127.68 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi) / 3,200 x 1,800 (276 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi)
Processor Intel Core i5 / Core i7 Intel Core i5 (1.6 GHz) Intel Core i3 (2.4 GHz) / Core i5 (3.1 GHz) / Core i7 (3.5 GHz) Intel Core i5 (2.5 GHz) / Core i7 (2.7 GHz)
Memory 4 / 8 / 16 GB 8 GB 4 / 8 / 16 GB 8 GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620 / Iris Plus Graphics 640 Intel HD Graphics 6000 Intel HD Graphics 620 Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage 128 / 256 / 512 GB 128 / 256 GB 128 / 256 / 512 GB 256 GB
Ports USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 2, SD card reader USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 3, SD card reader USB Type-C (x3)
Wireless 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery 14.5 hours 54 WHr, 12 hours 60 WHr, 18 hours 38 WHr, 9.75 hours

* Specs listed are for default configurations and do not include upgrade options available at checkout.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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