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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.

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