The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 isn’t perfect but it’s still the laptop I’d buy

If you're after a solid yet stylish laptop then the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is worth considering

A Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 sits atop a tower of rocks, with a green background.
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Launched earlier this year, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is the tech giant's most advanced portable PC with a classic clamshell design. I've been testing it out over the last couple of weeks and while it does have its flaws, it's still a computer that I would consider buying for myself.

The best laptops cost upwards of $1,000 / £1,000 / AU$1,700 - that's a given, especially if you're looking to buy a PC with the most up-to-date hardware under the hood. 

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 can be picked up a little cheaper than that with prices starting from $899 in the US, £999 in the UK and AU$1,699 in Australia for the model with a 12th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. The more advanced models admittedly cost a fair amount more. 

It's still quite a pricey PC so not everyone will be willing to splash out on it. There will be some people for whom it will definitely be worth it though - students in particular sit at the top of that list - but there are also some people that it won't work for at all, for example, it can't compete with any of the best gaming laptops.

There are a few things that I really liked about this laptop when I was testing it out, and it all started with the design.  The smooth aluminium body makes this look like a premium laptop. In the review, I called it 'modern and minimalist with sharp corners and straight lines' that's helped along by the new Sage colourway which looks very smart in my opinion. 

What's more, is that the speaker system is hidden under the keyboard which helps to keep everything neat and tidy on the inside. 

In terms of ports, things are kept minimal but it does have a USB-C which supports Thunderbolt 4 so you'll be able to get faster data transfers, connect to external displays and deliver power through that. 

What I find really convincing about the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is that it's compact and lightweight (only 1.3kg) meaning it'll be a good option for anyone who plans to carry it around with them, be that back and forth from the office or to university for seminars and lectures. You'll get a good amount of battery life here too, it would last me for just over half of the workday before I needed to hook it up to power and then it would only take about an hour and a half for a full charge. 

Something else I really liked about the laptop is the display quality - the 13.5" touchscreen has a resolution of 2256 x 1504p and it looks great. Super sharp and crystal clear, you'll be able to use it for all sorts from streaming Netflix to online shopping. 

So what's less good about it, I hear you ask? Well despite the upgraded processor, it's still not going to blow you away with fast speeds, which means there are certain tasks you might struggle more with like photo editing or gaming. For day-to-day computing like typing out documents and browsing the web, however, this will do the job perfectly well so if you, like me, spend most of your time on those sorts of tasks then it'll be a great choice.

Yasmine Crossland
Freelance Tech Expert

Yasmine is the former Reviews Writer for T3, so she's been knee-deep in the latest tech products for reviewing and curating into the best buying guides since she started in 2019. She keeps a finger on the pulse when it comes to the most exciting and innovative tech and is happy to tell you exactly what she thinks about it too. In her free time, you'll catch her travelling the globe – the perks of being a freelance tech expert – tending to her plants when at home and, but of course, planning her next big trip.