Microsoft - Microsoft Surface Laptop


Surface Laptop: it combines with almost perfect

Aprox. 1249€ - see price -

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Year after year, the quality of Microsft Surface products has continued to improve, with each generation being more convincing than the last. However, they were missing each time this little "essential trick" which prevented them from reaching the perfect rating of 5 stars ... The Surface Laptop did not go far from breaking this curse.

Our review


Updated 07/03/2019 at 12:06

We decided to lower the Surface Laptop rating by one star, believing that the absence of USB-C and the impossibility of opening it was too disabling in 2019.



This new laptop from Microsoft is a pure Surface product and it is noticeable at first glance. There are indeed materials similar to those found on the Surface Book and the Surface Pro 4, including a beautiful light and matt gray aluminum of excellent quality. Sober and very pleasant to the touch, the hood displays the now well-known Surface logo for one and only fantasy. The "screen" part is of an impressive finesse and seems impeccably assembled. No screws are visible, which makes disassembly almost impossible - and it has also earned it a very poor rating at iFixit. The general impression of solidity is in any case excellent.

When you open the hood, you will undoubtedly discover what is the greatest aesthetic feature of the Surface Laptop: an input area entirely covered with a soft Alcantara fabric. Under the fingers, this gray and speckled material is very soft and pleasant, but the general look can be debated. In the editorial staff of, some find this very successful, others do not hesitate to drop the term "bad taste". Difficult to objectively judge this choice, but we must admit that it brings a certain specificity to the Surface Laptop, which is very often sorely missed by other ultraportables on the market. However, we really wonder about the durability of this material and its resistance to traces of hands and perspiration. Microsoft says the alcantara is treated to last, but we're curious to see how the fabric will look after a year of heavy use.

On the other hand, if there are many elements that will be very difficult to criticize, it is the keyboard and the touchpad. Inherited from the Surface Book, the keyboard offers an extremely pleasant typing, thanks to a long stroke, very large keys and an excellent feeling of return. We are possibly in front of the best keyboard offered on an ultraportable. The touchpad is not to be outdone: large and resistant, it slides impeccably.

Let us temper the enthusiasm a little by evoking what is undoubtedly the biggest defect of the Surface Laptop: its very limited connectivity. Microsoft indeed makes strange choices here. The absence of USB-C is not very surprising in itself, but is not compensated by additional USB ports. We must therefore be satisfied with a single USB 3 Type-A port, a mini-DisplayPort and a jack. No SD or microSD port either, which is all the more regrettable as the chassis was thick enough to accommodate one.

The heat and the are contained in an exemplary manner. The Surface Laptop does not heat up much, even when the processor is under heavy stress. By rotating OCCT for a good half hour, we find a hot point of 43 ° C at the front, towards the middle of the keyboard, and 43.7 ° C under the chassis. Most of the time, within the framework of a more traditional use, the chassis remains at a very acceptable temperature and not very troublesome. It is also difficult to raise the decibels displayed by our sound level meter. It caps at 37 dB (A), less than the residual noise of a room. It is therefore necessary to approach the ear to hear a slight breath.



The Surface Laptop has a 13.5-inch screen and a resolution of 2.256 x 1.504 px. Note that the ratio of this brilliant IPS panel is not the traditional 16: 9, but the 3: 2, as it was on the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. A very comfortable format for consultation and office automation.

The least we can say is that Microsoft has treated this part of the Surface Laptop. Our probe displays excellent measurements, whether in terms of readability or colorimetry. We thus benefit from a very good maximum brightness of 390 cd / m² and a high contrast ratio (1005: 1). Only the overall reflection rate disappointed somewhat (17%). However, there is a very readable panel, whatever the light conditions of the environment.

The colorimetry is close to perfection, thanks to a delta E set at 1.4 - that is to say well below 3, the threshold below which the colors are perfect - and a color temperature close to the standard of 6500 K (here 6700 K). Finally, the gamma curve is of impressive stability, sign of a very precise gray gradient.

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Our test version of the Surface Laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor (Kaby Lake generation), 8 GB of RAM and a Toshiba SSD of 256 GB. Remember that the Core i5-7200 is a CPU low consumption with two cores and displaying frequencies between 2.5 and 3.1 GHz (Turbo mode). On paper, the setup promised to be solid enough to perform a wide variety of tasks.

In practice, the power index measured at 111 (calculated from different benchmarks: file compression, audio and video conversion, 3D calculation, photo editing) is high and consistent with this technical sheet. The Surface Laptop is thus at ease in many areas and proves to be an excellent companion for office automation, web surfing, video playback and productivity in general, provided that it does not want to get into heavy video editing.



Dedicated graphics card point for this Surface Laptop. As on the vast majority of ultraportables on the market, you have to settle for an integrated iGPU, here the Intel HD Graphics 620, which accompanies the new generation "Core i" processors. As a result, don't expect recent 3D video games to run, this laptop just isn't made for that. On the other hand, the HD Graphics 620 remains sufficient for many much less demanding games, often stamped "independent" or "pixel-art".

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Mobility / Autonomy

The Surface Laptop is not the thinnest and lightest ultraportable on the market, it is undeniable. On this point, it is for example preceded by the Zenbook 3 from Asus or the MacBook from Apple, which weigh less than 1 kg. But putting it in competition with these two models doesn't really make much sense, given that the Surface Laptop has a significantly larger screen diagonal (13.5 '' versus 12 '' for the MacBook and 12.5 '' for the Zenbook 3). With its 1.25 kg on the scale and a thickness of at least 14.5 mm, it offers an excellent "size / comfort of use" ratio and is very easy to transport, especially since it comes with '' a small magnetic charger, similar to that of the Surface Pro.

Since its announcement, Microsoft has repeatedly praised the autonomy of the Surface Laptop, which could reach "up to 14.5 hours". An impressive figure that we were not able to reach during our tests, but the results are still very satisfactory. Our classic streaming video playback test (Netflix in Chrome, brightness at 200 cd / m², headphones plugged in and keyboard backlight off) ran for almost 8:30 am (exactly 8:26 am) before the machine turned off. A figure in the upper average of ultraportable PCs, but which remains a little behind compared to the tenors of the genre (8:57 for the HP Specter x360, 9:23 for the Lenovo Yoga 910). Note that, for the purposes of the test, we had to switch the PC to Windows 10 Pro and that we could not measure the autonomy under Windows 10S. Not sure that it changes anything, but it had to be specified.

The Surface Laptop benefits in any case from a very large autonomy, ensuring at least ten hours of use, for a use mainly oriented towards office automation and consultation.

Mobility / Autonomy


The headphone output of the Surface Laptop is good. There is a low distortion rate (0.02%) and a fairly high output power (120 mVrms). The entire sound spectrum is very well reproduced. Speakers are also in average good. They deliver good power, while limiting distortion (2%). The frequency response curve (below) is also satisfactory for a laptop, with good midrange and high-midrange presence. The bass is however very behind, but it is still the case on the vast majority of notebooks.


When assigning a note to Surface Laptop, the debate arises: should we sanction an excellent ultraportable, which offers one of the best screens and best keyboards on the market, very good autonomy and quality design, only for a lack of connectivity and its lack of scalability? We indeed regret the single USB-A port and the absence of an SD card reader or USB-C. The fact that it is impossible to open, and therefore to update and repair, is also harmful.