Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 vs MacBook Pro 15 – Big price, big power

Microsoft unveiled its new Surface hardware last week, including the Surface Laptop 2.

The company said the new device is 85% faster than the original Surface Laptop, and features up to 14.5 hours of battery life.

It also comes with a new display – a 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense touch unit.

While the entry-level price of $999 may appear to make the more expensive Apple MacBook Pro a poor choice for a comparison, the Surface Laptop 2’s price quickly rises as you add more-powerful hardware.

The base price of $999 turns into $2,199 when you select 16GB of RAM, an Intel Core i7 processor, and 512GB SSD. This puts it in the same league as the MacBook Pro 15-inch, which starts at $2,399.

Pro versus Laptop 2

The obvious difference between the two laptops is the operating system – MacOS Mojave and Windows 10 Home.

The OS will play a big part in a user’s choice, and the software and systems they need to work with and in will dictate which software they need.

From there, the MacBook Pro and Surface Laptop 2 share many similarities.

Both have medium-sized, high resolution screens – 15.4-inch and 13.5-inch, respectively – Intel Core processors, high RAM allotments, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The MacBook Pro edges out the Surface in these departments, however, with the Apple laptop supporting up to an Intel Core i9 CPU (versus the Surface’s i7) and packing up to 32GB of RAM (the Surface can take up to 16GB).

Apple also wins in the storage department, with its laptop being able to support up to 4TB of SSD storage compared to the Surface Laptop’s 1TB.

It must be noted that the higher specs lift the price of the MacBook Pro significantly. For example, the MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 CPU, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB SSD is priced at $4,699.

Graphics

The biggest hardware difference between the machines, though, is in the graphics department.

The MacBook Pro 15-inch comes with a discrete GPU, an AMD Radeon Pro 555X 4GB or 560X 4GB. The Surface Laptop 2 only sports Intel UHD Graphics 620.

This will make a big difference when working with graphically-intensive applications and workloads.

Apple’s much-celebrated trackpad versus Microsoft’s counterpart will undoubtedly split users, too, along with the Surface Laptop’s touchscreen functionality compared to the MacBook Pro’s “Touchbar”.

An interesting move by Microsoft is the inclusion of only one full-size USB 3.0 port and one Mini DisplayPort, as opposed to the MacBook’s four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. Both laptops also support a 3.5mm jack connection.

The table below details the specifications of the laptops.

Laptop Comparison
OS MacOS Mojave Windows 10 Home
Display 15.4-inch 2,880 x 1,800 Retina 13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense touch
Processor 8th-gen Intel Core i7/Core i9 8th-gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
RAM 16GB/32GB 8GB/16GB
Graphics AMD Radeon Pro 555X/560X Intel UHD Graphics 620
Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Connections 4x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 3.5mm jack 1x USB 3.0, 1x Mini DisplayPort, 1x Surface Connect, 3.5mm jack
Storage 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB SSD 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
Dimensions 349.3 x 240.7 x 15.5 mm (1.83kg) 308.1 x 223.27 x 14.48 mm (1.25kg)
Price (starting) $2,399 $999
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
MacBook Pro
Apple MacBook Pro

Now read: Google Pixel Slate leaked ahead of launch event

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 vs MacBook Pro 15 – Big price, big power