Exploring the Design of the Surface Laptop 7

Exploring the Design of the Surface Laptop 7
Exploring the Design of the Surface Laptop 7
Jul 03, 2024

After ten years of effort, Microsoft has produced something truly amazing in the form of Windows laptops with Arm processors.

Windows users have wondered whether their computers might undergo a similar transformation ever since Apple began using its own M-series CPUs in MacBooks. To their credit, Microsoft hasn't given up without trying. The business debuted the Surface RT in 2012, sporting an Arm-based processor—the same architecture used in Apple's hardware. Unfortunately, use one full-time was quite annoying due to its small app catalog, slow speed, and restricted program compatibility. Microsoft then redoubled its efforts in 2017 to support Snapdragon with Windows. This resulted in devices like the Surface Pro X, whose exquisite hardware was once again tarnished by a mediocre processor and sporadic software support.

However, like they say, "Try, try again if at first you don't succeed." And Microsoft has succeeded after more than ten years of false beginnings and missteps. With the help of Qualcomm's new Prism emulator and the powerful Oryon cores found in the Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus CPUs, Microsoft has created an almost perfect productivity device in the Surface Laptop 7 (as well as its brother, the Surface Pro 11).

From Top To Bottom, Premium Design And Presentation

Although Microsoft refers to the Surface Laptop 7 (or 7th Edition) as having snazzy new silicon inside, not much has changed externally. I'm not whiny, though. It doesn't appear like a MacBook, despite having a sleek, minimalistic all-aluminum chassis. Along with these minor adjustments, Microsoft also added softened corners to the display, a new haptic touchpad that resembles the Surface Laptop Studio 2, and a dedicated Copilot key (more on that later).

The Surface Laptop 7 comes in two sizes, much as the previous model. While the larger model has remained at 15 inches, the smaller one has a slightly larger 13.8-inch display than previously (up from 13.5). A microSD card reader, Microsoft's magnetic Surface Connect port, two USB 4 Type-C ports, one USB-A 3.1 connector, and a microSD card reader are also included. Thus, nothing out of the ordinary, but plenty connectivity to manage the majority of circumstances. Furthermore, none of the two models will significantly increase the weight of your bag—the 13-inch model weighs just less than three pounds (2.96 lb), while the 15-inch model weighs 3.6 pounds.

Microsoft Surface 2023 Lineup Specs Leaked Ahead of Sept 21 Launch | Beebom

Regarding the display itself, our Surface Laptop 7 review sample boasts a superb 15-inch PixelSense LCD display. It has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, is color-calibrated to produce correct colors, has excellent brightness (more than 600 nits on a fully white screen), and supports 10-point touch. Gorilla Glass 5 is even used to protect it from wear and scratches. All I would like is the ability to switch to an OLED display, exactly like with the Surface Pro 11.

Performance And Compatibility: Windows On Arm Reaches New Heights

The Surface Laptop 7's most striking feature is how typical it feels. It seems very fast overall, responds really quickly, and has rapid wake times. The greatest thing, though, is that most of the time you won't even be able to tell if the laptop is running native Arm software or if it's flawlessly translating programs made for x86 CPUs by utilizing Microsoft's Prism emulator in the background. It is genuinely that fluid.

The Snapdragon X Elite processor meets Qualcomm's high performance expectations in benchmarks. For instance, the Surface Laptop 7 achieved multicore scores of 14,400 in Geekbench 6, surpassing the multicore results of an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H-equipped Dell XPS 14 (11,920) in the same benchmark. Indeed, the Surface's X Elite processor outperformed the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16's Core Ultra 9 CPU, which reached a maximum of 12,798.

It's crucial to remember that the X Elite chip's performance is dependent on the amount of juice it receives. Microsoft provides the CPU on the 15-inch Surface Laptop 7 with up to 30 watts of power. It should still be rather quick on the smaller 13-inch model, but the larger one will perform better because it has a 20 watt maximum. Even when the Surface Laptop 7 was loaded, it seldom ever became quieter than a whisper, despite not being as fanless as a MacBook Air.

Finally, with Windows PCs still relatively early in the move (at least this go around) to Arm-based systems, a few important programs require a little more time, but most tools and apps just sort of operate regardless of what architecture they were created for. Among the most notable are Adobe software, such as Illustrator and InDesign, which will not be accessible on Copilot+ PCs until July. Additionally, new versions of Premier Pro and After Effects may not be released until near the end of 2024.

A Little Note On Gaming

Surface Laptop 7: Which configuration should you choose

It has never been stated by Microsoft that the Surface Laptop 7 is a gaming laptop. However, considering that 65 percent of Americans play video games on a weekly basis, according to data from the Electronic Software Association (ESA), the laptop's fragging capabilities are definitely noteworthy. Sadly, even though the Snapdragon X Elite CPU has respectable scores, many games that would work well with the Laptop 7 don't work on it. Many of them are competitive games, such as League of Legends and Fortnite, with anti-cheat mechanisms that haven't been upgraded to function with Arm-based processors. It's especially annoying because, in the instance of League of Legends, the game downloads without any issues and doesn't show any alerts other than Riot's Vanguard system advising you to restart your computer before starting the game. But, the game never launches no matter how many times you try.

Having said that, there is yet hope. You still have some alternatives because I've discovered that casual 2D games like Vampire Survivor and Into the Breach function well. Furthermore, streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now, which are inherently unaffected by OS or architectural restrictions, are a great option if you want to play more demanding games.

Features Of Copilot+ai: More Of A Plus Than A Real Need

This new breed of Copilot+ PCs was expected to be marketed primarily by Microsoft's integrated AI capabilities. Actually though, they're more like sporadic beneficial extras. Recall is the most promising tool; it captures screen grabs of your desktop so artificial intelligence can assist you locate items later. Regretfully, until it is formally published at a later date, the functionality will only be accessible to Windows Insiders at first owing to security concerns.

Other Copilot+ AI technologies, meanwhile, seem to have a more constrained reach. You can create photos in the Photos app by clicking the Image Creator icon, which essentially produces images based on text suggestions. However, the outcomes are still not as realistic or comprehensive as those obtained from more potent cloud-based systems, such as Midjourney. Hey, it's free. To add even more confusion, Paint has a second button called Image Creator, but it's actually a whole distinct capability with far fewer applications and less-than-ideal outcomes when compared to Photos' equivalent.

In the end, Live Captions and the Restyle Image tool in Photos are the most helpful AI capabilities. While the letter offers real-time translation for movies, podcasts, and other media, the former utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to artistically alter or modify current photos, enabling you to change the style of a picture into something that appears like anime or an impressionistic painting. Additionally, Microsoft's captioning is often adequate for you to understand what you're seeing or listening to, even though they might be a little more precise.

Read Also: ASUS ROG Ally X The Ultimate Gaming Device

Longer Battery Life Than A Full Day

Microsoft Surface Copilot+ PCs, Laptops, 2-in-1s, Computers & All-in-Ones | Microsoft  Surface

Although running programs designed for x86 processors may require a bit more power, the Surface Laptop 7 boasts a sufficient amount of battery life. The gadget lasted 17 hours and 38 minutes while I streamed a 1080p film over Wi-Fi, which is several hours longer than I usually get from some similarly equipped Intel and AMD-powered rivals, even though our standard rundown test hasn't been updated for Arm-based CPUs yet. Furthermore, it seemed that the Laptop 7 performed even better overall, typically concluding a day with about half full charge.

Another benefit of the Snapdragon X chips is that, because to Qualcomm's expertise in producing effective smartphone CPUs, there is virtually no battery loss while the device is sleeping. You may feel comfortable leaving the Surface Laptop 7 unplugged for days at a time since, as I saw, it would only lose one or two percent of its battery over night.

You have two options for charging: utilize the bundled power brick or the magnetic Surface Connect connector. However, the Surface Laptop 7 also has the benefit of supporting USB-C charging, so you can travel light and use a universal converter to keep this and a number of other devices charged.


Although this route has many uneven patches, the Surface Laptop 7 is prepared to fight. Not only is it a formidable competitor to the MacBook Air, but it's also opening up new possibilities for Windows PCs. It functions well with the majority of your apps and is quick, silent, and has great battery life. Yes, there are still certain important applications that require maintenance, and adding specialty software or trying to play games might cause problems. It may also get quite expensive when you customize it. While the 15-inch model starts at $1,300, our review machine costs $2,100 and comes with a 1TB SSD, 32GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon X Elite CPU. Nevertheless, the Surface Laptop 7 and its Snapdragon X Elite CPU are a revelation and a ground-breaking advancement for Windows as we know it in terms of overall productivity.