MacBook Air M3 vs Surface Laptop Copilot+

MacBook Air M3 vs Surface Laptop Copilot+

At launch, Apple claimed the M3 MacBook Air to be the fastest consumer-grade AI laptop, and Microsoft has entered the fray with the Surface Laptop Copilot+ to challenge that title. Can Microsoft take the crown? Lets dive into our MacBook Air M3 vs Surface Laptop Copilot+ compression.

On May 20, during a special event, Microsoft introduced a new range of Windows PCs under the “Copilot+ PC” banner. This initiative aims to signal to consumers the AI capabilities in these sleek notebooks.

Apple’s Mac lineup has utilized the Neural Engine for years, first in its A-series chips for iPhone and iPad, and later as a core part of its Apple Silicon strategy. Microsoft’s launch included a new Surface Laptop, aimed at the entry-level market, much like Apple’s MacBook Air. In the comparison of the MacBook Air M3 vs Surface Laptop Copilot+, both companies showcase their advancements in integrating AI capabilities into consumer-grade laptops.


Specifications Apple M3 MacBook Air (2024) Microsoft Surface Laptop Copilot+ PC
Starting Price $1,099 (13-inch), $1,299 (15-inch) $999.99 (13.8-inch), $1,299.99 (15-inch)
Dimensions (inches) 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 (13-inch), 13.40 x 9.35 x 0.45 (15-inch) 11.85 x 8.67 x 0.69 (13.8-inch), 12.96 x 9.41 x 0.72 (15-inch)
Weight (pounds) 2.7 (13-inch), 3.3 (15-inch) 2.96 (13.8-inch), 3.67 (15-inch)
Display 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 15.3-inch Liquid Retina, Wide Color (P3), True Tone 13.8-inch PixelSense Flow, 15-inch PixelSense Flow, sRGB and Vivid color profiles, Adaptive color and contrast, 3:2 aspect ratio, 10-point multitouch
Resolution 2,560 x 1,664 (13-inch), 2,880 x 1,864 (15-inch) 2,304 x 1,536 (13.8-inch), 2,496 x 1,664 (15-inch)
Processor Apple M3 8-core Snapdragon X Plus (13.8-inch only), Snapdragon X Elite, Qualcomm Hexagon NPU
Graphics 8-core GPU (13-inch only), 10-core GPU Qualcomm Adreno GPU
Memory 8GB, 16GB, 24GB 16GB, 32GB
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery Life Up to 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback Up to 20 hours of local video playback (13.8-inch), Up to 22 hours (15-inch)
Networking Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4
Biometrics Touch ID Windows Hello
Camera 1080p FaceTime HD 1080p Full HD camera with Windows Hello
Audio Four-speaker sound system (13-inch), Six-speaker sound system (15-inch), Three-mic array with directional beamforming, Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum mic modes, Headphone jack with high-impedance headphone support, Dolby Atmos support with Spatial Audio Omnisonic Speakers, Dolby Atmos, Dual Studio Mics with voice focus
Ports Two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, 3.5mm headphone, MagSafe 3 Two USB 4 ports, USB-A 3.1, 3.5mm headphone, Surface Connect port, MicroSDXC card reader (15-inch)

Physical Dimensions

Constructed from aluminum, the MacBook Airs have moved away from the old wedge design, adopting a more industrial look similar to the MacBook Pro. Available in 13-inch and 15-inch versions, users have a choice in screen size and physical dimensions.

The new Surface Laptop also embraces a sleek design with an enclosure made from recycled aluminum alloy, featuring a slight taper from back to front. Microsoft offers the Surface Laptop in two sizes: 13.8 inches and 15 inches.

The MacBook Air measures 11.97 by 8.46 inches for the 13-inch model and 13.40 by 9.35 inches for the 15-inch. The Surface Laptop is 11.85 by 8.67 inches for the 13.8-inch model and 12.96 by 9.41 inches for the 15-inch.

The MacBook Air’s 13-inch model is 0.44 inches thick and the 15-inch is 0.45 inches. The Surface Laptop is thicker, with the 13.8-inch model at 0.69 inches and the 15-inch at 0.72 inches.

In terms of weight, the MacBook Airs are lighter, with the 13-inch model weighing 2.7 pounds and the 15-inch model 3.3 pounds, compared to the Surface Laptop’s 2.96 pounds and 3.67 pounds respectively.

MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop Copilot+ – Display

The MacBook Air features Liquid Retina displays in 13.6-inch and 15.3-inch sizes, with a notch at the top for the camera. They support Wide Color (P3) and True Tone, offering 500 nits of brightness.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop uses PixelSense Flow displays, measuring 13.8 inches and 15 inches, with sRGB and Vivid color profiles, and adaptive color and contrast. The MacBook Air has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,664 (13-inch) and 2,880 by 1,864 (15-inch), while the Surface Laptop offers 2,304 by 1,536 (13.8-inch) and 2,496 by 1,664 (15-inch).

The MacBook Air achieves 224 pixels per inch (ppi), whereas the Surface Laptop reaches 201 ppi. Apple doesn’t specify contrast ratios, but Microsoft claims its displays have contrast ratios of 1,400:1 and 1,300:1. Apple states their displays can reach up to 500 nits of brightness.

MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop Copilot+ – Performance

The 13-inch MacBook Air comes with the M3 chip in two configurations, both featuring an eight-core chip with an equal split between efficiency and performance cores. The GPU options are 8-core or 10-core, with the 15-inch model only offering the 10-core GPU.

Apple’s Media Engine handles video encoding and decoding, speeding up creative workflows. The Neural Engine, a 16-core component, can perform over 18 trillion operations per second, handling machine-learning tasks.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop uses the Snapdragon X Plus in the 13.8-inch model and the Snapdragon X Elite in the 15-inch, with a Qualcomm Hexagon NPU for AI tasks. The NPU performs over 45 trillion operations per second. For graphics, the Surface Laptop relies on the Adreno GPU.

In terms of memory and storage, the MacBook Air offers configurations of 8GB, 16GB, and 24GB of RAM, with SSD storage options ranging from 256GB to 2TB. The Surface Laptop starts with 16GB of RAM, expandable to 32GB, and storage options from 256GB to 1TB.

MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop Copilot+ – Connectivity

Both laptops support advanced Wi-Fi standards and Bluetooth. The MacBook Air features Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, while the Surface Laptop boasts Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4.

Surface Laptop Copilot+ Ports

MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop Copilot+ – Cameras

Apple includes a 1080p FaceTime HD camera in the MacBook Air, while Microsoft offers a similar 1080p Full HD camera with Windows Hello functionality for facial recognition. The camera modules also feature optimizations for video calls and meetings.

MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop Copilot+ – Audio

The MacBook Air features a comprehensive audio system, with the 13-inch model having four speakers and the 15-inch model six speakers. Both models support Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio. A three-mic array with directional beamforming enhances voice clarity.

The Surface Laptop includes Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Atmos support and dual studio mics designed to improve voice quality during calls.

MacBook Air vs Surface Laptop Copilot+ – Battery Life

The MacBook Air boasts up to 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback. The Surface Laptop claims up to 20 hours of local video playback for the 13.8-inch model and 22 hours for the 15-inch model.

Other Considerations

Both laptops have unique features and strengths, depending on the user’s needs and preferences. While the MacBook Air offers a lighter and thinner design with a robust ecosystem and integration with other Apple devices, the Surface Laptop emphasizes AI capabilities and performance.

Ultimately, the decision between the two may come down to personal preference, specific use cases, and brand loyalty. Both the M3 MacBook Air and the Surface Laptop Copilot+ represent significant advancements in the laptop market, catering to consumers looking for powerful, portable computing solutions.

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