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Apple MacBook Pro (M1) Vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The CRN Test Center compares the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 with the Surface Laptop 4, featuring a choice of Intel or AMD processors.

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With the development of the M1 processor, Apple is seeking to make its laptops stand out--such as the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro. But they’re not the only device maker looking to use processors as a unique selling point. Microsoft, too, has emphasized the CPUs in their latest Surface device, the Surface Laptop 4. In that case, the Surface Laptop 4 offers a choice of processors from both Intel and AMD. Both the new MacBook Pro with M1 and Surface Laptop 4 promise both strong performance and long battery life from using their respective processors. Other key updates on both laptops focus on enabling better audio and video conferencing collaboration, such as with enhanced webcams, speakers and mics. If getting a new laptop in 2021 has come down to a MacBook Pro vs Surface Laptop 4 decision, which of the two is the better fit for your needs?

In the following slides, we’ve compared the Apple MacBook Pro (M1) vs Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 on specs and price.

Display

Besides the M1/Intel/AMD processor difference, the next major difference to note about the MacBook Pro and Surface Laptop 4 is on the display. The new Surface Laptop 4 is available in two display sizes, while the MacBook Pro with M1 right now is only being offered for the entry-level, 13.3-inch MacBook Pro model. And like all Apple notebooks, the MacBook Pro display is not a touch screen. By contrast, both of the Surface Laptop 4 versions feature a larger display—at 13.5 inches or 15 inches—and both come with touch screens.

The displays on both laptops are vibrant and colorful, thanks to the use of Apple’s Retina display technology on the MacBook Pro and Microsoft’s PixelSense technology on the Surface Laptop 4 display. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 gets a slight edge on resolution, at 227 pixels per inch (ppi), vs resolution of 201 ppi on the Surface Laptop 4. The new MacBook Pro also appears to have an advantage on brightness, with Apple disclosing brightness of 500 nits for the notebook. Microsoft doesn’t disclose the display brightness for the Surface Laptop 4, but the screen reportedly averages about 350 nits of brightness.

 
 
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