Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen), 256 GB

Last updated date: July 9, 2019

DWYM Score
8.1


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We looked at the top Laptops and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Laptop you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 215 expert reviews, the Microsoft Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen), 256 GB placed 13th when we looked at the top 28 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 1, 2019:
Checkout The Best Laptop for a detailed review of all the top laptops.

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
24 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
1,097 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
When you consider that Microsoft managed this while still upping battery life by up to 20%, it’s quite impressive, indeed.
- Tech Radar
Fifth generation model with a slim, modern design that makes it easy to take along wherever you go. Weighs less than two pounds. Responsive touchscreen. Great for light personal use.
- BestReviews
As an incremental update to the Surface Pro 4, the new Surface Pro undoubtedly succeeds. It’s faster, lasts longer, and looks better than the model it replaces.
- Expert Reviews - UK
December 6, 2018 | Full review
Microsoft is using a 45 watt-hour battery in the Surface Pro, which is an increase from the 38 watt-hour battery that was packed into the Surface Pro 4.
- Digital Trends
November 14, 2018 | Full review
It's the longer battery life that impressed me most, jumping to eight hours and 15 minutes in the 2017 Surface Pro, versus only about five hours in the 2015 model.
- CNET
June 15, 2017 | Full review
Battery life has long been a pain point for the Surface line, so Microsoft focused on providing much longer stamina than before.
- The Verge
June 15, 2017 | Full review
The Pro is completely fanless. It was never a loud machine, but now it's a silent one.
- Wired
November 11, 2017 | Full review
The most noticeable difference between the old Surface Pro 4 and the new Surface Pro 2017 is the latter’s improved battery life: more than 12 instead of 7 hours in our Wi-Fi test.
- Notebook Check
The Surface Pro packs in Intel's seventh-generation CPUs, which, in addition to being faster than the last model, also add new features like hardware 4K video decoding.
- Engadget
June 23, 2017 | Full review
These look great and add a certain softness to the Surface's look - making it ultimately similar to the look of the Surface Laptop.
- Pocket-lint
October 2, 2018 | Full review
Iris Plus GPU gives it the graphics oomph of a discrete GPU.
- Tech Spot
The cooling vents are less noticeable, too, and the Core m3 and i5 versions don’t have a fan so run silently.
- Tech Advisor
March 28, 2018 | Full review
Once you get past these flaws, the Surface Pro is a beautifully designed thing.
- T3
June 15, 2017 | Full review
That's notable, considering the Surface Pro's excellent benchmark results and its higher-resolution screen, both of which tend to negatively affect battery life.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
June 15, 2017 | Full review
One additional change I noted is a beefier power supply, offering 15V and 2.58A of output, which is 25 percent greater than the previous Surface Pro charger.
- ZD Net
June 15, 2017 | Full review
It's a great, little, lightweight, touchscreen Windows 10 laptop that's perfect for road warriors and creative types.
- Business Insider
June 15, 2017 | Full review
In fact, despite the older generation CPU, it wouldn't be a stretch to state that the Surface Pro 4 was still the top of its category, with the best display, good battery life, and great performance.
- Anand Tech
June 15, 2017 | Full review
Battery life is all-day now and doesn't deplete in stand-by.
- Windows Central
June 15, 2017 | Full review
Microsoft has tweaked the kickstand hinge to enable the Surface Pro to lie almost flat when set in Studio mode, making the device a little more comfortable to draw on than the Pro 4.
- Trusted Reviews
September 26, 2018 | Full review
The new Surface is the fastest model yet, and it purports to have a longer battery life than ever.
- Tom's Hardware
May 23, 2017 | Full review
It gets a set of new Kaby Lake processors, potentially longer battery life, and both the Type Cover and Surface pen have been revamped.
- PCVerge
June 14, 2017 | Full review
The Surface Pro boots up crazy fast, needing only 15 seconds to reach Windows home screen.
- The Tech Revolutionist
November 18, 2017 | Full review
Microsoft Surface Pro line-up is designed for new age mobile workforce. It is build to offer high-end PC performance without restricting you to one place.
- Gizbot
September 1, 2018 | Full review
The keys are satisfyingly bouncy. I had no problem using it all day to type (and typing is 95% of my job).
- Buzzfeed News
June 15, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
While Microsoft pulling the Surface Pen out of the box appears to indicate that the Surface Pro 2017 costs more to produce than its predecessor, a unit purchased with both the Pen and Type Cover would surpass the price of a comparable Galaxy Book by only $100.
- Tech Radar
Pre-installed features eat lots of the 128GB available RAM. Can only run 3 apps at a time.
- BestReviews
It’s expensive.
- Expert Reviews - UK
December 6, 2018 | Full review
Microsoft is late to the party when it comes to adopting the increasingly ubiquitous USB-C connection.
- Digital Trends
November 14, 2018 | Full review
The oddball long, narrow power connector remains the same, too. It's awkward to use, but at least it has a magnetic connection that pops out if you trip over the cable.
- CNET
June 15, 2017 | Full review
Microsoft has stated its reasons for not moving to USB Type-C for power, peripherals, and displays as much of the industry — most notably Apple — has already done.
- The Verge
June 15, 2017 | Full review
I wish it had USB-C because then I wouldn't have to lug the proprietary charger around with me.
- Wired
November 11, 2017 | Full review
The Surface Pen or the Signature Type Cover is not included, and will cost you $100 and $130 extra, respectively.
- Notebook Check
Even worse, it's more expensive than the last model at $100.
- Engadget
June 23, 2017 | Full review
The absence of the keyboard in the box feels limiting.
- Pocket-lint
October 2, 2018 | Full review
Pen is no longer included, now costs $99 extra
- Tech Spot
In reality, it’s actually a lot more expensive because the new Surface Pro doesn’t come with a Pen in the box.
- Tech Advisor
March 28, 2018 | Full review
However, I have another take on this, which is that as a keyboard, per se, it is really pretty poor.
- T3
June 15, 2017 | Full review
These are identical specs to the Surface Pro 4, and the lack of USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 is disappointing.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
June 15, 2017 | Full review
The story is slightly more complicated with the new Surface Pen. It too has a higher price tag than its predecessor.
- ZD Net
June 15, 2017 | Full review
Like the Pro 4, the Surface Pro sports only one built-in USB port. And the Surface Pro doesn't sit neatly in your lap, even with the official Surface Pro Type Cover keyboard accessory attached, thanks to its reliance on its kickstand.
- Business Insider
June 15, 2017 | Full review
The flip side to that however is that the one accessory that was included with previous Surface Pros, the Surface Pen, is no longer included.
- Anand Tech
June 15, 2017 | Full review
Type Cover and Pen not included — gets expensive quickly.
- Windows Central
June 15, 2017 | Full review
My only complaint is that the left- and right-click buttons are the bottom corners of the touchpad, rather than being separate.
- Trusted Reviews
September 26, 2018 | Full review
Rather surprisingly, it doesn’t have a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, while we can hope to have it in future generation, I still can’t understand why Microsoft opted to make such a fatal (intentional or not) omission.
- PCVerge
June 14, 2017 | Full review
With only a single USB-A 3.0 and a microSDXC card reader, connectivity is limited.
- The Tech Revolutionist
November 18, 2017 | Full review
Microsoft shared the new Surface Pro along with the new accessories with us and here's what we have to say about the new pricey 2-in-1.
- Gizbot
September 1, 2018 | Full review
There’s still no em dash keyboard shortcut. What the hell!
- Buzzfeed News
June 15, 2017 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Better than ever, the new Surface Pro is the most versatile laptop we've ever built. Completely redesigned from the inside out with all new custom parts, Surface Pro delivers more battery power, more performance, and a superior display. The stunning PixelSense display supports pen and touch, while the refined design provides 68% more battery life and 2.5X the performance of Surface Pro 3. A powerful Intel Core processor runs full desktop software with ease, ensuring a smooth, productive workflow. *Up to 13.5 hours for video playback. Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2017 using preproduction Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors. *3DMark 11 Overall score comparison; Surface Pro i7 vs. Surface Pro 3 i7. *Applies to i5 & i7 with understanding that m3 is 2g heavier.

Overall Product Rankings

Asus Chromebook Flip
1. Asus Chromebook Flip
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 2
2. Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 13
3. Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 15
4. Google Pixelbook
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 9
5. ASUS Water Resistant Chromebook, 11.6″
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 1
6. Acer Chromebook 14
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 8
7. Google Pixelbook
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Apple 13″ MacBook Air
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 8
9. HP Spectre x360
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 8
10. Samsung Chromebook 3
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 4
11. ASUS C302CA-DHM4
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 4
12. Lenovo 14″ IdeaPad Chromebook
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 5
13. Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen), 256 GB
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 24
14. Acer Flagship CB3-532
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 5
15. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 8
16. ASUS 11.6″ Chromebook Ruggedized, Water Resistant
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 12
17. Acer Chromebook 11
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4
18. ASUS ZenBook 13.3″ Ultra-Slim Laptop
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 12
19. ASUS Flip Touchscreen
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 2
20. Acer Aspire
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 8
21. Samsung Chromebook Pro
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 2
22. Samsung Chromebook 3
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 7
23. HP Chromebook N2840
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 4
24. HP Spectre x2
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 6
25. Acer Flagship 15″
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 4
26. Dell Chromebook 11
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 3
27. Dell 2018 Inspiron 15.6″ Touchscreen
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 3
28. Dell Inspiron 13 7000
Overall Score: 6.4
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Laptops

The days of being stuck at a desk all day are history. Today, you can work from your home, an office or a beachfront vacation home. But to do that, you need a powerful, yet portable laptop. A laptop with a battery that can go for hours on a charge, while also letting you stream the latest season of “Stranger Things” while you scroll through your social media feed.

The good news is, laptops are becoming more lightweight and powerful each year. You no longer have to pay a fortune for a laptop that will handle everything you need to do, whether you’re a college student or a high-powered executive. Newer laptops are both affordable and robust, giving you a wide range of options for your budget.

But with the latest round of laptop models, peripheral support is a huge factor. As consumers have embraced streaming, manufacturers have done away with DVD-ROM drives. But now that streamlining also applies to USB ports, with many newer models coming only with two or three. As the market moves toward USB-C charging, you may also find you need connectors for each of the ports you don’t plan to use for your power cord.

Storage is another consideration when you’re choosing a computer. Yes, the cloud has made this less important, but you’ll still want plenty of space for all the applications and documents you’ll need to store. If you decide to download a few Netflix movies to watch on long flights, you’ll need at least 280 megabytes per hour of standard-definition video. Over time, you’ll also find operating system upgrades and software updates take up an increasing amount of hard drive space. All of that combined simply means that the more storage you invest in up front, the less likely you are to need a new computer in a few years.

Thanks to the app ecosystem, consumers have a wider range of options in the devices they use for work and play. This means you can buy an affordable laptop and rely on the power of the cloud for everything you need. This has also made it easier for manufacturers to create laptops that are inexpensive, making them accessible to a wider consumer market. But there are so many affordable laptops now available, it can be difficult to choose one. Fortunately, by looking at your own budget and listing the features you feel are most important, you can narrow down the options.

DYWM Fun Fact

Laptops date back much further than you probably realize. The first-known laptop was the Grid Compass, designed in 1979. It was later used as part of the space program. But the first fully functional laptop computer is often credited as being the Gavilan Computer, which was introduced in May 1983 as the smallest and lightest MS-DOS computer at the time. However, in 1982, Grid introduced the Compass 1101, which came up with the innovation of folding a screen over the keyboard. Even earlier than that, though, Osborne Computer Corporation released the Osborne 1, which was billed as a portable computer. Following these innovations, both IBM and Microsoft came out with their own laptops and the rest is history.

The Laptop Buying Guide

  • Before you shop for a laptop, take some time to outline the items that are most important to you. Look at your current devices and consider the things you like most and least about them. If you’re a gamer and your device overheats and locks up after a few minutes of play, CPU strength will be at the top of your list. If you still rely heavily on external hard drives and card readers, port count will be important.
  • Operating system preferences will narrow the field considerably. If you’re a Mac person, you probably won’t look any further than the latest MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, such as the Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB. If you prefer Google’s operating system, though, you have a wide range of choices. Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″, for example, is both affordable and lightweight.
  • Performance is all in the processors, and many top-rated laptops pack plenty of power. The Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB includes a 6-Core Intel Core i7 processor. Chromebooks use an Intel Celeron processor and in this area, you can’t go wrong with the Acer Chromebook 14’s Intel Celeron N3160 processor. Still, any variations you see in performance among newer processors will likely be minimal.
  • If you need more than one USB port, pay close attention to the options. You’ll get only two USB ports with most of the laptops you consider, but splitters are available if you need to hook up multiple devices.
  • As important as CPU power is while your laptop is running, wake-up times are also important. If you walk away or close your device lid, how long will you have to wait to use it again once you return? The Chromebooks are known for their rapid startup time, waking up from sleep quickly and even booting up from shutdown in only seconds.
  • If you own a laptop, chances are you’ll at least occasionally be carrying it around. In the race to provide the lightest laptop, the Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″ ranks toward the top, weighing in at only 2.43 pounds. The Asus Water Resistant Chromebook is close, though, with a weight of only 2.65 pounds. Compare this to the o Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB’s 4 pounds and you’ll see how much of a difference these Chromebooks make. But the Acer Chromebook 14 is slightly heavier than other Chromebooks, at 3.42 pounds.
  • Few things can be as annoying as getting away from home, only to have your battery die. The Asus Water Resistant Chromebook has a battery life that wows, lasting for more than 12 hours on a charge. With the Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB and Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″, you’ll get only 10 hours of battery life, although you can extend the life on the Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″ by running it in low brightness and minimizing your activity.
  • Logging in can become cumbersome over time. The Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB builds in the same Touch ID found on its tablets and smartphones, making login a breeze.
  • If you’re tech-challenged, you may want to consider an extended warranty. Each laptop comes with a limited warranty, but you can upgrade to an extended warranty for a fee. AppleCare, for example, provides not only extended care for your devices, but technical support help as well.
  • When you’re in the office or at home, you may prefer to connect your laptop to a monitor. You can do this with the help of cables, but if it’s going to be a regular occurrence, a docking station will offer you easy access to a keyboard, mouse and monitor while you’re at your desk.
  • Another important consideration is whether you can use your laptop’s trackpad or an external mouse. A wireless mouse may be the best option, since you’ll be using it on the go.
  • Despite the name, your lap isn’t the best place to rest your laptop while you’re working. Laptops need good air circulation, so invest in a good laptop desk or make sure you always sit at a table while you’re working on it.
  • At one time, laptops used nickel-metal hydride batteries, which could eventually forget their charge capabilities if you only allowed them to drain halfway before recharging. Today’s lithium-ion batteries don’t have that issue. Still, some experts believe you can extend a battery’s life by avoiding letting it drain to less than 20 percent.
  • A laptop’s portability also makes it vulnerable to theft. A cable lock can help, but make sure you also equip your computer with a difficult-to-guess password. If your laptop is stolen, at least your personal information won’t be at risk.
  • For those times when you’re using your keyboard in a dimly-lit room, having light behind your keys can be a big help. If you want backlit keys, you’ll need to shop specifically for a laptop that features that.
  • Traditionally, you’d purchase a laptop, then worry about loading it with software that you had to buy separately. But with today’s laptops, it’s all about the apps. If you opt for a MacBook, Apple’s basic office software is included. With Chromebook, you’ll be steered toward the Google Play store, where you can access Google Docs, as well as numerous other apps. You’ll still be able to purchase your favorite apps for your laptop, as well.
  • When it comes to price, it’s hard to ignore the affordability of Chromebooks. Sure, the MacBook Air has a long list of benefits, but so do both the Acer and Asus Chromebooks. The Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″ and Acer Chromebook 14 each retail for less than $250, while Asus’s version typically stays below $300. Compared to Apple’s more-than-$2,000 price point for the latest MacBook Pro, Chromebooks are well worth considering.
  • Before you finalize your purchase, prepare a way to carry your new laptop around. Whether you choose a backpack or a laptop bag, make sure it’s padded enough to protect your laptop wherever you take it.
  • Once you have your laptop, make sure you protect it from viruses using the top software on the market. Both Asus and Acer Chromebooks have security features built-in. MacBooks are virus-resistant by nature, but it can’t hurt to look into antivirus apps for your chosen operating system.