5 Reasons Why Microsoft’s Surface Laptop & Surface Pro Copilot+ PCs Could Really Dent Apple’s MacBook & Even iPad Sales Going Forward.

It seems to me that there’s something quite extraordinary happening at Redmond, the home of the Big Tech behemoth that is Microsoft. Ever since Satya Nadella took the reins there it just seems that Microsoft keeps getting better and better at everything from being seen at some point as a has been that missed out on the smartphone revolution to becoming a clear leader in the currently emerging Generative AI computing era.

I have just finished watching the full recording of the keynote of Microsoft’s Copilot+ PCs launch event earlier this week. This comes after reading a good number of blog posts online that even inspired me to do this blog post (https://bit.ly/4bQDDFo) but as the saying goes, seeing is believing! I have taken note of several things that make the new Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Laptop Copilot+ PCs that make them truly worthy contenders to displace MacBooks for many users looking to take full advantage of Generative AI in a myriad of use cases, as follows:

1) CPU + GPU + NPU = Superior Chip Performance.

In the various demos of Copilot+ PCs using Microsoft’s Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, they went to great lengths to show how impressive their system on a chip or SoC is in delivering Generative AI enhanced computing performance.

This was evident doing everything from video production to graphic design and even live translations on video conferencing calls. What makes it even more interesting is the bulk of AI processing is done via the NPU only leaving the CPU and GPU to focus on regular computing tasks.

The performance on these new Copilot+ PCs is significantly faster and better than that of a MacBook Air running on the latest Apple Silicon M3 Chips.

2) Embedded Generative AI Small Language Models or SLMs.

The other aspect is that the NPU uses multiple Small Language Models or SLMs concurrently to do the processing locally on device instead of needing to go to cloud to do so. This makes them faster and more intelligent, not to mention less expensive and more efficient in getting things done. A big part of this change is that the new Copilot+ PCs also run on ARM based chips meaning that they use much less energy to function compared to conventional chips.

3) Superior Battery Life, Even At Peak Performance.

The other aspect that makes the Copilot+ PCs highly desirable is their ability to run for as long as 16 hours in a single charge. This is massive and even more performative than Apple’s latest MacBooks so clearly anyone who finds themselves needing to operate for long periods of time ‘off the grid’ for whatever reason will have enhanced productivity and longevity on this basis alone which is perfect for the big enterprise knowledge worker or digital nomad.

4) The Surface Pro Is Like An iPad Pro, But Better, For A Few Reasons.

I don’t know why it just hit me but the Surface Pro is seemingly an amazing device that gives you the best of both tablet and laptop worlds. This may have seemed obvious to many for years but not to me, till today.

What caught my attention is that the Surface Pro is a fully fledged Windows PC in that it can run all Windows applications natively and using an emulator at great performance. This is not the case even with an iPad Pro as that runs iPad OS which is completely different to Mac OS from an operational perspective.

This means that you don’t the same capabilities between the two Apple device types as you can do with the Surface Pro that can transform into a tablet when you need it or use it a regular computer. In fact, you can use the keyboard detached from the screen as well which makes it quite versatile from this perspective.

5) The Surface Laptop & Surface Pro Hardware Specifications Beat The MacBook, Hands Down.

The Microsoft Surface Pro comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors, making it 90% faster than its predecessor. It also comes with a 13-inch display with 2880 x 1920 resolution and optional OLED display with HDR that can connect up to three 4K resolution external displays!

The Surface Pro also comes with two USB-4 ports, Wi-Fi7 support, and optional 5G connectivity. It also has a quad-HD front facing camera with AI-enabled Windows Studio effects like automatic framing and also has a 10MP UltraHD camera on the rear that has 4K video recording.

On the other hand, the Surface Laptop has 13.8-inch and 15-inch touch screen options with PixelSense technology and slimmer bezels than their predecessors with an impressive refresh rate of up to 120Hz as well as Dolby Vision IQ.

The Surface Laptops also come with Qualcomm Snapdragon X-series chips with a 45 TOPS NPU for on device AI-enabled processing. The laptops also have major battery life longevity with upto to 22 hours being possible – that’s just crazy!

The Surface Laptops also feature a Full HD Surface Studio Camera with AI-enabled Windows Studio Effects and feature Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Atmos surround sound for a truly immersive experience. All the Surface Copilot+ PCs come with a minimum of 16GB of RAM too.

Is It Time Buy Windows Copilot+ PCs Instead of Apple MacBooks?

So, in a nutshell, there you have it. There is no doubt that Microsoft has got its sexy back thanks to all the right Generative AI moves that they have made from their own Copilot+ PCs all the way to their early investment in OpenAI that opened the door to ChatGPT and by extension Microsoft’s early lead in the Generative AI computing era where all their offerings now have these features embedded, at scale.

At a personal level, I have been an ardent and immovable fan of Apple MacBooks for close to fifteen years or so and for the very first I am looking at these Copilot+ PCs as being worthy of my consideration as a viable alternative if they are as good as the demos from the launch this week have indicated.

I had assumed that MacBook’s on Apple Silion since the M1 were simply light years of anything else out there and had an unassailable lead but clearly this is no longer the case. AI, it seems, disrupts anything and everything and the MacBook could be a casualty going forward unless Apple has that ‘one more thing’ in its next MacBooks with M4, or even M5 chips? Only time will tell.

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