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Jackson Chen

Microsoft’s New Surface Laptops Are Here to Destroy the M3 MacBook Air

— Microsoft

Apple’s M-series MacBooks might finally get some real competition. Microsoft announced its next generation of laptops under its new Copilot Plus PC umbrella, calling them the “fastest, most intelligent Windows PCs ever built.” As Apple did years ago, Microsoft finally shifted over to ARM-based chips to power its laptops, leading to a huge boost in performance that can rival the newest MacBook Air.

Instead of relying on Intel, Microsoft opted for Qualcomm’s much more efficient chips. This major change has led to vastly improved laptops along with support for a number of AI functions that Apple doesn’t offer yet.

Enough Power to Beat the MacBook Air

Microsoft didn’t pull any punches when introducing its Copilot Plus PCs. The company directly compared its next-gen laptops to the latest M3 MacBook Air, claiming it can outperform Apple “by up to 58 percent in sustained multithread performance.” On top of raw power, Microsoft noted that these laptops can get up to 22 hours of local video playback or 15 hours of web browsing. Again comparing it to the MacBook Air, that’s 20 percent more battery life when it comes to local video playback.

That boost in performance is all thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X series chips. To support this, Microsoft’s Copilot Plus PCs will use an integrated neural processor and need to have at least a 256GB SSD and 16GB of RAM.

Beyond beating the MacBook Air on specs alone, Microsoft wants to heavily incorporate AI features into its Copilot Plus PCs. Recall will be among Microsoft’s headlining features for these AI-boosted laptops, allowing you to search for anything you’ve done on the device. On top of that, you’ll get Live Captions which can help with translation, and Cocreator, which uses AI to enhance your photos or sketches done in Paint. Microsoft’s Copilot Plus PCs will even get all of GPT-4o’s voice and vision capabilities.

Coming Straight for the MacBook

Microsoft said the first laptops under the Copilot Plus PC branding are already available for preorder today on its website from its partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung. Of course, the company’s own Surface laptops are also available for preorder. Microsoft revealed these Copilot Plus PCs will start at $999 with its upcoming Surface Laptop, undercutting the M3 MacBook Air’s starting price of $1,099.

For a while, Apple was mostly competing with itself and its previous models thanks to how ahead of the competition its MacBooks were. That might change soon since Microsoft’s Mehdi said the company plans to sell 50 million laptops over the next year under its Copilot Plus PC umbrella.

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