Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 With Snapdragon X Elite Chip Beats M3-Powered MacBook Air in Some Benchmarks

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 was unveiled by the company earlier this week, along with the Surface Pro 11, and the first benchmarks of the company's Surface Laptop with a Snapdragon X Elite chip seem to have surpassed the MacBook Air from Apple with M3 in some benchmark tests, along with Intel's Meteor Lake CPUs and a Surface Pro 9 with an SQ3 chip. Benchmark results also suggest that Qualcomm's latest processor for Copilot+ computers could go head-to-head with Apple Silicon chips in the coming weeks.

While reviews of the new Surface Laptop 7 are still awaited, Microsoft-commissioned third-party testing of the Snapdragon X Elite-powered laptop reveals that it's capable of delivering reliable battery life, good thermal management, and powerful performance of the CPU. However, it is said to lag behind the third-generation Apple Silicon processor in graphics, gaming and web performance.

Surface Laptop 7 CPU performance on Geekbench 6.3
Photo credit: Signal65

In its report, Signal65 compared the Surface Laptop 7 with a Surface Laptop 9 with the Arm-based Microsoft SQ3 processor, a Surface Laptop 5 with a 12th-generation Intel Core-7 CPU, an MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo with an Intel current generation Core Ultra 7 CPU and Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 chip. All laptops were equipped with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, except for the MSI laptop which had 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

In two popular benchmark tests: Geekbench 6.3 and Cinebench 2024, the new Surface Laptop 7 easily outperformed all other laptops except the 15-inch MacBook Air M3 in the single-core tests. In multi-core tests. however, the new Surface Laptop scored the highest among all laptops tested; tests also showed it to be up to 30 percent faster than the M3 chip in multi-core performance.

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Surface Laptop 7 offers better battery life than other models tested by the company
Photo credit: Signal65

Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 7's Snapdragon X Elite chip was well ahead of other laptops in the Procyon AI Computer Vision benchmark test. Qualcomm's Arm-based chip in the laptop allows it to deliver more NPU performance that's more than twice as powerful as the 15-inch MacBook Air with M3.

Microsoft's new Surface Laptop 7 can also outperform the Surface Laptop 5, Surface Pro 9 and M3 MacBook Air with Handbrake 1.7.3, but it's far behind the MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo with the Core Ultra 7 155H CPU. Meanwhile, in web performance (Google Chrome's Speedometer v3 and JetStream v2.2), the Surface Laptop 7 is second only to the MacBook Air with an M3 chip.

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The Surface Laptop 7 outperformed the competition in the Procyon AI computer vision benchmark
Photo credit: Signal65

In the graphics department, the 15-inch MacBook Air's M3 chip outperformed the Surface Laptop 7's Snapdragon X Elite in two of the three 3DMark graphics benchmark tests — the Apple Silicon chip failed the third benchmark .

Signal65's local H.264 video playback tests showed that the Surface Laptop 7 offered the highest battery life, with more than 21 hours of playback on a single charge, better than the M3-powered MacBook Air which it offered 16 percent less battery life. Procyon Productivity's battery test showed that the MacBook Air with an M3 chip and the Surface Laptop 7 offered “equivalent” battery life.

Although these tests were commissioned by Microsoft, it is worth noting that the tests were conducted by an independent third-party company. Reviews of the new Surface Laptop 7 are still awaited, and we can expect to learn more about day-to-day performance, battery life, and other parameters after the laptops go on sale in the US next month.


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