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Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020)
Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB
See Top Ranked Traditional Laptops

Apple MacBook Air (early-2020) vs Microsoft Surface Book 2

Analysis:

The Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) and Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB are both excellent choices at their respective budgets. The Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) is among the very best Traditional Laptops for $1199 and the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB is exemplary at $2297. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can't go wrong with either option.

The Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) has done great in a couple of roundups conducted by highly trusted sources that perform objective in-depth testing, like Wirecutter (NYTimes), PCmag, and Laptop Mag - it earned the "Top Pick" title from Wirecutter (NYTimes), "Best for Everyday Computing Under macOS" from PCmag, and "The best 13-inch Apple laptop" from Laptop Mag. Any product that's held in high regard by such reliable sources should be considered by anyone that's looking for a Traditional Laptop at this price point.

Returning to the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB, it managed to impress reviewers from some of the internet's most highly trusted sources, PCmag and Laptop Mag. It performed great in their hands-on roundups - it was named "Best for Power Users, Creative Professionals" by PCmag and "Most versatile video editing laptop" by Laptop Mag. That's quite an achievement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Traditional Laptops, CNET and The Verge preferred the Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020), whereas reviewers at T3, Techradar, and TechSpot liked the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB better. WIRED and PCmag gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) rating came from hardwarezone.com.sg, whereas the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB most impressed reviewers at T3; they earned scores of 9 and 10, respectively.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Traditional Laptops on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Traditional Laptops being 7.6 out of 10, whereas the Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) and Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB managed averages of 8.3 and 8.3 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) vs. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
Laptop Mag
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Notebookcheck.net
Tom's Guide
CNET
The Verge
Techradar
TechSpot
Tech Advisor
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020)
$1,199
Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5") Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB
$2,297
CPU Cores
-
2
CPU Speed
-
2.6 (GHz)
CPU Type
-
Intel Core i7
Dedicated Graphics Card
-
No
Operating System
-
Windows
RAM
-
8 (GB)
Screen size
-
13.5 (inches)
Storage Capacity
-
256 (GB)
Storage Type
-
Solid State Drive
Higher than average expert review score
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 2 Jun 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “The Best Battery Life Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for college students in 2020: Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more” 
Last updated: 6 Jun 2020
The Verge
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best cheap Apple laptop
in “Best laptop 2020: our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best laptop for students 2020” 
Last updated: 12 Jun 2020
Digital Camera World
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 10
in “The best MacBooks for photo editing in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Apr 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 8
in “The Best Laptops Under $1,000 of 2020” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The most affordable MacBook
in “Best Ultrabooks in 2020” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “Tested: The Lightest Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best MacBook for most people
in “Best laptops of 2020” 
Last updated: 14 Jun 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best cheap Apple laptop
in “The Best Laptop 2020: Our pick of the best laptops you can buy in the Middle East” 
Last updated: 3 May 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Basic Productivity for macOS Fans
in “The Best Laptops for College Students in 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Frequent Travelers, Everyday Computing
in “2020 Apple MacBooks Compared: Air or Pro, Which Model Is Right for You?” 
Last updated: 7 May 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptops for graphic design 2020: top picks for graphic designers” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Everyday Computing Under macOS
in “The Best Ultraportable Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 7
in “Best laptops for kids 2020: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 10
in “The best student laptops 2020: all the best options for school” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #8 out of 10
in “Best business laptops 2020: top devices for working from home, SMB and more” 
Last updated: a month ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best July sales and deals 2020 — it's Summer Savings week on Tom's Guide” 
Last updated: 4 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best 4th of July sales you can still get today” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Laptops for College Students” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best graduation gifts to buy for 2020” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best business Mac in 2020: best laptop, all-in-one, workstation, mobile workstation and laptop replacement” 
Last updated: 10 May 2020
Highly recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Windows Tablets for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 May 2020
Notebookcheck.net
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.7 out of 10
in “Notebookcheck's Top 10 Convertibles (2-in-1 Tablets)” 
Last updated: 12 Jun 2020
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Laptop with USB-C in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best portable laptops for travel” 
Last updated: 24 Sep 2018
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Microsoft Surface” 
Last updated: 11 Jun 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best laptop for graphic artists
in “Best business laptop 2020: The top business-ready laptops for office productivity” 
Last updated: 28 Oct 2019
TechSpot
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Convertible Laptop
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 12 Aug 2019
The Independent
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best two-in-one laptops” 
Last updated: 9 Aug 2018
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Handheld Editing
in “The Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2020” 
Last updated: 30 Jan 2020
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best High-End Laptops in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best tablet with keyboard 2020: top tablets you can type on” 
Last updated: 2 Nov 2019
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best 2-in-1 laptop
in “Our expert guide to buying a laptop” 
Last updated: 23 Aug 2019
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 5
in “Best lightweight laptop 2020: The finest Ultrabooks you can buy from Microsoft, Razer, Apple and more” 
Last updated: 28 Feb 2020
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Laptop by Touchpad of 2020” 
Last updated: 2 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 5
in “The best thin and light laptops” 
Last updated: 11 Oct 2018
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 7
in “Best 2-in-1 laptop 2020: The finest laptop/tablet hybrids you can buy right now” 
Last updated: 12 Jun 2020
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Windows Alternative to the MacBook Pro” 
Last updated: 21 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “The best 13-inch laptop 2020: the top 13-inch laptops we've reviewed” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best 13-Inch Laptop in 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 9
in “Best laptops for engineering students in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for photography
in “Best Laptop for Pros in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 10
in “The best 2-in-1 laptop 2020: find the best convertible laptop for your needs” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best 2-in-1
in “Best Laptops for Travel in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 10
in “Best business laptops 2020: top devices for working from home, SMB and more” 
Last updated: a month ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 7: The Best Pro Tablets” 
Last updated: 27 Apr 2020
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Microsoft Laptops” 
Last updated: 2 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Laptops for Video and Photo Editing” 
Last updated: 24 Feb 2020

Find the best product and price, effortlessly.

Discover deals on products actually worth buyingthe best products

We do the research. You save the money.
Add Lustre to Chrome
•  100% Free
Opt out anytime