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Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020)
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019)
See Top Ranked Traditional Laptops

Apple MacBook Air (early-2020) vs Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (2019)

Analysis:

The Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) and Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) 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 $1249 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) is exemplary at $1199. 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) got praised by Wirecutter and PCmag - two highly trusted sources that perform in-depth hands-on testing. It was awarded the "Top Pick" title from Wirecutter and "Best for Frequent Travelers, Everyday Computing" from PCmag in their respective Traditional Laptop roundups.

Returning to the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019), it managed to impress reviewers from two sources that are considered to be some of the most highly trusted on the internet, thanks to their in-depth hands-on testing - Wirecutter and PCmag. It performed great in their respective Traditional Laptop roundups - it was named "Top Pick" by Wirecutter and "Best for Sketchers, Note-Takers" by PCmag. That's quite an endorsement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. hardwarezone.com.sg, Notebookcheck.net, The Verge, TechSpot, Tom's Guide, and Techradar, for example, preferred the Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020), while PCmag rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) got reviewed the highest by hardwarezone.com.sg - it gave it a rating of 9, while the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) most impressed reviewers at Notebookcheck.net, which gave it a score of 8.8.

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 Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) managed averages of 8.3 and 7.8 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 Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019) 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
Wirecutter
Notebookcheck.net
Tom's Guide
Laptop Mag
CNET
The Verge
Techradar
TechSpot
Reviewed
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020)
$1,249
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB (2019)
$1,199
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: a month 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: a month ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for college: Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more compared” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
The Verge
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 6 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: 15 days ago
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: a month ago
nytimes.com
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: a month ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 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
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best MacBook for most people
in “Best laptops of 2020” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best student laptops 2020: all the best options for school” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
nytimes.com
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
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: 28 Apr 2020
Laptop Mag
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The most affordable MacBook
in “Best Ultrabooks in 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
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: 22 days ago
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: 28 Apr 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 Basic Productivity
in “The Best Laptops for College Students in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 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 6
in “Best laptops for kids 2020: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond” 
Last updated: 14 days ago
Wirecutter
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: a day ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “These are our favorite gifts for grads in 2020” 
Last updated: 11 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: 23 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 7: The Best Pro Tablets” 
Last updated: 27 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Style-Conscious Frequent Travelers
in “The Best Windows Tablets for 2020” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The best mini laptops you can buy in 2020” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Our expert guide to buying a tablet” 
Last updated: 20 Aug 2019
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best detachable 2-in-1
in “Best 2-in-1 convertible laptop in 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Still the best hybrid
in “Best laptop UK 2020: The finest Windows, Apple and Chrome OS laptops you can buy from £230” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best mid-range tablet with keyboard
in “Best laptop for writers in 2020: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists” 
Last updated: 7 Mar 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best of Microsoft
in “Best Laptops in 2020” 
Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
TechSpot
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Productivity Tablet
in “The Best Tablets 2020” 
Last updated: 4 Jan 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best Microsoft Surface” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 10
in “Best laptop 2020: Our top 10 notebooks ranked” 
Last updated: 19 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Sketchers, Note-Takers
in “The Best Touch-Screen Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 17 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Windows 2-in-1 for students
in “Best laptop for college: Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more compared” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best mid-range tablet with keyboard
in “Best tablet with keyboard 2020: top tablets you can type on” 
Last updated: 2 Nov 2019
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for On-the-Go Digital Artists
in “The Best 2-in-1 Convertible and Hybrid Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best business tablets of 2020: top picks for productivity slates” 
Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Note Takers, Presenters
in “The Best Laptops for College Students in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 7
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Presidents' Day sales 2020: Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart and more” 
Last updated: 14 Feb 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Tablets for Best Buy Curbside Pick-up” 
Last updated: 24 Mar 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Mar 2020
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