Microsoft's 'Surface Laptop 5' could get latest AMD mobile processors for the first time

Microsoft's expected Surface Laptop 5 could offer AMD's latest Ryzen 6000 series mobile CPUs, putting it on a par with Intel variants.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft hasn't announced the Surface Laptop 5 yet, but a new leak points to it having an option to use AMD's latest line of Ryzen CPUs. 

A site called Windows Prime has posted what Windows watcher Paul Thurrott reckons to be an official specs sheet for the forthcoming Surface Laptop 5.

The 2021 Surface Laptop 4 13.5-inch and 15-inch models, which Microsoft released in April, are available with both AMD and Intel processors. However, they are only available with the previous-generation AMD Ryzen mobile processors versus the then-current 11th generation Intel Core CPUs. Surface Laptop 3 ship with AMD processors for the 15-inch model only.

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The Surface Laptop 5 would be a significant departure on the AMD front, with the specs sheet indicating the 13.5-inch and 15-inch models would be available with Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors that AMD announced in January at CES.

The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 5 would come with a 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 6680U processor, while the 15-inch model would come with an 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 6980U processor – and, of course, integrated Radeon graphics in both. Battery life is quoted at 'up to' 21 hours and 19.5 hours respectively. 

On the Intel side, the 13.5-inch model would be available with 12th generation Intel Core i5-1240P or Core i7-1280P processors, while the 15-inch model only ships with the Core i7-1280P. Both would come with Intel's integrated Iris Xe graphics. 

The battery life estimates seem optimistic, but do suggest the AMD variants would offer two hours more battery life than the Intel options. 

Additionally, the laptops would feature two USB-C ports with USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt 4 versus one in the Surface Laptop 4.

Given last year's April announcement for the Surface Laptop 4, Microsoft could be expected to announce the Surface Laptop 5 at a similar point this year. However, the exact timing could be affected by the ongoing chip shortages that are expected to drag on through 2022.

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