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Best Microsoft Surface PCs in 2022

Surface Family
Surface Family (Image credit: Microsoft)

Are you interested in buying your first Surface but aren't sure which one to get? Well, we've got you covered with our ultimate roundup of the best Microsoft Surface PCs available today, whether that be a thin and light computer like the Surface Pro X or something with epic performance and versatility like the Surface Laptop Studio.

Best overall: Surface Laptop 4

Surface Laptop 4 Amd 2021 Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Laptop 4

The best all-round Surface for your money

Reasons to buy

+
Thin and light
+
11th Gen Intel and AMD Ryzen 4000 processors
+
13.5-inch and 15-inch options
+
USB-C

Reasons to avoid

-
No Thunderbolt 3
-
15-inch model has same battery as smaller variant

We think the Surface Laptop 4 is the best overall Surface PC on the market right now. We think it targets the largest demographic and is the most approachable for new or existing Surface PC owners. The Surface Laptop 4 is a straight-up laptop, no quirks, or gimmicks in form factor, just a beautiful, premium laptop with touch, a large trackpad, and a first-class keyboard.

The Surface Laptop 4 features 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors in both 13.5-inch and 15-inch models. The 13.5-inch variants come in a handful of colors and even include the option for an Alcantara-covered keyboard base.

Surface Laptop 4 also includes Microsoft's excellent front-facing web camera, a USB-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C port in addition to the Surface Connect port for charging.

Best performance: Surface Laptop Studio

Surface Laptop Studio Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Laptop Studio

The most powerful Surface

Reasons to buy

+
2-in-1 form factor
+
11th Gen processors
+
Dedicated NVIDIA graphics
+
Thunderbolt

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one color
-
Only one size

If you're looking for something with a bit of power under the hood, your best Surface offering in this area is the Surface Laptop Studio. This is Microsoft's laptop for professionals and power users who frequent professional-grade software like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, AutoCAD, or crunching raw data.

The Surface Laptop Studio has a design that allows the display to lie flat over the keyboard deck like a draftboard, featuring Intel 11th Gen processors, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and pen support for drawing and note-taking. It also has two USB-C ports, both of which are Thunderbolt 4 enabled, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect charging port.

This laptop can also be had with either Intel Iris Xe graphics, or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics for a dedicated boost in performance. It's only available in the one 14.4-inch screen size, however. Dedicated graphics is what propels the Surface Laptop Studio into performance territory for us, and makes it the most powerful Surface on the market today.

Best portability: Surface Pro X

Surface Pro X

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Surface Pro X

The Surface for working on the go

Reasons to buy

+
Super thin
+
Good battery life
+
LTE built-in
+
Edge-to-edge display

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one color
-
ARM CPU means some programs won't work
-
No Thunderbolt 3
-
No headphone jack

If you're looking for a Surface designed for on-the-go working, the Surface Pro X is your best choice. Featuring Microsoft's thinnest Surface design yet, LTE built right in for always-connected data, and Microsoft's ARM-powered SQ1or SQ2 chip for excellent battery life when out and about. It's a real Surface offering for mobile computing, followed closely by the Surface Go 2 with LTE.

The Surface Pro X is a 2-in-1 tablet that can also replace your laptop with an optional keyboard accessory with built-in pen charging capabilities. Surface Pro X features the new Surface Slim Pen and charges magnetically in the keyboard cover, a first for a Surface PC. It also has an edge-to-edge 13-inch display, which makes it feel much bigger than it is, especially compared to the older Surface Pro 7.

The Microsoft SQ1 or SQ2 chip on the inside is an interesting choice. On the one hand, it enables the slim profile of the Surface Pro X, but on the other hand, it means there are some compatibility constraints with apps. Any x86-64 bit apps will not run on Surface Pro X, meaning you're limited to ARM32, ARM64, or x86 apps only. This will change with a future software update that adds support for x86-64 apps, however.

Surface Pro X features two USB-C ports, a SIM slot for LTE, and a user-upgradable SSD under the kickstand in addition to the Surface Connect port for charging.

Best for students: Surface Laptop Go

Surface Laptop Go Surface Logo

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Laptop Go

The Surface for students

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design
+
Good battery life
+
Fun colors
+
Thin bezels

Reasons to avoid

-
Low RAM and no fingerprint in the entry-level model
-
No backlit keyboard
-
Low-resolution display

If you're a student in the market for a new laptop for school, the Surface Laptop Go was built for you. Featuring a compact design with a 12.5-inch touch display, full size keyboard, large trackpad, and a Windows Hello fingerprint reader built right into the power button for quick authentication.

Its small design also means it's one of the lightest Surface PCs on the market, making it a great choice for carrying around at school all day. It also has battery life that will last you the school day, paired with a capable Intel Core i5 processor, up to 8GB RAM, and up to 256GB of storage.

You can get it in a handful of fun colors too, including Ice Blue, Sandstone, and Platinum. The best part? Surface Laptop Go starts at just $400, so it won't break the bank.

Best budget: Surface Go 3

Surface Go 2 Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Go 3

Surface on the cheap

Reasons to buy

+
Low starting price
+
Premium build quality
+
Thin(ish) bezels
+
Intel Core m3 option available

Reasons to avoid

-
Small keyboard
-
No Thunderbolt 3/4

If you're on a budget, the Surface Go 3 is your best choice right now. Starting at just $400, the Surface Go 2 is a quintessential Surface experience. It's a 2-in-1 tablet that can also act as a laptop, just like the Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 7, but at a fraction of the cost. It's also the smallest Surface PC available today, featuring a 10.5-inch display, which makes it super easy to carry with you in a bag.

For $400, you're getting a super premium PC too. It's not plastic, with cheap materials making the PC look and feel budget. Instead, Microsoft has essentially shrunk down the Surface Pro 7 from a design perspective, meaning this thing looks and feels premium. Where Microsoft has cut costs is in processing power. For $400, you're only getting an Intel Pentium GOLD 6500Y with 4GB of RAM.

This configuration is passable for those who do only light computing, which involves nothing more than browsing the web, checking email, and writing documents in Word or creating a simple PowerPoint presentation. Anything more than that, and you'll want to splash out for the 8GB RAM option, or spend a little more than that for the Intel Core m3 variant.

Surface Go 3 features one USB-C port, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to the Surface Connect port for charging. It's also the first Surface Go to be available in black!

Best 2-in-1: Surface Pro 8

Surface Pro 8 Hero Profile

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Pro 8

The OG

Reasons to buy

+
2-in-1 form factor
+
Colorful accessories
+
Thunderbolt 4
+
Built-in kickstand

Reasons to avoid

-
None

Many of Microsoft's Surface PCs are 2-in-1's, but nothing beats the Surface Pro 8 when it comes to the form factor. It's the de-facto Surface 2-in-1, the tablet that can replace your laptop, and it does it incredibly well. Featuring a staple design that was recently modernized with this generation.

Surface Pro 8 is rocking Intel 11th Gen Core i5 and i7 processors, along with a 13-inch 120Hz display, two USB-C ports, both of which are Thunderbolt 4 compatible, a 3.5mm headphone jack, along with Surface Connect for charging. It also has colorful Type Cover accessories available, which turns the Surface Pro 8 into an excellent laptop replacement PC.

It has Surface Slim Pen 2 support too for inking onto the display. Unlike the Surface Pro X, the Surface Pro 8 is an x86 PC, meaning it doesn't need to emulate some of your Windows apps, and performance should be better overall.

Best desktop: Surface Studio 2

Surface Studio 2

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Surface Studio 2

A beautiful desktop PC

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible design
+
Large touchscreen
+
Pen support
+
Dedicated graphics

Reasons to avoid

-
Outdated specs

Are you looking for a Surface PC that can live on your desktop? Microsoft's only offering in this department is the Surface Studio 2, which is pretty old at this point. Still, it features an incredible design with a weightless hinge mechanism that allows you to turn its 28-inch display into a virtual draft board with touch and pen support.

On the inside, Surface Studio 2 features Intel 7th Gen Core i5 and Core i7 processors, up to 2TB of storage and 32GB of RAM. It also comes configured with either an NVIDIA GTX 1060 or 1070 for graphics power. Around the back, we have four USB-A ports, one USB-C port, Gigabit Ethernet, a full-size SD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Even though the Surface Studio 2 is a couple of years old at this point, it still starts at an incredibly high $3,500 for the entry-level model. The highest-end model is even more expensive, so although the Surface Studio 2 is the best desktop PC Surface on the market today, there will likely be a new one coming shortly.

Summing up

Microsoft makes many different Surface PCs these days, and it can be hard to choose which one to buy if you're not sure what exactly you're looking for. If you need the best performance, we think the Surface Laptop Studio is your best bet. If you're looking for something great for working on the go, the Surface Pro X is an excellent choice.

But, if you're looking for the most well-rounded, approachable, and easy to use Surface, we think the Surface Laptop 4 is the best overall choice. It's beautifully crafted, easy to use, and has no form factor gimmicks or anomalies to get used to. It's plenty powerful, with a best-in-class keyboard and trackpad combo to boot.

Those on a budget can also check out the Surface Go 3, which we think is a great mini-PC to compliment your main one.

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.