Want a Surface Laptop without Windows Recall? This is the perfect PC for you.

Microsoft just announced its Surface Laptop 7, a sleek new PC powered by a Snapdragon X processor. But what if you don't want a Windows on Arm computer, a Copilot+ PC, or a system with Windows Recall on board? You'll have to look elsewhere. Luckily for those who want a Surface Laptop running on an Intel chip and without Windows Recall, there's a discount on the Surface Laptop 5.

Right now, you can pick up the Surface Laptop 5 for $799.99. That's a $500 discount on what was once one of the best Windows laptops around.

Surface Laptop 5 | was $1,299.99 now $799.99 at Microsoft

Surface Laptop 5 | was $1,299.99 now $799.99 at Microsoft

The Surface Laptop 5 is a thin-and-light laptop with an excellent keyboard and trackpad. It also has solid battery life and a touchscreen that supports the Surface Pen (sold separately). Right now, you can pick one up for $500 off through Microsoft.

Surface Laptop 5 review highlights

Surface Laptop 5

The Surface Laptop 5 is still a solid laptop in 2024, though its design is a bit dated. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Surface Laptop 5 earned high marks for its performance, keyboard, trackpad, and battery life. As long as you're okay with a design that's a bit dated, the Surface Laptop 5 is a great laptop and an excellent value at $799.99.

"The Surface Laptop 5 is a perfectly inoffensive Ultrabook for 2023," said our Senior Editor Zac Bowden. "It's the bare minimum for what can constitute as an update over a previous iteration in the same product line, but that doesn't make it a bad laptop. Just like the Surface Laptop 4, and Surface Laptop 3 before it, the Surface Laptop 5 is great to use, with good battery life, great performance, and a good screen."

The Surface Laptop 5 came out in October 2022, so it is a bit older at this point. It runs on a 12th Gen Intel Core processor and has thicker bezels than you'd see from most laptops in 2024. But it earned a 4.5 out of 5 in our Surface Laptop 5 review and is still a lovely device.

Windows Recall

Recall interface

Windows Recall is a powerful feature, but it is also controversial. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows Recall proved controversial the moment it was announced. The feature takes snapshots of your system every few seconds, creating a searchable set of information that AI can recall. You can then ask Windows Recall to find something you were working on using natural language. Based on initial testing by a few that have access and have talked about the feature, Windows Recall works exactly as advertised. But many have questions surrounding privacy and security.

The good news is that Microsoft has several security measures in place to keep your data secure. All data related to Windows Recall is stored locally, meaning none of it ever goes to the cloud. Microsoft does not use the data to train AI models. All of the AI processing is done locally, which is one of the reasons you need a Copilot+ PC to use Windows Recall.

When your device is logged off, that data becomes encrypted. But based on information from a security researcher, Windows Recall data is not encrypted when your device is logged in. That means if someone could gain access to a system that was logged in, they would be able to see an expansive collection of data.

Of course, anyone with physical access to any PC that's logged in could look through your data. But Windows Recall would likely have information that you wouldn't have saved in a Word file somewhere. Recall doesn't moderate the content it takes screenshots of. That means if you enter your bank details, Social Security Number, or any other private information, it could be stored by Recall.

Microsoft Edge's InPrivate mode is excluded from Windows Recall, but Google Chrome's Incognito mode is included. There are countless ways that personal data could be stored on your PC through Windows Recall.

It's important to note that Windows Recall is entirely optional. You can also use it but ensure it does not record information from certain apps. But many are still hesitant to get a PC with Windows Recall. The good news for those people is that only Copilot+ PCs support the feature. The bad news, at least to those specific shoppers, is that some of the best Windows PCs in the future will be Copilot+ PCs.

Looping back to the Surface Laptop that's on sale, the Surface Laptop 5 is a lovely laptop that's discounted by $500 right now. Its design is a bit dated, but it's still a solid PC with great performance, a nice trackpad and keyboard, and good battery life. It also lacks support for Windows Recall, which is a positive for some people.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.