Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 With Snapdragon X Elite Chip Beats M3-Powered MacBook Air in Some Benchmarks

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 was unveiled by the company earlier this week, alongside the Surface Pro 11 and the first benchmarks of the company’s Surface laptop with a Snapdragon X Elite chip appears to have beat Apple’s M3-powered MacBook Air in some benchmark tests, along with Intel’s Meteor Lake CPUs and a Surface Pro 9 with an SQ3 chip. The benchmark results also suggest that Qualcomm’s latest processor for Copilot+ PCs could go toe-to-toe against Apple Silicon chips in the coming weeks.

While reviews of the new Surface Laptop 7 are still awaited, a Microsoft commissioned third party test of the Snapdragon X Elite-powered laptop reveals that it is capable of delivering reliable battery life, good thermal management, and powerful CPU performance. However, it reportedly lags behind the third-generation Apple Silicon processor in graphics, gaming, and web performance. 

Surface Laptop 7 CPU performance on Geekbench 6.3
Photo Credit: Signal65

In its report, Signal65 compared the Surface Laptop 7 to a Surface Laptop 9 with the Arm-based Microsoft SQ3 processor, a Surface Laptop 5 with a 12th Gen Intel Core-7 CPU, an MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo with a current-gen Intel Core Ultra 7 CPU, and Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Air with an M3 chip. All the laptops were equipped with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, except the MSI laptop which had 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. 

On two popular benchmarking tests — Geekbench 6.3 and Cinebench 2024 — the new Surface Laptop 7 easily beat all the other laptops except the 15-inch M3 MacBook Air in the single-core tests. In the multi-core tests. however, the new Surface laptop managed the highest score among all the laptops that were tested — the tests also showed it was up to 30 percent faster than the M3 chip in multi-core performance.

Surface Laptop 7 offers better battery life than other models tested by the firm
Photo Credit: Signal65

Meanwhile, the Snapdragon X Elite chip on the Surface Laptop 7 was far ahead of the other laptops in the Procyon AI Computer Vision benchmark test. The Arm-based chip from Qualcomm on the laptop enables it to offer over NPU performance that is more than twice as powerful than the 15-inch M3-powered MacBook Air.

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop 7 can also best the Surface Laptop 5, Surface Pro 9, and M3 MacBook Air on Handbrake 1.7.3, but is far behind the MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo with the lates Core Ultra 7 155H CPU. Meanwhile, in web performance (Google Chrome’s Speedometer v3 and JetStream v2.2) the Surface Laptop 7 is second only to the MacBook Air with an M3 chip.

The Surface Laptop 7 beat competitors on the Procyon AI computer vision benchmark
Photo Credit: Signal65

In the graphics department, the M3 chip on the 15-inch MacBook Air beat the Snapdragon X Elite on the Surface Laptop 7 on two out of three 3DMark’s graphics benchmarking tests — the Apple Silicon chip wasn’t tested on the third benchmark.

Signal65’s local H.264 video playback tests showed that the Surface Laptop 7 offered the highest battery life, with over 21 hours of playback on a single charge, higher than the M3-powered MacBook Air which delivered 16 percent less battery life. In the Procyon Productivity battery test showed that the MacBook Air with an M3 chip and the Surface Laptop 7 offered “equivalent” battery life.

While these tests were commissioned by Microsoft, it’s worth noting that the benchmarks were conducted by an independent third-party firm. Reviews of the new Surface Laptop 7 are still awaited, and we can expect to learn more about day-to-day performance, battery life, and other parameters, after the laptops go on sale in the US next month.


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