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Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15: Five-star Copilot+ laptops go head-to-head

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15 - featured. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in and the Asus Vivobook S15 laptops on a blue background

The first two Copilot+ PCs we’ve reviewed go head-to-head but which one is best?

A new breed of laptops is coming. Numerous Copilot+ machines stuffed with AI features and with battery life promising to blow other Windows laptops out of the water are being released this year and I’ve already reviewed two of them: the Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 (15in) and the Asus Vivobook S15.

I’ve been highly impressed with both so far. They’re fast, great value and – most importantly – battery life is brilliant, with both managing 17 hours of local video playback in our tests. The question is, with both machines so darned good, which should you choose? After testing both thoroughly, I’ve pitted them against each other in some key categories to see which is best.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15: Design & ergonomics

I’d be happy to own either of these laptops. I love the feel of the keyboard on both and the touchpad works reliably on each machine as well. However, the Surface Laptop 7’s haptic touchpad just about edges it for me. It’s just as easy to click across the entire surface of the pad and the click is lighter as well. Plus, if you prefer to tap or swipe the screen that’s a win for the Microsoft laptop, as the Asus does not support touch.

As far as looks go, it’s the Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 all the way thanks to its clean lines and minimalist appearance. The Vivobook is a more traditional Windows laptop; it looks fine from above but flip it over and the proliferation of vents, large rubber feet and panels rules it out for those who care about aesthetics.

However, the Asus wins out if you value portability and light weight above looks. Not only is it slimmer than the Surface Laptop 7 (at 16mm versus 18.3mm), but it’s smaller in terms of its overall volume and 240g lighter than the Microsoft machine.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15. A table comparing the weights and sizes of the Surface Laptop 7 and the Vivobook S15

When it comes to serviceability, there is only one winner. The Surface Laptop 7 is an absolute doddle to get into: all you need to do is clip out the four rubber feet, unscrew four T5 Torx screws and unclip the magnetic base.

Once you’re in, everything is neatly labelled with the number and type of screws you need, and easily accessible for removal and replacement. The Asus Vivobook, in contrast, is a much tougher thing to get into, with the base firmly clipped into place and requiring a pry tool to pop off.

Winner: Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in – for its sleeker looks and its superior repairability

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15: Display

Both of these laptops have great displays. The Asus Vivobook’s screen measures 15.6in across the diagonal, has a resolution of 2,880 x 1,620 and a glorious 120Hz self-emissive OLED panel for smooth, vivid imagery. It isn’t a touchscreen but it looks fabulous with all types of content and with a peak brightness of nigh on 400cd/m2, it’s usable in most ambient lighting.

The Surface Laptop 7’s display uses different tech – it has a backlit IPS panel – and it’s a different shape at 3:2. The latter makes it feel more spacious even though objectively the screen is a similar size to the Asus.

To the eye, it doesn’t look quite as vivid as the Vivobook’s OLED panel and the black level isn’t as inky black. However, it is a little brighter than the Vivobook – I measured it peaking at 600cd/m2 – and it’s marginally more colour-accurate. It is also touch-sensitive, although oddly it doesn’t work with any of Microsoft’s Surface Pen styluses.

Winner: Asus Vivobook S15 – because I’d rather have OLED’s extra vibrance than a touchscreen

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15: Performance and battery life

Both laptops are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processor so you might think that they would be dead level when it came to raw speed. There are, however, three different types of Snapdragon X Elite and each of these machines has a different version inside.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in has the X1E-80-100 X Elite chip which has a maximum multithread frequency of 3.8GHz and a 4GHz “Dual-Core Boost” frequency. It also has a more powerful GPU.

The Asus Vivobook S15 has the X1E-78-100 inside. This has a lower max multithread frequency of 3.4GHz, no Dual-Core Boost and a slower GPU. All of this leads to slower performance figures in both the CPU and GPU compute Geekbench 6 benchmark tests.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15. Chart showing the results of Geekbench 6 tests for the two laptops

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15. Chart comparing the results of the two laptops in Geekbench 6 Compute (OpenCL) tests

However, there’s only a very small practical difference between the two laptops, even though the Surface Laptop 7 I tested had double the RAM at 32GB compared with the Vivobook S15’s 16GB. You won’t see much of a difference in everyday use.

The same goes for battery life. Both have big batteries but this time it’s the Vivobook that wins on paper with its 70Wh power pack. The Surface Laptop 7’s battery is 66Wh by comparison. Again, this doesn’t make a huge difference, practically speaking. In our tests both laptops lasted around 17 hours: the Vivobook S15 lasted 16hrs 59mins in the test and the Microsoft Surface Laptop 17hrs 13mins.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15. Chart comparing the battery lives of the two laptops based on our tests

Winner: Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 – by a hair’s breadth


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Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15: Price

When it comes to what you get for your money, both laptops deliver a punch, but it’s the Asus Vivobook that pulls ahead in this particular duel. For £1,299 you’re getting 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and that glorious OLED display.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in starts at £1,349, which gets you 16GB of RAM and only 256GB of storage. It’s a clear win for the Asus Vivobook S15 here. However, it’s worth noting that it’s fairly easy to replace this 256GB SSD with one with a higher capacity, without spending too much extra.

Also bear in mind that both offer significantly better value than the rival Apple MacBook Air 15in (M3), which starts at £1,260. That price only gets you 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD that can’t be upgraded.

Winner: Asus Vivobook S15 – simply because you get more storage and RAM for less

Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 15in vs Asus Vivobook S15: Overall

The first two Copilot+ PCs I’ve reviewed have made a big first impression. They’re brilliant big-screened laptops with phenomenal performance, usability and battery life. But you’re not here to listen to me banging on about both being equally good – you want to know which is best.

It’s very close, but I’m giving the overall award to the Asus Vivobook S15. It may not be as well designed or as desirable but it’s just as competent, it’s lighter, has a better display and it delivers superior value for money. It’s a superb all-round machine.

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