Microsoft compares Surface Laptop 4 to MacBook Air in new ad

Posted:
in macOS edited April 26
Microsoft has launched another advertisement featuring actors "reviewing" the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, this time seizing the opportunity to take shots at the MacBook Air.

Microsoft's ad uses well-trodden talking points to
Microsoft's ad uses well-trodden talking points to "compare" the Surface Laptop 4 with the MacBook Air


The Microsoft ad follows up on one the company released in January, comparing the Surface Pro 7 to the MacBook Pro. The new ad includes two young actors who say they're siblings, presenting the 30-second "review" in a style reminiscent of YouTube influencers.

Like the first ad, the new spot touches on well-trodden talking points about why the Microsoft ecosystem is supposedly superior to Apple's.

These include a reference to touchscreens. After mentioning the Surface's touch capabilities, the sister asks, "Is the MacBook Air touchscreen?"

"Mmmmm," the brother responds negatively, with a disappointed look on his face. "How can you not have a touchscreen?"

Apple has so far kept the Mac distinct from its touchscreen mobile devices like the iPad Pro. While the iPhone maker has filed patents that include mentions of touchscreen laptops, Apple executives have repeatedly dismissed the possibility, insisting that pro users care more about performance and storage.

The Microsoft ad also takes a dig at Apple's supposed port disadvantages and the dongles that can stem from that.

"Surface Laptop has a USB-C and a USB-A. MacBook Air doesn't have that."

"Better bring your dongle," replies the other actor in an exaggerated monotone, wiggling an adapter like it's a wet noodle.

The Surface Laptop has one USB-C and one USB-A port. The MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports, which are backward compatible with USB-C. While Apple's setup requires adapters for USB-A accessories, its ports offer significantly faster maximum transfer rates.

Microsoft dinged Apple for not supporting USB-A directly
Microsoft dinged Apple for not supporting USB-A directly


The ad's final beat doesn't mention Apple explicitly, although it highlights one of the Mac's undisputed weak points -- gaming. However, it does so in a potentially misleading way.

"Surface Laptop runs Windows," the actor says. "So I can run all my favorite apps."

"And games," chimes in the other.

It then cuts to the two siblings playing games on the Surface Laptop using Xbox controllers.

The Surface Laptop 4 uses integrated Intel graphics, which won't support AAA games that require a dedicated graphics card. Since the laptop doesn't have Thunderbolt 4, it's doubtful that its USB ports could support fast enough speeds for an external GPU.

The types of casual games one could play on the Surface Laptop 4 aren't on par with the big-name titles one would buy a dedicated gaming PC to play. If Microsoft's ad copywriters were hoping to make a connection between Windows' gaming prowess and the Surface Laptop, it's a misleading one.





Apple's latest MacBook Air launched in November. It adds the M1 chip, the first Apple Silicon for Macs. The processor will also power the 2021 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro when they launch in May.

Microsoft launched the Surface Laptop 4 earlier in April.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    thttht Posts: 3,953member
    As my wife found out, you still need a dock or dongle with a Surface Laptop for desktop duty. Her work provided her a Surface Laptop, wireless radio keyboard, wireless radio mouse, an external 27" display and the Surface Dock+Power brick. Two peripherals that use USBA and the monitor only has HDMI or VGA input. Even with the Surface Dock, we still needed a dongle as the Surface Dock we have only has mini Display Port for video out.

    Now, we just need to figure why the Surface Laptop doesn't recognize the external monitor after unplugging it from the dock and plugging it back in. We have to unplug the HDMI cable from the monitor and plug it back in to get it to recognize the external display. There is a miniDP-to-HDMI dongle for it. Maybe a single miniDP-to-HDMI cable is better.

    The Surface Laptop port situation really isn't much better than the M1 Macs. Meh, the port situation isn't a big deal.
    byronlBeatspscooter63Rayz2016jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    Ahh...

    The performance M1 enhances and the fear M1 advances.....
  • Reply 3 of 30
    byronlbyronl Posts: 71member
    they be using the same old arguments. dear microsoft, let’s come up with something NEW, something ORIGINAL, let’s be a little more VERSATILE.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,316member

    Jesus Christ these ads are so pathetic. Isn't it sad how the primary anti-Apple ads the past few years just highlight ancient ports that Apple discontinued, as if they're some big new feature?

    LOOK AT US WE HAVE USB-A! BECAUSE WE'RE TOO MUCH OF COWARDS TO REMOVE IT AND HELP SPEED UP THE TRANSITION! NOPE, WE NEED TO DO THE OPPOSITE, SLOW DOWN THE TRANSITION AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE WE'RE JUST SO TERRIFIED CONSUMERS WON'T BUY OUR PRODUCT IF WE DON'T INCLUDE THIS ANCIENT PORT!

    Also, are her nails long enough? How exactly does she even use that touchscreen?

    edited April 26 Beatspscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 30
    i still remember their last ad being overwhelmingly thumbs down even though the comments were turned off 🤣 
    Beatspscooter63matrix077watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,327member
    Hmmm... I wonder where they got that design?

    slurpy said:

    Jesus Christ these ads are so pathetic. Isn't it sad how the primary anti-Apple ads the past few years just highlight ancient ports that Apple discontinued, as if they're some big new feature?

    LOOK AT US WE HAVE USB-A! BECAUSE WE'RE TOO MUCH OF COWARDS TO REMOVE IT AND HELP SPEED UP THE TRANSITION! NOPE, WE NEED TO DO THE OPPOSITE, SLOW DOWN THE TRANSITION AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE WE'RE JUST SO TERRIFIED CONSUMERS WON'T BUY OUR PRODUCT IF WE DON'T INCLUDE THIS ANCIENT PORT!

    Also, are her nails long enough? How exactly does she even use that touchscreen?



    Cowards. Remember when iKnockoff morons mocked Apple for being “courageous” and removing the headphone jack?

    They sure are quiet now!

    USB-A will also be phased out and these morons will forget Microsoft/whoever else makes knockoff MacBooks ever mocked Apple for it.

    These are becoming the new Samsung commercials. Mocking Apple for being ahead of time.

    i still remember their last ad being overwhelmingly thumbs down even though the comments were turned off 🤣 

    And the one before comparing their garbage to the M1 MacBook that had comments enabled and was downvoted to hell and had to be removed!

    https://youtu.be/yNthyWUmW6I
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 385member
    The Laptop 3 and 4 killer feature is its 15” screen. That’s what made me go with two 15” entry level surface laptops for my kids for their remote school work, instead of Apple 13” laptops at those price points. Makes a big difference. Apple should make 16” laptops for general computing. 
    edited April 26 thtwilliamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 8 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,143member
    Apple haters and critics get a clue. Apple controls your tech life. If Apple does it the others will follow. They’ll mock what Apple does in their commercials and then turn around and do what Apple did a week later (i.e. remove charger from package, remove 3.5 mm analog jack, come out with AirPod knockoffs). Mark my words, by the end of the year there will be multi-colored all-in-one computers from all the major brands.
    williamlondondewmepscooter63randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,485member
    At $999 (base price), no other laptop holds a candle to the MBA in terms of value and performance.  The Surface Laptop 4 is nice looking but overpriced.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    Why are they using children/tweens to promote their products? Doesn't seem very credible to me, especially for business users.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Why are they using children/tweens to promote their products? Doesn't seem very credible to me, especially for business users.
    Because children are innocent and honest by nature. 
    Thus, what they are telling you is true and untainted.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    You know what would be great? 

    A company taking shots at Apple because their laptops are fragile and hard to repair or upgrade.

    Know what company can't do that? 

    Microsloth, because their garbage laptops are even less repairable than Apple's.
    dewmewilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 30
    thttht Posts: 3,953member
    AI_lias said:
    The Laptop 3 and 4 killer feature is its 15” screen. That’s what made me go with two 15” entry level surface laptops for my kids for their remote school work, instead of Apple 13” laptops at those price points. Makes a big difference. Apple should make 16” laptops for general computing. 
    Yes. Apple is missing a few configurations in their product lineup. An M1 MBA15 at a starting price of about $1500, a midrange tower starting at about $1500, a branded monitor, and maybe a large display iMac with an M1 SKU (assuming the "M1X" SKUs are more expensive).
    AI_liaswilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 30
    KTRKTR Posts: 77member
    Microsoft has launched another advertisement featuring actors "reviewing" the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, this time seizing the opportunity to take shots at the MacBook Air.

    Microsoft's ad uses well-trodden talking points to
    Microsoft's ad uses well-trodden talking points to "compare" the Surface Laptop 4 with the MacBook Air


    The Microsoft ad follows up on one the company released in January, comparing the Surface Pro 7 to the MacBook Pro. The new ad includes two young actors who say they're siblings, presenting the 30-second "review" in a style reminiscent of YouTube influencers.

    Like the first ad, the new spot touches on well-trodden talking points about why the Microsoft ecosystem is supposedly superior to Apple's.

    These include a reference to touchscreens. After mentioning the Surface's touch capabilities, the sister asks, "Is the MacBook Air touchscreen?"

    "Mmmmm," the brother responds negatively, with a disappointed look on his face. "How can you not have a touchscreen?"

    Apple has so far kept the Mac distinct from its touchscreen mobile devices like the iPad Pro. While the iPhone maker has filed patents that include mentions of touchscreen laptops, Apple executives have repeatedly dismissed the possibility, insisting that pro users care more about performance and storage.

    The Microsoft ad also takes a dig at Apple's supposed port disadvantages and the dongles that can stem from that.

    "Surface Laptop has a USB-C and a USB-A. MacBook Air doesn't have that."

    "Better bring your dongle," replies the other actor in an exaggerated monotone, wiggling an adapter like it's a wet noodle.

    The Surface Laptop has one USB-C and one USB-A port. The MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports, which are backward compatible with USB-C. While Apple's setup requires adapters for USB-A accessories, its ports offer significantly faster maximum transfer rates.

    Microsoft dinged Apple for not supporting USB-A directly
    Microsoft dinged Apple for not supporting USB-A directly


    The ad's final beat doesn't mention Apple explicitly, although it highlights one of the Mac's undisputed weak points -- gaming. However, it does so in a potentially misleading way.

    "Surface Laptop runs Windows," the actor says. "So I can run all my favorite apps."

    "And games," chimes in the other.

    It then cuts to the two siblings playing games on the Surface Laptop using Xbox controllers.

    The Surface Laptop 4 uses integrated Intel graphics, which won't support AAA games that require a dedicated graphics card. Since the laptop doesn't have Thunderbolt 4, it's doubtful that its USB ports could support fast enough speeds for an external GPU.

    The types of casual games one could play on the Surface Laptop 4 aren't on par with the big-name titles one would buy a dedicated gaming PC to play. If Microsoft's ad copywriters were hoping to make a connection between Windows' gaming prowess and the Surface Laptop, it's a misleading one.


    image


    Apple's latest MacBook Air launched in November. It adds the M1 chip, the first Apple Silicon for Macs. The processor will also power the 2021 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro when they launch in May.

    Microsoft launched the Surface Laptop 4 earlier in April.
    Didn't Microsoft tried somethig like this before and it backfired?  Don't they realize they are giving Apple MORE attention ?  Im just saying. lol
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 30
    KTRKTR Posts: 77member

    lkrupp said:
    Apple haters and critics get a clue. Apple controls your tech life. If Apple does it the others will follow. They’ll mock what Apple does in their commercials and then turn around and do what Apple did a week later (i.e. remove charger from package, remove 3.5 mm analog jack, come out with AirPod knockoffs). Mark my words, by the end of the year there will be multi-colored all-in-one computers from all the major brands.
    lkrupp said:
    Apple haters and critics get a clue. Apple controls your tech life. If Apple does it the others will follow. They’ll mock what Apple does in their commercials and then turn around and do what Apple did a week later (i.e. remove charger from package, remove 3.5 mm analog jack, come out with AirPod knockoffs). Mark my words, by the end of the year there will be multi-colored all-in-one computers from all the major brands.
    True that.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    chrpaichrpai Posts: 1member
    My daughter is going to college next year as a music major. I assumed she would want an Air Book because of the epic battery life.  She did want one until she found out that it doesn’t do touch. 

    My kids grew up with iPhones, iPads, Chrome Books and Lenova Yogas from school and they all had touch.   I bought my 74 year old step mom a basic laptop without touch and the first thing she tried to do was touch the screen. I had to apologize for not spending more and getting her touch. 

    So now my kid has a Surface Pro 7+ and she loves the red keyboard, stylus and mouse.   Also got her some Bluetooth pedals so she can turn the music sheets.   All the Mac guys have to have two devices to do that. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonAI_lias
  • Reply 17 of 30
    chrpai said:
    My daughter is going to college next year as a music major. I assumed she would want an Air Book because of the epic battery life.  She did want one until she found out that it doesn’t do touch. 

    I bought my 74 year old step mom a basic laptop without touch and the first thing she tried to do was touch the screen. I had to apologize for not spending more and getting her touch. 
    ....I´m deeply sorry that your daughter was going through high school without learning that MacBooks are without touchscreens. There must be something to be done to create better social learning environments, and to expand the basic IT knowledge amongst teachers, advisors, parents and students. 

    I guess you learned something too?
    1: Know your children.
    2: A significant share of the senior citizen demographic group will be way better off with some sort of pad (if they don't suffer from dry skin on their fingertips), and in many cases a budget one will do. A new 128gb LTE should do the trick in many cases (beware of small types).

    It will make sense to pick an iPad (finances permitting: Air) as the seniors could avoid ending up with a insecure Android pad after 1 year or 2, or an overly complex surface ui from Microsoft. There will be a slight learning curve no matter what, though. 

    And if the device your dear stepmom need is for simple communication, here's a product that's very popular amongst its users:
    https://www.noisolation.com/global/komp/
    Watch from 9 minutes in this BBC video:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p067f3bd
    ...another proof of the need that ux must be adapted to the form factor and intended usage of the device.
    edited April 27
  • Reply 18 of 30
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,144member
    Beats said:
    Hmmm... I wonder where they got that design?

    slurpy said:

    Jesus Christ these ads are so pathetic. Isn't it sad how the primary anti-Apple ads the past few years just highlight ancient ports that Apple discontinued, as if they're some big new feature?

    LOOK AT US WE HAVE USB-A! BECAUSE WE'RE TOO MUCH OF COWARDS TO REMOVE IT AND HELP SPEED UP THE TRANSITION! NOPE, WE NEED TO DO THE OPPOSITE, SLOW DOWN THE TRANSITION AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE WE'RE JUST SO TERRIFIED CONSUMERS WON'T BUY OUR PRODUCT IF WE DON'T INCLUDE THIS ANCIENT PORT!

    Also, are her nails long enough? How exactly does she even use that touchscreen?



    Cowards. Remember when iKnockoff morons mocked Apple for being “courageous” and removing the headphone jack?

    They sure are quiet now!

    USB-A will also be phased out and these morons will forget Microsoft/whoever else makes knockoff MacBooks ever mocked Apple for it.

    These are becoming the new Samsung commercials. Mocking Apple for being ahead of time.

    i still remember their last ad being overwhelmingly thumbs down even though the comments were turned off 🤣 

    And the one before comparing their garbage to the M1 MacBook that had comments enabled and was downvoted to hell and had to be removed!

    https://youtu.be/yNthyWUmW6I
    Yes, USB-A will be phased out, but as today it isn't.  And that's I think was the problem with Apple devices, they didn't make a transition.  They just eliminate USB-A when millions of customers still use it every day.  Do you really think that customers would throw out all of their usable USB-A devices just because Apple said so?  This is not something about  courage or being coward.  It's about what customers need.  And based in what I have seen and read,  looks like Apple was wrong by removing USB-A ports.  
    muthuk_vanalingamAI_lias
  • Reply 19 of 30
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,144member
    Why are they using children/tweens to promote their products? Doesn't seem very credible to me, especially for business users.
    Maybe this ad was focused to consumers and not business / enterprises.  
  • Reply 20 of 30
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,144member
    lkrupp said:
    Apple haters and critics get a clue. Apple controls your tech life. If Apple does it the others will follow. They’ll mock what Apple does in their commercials and then turn around and do what Apple did a week later (i.e. remove charger from package, remove 3.5 mm analog jack, come out with AirPod knockoffs). Mark my words, by the end of the year there will be multi-colored all-in-one computers from all the major brands.
    I suppose it's the same as people hating MS and mocking the Surface Pro because it had a keyboard + trackpad, and at the end, Apple copied them.  It looks like it happens with all companies.  
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