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MacBook Air finishes last against Galaxy Book S, Surface Pro X in app benchmark

The ARM-based Galaxy Book S and Surface Pro X prove to make excellent competition for Apple's popular MacBook Air. (Source: Notebookcheck)
The ARM-based Galaxy Book S and Surface Pro X prove to make excellent competition for Apple's popular MacBook Air. (Source: Notebookcheck)
Apple’s Intel-powered MacBook Air has finished last behind both the Samsung Galaxy Book S and the Microsoft Surface Pro X in the PC March application benchmark. The test is meant to give users an insight into the real-world performance of a device when running Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Edge browsers.

Apple’s MacBook Air is one of the most popular notebooks in Apple’s lineup, particularly with students and with business users who like to travel with what is currently Apple’s lightest MacBook following the demise of the 12-inch model. However, as we have found in our recent testing, the new ARM-based Samsung Galaxy Book S and Microsoft Surface Pro X both give it a run for its money. In fact, using Geekbench 5, we were able to determine that the Galaxy Book S is thinner, lighter and faster than the MacBook Air. It also lasts nearly twice as long on a charge, at up to 25 hours.

Geekbench 5 is a standardized benchmarking test that is a good starting point for assessing the performance of various devices. However, it doesn’t necessarily give one a sense of how it performs using real-world applications. Enter PC Mark 10, which now includes an applications benchmark that runs several scripts to assess the performance of notebooks when running Microsoft’s Office applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It also tests browser performance.

As you can see from the results below, the MacBook Air ended up with a lower overall score than both the Galaxy Book S and Surface Pro X in this test as well as in Geekbench. It did outperform both the Galaxy Book S and the Surface Pro X in the Office suite, but faltered in the Edge browser test bringing down its overall score. The Galaxy Book S with its Snapdragon 8cx performed identically to the slightly faster Microsoft SQ1 powering the Surface Pro X in the Office suite, but lagged slightly in the browser score.

Naturally, to be able to make the comparisons between the hardware, we ran the MacBook Air in Windows on Bootcamp. While some might argue this is unfair, typically, MacBooks run Windows better than equivalent PCs because of Apple’s system architecture optimizations – so it is a fair assessment all things considered. Windows 10 on ARM is indeed ready for the bigtime, as it were, at least in the ultrabook segment/2-in-1 segment. With always-on mobile connectivity thrown into the equation as well, both the Galaxy Book S and Surface Pro X make for an attractive, and effective, alternative to am Intel x86-powered MacBook Air or PC equivalent.

MacBook Air gets edged out by its new ARM-based Windows 10 competition. (Source: Notebookcheck)
MacBook Air gets edged out by its new ARM-based Windows 10 competition. (Source: Notebookcheck)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > MacBook Air finishes last against Galaxy Book S, Surface Pro X in app benchmark
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-02-23 (Update: 2020-02-23)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.