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We compared the Surface Book 2 and the MacBook Pro — and it's clear which laptop you should get

On paper, the MacBook Pro and Surface Book 2 look pretty evenly matched when it comes to raw power. Each has a core dual-core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, integrated Intel graphics, and a roughly 13″ screen. But when you dig a little deeper, you can see that Microsoft has the upper hand here.

Processor: It’s true, both the Surface Book 2 and 13″ MacBook Pro have a dual-core i5 processor, but they run at different speeds. The processor in the MacBook Pro runs at 2.3Ghz, while the one in the Surface Book 2 runs at 2.6Ghz.

It gets a little more confusing, though, since the processor in both machines can take advantage of a proprietary Intel technology called Turbo Boost, which lets the computer’s processor run faster than normal for a short period of time. The MacBook Pro has a higher turbo boost speed, but only by 100Mhz (or, .1 Ghz).

I’m actually going to give this mini-round to Microsoft, because the difference in Turbo Boost speed is smaller than the difference between the regular clock speed of both processors.

Storage: Both laptops come with a 128GB SSD, but I was unable to find the maximum read and write speed for each one, so I’m calling this round a tie.

Memory: Apple uses faster memory: 2,333MHz vs 1,888MHz, so the MacBook Pro wins out here.

Graphics: Neither laptop has a dedicated graphics card, but the graphics chip in the MacBook Pro has twice as many “execution units” as the one in the Surface Book 2, which lets it process graphically intensive tasks more quickly. Neither laptop has enough graphical horsepower to play modern games with high settings turned on.

Screen: While both laptops have a roughly 13″ screen, they weren’t created equally. The MacBook Pro’s screen has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels and the Surface Book 2’s screen has a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels, but those numbers don’t tell the full story.

The higher resolution will make text, graphics, and video look cleaner on the Surface Book 2, but the MacBook Pro’s screen has more accurate color reproduction. To further complicate things, the Surface Book 2’s screen is touch responsive, which is why I’m going to give it the edge here.

Battery: Microsoft says the Surface Book 2 can get 17 hours of battery life, but the reporter reviewing it for Business Insider was getting roughly seven. Apple says the newest MacBook Pro can get 10 hours of battery life, but we haven’t been able to confirm that, either. I’m going to leave this one a tie, since your battery life will largely be dependent on the apps you use and variables like screen brightness.

Winner: The Surface Book 2 has a better screen and faster processor, while the MacBook Pro has superior graphics and speedier memory. In both cases, you’re getting a powerful laptop.

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