The latest Surface Laptop from Microsoft is here! Dubbed the 'Surface Laptop 4', this latest generation features new Intel 11th-generation and AMD Ryzen 4000 series processors, up to 32GB RAM, and upgradable SSD storage. Unfortunately, the design remains the same as the previous generation, but Microsoft has made some minor improvements here and there. Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Laptop 4.
The Surface Laptop 4 features Intel's 11th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 32GB RAM, and 1TB storage. Additionally, Microsoft also offers the Surface Laptop 4 with AMD chips, powered by the AMD Ryzen 4980U Microsoft Surface Edition, AMD Radeon graphics, up to 16GB RAM, and 1TB storage.
The Surface Laptop 4 comes in 13.5-inch or 15-inch variants, and both AMD and Intel chips are available in either size. This is new to the Surface Laptop 4, as the Surface Laptop 3 had AMD chips limited to the 15-inch variant.
|Category||Surface Laptop 4 (13.5-inch)||Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home or Pro||Windows 10 Home or Pro|
3:2 aspect ratio
2256 x 1504 (201 PPI)
3:2 aspect ratio
2496 x 1664 (201 PPI)
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
AMD Ryzen 7 4980U
AMD Ryzen 7 4980U
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
Radeon RX Graphics
|Intel Iris Xe|
Radeon RX Graphics
|Memory||8GB, 16GB, or 32GB (Intel)|
|8GB, 16GB, or 32GB (Intel)|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD (Intel)|
|256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD (Intel)|
|Security||Windows Hello face authentication camera, Firmware TPM 2.0||Windows Hello face authentication camera, Firmware TPM 2.0|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible|
|Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible|
|Ports||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x Surface Connect, 3.5 mm headphone jack||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x Surface Connect, 3.5 mm headphone jack|
|Battery||Ryzen 5: Up to 19 hours|
Core i5: Up to 17 hours
|Ryzen 7: Up to 17.5 hours|
Core i7: Up to 16.5 hours
|Weight||Up to 2.84 lbs (1,288 g)||Up to 3.4 lbs (1,542 g)|
|Colors||Alcantara: Platinum or Ice Blue|
Metal: Matte Black or Sandstone
|Platinum metal, Matte Black metal|
AMD vs Intel
For most people, the differences between the AMD and Intel variants will be insignificant. They both do productivity work very well, but each variant does specialize in its own departments. For example, Microsoft says the AMD models are better for multi-threading performance tasks, whereas the Intel variants have a slightly stronger GPU and faster single-threaded performance.
If you're looking for a device that has better multi-thread app performance and longer battery life, Microsoft recommends the AMD variant. The AMD model will be slightly better at multitasking workflows. If you're looking for a device with faster single-thread app performance, along with more RAM and storage options, the Intel variant is what you should get. This model is great for developers, researchers, and data scientists.
If you don't really understand the differences, that's okay. You'll be perfectly fine going either either model, as when it comes down to it, they all perform more or less the same in real world day to day tasks.
Design and features
The Surface Laptop 4 features the same design and featureset as its predecessor, the Surface Laptop 3. That means there are no new ports, thinner bezels, or a better screen, it's exactly the same as the last version. The only notable difference externally is the introduction of a new color; Ice Blue, which replaces Cobalt Blue on the Surface Laptop 3.
It's on the inside where most of the differences lay. We have the new processors, more RAM and storage options, and a slightly bigger battery. Microsoft has also tuned the speakers to give them bettery Dolby Atmos support.
Price and release date
The Surface Laptop 4 begins shipping in the United States, Canada, and Japan on April 15 with pricing starting at $999. The Surface Laptop 4 will begin rolling out in more markets in the coming weeks. Below is the pricing for all the Surface Laptop 4 SKUs that you can buy across Microsoft's consumer and commercial channels.
Surface Laptop 4 (13.5-inch)
|Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$999|
|Ryzen 5, 16GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$1,199*|
|Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Blue, Black, Sandstone||$1,299|
|Core i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Blue, Black, Sandstone||$1,499|
|Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Blue, Black, Sandstone||$1,699|
|Core i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB||Black||$2,299|
Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch)
|Ryzen 7, 8GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$1,299|
|Ryzen 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Black||$1,499|
|Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Black||$1,699|
|Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Black||$1,799|
|Core i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB||Black||$2,399|
Surface Laptop 4 (13.5-inch)
|Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$1,099|
|Ryzen 5, 16GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$1,299*|
|Ryzen 7, 16GB, 512GB||Black||$1,699|
|Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$1,199|
|Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Blue, Black, Sandstone||$1,399|
|Core i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Blue, Black, Sandstone||$1,599|
|Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB||Black||$1,599|
|Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Blue, Black, Sandstone||$1,799|
|Core i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB||Black||$2,399|
Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch)
|Ryzen 7, 8GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$1,399|
|Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Black||$1,799|
|Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum||$1,499|
|Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Black||$1,699|
|Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB||Platinum, Black||$1,699|
|Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB||Platinum, Black||$1,899|
|Core i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB||Black||$2,499|
What do you think?
So that's everything you need to know about the Surface Laptop 4, which we think is set to become one of the best Microsoft Surface PCs. What are your thoughts on product? Let us know in the comments.
AMD or Intel
The choice is now yours
Surface Laptop 4 brings options for Intel 11th Gen or AMD Ryzen 4000 Mobile processors in both 13.5 and 15-inch models. With Dolby Atmos, Iris Xe, or Radeon Graphics, much longer battery life, the new Surface Laptop 4 should deliver an excellent experience.
Nothing particularly interesting, I see Apple MacBook increasing their market share.
Because the new Surface Laptop isn't a great leap forward? There are Dell's, HP's, Lenovo's...The MacBook isn't just competing against the Surface Laptop.
You are right, but I would expect more effort by MSFT.
No, Apple is, has been, and always will be in a league of its own because most Apple users buy Macs for MacOS, not because Apple is good at competing with everyone else.
Face palm. 3:2 touch screen, very nice AMD cpu's that (undoubtedly) blast Intel away, replaceable SSD (impossible on M1 macbooks since all on the same chip) and premium low weight body (for 15 inch especially), yeah definitely not interesting lol.
The lack of smaller bezels was disappointing in 2019... in 2021 it's just sad. I've really been waiting for the laptop 4, to upgrade from laptop 2... and probably still will cause I want the performance increase (hopefully AMD actually does good this go around, especially on the integrated gpu side!) but I was realllllllly hoping for small improvements to the design, more specifically smaller bezels, even like the Surface Laptop Go users enjoy.
The bezels are too big for you? Seriously?
Absolutely. “Seriously?” Is your comment even real? The surface laptop has very large bezels for a premium device from 2021. Just as my comment said, it even had large bezels for a premium device in 2018/2019. So yes, if I’m paying for a premium product, it shouldn’t behind literally every other manufacture in such a basic feature.... and behind by years for that feature. So yes, the bezels are too big for me.
"So yes, the bezels are too big for me." SAD!
I see no problem with the bezel size.
That is more a design thing with these bezels, not much can be won in terms of screen area of making the device more compact (especially for the 15 inch one).
The device doesn’t need to be smaller, just like many other manufactures, they can increase the screen size within the same body.
Same argument though, you will not win much there because practically speaking the bezels are already small.
I'd like to see a display update, maybe a 120hz option.
I really need to buy a new laptop and I'm more and more inclined to go with the new MacBook Air. For 999$ it is destroying every laptop that we're seeing recently. Unless this 11th gen Intel or AMD's processor is good enough to match the M1, I don't see myself getting another Windows device.
I really need MSFT to get a good ARM laptop with a good chip
If the MacBook does what you need, then go for it. But "destroying every laptop" is a silly statement. Unless you don't care about, you know, the stuff that actually runs on the device...
But things indeed run better in the MacBook. My work mostly consists of web, office and video/photoshop. There's no reason a 899 USD MacBook AIR can do all this better than a 1500 USD laptop with an Intel processor.
Sounds like your workflow fits a Mac. Great, but there's no one-size-fits-all, and "things run better" is simply an incorrect blanket statement. The correct statement should be "the things I use and prioritize run better" and everyone should evaluate devices that way. Others who want or require touch, pen support, LTE, more form factor and configuration options, gaming, compliance with various enterprise security policies & connectivity, etc., prioritize different things.
I agree with what spicypadthai mentioned, there are some many Windows laptop it competes with and many are cheaper while give a good AMD cpu, good screen, replaceable SSD etc. Only in the premium ultrabook segment the M1 makes a dent.
Will they keep the stupidly low battery capacity for the 15 inch model again?
Otoh it is very low weight at 1.5 kg for the 15 inch one and battery life was already good for the intel ones previous year (can only be better with the new AMD cpu's which are much more efficient than the 3rd gen Ryzen cpu's were).
The new LG Gram 16 is 1.2 kg with a 80Wh battery for a 15W CPU and a 1080p screen.
If MS is using a AMD Ryzen 5000H 45W CPU and a QHD screen, then the battery should be at least 90Wh capacity for a 1.5kg 15" premium laptop that is without a dGPU.
You are forgetting the touchscreen here, especially a 15 inch one does have its weight. That being said there is a LG Gram 2-1 which is incredible light but it is hard to get in some countries. Very nice stuff though.
Surface Laptop has some great hardware, but they still have a long way to go like with the battery mentioned by OP. And I'm sure it will be a viable option to me once it scores 8+/10 on an iFixit teardown. Until MS changes course on that front, it essentially won't be "premium" enough for many people including myself. Gram 15" Touch is simply much more high tech at 1.2kg with a 72Wh battery (80Wh on all Grams this year), 2 NVMe SSDs upto 16TB and upgradeable RAM upto 40GB DDR4, with a 9/10 iFixit score. You can just tell how far ahead companies like LG and Apple are by taking a close look at their motherboard layer size to battery density ratio, compared to the rest of the competitors like the Surface Laptop. They're much more compact and pretty much all components are designed and sourced in-house. As for the new 2021 Gram 16 2-in-1, I'm really excited for what it can do as I'll be importing one directly from Korea for my mom who wants a big touchscreen laptop with pen functionality, and want something light enough to carry around easily. Don't get me wrong, I love what MS has done with the entire Surface lineup, I just think they're never really worth buying at MSRP and should be at least 50% cheaper to come anywhere near the value of other premium flagship laptops.
I agree with you on LG laptops, disagree on the Macbook. Macbooks are even worse than Surface devices on serviceability since with M1 the SSD is soldered on the same chip as the cpu (so no way to repair or upgrade it) and SSD is a part that can deteriorate or even break from time to time (with eg Ram and a good mobo the chance is much smaller than compared to SSD).
Also a strong point of the Surface Laptop are their good keyboards and touchpads compared to competitors (though competitors are improving on that one). I personally would also not buy them at MSRP but same goes for Macbooks, XPS etc.
Finally thanks for pointing out that LG 16 2-1, going to keep an eye on that one too. :-)
"Unfortunately, the next Surface Laptop will bear the same exact chassis as the Surface Laptop 3" Huh? It's the best looking laptop on the market. And while the screen bezels aren't as thin as Dell's, they're not exactly thick. What exactly did you want? More ports? Even fewer visible seams?
Agreed, only ports could be noticeably improved (for the 15 inch one that is compared to other 15 inch laptops).
“And while the screen bezels aren't as thin as Dell's“ Their bezels are large. Not “as thin” for sure. Dell, Hp, Apple, Lenovo, the list goes on and on... compared to almost every premium level laptop, their bezels are significantly larger. Put it next to any modern premium laptop and you’ll notice the immediate and huge difference.
Yeah, it's a big deal if you're the type to cry when you see your friend's laptop has smaller bezels than yours. It's not otherwise.
And for those who care about how THEIR OWN device looks, lol. I’m lying for it, I’m allowed to wish it looked better. I love surface hardware, so I’ll get it cause I’m due to update, but I’ll be annoyed if I have 2015 looking bezels.
Design wise I agree with you, practically wise it does not matter much. Like with Go 1 the bezels were monstrous big and made it more clumsy but here with Surface Laptop 3/4 they are ok practically speaking.
Yes to the more ports! Specifically thunderbolt. Get with the program Microsoft. It's proprietary BS at this point.
Never understood why they don't put a fuc# a numeric keypad on the 15 inch version
I would love one too but some people dislike a keypad because it forces the touchpad to the left (since the touchpad needs to be centered below the spacebar for a good typing experience).
The site was making a big deal of having Panos Panay head the hardware division and how that will bring innovation and parity within Microsoft's products - so far he's laid an egg on innovation, design and software parity. They are stuck in a rut for a couple of years already and the only "innovative" design improvements they've introduced was on the Surface Pro X which has...thinner bezels. The Surface line is so overpriced and stale nowadays that it's highway robbery buying these products.
Its just as overpriced as other premium laptops like Macbooks etc. Also Pro X has a dock for normal a sized pen and with charging cradle, seems pretty innovative to me. I would even go as far as saying the Pro X is an almost perfect device if it wasn't for that cpu.
Not sure I understand some people's fascination with bezel size. The screen is still 13.5 - it's not like they are cheating you on screen real estate. Looks are subjective, but I will take Surface Laptop design over any other - any day!
It's simple, thinner bezels allow for a smaller body which is more portable, without that I would not care for thinness either.
True but the bezels are already thin so not much to win there.
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