It’s been 18 months since Microsoft launched the Surface Laptop 3, and its successor is finally here. Today Microsoft launches the Surface Laptop 4 with a bunch of much-needed improvements that should make the device more appealing to anyone looking to buy a new laptop in 2021. Here’s what new.
Starting with arguably the most important upgrade, there are more CPU options to choose from in the Surface Laptop 4. With with the Surface Laptop 3, consumers either had to go with Intel in the 13″ model, or AMD in the 15″, the Surface Laptop 4 will give you Intel or AMD options in both the 13″ and 15″ models.
If you decide to go with an Intel chip in the Surface Laptop 4, you’ll get one with the latest 11th-gen Core architecture (Tiger Lake). Starting with the Intel Core i5-1135G7 in the base model, up to the Core i7-1185G7 in the higher-end models. These Tiger Lake chips also come with Intel’s newest Iris Xe graphics architecture which is a significant improvement over its predecessor.
On the AMD side of things, the Surface Laptop 4 comes with Microsoft Surface Edition processors based on the Zen 2 architecture. This is somewhat disappointing as processors based on the newer Zen 3 architecture are already available and making headlines for their superior performance and efficiency over Tiger Lake. Be that as it may, the Ryzen 5 4860U and Ryzen 7 4980U chips found in the Surface Laptop 4 are no slouches either, especially when paired with the Vega graphics cores built in.
RAM & Storage
Both 13″ and 15″ models of the Surface Laptop 4 come with either 8 or 16GB of DDR4 RAM, but you can also opt for 32GB exclusively on the Intel models. The AMD models now match their Intel counterparts with LPDDR4x RAM for the first time, bringing in a higher level of power efficiency. This, however, is only the case on the AMD 13″ models. The AMD 15″ model still uses regular DDR4 RAM.
Storage capacities seems to favor Intel as well, with up to a 1TB NVMe drive on the Intel models while the AMD models max out at 512GB of storage. I suspect most people will opt for the 128 or 256GB options available across both Intel and AMD Surface Laptop 4’s.
New to the Surface Laptop 4 is a door on the underside of the device allowing for quick access to the NVMe drive.
Battery capacity has also increased on the Surface Laptop 4 compared to its predecessor, with a 47.4 Wh battery on both the 13 and 15″ models. Microsoft says that these batteries are good for up to 17 hours (Intel) or 19 hours (AMD) of use on a single charge.
Colors & Materials
Most of the colors that were available on the Surface Laptop 3 have carried over to the Surface Laptop 4. Buyers can opt for Platinum, Black, Sandstone, and Ice Blue as a replacement for Cobalt.
Those of you who prefer a warmer, softer touch, you’ll be happy to know that Alcantara is still an option in certain colors and configurations.
New to the Surface Laptop 4 is speakers with Dolby Atmos support, but as for the remainder of the specifications, such as the display, dimensions, construction, ports (still no Thunderbolt), connectivity, cameras etc., they are exactly the same as the Surface Laptop 3. So I’ll just link to the full specs list here.
Pricing & Availability
The Surface Laptop 4 starts at $999 and goes all the way up to $2,399 for the highest end 15″ configuration. There’s a Surface Laptop 4 for various budgets which is great to see. The Laptop 4 also comes with a pair of Surface Earbuds thrown in free for anyone in the US who pre-orders.
You can pre-order a Surface Laptop 4 today and they’ll start shipping on April 15, 2021 in the US, Canada and Japan, with more countries to be added soon. Keep your eyes peeled for the reviews!