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Surface Laptop 4 Review

Surface Laptop 4 Review

surface laptop 4 review

Surface Laptop 4 Price and Availability

TechRadar has received the Surface Laptop 4 configuration.

Intel Core i7-1185G7 12MB cache, up 4.8GHz boost Graphics : Intel Iris Xe Ram: 16GB LPDDR4x Display: 13.5 inches PixelSense (2.256 x 1.504). Storage : 512GB SSD PCIe/NVMe/M.2 Ports : 1 x USB–C, 1 x USB–A, combi audio jack. Surface Laptop 4 weighs in at $1999. (US$1,599) For $999 you can get the 13.5-inch model with AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB RAM and SSD (AU$1,599).

Surface Laptop 4 costs $1,299 (PS1,299 / AU$2,199) if your goal is to get a larger 15-inch version. You get an AMD Ryzen 7 processor with 8GB of memory and a 128GB SSD.

This means that the most significant difference in the Surface Laptop 4 15- and 13 inch sizes is at the entry-level CPU. AMD Ryzen 54680U is a 12-thread 6-core part while Ryzen 74980U can handle 16thread 8-cores. The 15-inch will perform better in multi-threaded tasks like video editing. It’s basically identical to all other features.

The 15-inch laptop does technically have a higher resolution, but it’s the same pixel density. The laptops have 201 pixels per inch (PPI), so you won’t notice a difference. However, larger laptop screens are better than smaller ones.

If you have a need for more power, the rest can be upgraded. Surprisingly though, high-end models are equipped with Intel hardware. You can buy the most powerful Surface Laptop for as low as $2,399 with a 15 inch model and 32GB RAM.

It is certainly an odd arrangement, considering that those workloads that will require the highest RAM usage are the same as those that would use the Ryzen 7 4960U to power. We hope Microsoft will add that configuration in the future. There’s sure to be a traveling editor who would love it.

surface laptop 4 review

Ryzen Performance for the Win: Surface Laptop 4 Tested

Surface Laptop 3 has a slightly lower performance, but it’s understandable that Microsoft is investing a lot of time and resources into Surface Laptop 4. This Ryzen 7 4980U chip was used in the review unit. It has eight cores, sixteen threads and a base clock speed 2.0GHz. This Ryzen 7 4980U chip, which is called the Microsoft Edition, can be found on no other laptop. The integrated Radeon Graphics processing unit has eight cores. While it’s a fourth-generation Ryzen part rather than the latest (fifth) generation, it’s still plenty powerful.

The Surface Laptop 4 is a great value for money, thanks to its many cores. These laptops include the LG Gram 17 as well the Dell Inspiron 15 7000-2-in-1 – another 15 inch notebook that features Intel Iris Xe Max dedicated Graphics. I also included the MacBook Pro (16-inch), and XPS 15. These laptops have more power and are much more expensive that the Surface Laptop 4. That’s not necessarily the case, which is why I’m including them here. You can see the PCMark 10 results to immediately assess how the Surface Laptop 4 performs on daily computing tasks. A score of 4,000 or more is considered exceptional performance. Although breaking 5,000 is not common, the Surface Laptop 4 can do it. Our PCMark 10 testing simulates real-world productivity levels and workflows for content-creation. It is used to evaluate overall system performance in office-centric tasks like word processing, spreadsheet jockeying and web browsing.

PCMark 8 has a Storage test that allows us to evaluate the storage system’s speed. This is a very uniform test; the speed of SSDs means that all laptops perform well.

Surface Laptop 4’s intended purpose is to handle heavier workloads such as video editing or image rendering. This is the exact type of job for which an XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 16-Inch are made. It is encouraging to note that Surface Laptop 4 has similar scores to both of these devices, even though they are more costly.

The Surface Laptop 4 takes just 7 minutes to encode a 12-minute 4K video to 1080p using the Handbrake app, on par with the MacBook Pro, which rings up at $3,899 in the configuration we reviewed.

Cinebench R15 scores the MacBook Pro with 1,550. This score is higher than that of the MacBook Pro and equal to that of the $299 XPS15, which has one of Intel’s power-user H–series chips.

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Surface Laptop 4 does not rank high in the photo editing category. It was outperformed on the Adobe Photoshop test by both its similarly-priced competitors, the Gram 17 (and the Inspiron), which involved applying a variety of complex effects and filters to a JPEG standard test image. Photoshop is a CPU exercise. The 3D rendering, video encoding, and photo editing tests use different resources. Laptops with higher-powered components will not always get the job done faster.

surface laptop 4 review

Screen

13.5″ IPS LCD display. 2496 x 1664 resolution. 3:2 aspect ratio

1200.1 contrast (as determined), 95.2% coverage

380nit luminosity (as measured)

But the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 comes with a touchscreen. Do we find ourselves reaching out for the screen when looking at websites after years of knowing that the point-of touch is on the Windows Surface Laptop 4? This is a brilliant idea.

You may have already seen the Surface Laptop 4’s screen in different shades of “beautiful” if you did some research. It’s true that the Surface Laptop 4’s screen is beautiful, in some ways. However, the price tag of this entry-level laptop doesn’t make it a perfect masterclass in screen tech.

You won’t see a large gamut display. There isn’t the same level of saturation available in OLED laptops. While it can produce a good standard colour, it isn’t able to make eye-popping shades.

We’re fine with that, but we do think contrast could be a little better. Blacks will look slightly brighter in dimly lit spaces if they have enough light. We’ve reviewed laptops cheaper than this one in the last six months or so with up to 30 per cent higher contrast.

surface laptop 4 review

Performance

AMD Core or the 11th-Gen Intel CPU choices

Intel Xe Graphics

With 256GB SSD storage

For the 2021 Surface Laptop 4, there is a choice of an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, an Intel Core i5 processor or an Intel Core i7. AMD Ryzen support is not available. A Ryzen can be purchased in the PS999 Entry-Level model. This includes 8GB RAM as well as a SSD of 256GB.

The version we recommend is this one. These processors are amazing, they last longer than Intel models, and the performance should not be an issue unless you have at least 16GB RAM.

The step-up Surface Laptop 4 model is our review Surface Laptop 4. It comes with an Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, a more powerful 512GB SSD and an Intel Core i5 Core i5. The price is higher at 25% to 30%. It is worth the extra cost. Not if you truly need extra storage.

Microsoft seems to be charging far too high for SSD storage or RAM upgrade. There’s a good reason to upgrade to Intel this fiscal year. We get Intel Xe Graphics. This is Intel’s first really decent integrated graphic ‘card. We tried out The Witcher 3 on it – sure, it’s an old game, but it’s still a looker, and one that would be more-or-less a no-go with older integrated graphics chipsets. At 1400 x 10050 pixels, you can get a decent 30fps.

surface laptop 4 review

Batteries and Connections

47.4Wh battery – “up to 17 hours” claimed

Proprietary magnetic charger

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 packs a 47.4Wh power battery. That is a pretty uninspiring figure for a laptop that’s not hugely thin. Microsoft’s longevity claims are lofty ones too. Intel versions of this product can last between 17 and 18 hours.

Our results were not as impressive, but they are still superior to some Intel-powered laptops at this price. They also fared better than the Surface Laptop 3 The laptop lasted 10 hours 42 mins during mixed productivity, which is not very taxing but it was still able to perform the tasks that many people do daily. The brightness was 65%, the same level as indoors.

The Surface Laptop 4 was also constantly monitored for battery life when outside. We set the maximum brightness setting to be able to compete against a lot ambient light. A typical hour spent using WordPad and typing took 16.6% from the battery. These results suggest that the laptop will last for around 6 hours and 15 minutes without charging and that the brightness is quite high at its maximum.

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Windows laptops can last longer, especially if they are 1080p resolution and have an AMD Ryzen CPU. But we’re pretty happy with the Surface’s stamina given how sharp the screen is. More pixels typically mean greater power consumption. The benefit of a further jump to 4K in a rival is arguably outweighed by the dip in battery life we usually see, even with laptops from this generation.

Microsoft also kept the Surface Laptop 4’s connection requirements minimal. You get three “normal” ones: an old-style USB (USB-A), a USB-C, and a headphone jack. While the USB-C has nothing extraordinary, it does not have Thunderbolt connector support. This allows you to connect multiple monitors together or external SSDs. It is only a USB-3.2 socket and has a bandwidth limit of 10Gbps. This is 1250MB/s. Still it’s not bad.

surface laptop 4 review

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 15 Inch Review: Redemption

Surface Laptop 4 can be described as a Surface Laptop 3 but with superior chips.

In look and feel, very little has changed from the last generation. While there are some minor differences between the previous generation and this one, such as the Laptop 4’s thinner profile and new Ice Blue option, they have very few. However, you still have the same 3-:2 touchscreen, same port selection, same design.

You can make big improvements on the inside. There are two options for the Surface Laptop model: one with Intel 11th-Gen processors and the other with AMD Ryzen 4000. Microsoft stated that these new improvements will provide significantly improved performance and longer battery life than the Surface previous generation.

So this review will largely focus on the new system’s performance. It wasn’t my primary goal to evaluate the Surface Laptop 4 at 15 inches compared to its predecessor. One, the Laptop 3. It was slow and unable to play 60FPS 4K video. This meant that even an affordable laptop can’t beat it. Further, Apple recently upgraded its flagship model with a massive chip upgrade. This has outperformed most of the other 2020 chip upgrades. The big question I have about AMD’s Ryzen 7 Surface Edition (also called the AMD Ryzen 74980U Microsoft Surface Edition) is, “Does it surpass Apple’s flagship model M1?”

Answer: No. It’s not as good, for the most part. Surface Laptop 4 customers may not find that as important, but it is possible.

A quick overview of the Ryzen 7 Surface Edition. The Ryzen 7 Surface Edition is not AMD’s flagship chip. It’s part the Ryzen 4000 series and has been available for a while now. It is disappointing to see the Surface using older Ryzen chip technology. However, the majority of the new generation uses a different architecture (Zen 3 vs. the 4000 series’s Zen 2). This has resulted in performance improvements.

The Ryzen 7 4980U chip is still a good choice. Ryzen 4000 chip outperforms Intel’s 10th-Gen Comet Lake processors. The AMD Radeon integrated GPUs are excellent on the 4980U, which has eight cores. While the M1 does have eight cores too, those cores don’t always work in harmony. An easy way to think of it is that AMD’s chip has eight all-around-pretty-good cores, while Apple’s chip has four high-performance cores and four weaker cores. We’ll show you the differences in our benchmark results soon.

surface laptop 4 review

Surface Laptop 4 15-Inch

Before you use your smart phone, you must agree to terms that are not only legally binding but also understand. We are unable to review and analyse every one of these agreements. Since these agreements are not easy to read or negotiate, we began counting how many times it took to press “agree to use” each time we reviewed them.

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The Surface Laptop 4’s 15-inch size requires you to accept the following:

Submit a request for your language, country, and keyboard layout

Windows 10 License Agreement

Microsoft Account

Windows Hello PIN

These agreements can be optional:

surface laptop 4 review

March 15th, shipping

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 to be shipped on April 15,

in both of its traditional display sizes: 13.5-inch and 15-inch. Two microprocessors are available inside the notebook: an Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake (Tiger Lake Core) chip, or the Surface Edition (Codesigned by Microsoft & AMD), based in AMD’s Ryzen 4000 Mobile CPUs (Zen 2 technology). Surface Edition CPUs will be cheaper than the Intel ones, and they are faster than any other laptops. See our original news story for the prices, specifications, and configurations of each Surface Laptop 4 We received a 15-inch variant of the Surface Laptop 4, with the eight-core Ryzen 7 4980U Surface Edition inside of it. It is reported by the operating system as having a 2GHz chip with boost speeds which (per CPU-Z utility) do not appear to exceed 4GHz.

This is a brief glimpse of the Surface Laptop 4. Its performance with a handful of benchmarks. It is possible that you will notice slight differences in the results we ultimately publish. That’s because we typically run more than one benchmark per day to confirm accuracy. We haven’t done any battery life tests.

Also, this preview has been artificially limited. This is to see how the Surface Laptop 4 compares in performance to all other Microsoft devices and the Surface Laptop 3. In our forthcoming Surface Laptop 4 Review, we will review other notebooks from third parties to see how they perform against it.

surface laptop 4 review

Conclusion: A Strong Start For Surface Laptop 4

These benchmarks provide some strong hints regarding the Microsoft Ryzen 74980U Surface Edition processor, which powers the Surface Laptop 4. Many questions remain unanswered, especially the all-important battery life. It’s not clear if the Surface Laptop 4 can throttle its GPU or CPU under various load conditions. The Surface Laptop 4 is not an Intel-based Surface Laptop 4, so we don’t know how it will perform. We’ll also be evaluating the Surface Laptop 4’s display quality as well keyboard and trackpad performance.

In the official review we will answer all of your questions. One thing we do know is that our Surface Laptop 3 performs twice as well as it. Twice as fast. Microsoft’s Ryzen-powered Surface Laptop 4 delivers on its promises in most benchmarks.

Notice: If you click on links within our articles and purchase an item, we could earn a commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Mark serves as PCWorld’s chief editor. His focus is on Microsoft news and chips technology. He previously wrote for PCMag (BYTE), Slashdot and eWEEK.

Is Surface Laptop 4 A Good Computer?

TechRadar Verdict: The Surface Laptop 4 is arguably the most popular laptop for writers. It has one of our favorite keyboards. While it does have a few issues, the Surface Laptop 4 is a great laptop for those who are going to be typing frequently.

Surface Laptop Worth It?

It does not have the usual nagware and other bloatware found on HP, Dell, Lenovo and others. While the Surface Laptop can be expensive and some features will cost extra, for most purposes, it is worth every penny. Oct 28, 2019

How Long Does The Surface Laptop 4 Last?

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4: Battery life Microsoft has claimed that the AMD-equipped 13.5 Surface Laptop 4 lasts up to 19 hours. The Intel model, however, is said to last 17 hours.

What Does It Mean to Be a Surface Laptop 4?

Because it is more effective with music than vocals, the Surface Laptop 4 works well on voice. The fans are another annoying noise that you will hear when using the Surface Laptop 4. The fans are a good cooling option for demanding tasks but they can become loud with daily use.

.Surface Laptop 4 Review

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