Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Review – Evolution not Revolution
We’Re talking about this thing, it’s the microsoft surface, laptop four now at face value, it might not look like much has changed between the surface laptop three and this the surface laptop for, but we don’t judge a book by its cover, and the great news is that This year, this 13 and a half inch model and the 15 inch model can both be outfitted with intel and amd cpus, but we’re going to explore this thing in its complete entirety. But before we do, if you end up liking, today’s video remember to give that like button, a tickle hit the subscribe button. If you haven’t already, it really helps me and it helps the youtube algorithm know that you, like my kind of content and while you’re at it. Why don’t you head on over to my social channels, both on twitter and instagram it’s at pyi tv with that said and done let’s get to it. So the model i’ve got right here is the iced blue color, which looks super cool super stylish there’s, also aluminium sandstone and a matte black effect as well. The perfect aluminium milling all around the outside it’s sleek super stylish looks every bit as good as the xps 13 and the macbook air might actually look a little bit better than them, at least from an exterior perspective as well. Now the sandstone and matte black versions are quite literally aluminium from head to toe, but the difference with this version, the ice blue one and the platinum one is the keyboard.
Deck is actually outfitted with an alcantara finish now. This might be a bit of a marmite effect for you, some of you are going to love it. Some of you are going to hate it for me. I really really like it. It makes a really comfortable typing experience. The one potential complaint that you might have and it’s difficult to know until this thing’s been used for a prolonged period of time. Months and years is just how grimy the alcantara finish might get. And if you happen to be a messy eater, then yeah you might want to opt for the aluminium one, but i say i really really like it. I think it’s really stylish and it’s. Definitely just a little bit left field it’s, something different in a world of laptops that all increasingly looking exactly the same now, the actual keyboard on this alcantara deck is absolutely superb. In fact, i’ve never really had any complaints of any substance at all with any of the windows, surface devices and i’d say this surface laptop for is absolutely no exception. To that rule, i got up to speed almost instantaneously it’s really nicely backlit as well, for when you’re working in low light conditions and probably the only minor criticism. I can offer this thing of any note and it will only apply to this alcantara finish which obviously, because it has slightly less rigidity. You do get a little bit more flex in the keyboard deck, but it feels fine, but it is a little bit noticeable.
So if that’s going to put you off definitely er on the side of caution and pick up the aluminium finish all over with either the matte black or that sandstone one, the trackpad on this 13 and a half inch device is excellent. Both in terms of its accuracy and the satisfaction from a down click perspective, it’s reasonably large for a laptop of its size, but i’m left feeling that there’s quite a bit of room both at the top end on the bottom end of the trackpad. Maybe just maybe microsoft could have squeezed a few more millimeters. Out of this thing speaks on this thing. A dolby, atmos ready and the sound in general actually is pretty good for a laptop of this class. Now the port selection on the surface laptop for is about what we’d expect for thin and light they’re in this real premium space in the market, where they are uber, thin and uber like now, so, on the left hand, side of the device, we have ourselves a Full size, usb type, a port which is more than you’ll, get with, say the dell xps 13 or the macbook air, albeit hp spectre, can rival it in this territory. It also has a usb c port now it’s important to note it is not thunderbolt 3 or thunderbolt. 4 and we’ve also got a headphone jack as well there’s, not much to say about the right side of the device, except to say that we have uh the windows, surface, proprietary, connector for charging the device, the port and charging cable remains magnetic, which is good.
If you happen to live in a hazardous household with dogs and children like i do no chance, your laptop is going to go flying because it’ll just pop out nice and easily uh. Truthfully, honestly, i don’t really know why microsoft couldn’t have done away with this and given us usbc charging, if you happen to be particularly android users, which almost all android phones are usb c now you mean you won’t have to charge around multiple charging bricks, which will Make your life easier when you’re on the road? Now there are two fundamentally different displays. We can get with the surface laptop for there’s this one, which is the 13 and a half inch version and there’s, also a 15 inch version as well. If you want that extra screen real estate, the display is super crisp and well oriented for productivity work. It is a three by two aspect: ratio, which means you get more vertical headroom than a traditional 16×9. Everybody knows a lot to bang on about aspect ratios. I love 16x10s and i love 3x2s. They are the future. This one also has 77 of the dci, p3 color gamut covered, which is less than the macbook air, but more than the dell xps 13 in terms of its nearest competitors beyond the size of the laptop display configurations are actually really simple, so you won’t be getting Confused in terms of deciding what you want to buy, it is a regular hd, well, not quite regular hd there’s, a few extra pixels to make up for the screen resolution.
But there are no quad hd, which 4k options available to yourselves uh that doesn’t really matter, particularly a 13 and a half inch screen size. You’Re gon na have to sit pretty much centimeters away from the screen if you’re ever going to notice 4k. So you’ll be more than happy with the kind of pixel density you pick up. It is a surface laptop, so obviously it is a touch screen. I think the name kind of implies that touch damn it there. You go there’s no option to spec in or spec out the touch screens uh it’s, not a two in one there’s, no option to lie this thing flat, so you’re not going to be doing any kind of digital pen work or the like. So some people are a bit take or leave it when it just comes to traditional clamshell laptops with touch screens. I think it’s a nice to have but it’s, not the major selling point when you’re actually picking the thing up. One area of disappointment and it’s probably the biggest disappointment when it comes to the surface laptop for which is saying something actually, because this point’s actually a bit trivial in the grand scheme of things, is the size of the bezels which are on the the top. The sides and the bottom are quite thick and chunky. Now, if the macbook air can get away with it, then i guess microsoft thinking exactly the same thing, but when you compare it to the almost utterly bezel less model in the dell xps 13, any other laptop is starting to look just a little bit dated now.
We do have ourselves a 720p webcam which supports windows, hello, facial recognition, it’s, probably the best implementation of windows, hello, facial recognition, i’ve actually used on a laptop i’ve found. Some others are a bit flaky in terms of whether they choose to pick up on. My glorious features absolutely no trouble at all the surface laptop, for it is a webcam, though that’s, not a primary purpose, so let’s take a look and see how that thing actually is it’s about as poor as we’ve come to expect from 720p webcams in most laptops. These days – and i will continue to complain about the absence of at least a 1080p one, but i guess the minor bit of credit and it’s not much really is that actually of the 720p webcams. This is one of the better ones i’ve used at least now. Let’S have a bit of a conversation about the battery life on the surface laptop for now. This is an area which microsoft have been really keen to draw attention to because by all accounts, its battery life is excellent and you know what it’s not bad, but i found this model with the 1185 g7 intel processor, which is a more power hungry processor didn’t. Quite reach the kind of 10 11 hours that some other outlets have been talking about. I found i got myself about seven and a half eight hours of solid kind of productivity usage out of the laptop for the most part, in my use case, that’s day to day corporate work working on a remote, citrix virtual desktop so definitely better than some laptops.
But not the best. I expect both the ryzen and the intel i5 models, which are the entry models on this, which we’ll talk about a bit more in a minute to probably be much more power efficient than this i7 version, regardless of the model you’ve chosen, you get yourself a 47 Watt hour battery in a 13 and a half inch model, the box also comes with a 65 watt charging brick, which is thin and light. Much like the laptop so you’ll have no complaints logging around on your travels, even if, as i said earlier, i do wish they’d made a usbc charging option. So fan noise on the laptop when you’re just doing casual, browsing, writing a word document or something to that effect. It’S utterly silent. You’Ll have no complaints there. When you do productivity, work, let’s say like video, editing or some sort of casual gaming. The fans definitely ramp up, you can hear them, but i wouldn’t say they’re overly distracting in terms of how that translates to temperatures again casual browsing. You won’t notice any heat off thing at all when you ramp it up to productivity work, it does get warm but i wouldn’t say uncomfortably so the same can’t be said when you’ve got it plugged in at that point, the laptop really maximizes the power draw available To it, at which point i found myself getting a little bit sweaty, particularly when this thing’s, obviously on your lap, if it’s like a table, yeah you’re not going to be bothered about the heat coming off the thing whatsoever.
So, as we said at the top of the video, the surface laptop 4 is squarely inside the premium laptop camp. This model i’ve got here is the 13 and a half inch version with an i7 1185 g7 16 gigabytes of ram uh 500 gigabytes of storage as well and it’ll cost you a cool 1 650 pounds, so it’s, definitely not cheap. The range actually starts a really competitive 999 pounds, though, with an amd 6 core 12 thread, cpu 8 gigs of ram and 256 gigabytes of storage, which is actually a really good deal. Unfortunately, with a 13 and a half inch model, you can’t scale up the rest of the specs, particularly around with that amd cpu. If you want to get more ram, you have to go intel, which is a bit disappointing, but particularly, if you have any hope of using the 13 and a half inch laptop for more productivity, oriented tasks to maximize those extra cores and those extra threads now it’s. Not the same story with the 15 inch version of the surface laptop four, which starts at 1300 pounds. It gets you an amd cpu again, but this time eight core 16 thread model with eight gigs, around 256 gigabytes of storage, and we have all the way through. The range is options for both amd and intel cpus, which gives you far more consumer choice. In terms of what it is that you’re, actually after key point to keep in mind, regardless of the model you’re buying, is, if you intend to use this for any kind of casual gaming you’re going to want to orient yourself to the intel devices.
The intel iris, xc chipset graphics, are vastly superior to the amd chipset graphics that they offer with their cpus and, as there is no option for a discrete dedicated graphics card with the surface, laptop 4 range you’re definitely going to want to gravitate to that intel. Cpu. Now let’s talk benchmarks and you know what they’re really impressive. This i7 1185 g7 was by far the best performing version of that cpu that i’ve had in any thin and light ultrabook to date, where in cinebench, r23 i7 g7 outperformed the equivalent cpu in the dell xps 13.. None of them, though, that being said, can get anywhere near the macbook air in terms of its performance capabilities and proving it was no fluke, we can see exactly the same outcome in geekbench once again, with a crazy, impressive, multi, core score and again par the course For single core scoring performance in puget bench, which tests real world productivity scenarios using adobe premiere pro, it got a really respectable score of 236 and i actually used this for running the initial cuts on last week’s, video, which you can check out above and actually i Found it didn’t really skip a beat, no problem scrubbing through 4k 30 frames per second footage. Its storage speeds, though, were relatively speaking, disappointing compared with some of its competitors, though, now moving into graphics tests, it’s much of the same in terms of how this 1185 g7 performs compared to similarly spec devices in the premium laptop market and i’ve also run this thing.
In 3d, mark times by to which i’ll confess i don’t have a huge amount of data for this application, given i’ve only just started using it, but it got a pretty impressive score of 1807, which looks pretty dismal for sure compared to the discrete 30 70 nvidia Gpu and the razer blade 15, but goes to show just how well intel have done in terms of stepping forward that performance of their integrated graphics with their iris xe chipsets. So with that in mind, you’re definitely not going to be playing cyberpunk 2077 with rage racing enabled. But if you like, indie titles, older games, esports titles as well, you won’t have any trouble at all. In fact, i benchmarked this playing overwatch on the lowest settings available and i got a solid average of 60 frames per second, which is maxing out the 60hz refresh rate available on this display it’s verdict time. So what would i do? Well, i really really like the surface laptop 4.. Frankly, i’m in love with the keyboard, the display is super crisp, even if the bezels are a bit on the chunky side, in terms of which model i would get if you’re going to be using this for casual kind of productivity work and definitely get the 13 And a half inch model with the amd cpu it won’t steer you wrong at all. If you intend to use this for more powerful productivity work, then you probably want to go for the 15 inch model.
But if you do intend to do gaming, make sure you pick up the intel i7 and say ideally with 16 gigabytes around regardless of the productivity work you’re doing next week, i’m, taking a look at the alienware m15 r4 so make sure you get subscribed. So you don’t miss my review of that incredible and i mean incredible piece of gaming machinery uh hit the like button.