Surface Laptop 4 13.5" Review -The Ryzen Factor.
5 inch ryzen edition. Now the surface laptops is one of my favorite surface products and it’s always been such a well rounded product for the casual users. Now last year, microsoft introduced the ryzen into the 15 inch range but neglected. The third inch range, which is a real shame, as the 13 inch is where this laptop really shines. Now the base 13.5 inch is actually competitively priced at 999 or 999 pounds, and this 13.5 inch form factor is a perfect blend of size and screen real estate with its 3.2 aspect ratio and offering enough performance for the average user to make this their daily machine. Now, once you start adding ram and ssd upgrades on the microsoft store, it quickly priced itself out of the market. Now the good news is, you can upgrade the ssd yourself, but you will need to pry the feet off the bottom to get to the screws, but having done it last year, i would certainly do it again. The good news this year is that microsoft have actually doubled the ssd in the base model. It now comes with 256 gigabytes instead of last year’s, 128 gigabytes so other than the increase in the ssd size. What else are we getting in this year’s model? It has the same resolution pixel sense screen, but this year they’ve increased the brightness to 500 nits, which is a great improvement, considering how glossy the screen on this laptop actually is. I don’t know why microsoft don’t use some anti reflective coating, like other manufacturers and the last big change is this year on the 13.
5 inch we’re getting a custom, ryzen processor now microsoft says this is a custom chip, but so far from my use, it just looks Exactly the same as a ryzen 4650 pro cpu now this is quite disappointing. Considering the 5000 series of amd cpus has already been launched, but once you get over the initial disappointment that yet again microsoft reviews last year’s cpu range and start using the device. You realize what a great laptop it actually is, plus, as we all know this year, amd’s are having massive supply issues. So if they hadn’t used, the 5000 series, processor we’d all be struggling to try and get hold of one. So in case you haven’t seen this laptop before let’s. Take a quick look around on the left side. We have a usb 3 port, a usb c port and a headset jack. The ports are all well placed at the back of the laptop, and i like that. These ports are, on the left, hand, side. So, if you’re plugging in hard drives or other peripherals they’re not going to get in the way of using a mouse on the right hand, side on the right hand, side you’ve only got the surface connect port. Now the surface connect port is where you attach the magnetic charger or microsoft dock, and i still really appreciate that they’re using this as well as, obviously, you can now charge from the usbc charger. But the joy of the magnetic charger is it’s so easy to quickly connect it by the magnet pulling it into place, but also, if someone yanks on your cable, it will pop out, rather than ripping your laptop off the table.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the charger. Now microsoft included a 65 watts charger with this uh surface laptop for as well as the magnetic charging port on the actual body of the charger itself, there’s, also a usb port. Now, unfortunately, the usb port is only for charging peripherals. It doesn’t pass data through to the laptop, and i think this is a real miss trick from microsoft. Over the years of actually using this product, they could have easily added that, especially the surface connect. Dock also uses the same port right, so let’s open the laptop and take a quick look inside now being the base model. This has the alcantara finish. If you configure the laptop with an intel cpu or a higher spec ryzen cpu, there are different finishes and colors available you’re going to go for a full metal or you can go for just a different color alcantara. Now personally, i love the alcantara. It gives the laptop a really unique, feel and it’s really comfortable when you’re actually using the laptop. It feels really soft underneath your hands. Now, yes, it may get grubby over time, but having used surface pros for years with alcantara covers all of mine are in still in really great condition. The truck pad is large, responsive and responds great to clicks and gestures, and the keyboard is also one of the best in the business. The layout is great, it has white backlit keys and the spacing and the feel and the response all feel brilliant and it’s right up there with thinkpad keyboards.
For me now there are no visible speakers on this model, so my guess, is they fire up through the actual laptop, but they sound, really good? Okay, so we’re gon na put some royalty free music on i’ve got the speakers at 40. So here is a sound test: Music, bringing the music up to 50 percent Music, so for a little 13 inch laptop that’s, really quite impressive, sound i mean that’s only 50 and it’s really loud now. Moving on to the screen, we’ve got the same three by two aspect: ratio glossy pixel sense display. The resolution is 2256 by 1504 it’s a bit of an odd resolution. Now the screen is color accurate, with great contrast, but you do notice when you put it up against a surface pro or a surface book. The gamut is not quite as wide, but for most users, you’ll, never notice unless you are placing up against another laptop now. The display is also a touch screen, which is really handy, just like the surface pro and the surface book, and that you can also use the surface pen on these laptops. I wouldn’t imagine many people are going to use a surface pen on a laptop, especially for art, but you might want to use it for notes. It is there as a feature if you do wish to use it. Okay, then, just above the screen is the webcam and microphones and the windows, hello, facial recognition, which is one of my favorite ways to log in it’s, accurate and logs in almost as fast as you open the machine.
So this is a test of the webcam and the actual microphones on the surface, laptop 4. it’s in quite low light in this room. So this isn’t the best environment, but it still doesn’t, look too bad. So let’s have a quick look at the performance of this laptop. The ryzen 5 4860u is a low powered six core 12 thread cpu and although it’s a year old, it’s still a really good chip and will plow through most tasks with ease running it through the cinebench benchmark r20. We scored 2747, which is a really impressive score and beats out a lot of intel 45 watt desktop replacement, cpu scores the geekbench 5 cpu test scored 1062 on the single core, which is average at best, and this is something the tiger lake version of the surface Laptop is much faster, making the laptop feel snappier, but the multi core test scored 5705, which again destroys the intel 15 watt cpus. Moving on to the vega 6 integrated graphics, we scored 11 652 in the geekbench opencl test, which, although it was great when the cpu launched it’s now quite a bit less powerful than the intel’s new tiger lake xc graphics. This will mean again. The intel version will be mostly better in 3d modelling and video editing tasks. That said, the vega 6, with its more mature amd drivers, handles light gaming really well and made sneaking in a few games of dota or cs, go in between work, a lot of fun whilst we’re, actually gaming or heavily hitting the cpu.
The fans will spin up on this laptop it’s, never noticeably intrusive. It was a comfortable hump all the way through the gaming on this machine. The laptop also comes with wi fi, 6 and bluetooth 5, giving fast stable wireless and bluetooth connections, making using bluetooth, mice and headsets of pleasure. There was no disconnects and i was getting good transfer rates over the actual wireless and onto the battery life. The battery life on this laptop has been absolutely incredible. I’Ve been hammering this machine for a week now and the battery life has been so impressive. I’Ve actually lost the charge at one point, because it’s been so long since i’ve actually used it. I easily get 10 hours streaming youtube over wireless at 50 brightness and using the inbuilt speakers and when i’m just working and surfing on the net i’m getting at least 13 hours. There is one downside to this, though: the performance on battery has been cut to allow the decent battery life. If you move the slider to the best performance setting, you’ll be losing about 15 of the cpu performance, but about 60 of the gpu. Now, if you’re, using the laptop for office and media consumption or web browsing, this won’t be an issue but you’ll probably notice it if you’re using the laptop for 3d applications. So let’s get on to the conclusion of this laptop i’m, going to start with the negatives first there’s only a couple, and firstly i feel this is the laptop that microsoft should have released.
Last year the cpu was available and the specs in 2020 are very average. The price that microsoft tries to charge to increase the ram and ssd size as criminal i get, they want to make profit, but what they’re doing is actually worse than apple. But the good news is, you can just buy the base model and upgrade the ssd yourself and i think for most people the base models can be fine and on a laptop like this, 80 bikes would be perfect for daily tasks. So let’s get on to the positives. I absolutely love this laptop it’s a tried and tested formula. The 3×2 aspect ratio is a perfect size for work, but still retaining its portability. You can just pick the machine up and go it’s light it’s easy to handle, and it feels great, especially with the alcantara finish. It feels lovely to type on the resolution of the pixel sensor screen as well offers a perfect balance between high dpi screen and great battery life and, whilst on the subject again, the battery life, microsoft has done a stellar job here. Providing you with a laptop they’ll. Give you a good 10 to 12 hours of working use now being a ryzen. It doesn’t have thunderbolt 4, but it does have a rounded selection of usbc and a usb 3 port, along with the surface connect dock, making it a really good laptop for day to day use i’ve really enjoyed my time with the surface laptop 4, and this could Definitely be a machine that i would use day to day for office use, media consumption and even a little bit like gaming, it’s been absolute joy to use and the only real choice you’ve got if you’re buying.
One of these laptops is: do you get this ryzen version and save a fair bit of money, or do you spend a little bit extra to get the actual tiger lake version? Now? The tiger lake is probably about 300 or pounds dearer. That will give you slightly better 3d performance and it will feel a little bit snappier, because you’ve obviously got that better single core performance of the tiger x cpus. But i think for most people save yourself the money and get this base model, because unless you put the two side by side, you probably won’t really feel the difference. Now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. Please hit the like the subscribe and the notification bell, because that does really help the algorithm and pushes our videos, and it allows us to make more videos for you and talking of which we are planning on doing a couple of comparison. Reviews of this ryzen model versus the surface pro 7 plus and we’re, going to be comparing against the x1 carbon gen 9 that we’ve recently had in the studio as well.