Surface Laptop 4 review (15-inch): A bigger, better ultraportable
. It looks exactly like the surface laptop 3, which itself was just a bigger surface laptop too, which wasn’t that different than the original surface laptop. Do you get the picture? Not much has changed with microsoft’s most traditional pc line over the last few years. It’S always been an exercise in minimalism, with none of the fancy contorting screens from the rest of the surface lineup, but in 2021. That simplicity almost makes the surface laptop 4 seem like a norm core pc and that’s, especially true when you’ve got competitors like dell hp and asus, all of which have been cranking out pretty wild designs over the last few years. Just look at the near invisible screen. Bezel around the xps 13 or the zenbook duo’s dual displays, which just looks super futuristic. Both of those features make the surface laptop 4 just seem absolutely archaic. So if you haven’t guessed by now, i was pretty disappointed that microsoft just chose to coast with the same design for the surface laptop for, but after spending the last week with it i’m beginning to warm up to it quite a bit it’s noticeably faster and has Longer battery life than the previous model and still has one of the best keyboards on the market. This time you’ve also got a choice between amd and intel processors on both the 13 inch and 15 inch surface laptop models. Take all that, together with a really nice feeling case, that’s super sturdy and the surface laptop 4 is a computer that i could easily recommend to anybody.
What really turned me around, though, was just seeing how much amd’s ryzen 7 4980u cpu sped things up. I was able to play overwatch in 1080p with high graphical settings smoothly over 60fps, whereas the surface laptop 3 could only do that with medium settings. You can thank the built in radeon graphics for that. Our review unit, which came with 16 gigabytes of ram, managed to keep up with my crazy workflow. I gave it dozens of browser tabs. I played 4k videos, i did all sorts of stuff at the same time, including downloading large game files and it never really slowed down. I only wish microsoft was able to use amd’s ryzen 5000 cpus, which would have been a bigger performance, sleep and honestly, the ssd isn’t that fast, either, especially compared to other ultra portables we’ve, seen this isn’t really a computer that’s meant for super creators, but for i Think most people it’ll be fine. Alternatively, you can equip the surface laptop 4 with intel’s new 11th generation laptop chips. Those processors have really impressed us on other machines. Those ships just came out this year and you know they may be better. If you want to future proof, your system just be prepared to spend a little more amd’s. 4000 series. Hardware is already a year old, so it may just start to seem out of date more quickly either way, though you’re going to get a very fast processor. In your pc, thanks to that updated hardware, microsoft was also able to fix one of the biggest issues with the surface laptop 3 battery life.
That machine only lasted 7 hours and 50 minutes in our battery test, which was far less than the nearly 16 hours of life we saw on the 13 inch surface laptop too. This model matched the clock, an impressive 15 hours and 25 minutes, which is two hours less than microsoft claims, but still pretty good. When it comes to real world performance, i was able to work on the surface laptop for for about 10 hours before it needed to recharge. That combination of speed and battery life really makes the surface laptop 4 seem like a solid alternative to apple’s m1 macbook computers and, to be honest, that’s what i’m, judging all ultra portables against these days as much as i’d like to see microsoft, changed things up a Bit, i have to admit that the surface laptop forest case, which is aluminum, still feels pretty luxurious and it can go toe to toe with apple’s hardware easily our matte black review unit, just kind of sucked in light, almost like a black hole, and i just never Got tired of caressing it with my fingertips like a high end, bmw, i can’t be the only person that does that right. The larger laptop 4 doesn’t have the cloth alcantara palm rest like the 13 inch model. But, to be honest, i didn’t mind putting my wrists on that smooth metal, mostly though that’s just because i was absolutely in love with the surface laptop 4’s phenomenal keyboard it’s.
Just the perfect balance of you know: key depth and responsiveness and a nice wide layout it’s. Something microsoft has already brought to all the other surface laptop models, but every time i come back to it, it just feels incredible. Every time i sat in front of the surface laptop 4, i almost felt compelled to type on it just to get a bit more of that sweet, sweet, key action and the trackpad is great too, but it’s, really the keyboard i’m going to miss when i have To return this thing, i’ll be sad to see the 15 inch pixel sense screen. Go too sure it hasn’t changed at all since the laptop 3, but it’s still bold and bright and has great touchscreen responsiveness. You know personally, i’m still partial to the xps 13 and 15’s dolby vision equipped screens, but you know those don’t work with accessories like the surface pen, so there’s a lot going for this laptop microsoft. Also, does this cool design where the sound actually comes through the keys, so there aren’t any speaker grilles either. The sound is fine, nothing to really write home about, but i do like that clean look. I think a lot of people would appreciate that now. You’D think with such a large screen, the surface laptop 4 would be pretty hefty too, but it weighs just 3.4 pounds much less than the macbook pro 15 inch, which is four pounds or the xps 15, which is 4.
5 pounds. It may be a bit unfair to compare the surface laptop forward and machines with much beefier hardware, but microsoft’s engineering still feels remarkable here. Moving the laptop forward around my house felt as effortless as toting a 13 inch ultra portable and really that sort of carefree vibe is my biggest takeaway after testing out the surface laptop 4. it’s a fast and sturdy pc that you just don’t have to think about Much there’s no need to tweak fan settings or optimize the graphics and the battery life is so long that you really won’t have to worry too much about charging it that often either it’s a windows pc that just works. Imagine that that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though i’d like to see more than just two ports, but at least microsoft gives you the choice between usb type, a and type c. And yes, you can charge over type c, which makes that super convenient when you have other type c cables around microsoft still relies on the proprietary surface, connect port for its power, adapter and other accessories like docs. So you can’t run away from that. Unfortunately, and there’s still no support for intel’s thunderbolt interface, which means you won’t get the fast speeds you can get on certain external drives and you won’t be able to plug in external gpus. I suppose for those sorts of devices, though that’s far beyond what microsoft is aiming for, with the surface laptops community, so here’s the real question for most buyers, should you buy the surface laptop 4 or an m1 equipped, macbook or macbook pro, or something like the dell Xps 13.
, i suppose it comes down to what you value the most apple’s m1 hardware is still fast and so power efficient that it rarely needs fan. So if you, you know value quiet, that may be the best option for you, but if you want to run windows, apps you’re kind of out of luck there, even emulation is going to be pretty slow personally. I’D still, rather go for the xps, 13 or 15. But the surface laptop 4 makes a really strong, showing especially for more casual buyers. Even the base 1000 model is pretty well equipped with a ryzen 5 chip and 8 gigabytes of ram that’s a better deal than dell’s cheapest xpl 13, which currently costs 950 dollars. But has a lowly intel, i3 processor and weak integrated graphics, it’s just better to spend the extra 50 bucks for a better computer there? The 15 inch surface laptop 4 starts at 1 300 with a ryzen, 7 cpu and eight gigabytes of ram, but you’d have to shell out seventeen hundred dollars to upgrade to six gigabytes of ram and a 512 gigabyte ssd, no matter what computer you’re considering it’s always Worth springing for 16 gigabytes of memory, if you can trust me you’ll. Thank me. In a few months, you could look at the surface laptop 4, as kind of like a statement of intent by microsoft. It doesn’t need to follow every single trend in the pc market, especially when it already has pretty capable hardware, and when you see just how solid the surface laptop for is.
I can see why microsoft made that choice i’m. Just hoping microsoft is a little less conservative with the next model, sometimes it’s, okay, to show off stay tuned, gadgets.