Surface Laptop 4 adds power to stylish 13.5″ and 15″ Windows PCs

Chris Davies - Apr 13, 2021, 8:00am CDT
Surface Laptop 4 adds power to stylish 13.5″ and 15″ Windows PCs

Microsoft teased us with new Surface news, and now we know just what that is: the new Surface Laptop 4, delivering a choice of two screen sizes and both AMD and Intel processors. Successor to last year’s Surface Laptop 3, the new notebook sticks with the styling – including four different finishes of metal and Alcantara – but drops in 11th Gen Intel Core or exclusive AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition processors based on Zen 2 architecture.

For those who want maximum portability, there’s a 13.5-inch screen option. As you’d expect from something in the Surface family, it’s a 3:2 aspect PixelSense panel, here running at 2256 x 1504 resolution. It’s Surface Pen and 10-point multitouch enabled.

The 15-inch model, meanwhile, also has a 3:2 aspect PixelSense screen, only running at 2496 x 1664 resolution. Both have a glass precision trackpad and full-sized backlit keyboard, with 1.3mm of key travel. WiFi 802 11ax and Bluetooth 5.0 are standard, though sadly there’s no 4G LTE or 5G embedded option.

For processors, there’s a choice of Intel or AMD chips. The AMD options are the most affordable, a custom 6-core Ryzen 5 4680U or 8-core Ryzen 7 4980U. Intel’s 11th Gen Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1185G7 are the more potent options. AMD machines get Radeon graphics; Intel versions use Intel Xe. All in all, more power than you’d find in a Surface Laptop Go.

For memory, the Surface Laptop 4 13.5-inch has between 8GB and 32GB of LPDDR4X (3733MHz) RAM. The 15-inch has between 8GB and 32GB of LPDDR4X (3733MHz) RAM in the Intel models, but uses DDR4 (2400MHz) memory in the AMD versions.

Both sizes have 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of SSD storage. There’s also a removable M.2 NVMe SSD slot, though Microsoft says you’ll need to see an authorized service center to swap out that memory chip if you don’t want to impact your warranty.

Ports include one USB 3.1 Type-C, one USB Type-A, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port. There’s still no Thunderbolt 4, however: Microsoft says that keeps parity between the Intel and AMD versions. The 720p HD camera – with Windows Hello support – is carried over from the Surface Laptop 3, but with new software and algorithms for better performance. You also get dual far-field Studio Mics and Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Atmos 9.

As for battery life, the Surface Laptop 4 13.5-inch with AMD Ryzen 5 should last up to 19 hours, while the Core i5 should last for up to 17 hours, Microsoft says. The 15-inch version, meanwhile, should last up to 17.5 hours on the Ryzen 7, and up to 16.5 hours on the Core i7. All configurations support fast charging, and come with a 60W power supply that has a 5W USB port on the side too.

Just like we’ve seen before, Microsoft is pushing style as part of its big pitch here. The 13.5-inch notebook is 14.5 mm thick and weighs between 2.79 and 2.84 pounds depending on whether you go for Alcantara or metal finishes. The 15-inch notebook is 14.7 mm thick, and weighs 3.4 pounds.

Surface Laptop 4 prices and SKUs

On the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4, pricing kicks off at $999 for an AMD Ryzen R5 Microsoft Surface Edition with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, in Platinum Alcantara. A version with 16GB of RAM will be $1,199.

The Intel 11th Gen Core i5 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 starts at $1,299 with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. A version with twice the RAM is $1,499. The Core i7 model, with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is $1,699; all three come in Platinum or Ice Blue Alcantara, or Matte Black or Sandstone metal. Finally, the Core i7 with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage is $2,299 in Matte Black metal only.

As for the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4, the AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition starts at $1,299 for the R7 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, in Platinum metal. A version with 512GB of storage is $1,499, in Platinum or Matte Black metal. Finally, an R7 with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is $1,699 in Matte Black metal only.

On the Intel side, a Core i7 Surface Laptop 4 15-inch is $1,799 with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, in Platinum or Matte Black metal. Finally, a Core i7 with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage is $2,399, in Matte Black metal only.

Preorders open from today in the US, Canada, and Japan, with broader availability in the coming weeks. Surface Laptop 4 will begin shipping from April 15.


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