With one of the best keyboards we’ve ever used, the Surface Laptop 4 might be one of the best laptops for writers. Although it might need a few extra connections, it’s an easy laptop to suggest to anyone who will be typing frequently.
- Stylish and Lightweight
- The screen is bright and razor-sharp, with a 3:2 aspect ratio
- Touchpad that is easy to use
- AMD Ryzen 7 delivers outstanding performance
- There are also Intel Core i7 variants available
- There are a few setting choices
- There isn’t a version with a discrete GPU available
- There are just two USB ports
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4’s 15-inch version delivers one of the most polished computing experiences of any Windows laptop. It’s a remarkable big-screen laptop with two color choices and superb build quality. New CPU options from AMD and Intel for 2021 improve the performance of this fourth-generation laptop. The Surface Laptop 4 has earned an Editors’ Choice award as the best premium 15-inch laptop. On a large screen, it’s perfect for general-purpose computing. Also, you can see the best gaming laptop you can buy today
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Review
- Specifications of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Price and Availability of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Design of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Performance of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Battery Life of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Software and Features of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Ports of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Keyboard and Touchpad of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Specification of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
|Dimensions||30.7 x 22.4 x 1.5 cm; 1.26 Kilograms|
|Screen Display Size||13.5 Inches|
|Weight||1 kg 260 g|
|Resolution||2256 x 1504 Pixels|
|Battery||1 Lithium-ion battery required|
|RAM Size||8 GB|
|Hard Disk Description||SSD|
|Graphics RAM Type||DDR4 SDRAM|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
Price and Availability of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
A new Surface Laptop 4 bought from Microsoft will cost you at least $999 for the 13.5-inch model and $1,299 for the 15-inch variant as of April 15th in the US and April 27th in the UK. AMD Ryzen 5/7 4000-series processors, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD are included in the entry-level versions.
If you want more power, you can design the Surface Laptop 4 with beefier internals, possibly paying as much as $2,299 and $2,399 for the two versions if you outfit them with top-tier components. Unlike its predecessors, the Surface Laptop 4 comes in two sizes and may be customized with either an Intel 11th Gen Core i5/i7 CPU or an AMD Ryzen 5/7 4000-series processor, with the exception of the 15-inch model, which is limited to the higher-end Core i7/Ryzen 7 processors.
Our 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 review unit arrived decked in Microsoft’s new Ice Blue color scheme with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD, a configuration that retails for $1,699. Also, you can see a Full Review of the HP Victus 16.1” Gaming Laptop
Design of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The Surface Laptop has always been a gorgeous piece of hardware, and the Surface Laptop 4 is definitely no exception. The model we got in for review is the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4, and it is one of the most lightweight and thin laptops we’ve ever used that doesn’t totally suck to type on.
It comes in four color options, and we got the Platinum option. It’s beautiful. The lid of the Platinum Surface Laptop 4 is, well, platinum-colored, with the only marking being a chrome Microsoft logo square in the middle of the laptop. The bottom of the laptop looks similar, but the keyboard tray has a slightly darker color. Also, you can see a full review of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Price, Specification
The laptop is just 0.57 inches thick and weighs just 2.79 pounds (1.3 kg), which makes it a breeze to carry around in your bag while commuting around. But even with the Surface Laptop 4 being so thin, it still feels incredibly robust.
The lid is made of aluminum and has absolutely no flex to it. And, unlike a lot of other touchscreen laptops out there, when you poke that the display the hinge is so solid that you don’t have to readjust your screen afterwards or brace it with your other hand. This in and of itself makes using the touchscreen way more convenient and makes it feel like less of a gimmick – something other laptop manufacturers can definitely learn from.
But as solid as the top of the laptop is, the story of the keyboard deck is all about comfort. As is now traditional with the Surface Laptop, the keyboard and trackpad are surrounded by an Alcantara material that is nice and soft (it’s a suede-like microfibre pile). It makes typing so much more comfortable right out of the gate, because instead of this hard metal like you get with most comparable laptops, it’s nice and soft. Also, you can see a full review of the HP Pavilion 15 Laptop: Affordable and Remarkable
Credit: Trusted Reviews
But there’s a downside to it. If you spill something on this material, or you get crumbs on it during a lunchbreak, we get the feeling that it will get dirty and would be a bit harder to clean than it otherwise would be. But if you’re conscious of hygiene and don’t find yourself stuffing your face while also trying to get the project that’s due in the morning out the door, it should be perfect.
One of the biggest casualties of the thin size, however, is the lack of ports. All you get here is the Surface Connect port on the right, one USB-C, one USB-A and a headphone jack. We do appreciate that the laptop still has a USB-A port, something that’s far from guaranteed these days, but it doesn’t leave much room for expansion for anyone that doesn’t want to shell out the extra cash for a Surface Dock.
The Surface Laptop 4 display is also genuinely gorgeous. The 13.5-inch model we have is a 3:2 PixelSense display with a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504, which is about perfect for the display size. This does make watching movies and videos on this laptop a bit weird, as you get two black bars when viewing 16:9 content. But when we’re working on this thing, we love the extra vertical space –
Speaking of writing, the Surface Laptop 4 has what is hands down the best laptop keyboard we have ever used. Writing on this laptop is completely effortless, and it somehow has plenty of travel despite the super-thin chassis. Even the new MacBook Pro’s keyboard doesn’t compare, and that was our favorite laptop keyboard before we tried this one out. Also, you can see HP Pavilion Aero 13 Laptop Review
The deep travel of the keyboard is even more surprising when you realize that the speakers are under there. It’s part of Microsoft’s design policy that there shouldn’t be any visible holes. And, the speakers are fine. This isn’t a media consumption device by any means, but these speakers will play music fine. Even bass-heavy tracks like Dorian Electra’s Flamboyant sound great, even if there’s a little left to be desired.
What keeps the design of the laptop for being perfect, however, are the large bezels. They look like they’re from a laptop from five or six years ago. The bezels don’t destroy the experience or anything, but if you look at this laptop next to, say, the Dell XPS 13, it may look a little out of date.
Performance of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Credit: Pocket Int
The Surface Laptop 4 we reviewed here is equipped with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 and 16GB of RAM, which means it has no problem with anything we threw at it. Even when we loaded this laptop up with literally dozens of Chrome tabs, while listening to music through YouTube and chatting on both Slack and Discord, the Surface Laptop 4 doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
That’s something that most laptops these days should be able to do, but what makes the Surface Laptop 4 so impressive is that it is able to do all of that without slowdown, while we are on battery power.
We’re able to just chill on our couch while working, without worrying about either the laptop locking up or tripping our roommates with the power cable.
And, when plugged in, the laptops speak for the performance of this laptop. In Cinebench R23, the Surface Laptop 4 was able to get a solid 4,998 points, which is about what we would expect out of this processor.
Similarly in Geekbench 5, the Surface Laptop 4 got a single-core score of 1,356 points and 4,918 in multi-core. If you’re after a super-portable laptop that can get some work done, the Surface Laptop 4 can certainly get the job done.
Also while the Surface Laptop 4 definitely isn’t built for gaming, it was able to get a pretty respectable 5,151 points in 3DMark Fire Strike, which means it should be able to handle some of the best indie games. Just don’t go thinking you can run Cyberpunk 2077 at max settings or anything.
Battery Life of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Microsoft claims that the Surface Laptop 4 gets up to 19 hours of battery life, which would be huge if it actually did. Unfortunately, we found that the number was closer to 11-13 hours. That’s still nothing to shake a stick at.
In the PCMark 10 Home Office battery test, which simulates a variety of workloads from video chatting to word processing, the Surface Laptop 4 lasts 13 hours and 20 minutes. Sure, that’s not quite the 19 hours that Microsoft promises, but it’s still more than enough to get you through all but the longest international flights.
The Surface Laptop 4 struggles a bit more in our video playback test, where it lasts 11 hours and 2 minutes. That’s still not bad, though, and means that the Surface Laptop 4 should see you through a pretty long Netflix binge.
When you consider that the Surface Laptop 3 only lasted 6 hours and 28 minutes in the PCMark 8 battery test, the Surface Laptop 4 marks a huge generational improvement. Hell, the Surface Laptop 4 even outlasts the Dell XPS 13 by two whole hours.
Software and Features of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Credit: Tablet News
The best thing about any Surface device, including the Surface Laptop 4, is that you’re getting a pristine installation of Windows 10.
There is not a trace of bloatware present, which means that the laptop boots up nice and quick every single time, and you don’t have to spend your first hour with the laptop disabling startup programs or uninstalling things. Honestly, that’s almost enough for us to recommend this laptop right off the bat.
And unlike the first Surface Laptop, it’s a full Windows 10 installation, too – no S-Mode here – so this clean slate means that you can easily make the Surface Laptop 4 yours.
Ports of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Credit: Microsoft Support
The port selection on Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 is pretty simple, for better and for worse. The right side sports a Surface Connector for charging purposes, while on the left you’ll find a USB-A port, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack
It’s nice to see a classic USB-A on a modern machine like this, and combining it with a USB-C gives this laptop a nice bit of flexibility when it comes to external devices. But this USB-C port doesn’t support Thunderbolt 4, which is a bummer for anyone investing in heavy-duty external accessories like GPUs or high-capacity drives. And while a part of me likes a slim, simple chassis without a lot of funky holes in it, I also really love it when a laptop manufacturer works a little SD card reader or a stylus cubby into the sides of their device.
Keyboard and Touchpad of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Credit: The Verge
Typing on the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 feels more comfortable than most laptops I’ve worked on, thanks in large part to the nicely-sized keys and the Alcantara material around the keyboard. The keys feel satisfying to type on, with 1.3mm of travel and a nice click to them which helped me avoid bottoming out while typing quickly.
The 4.5 x 3-inch glass touchpad beneath the keys is also quite nice to use, feeling comfortably close to the keyboard while still affording my big dumb sausage fingers plenty of room to move. Both it and the laptop’s touchscreen felt very responsive to the touch, and I had no trouble using gesture commands on either surface.
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4’s 15-inch version delivers one of the most polished computing experiences of any Windows laptop. It’s a remarkable big-screen laptop with two color choices and superb build quality.