Editor’s Note: Microsoft has just released a new Surface 5 Laptop and Surface Pro 9 2-in-1 bundled with a new Surface Studio 2+ all-in-one desktop. Keep this in mind when shopping, because new hardware means you’ll likely be able to get last year’s models at a discount. If you’re more interested in what’s new, keep an eye out for our full reviews!
Microsoft unveiled the long-rumored Surface Laptop 4 this week and, as expected, it packs a number of upgraded components into a slim chassis that is remarkably similar to the Surface Laptop 3.
While there are no groundbreaking reviews when comparing the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 to the Surface Laptop 3, the new Surface Laptop promises improved performance, better battery life and more configuration options than its predecessor.
The latter is especially cool because, as you may remember, the Surface Laptop 3 can be configured to have an AMD or Intel processor, with a secret limit: customers can only opt for AMD on the 15-inch dummy, that is, if you wanted the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3, you were banned from Intel chips.
This might not have been an issue, depending on your preference for AMD over Intel. If you take a look at our Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch, AMD) review and compare it to our Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch, Intel) review, you’ll see that we praise the Intel dummy for its faster performance. .
That might not be the case with the Surface Laptop 4, so we’re looking forward to testing them out as soon as we get our hands on the test units. Regardless, AMD fans can rejoice that Microsoft is now offering customers a choice of AMD or Intel chips in all Surface Laptop 4 models.
So what else is new? Read on to find out everything you need to learn!
Surface Laptop 4 vs. Surface Laptop 3: specs
|Surface Laptop 4 (13.5 inches)||Surface Laptop 4 (15 inches)||Surface Laptop 3 (13.5 inches)||Surface Laptop 3 (15 inches)|
|screen resolution)||13.5 inches (2256 x 1504)||15 inches (2496×1664)||13.5 inches (2256 x 1504)||15 inches (2496×1664)|
|CPU||11th Gen Intel Core i5, Core i7, AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Ryzen 7 4980U||11th Gen Intel Core i7, AMD Ryzen 7 4980U||10th Gen Intel Core i5, Core i7||AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, Ryzen 7 3780U | Enterprise: 10th Gen Intel Core i5, Core i7|
|Store||256GB, 512GB, 1TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Memory||8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR4X @ 3733MHz||8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR4X 3733 MHz (Intel) or DDR4 2400 MHz (AMD)||8GB, 16GB||8GB, 16GB, 32GB|
|webcam||Windows Hello Face Authentication Camera, HD 720p Camera (f/2.0)||Windows Hello Face Authentication Camera, HD 720p Camera (f/2.0)||Windows Hello Face Authentication Camera, HD 720p Camera (f/2.0)||Windows Hello Face Authentication Camera, HD 720p Camera (f/2.0)|
|Condenser lifespan||Up to 19 hours on AMD Ryzen 5, up to 17 hours on Intel Core i5||Up to 17.5 hours on AMD Ryzen 7, up to 16.5 hours on Intel Core i7||9:17 (tested) 11.5 hours (claimed)||9:32 (Intel, tested), 8:00 (AMD, tested), 11.5 hours (claimed)|
|Size||12.1 x 8.8 x 0.57 inches||13.4 x 9.6 x 0.58 inches||12.1 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches||13.4 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches|
|Weight||Platinum Alcantara and Zarco Ice 2.79 lbs, Unhappy Matte Metal and Sandstone 2.84 lbs||Platinum and matte unhappy metal 1kg||2.8 pounds||3.4 pounds|
|Colors||Platinum, Ice Blue (Alcantara rendition only), Matte Black, Sandstone (Metal rendition only)||unhappy matte platinum||Cobalt light blue, unhappy matte, platinum, sandstone||unhappy matte platinum|
|doors||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x surface connection port||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x surface connection port||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, headphone jack, Surface Connect port||1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, headphone jack, Surface Connect port|
Surface Laptop 4 vs Surface Laptop 3: price and valence
The new Surface Laptop 4 will cost at least a thousand dollars, as the 13.5-inch cardinal dummy has an MSRP of $999.99.
That matches the actual price of the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 (although it’s currently on sale for $769), making this a pretty easy comparison. If you have the money to pay, you can also take the last dummy; If you want to manage a little bit of throughput and value the Surface laptop’s design more than what’s inside, consider doing a deal with last year’s dummy.
Surface Laptop 4 vs. Surface Laptop 3: Design
While you might correctly notice some minor cosmetic differences, overall the new Surface Laptop looks a lot like the old Surface Laptop. That’s not a bad thing; We’ve always praised the Surface Laptop 3 in our reviews for its slim, ergonomic chassis and comfortable keyboard. We’d like to see a more radical redesign of the hardware, but it looks like we’ll just have to keep waiting.
Notably, Microsoft has added a new destroyed Ice Blue option to the Surface Laptop’s existing lineup of exterior options (cobalt blue, matte black, platinum and sandstone if you’re curious). Ice Blue was already a livable option elsewhere in the Surface device clan and in our Surface Laptop Go review We noticed that the cool metallic zarco tone gave the device an extra touch of elegance and class.
We’d like to see Microsoft figure out how to get significantly narrower bezels on the Surface Laptop 4 compared to its predecessor, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case. Regardless, we’re pleased to see that the company has managed to incorporate some Dolby Atmos Omnisonic speakers into the design of its latest Surface laptop, and we can’t wait to hear how they sound in person.
Surface Laptop 4 vs. Surface Laptop 3: Processors
The new Surface Laptop 4 can be configured with an 11th generation Intel octa-core CPU (Core i5 and i7) or an AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition (4000 series), depending on your processor’s leanings.
This is a generic improvement over last year’s models, but it’s a little disappointing to see that Microsoft hasn’t been able to find a way to incorporate the latest AMD Ryzen Mobile 5000 series chips.
To be fair, Ryzen 5000 chips for laptops were only released this year, and Microsoft likely had to correct its configuration options early enough for mobile Ryzen 4000 chips to make sense.
Surface Laptop 4 vs Surface Laptop 3: Capacitor Life
The improved battery life is a big selling point for the new Surface Laptop 4, and Microsoft claims it has the longest battery life of any Surface product to date.
The official claim is that a new Surface Laptop 4 can last up to 19 hours on a single capacitor charge, though of course you’ll get less than that if you’re gaming or doing other intensive computing. .
In comparison, the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 models we reviewed were sold with a promised capacitor life of up to 11.5 hours; however, in our testing we found that the AMD clock lasted approximately 8.5 hours and the Intel clock managed a solid 9.5 hours in our web browsing-based capacitor tests.
Surface Laptop 4 vs. Surface Laptop 3: Outlook
The Surface Laptop 4 is a direct change from the Surface Laptop lineup, and it’s probably good news for anyone considering buying one of these sleek, lightweight laptops.
That said, we were expecting yet another revolution in terms of design, and the demise of the latest and greatest components (specifically, the neglect of an AMD 5000-series CPU and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity) is a little scary.
We can’t wait to have fun testing the new Surface Laptop 4, so stay tuned for our hands-on impressions and full review.