A modest 2021 makeover features new Intel and AMD processors and claims of up to 19 hours of battery life. Microsoft on Tuesday introduced a new 2021 Surface Laptop, called the Surface Laptop 4. The new version provides 11th-gen Intel Core processors, paired with Intel Iris XE graphics.
There’s additionally an AMD processor alternative [Zen 2 series] with a pics chip called AMD Radeon Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition. For all the buzz Microsoft’s Surface capsules get, I’ve continually thought the Surface Laptop was once actually Microsoft’s secret weapon. Since Surface Laptop debuted in 2017, it is been a strong contender for the excellent all-purpose slim Windows laptop.
But plenty of companies provide 13-inch-class slim laptops, all hoping to be the Windows version of Apple’s ubiquitous MacBook Air. (Microsoft additionally introduced a 15-inch version in 2019.) Microsoft says the Surface Laptop has the Surface line’s best possible level of customer satisfaction.
Besides simply working nicely and being stylish and easy to use, the Surface Laptop was once frequently on sale at very reasonable prices, making it an amazing way to get a rock-solid clamshell laptop for now not much money. Shortly earlier than the Surface Laptop 4 preorders went live, you may want to nevertheless order a Core i5 13-inch Surface Laptop three (with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD) for $769, or $899 for a 256GB SSD.
The line’s standout design feature has constantly been its combination of aluminum and Alcantara fabric, making it a reality unique-looking (and feeling) laptop. Yes, having a fabric-covered laptop wrist relaxation may additionally appear like an odd choice, however, Alcantara is difficult (it was once at the beginning designed for boat interiors), and the thinking has caught around. You can get a plain, all-aluminum design as well. Colors include the popular black and platinum, plus a new coloration alternative named Ice Blue.
Leaning into AMD
The new Surface Laptop 4 begins at $999 (£999, AU$1,599), however, this is for the AMD version with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The least-expensive 15-inch version is additionally AMD-based, and prices $1,299. Faster processors, extra storage, and different options will drive the price up.
Note that rapidly earlier than the Surface Laptop 4 preorders went live, you may want to nonetheless order a Core i5 13-inch Surface Laptop 3 (with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD) for $769, or $899 for a 256GB SSD. That AMD processor version additionally claims great battery life, addressing one of the shortcomings of the preceding Surface Laptop 3. Microsoft says the AMD model should run for up to 19 hours, making it the longest-lasting product in the Surface line.
No adjustments are anticipated in the display, which was once already a forward-looking 3:2 issue ratio display at 2,256×1,504-pixel resolution (2,496×1,664 in the 15-inch version). The webcam stays at 720 resolution, and the ports are unchanged, with each USB-A and USB-C ports, however no Thunderbolt.
Free earbuds, new webcam
The Surface Laptop 4 is accessible to preorder now, with orders shipping April 15. Microsoft says US customers who order from Microsoft or Best Buy earlier than April 15 will receive a free set of Surface Earbuds.
Also coming to the Surface line is a short listing of new accessories. The Surface Headphones 2 Plus for Business is an expert riff on the Surface Headphones. It starts shipping later in April, for $300 (£290). Coming in June, two new headsets, from the Microsoft Modern line, will be available in USB and wireless versions at $50 and $100, respectively. The $100 Microsoft Modern USB-C Speaker is aimed extra at Zoom (sorry, Microsoft Teams) meetings than music. It’s additionally shipping in June.
But most interesting will probably be the Microsoft Modern Webcam. This $70 camera, also available in June, supports 1080p HDR video, with a 78-degree field of view and integrated privacy shutter.
We expect to receive a review unit of the Surface Laptop 4 shortly and will post some hands-on impressions and benchmarks later this week.