Microsoft Surface Laptop 4: Specs, features, pricing, availability

Microsoft announced the Surface Laptop 4 on Tuesday, offering a potent combination of performance upgrades and battery life improvements in the familiar 13.5-inch and 15-inch clamshell sizes, for prices as low as $999.

Unlike its predecessor, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 now offers choices in both sizes between AMD’s Ryzen 4000 Mobile processors or Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake Core chips. Microsoft promises up to 70 percent more performance versus the Surface Laptop 3.

Another major upgrade users will see is battery life. Microsoft claims (according to its own metrics) that the Surface Laptop 4 will offer up to 19 hours of battery life, 7.5 hours more than the Surface Laptop 3. That would be the longest battery life of any Surface product Microsoft has shipped, according to the company.

Physically, the Surface Laptop 4 looks nearly identical to previous generations, in both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch versions. One external addition over the prior generation is a removable SSD port, though it’s not technically user-serviceable. “[The] hard drive is only removable by an authorized technician following Microsoft provided instructions,” Microsoft says. As for external materials, Microsoft will offer both the Alcantara fabric as well as the aluminum metal options we saw in the Surface Laptop 3, in color choices of Platinum, Matte Black, Sandstone, and Ice Blue.

All told, there are many combinations of Surface Laptop 4 options, from display size to color, memory, and storage. Prices range from $999 to $2,399. (Use our table of contents to skip ahead and see them all.) Most of the configurations (with a couple of exceptions) will begin shipping April 15. Microsoft will also provide a free pair of Surface Earbuds for everyone in the United States and Canada who preorders a Surface Laptop 4 before the 15th.

Microsoft launched several peripherals alongside the Surface Laptop 4, including a new webcam, the Surface Headphones 2+, and more.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4, in Matte Black

Surface Laptop 4: Internal specs give an edge to Intel’s Core

Early leaks suggesting that the Surface Laptop 4 would continue its tradition of offering both AMD Ryzen and Intel Core processors were spot on. Somewhat unfortunately, those reports also correctly predicted that AMD’s older Ryzen Mobile 4000 parts (reworked as part of Microsoft’s Surface Edition program) would take on Intel’s latest 11th-gen Core processors. Microsoft executives told us that’s because AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Mobile chips are being released now, while AMD and Microsoft began work on the Surface Edition version of the Ryzen Mobile 4000 chips a year ago.

Microsoft has worked before with AMD to custom-design Surface Edition chips. The Surface Laptop 4 includes both the Ryzen 5 4680U as well as the Ryzen 7 4980U—two chips that AMD hasn’t even announced. Microsoft hasn’t defined the spec of either chip. It’s likely, however, that the 4680U is an upclocked version of AMD’s 4600U (6 cores/12 threads, 2.3GHz base/4.0GHz boost), and the 4980U is an upclocked version of the 4800U (8 cores/16 threads, 1.8GHz core/4.2GHz boost).

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