For years, Microsoft’s Surface laptop
has given tech enthusiasts a formidable alternative to Apple’s MacBook line as well as the litany of other manufacturers flooding an extremely competitive market. The all-new Surface 4 laptop
aims to find that sweet spot between cutting-edge performance and everyday usability — at a price that won’t break the bank. Here’s what you need to know about this exciting new device.
The Surface 4 laptop is offered in two different screen sizes, with 13.5 and 15-inch models available. Both options make excellent use of a Surface Pen-enabled PixelSense Display screen. Additionally, the larger model boasting an eye-pleasing 2496×1664 resolution. The 13.5-inch version packs in slightly fewer pixels but still manages to look impressive at 2256×1504.
Microsoft has teamed up with both AMD and Intel to give the Surface 4 an incredible range of processor options. Intel’s 11th generation Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1185G7 chips are available in the 13.5-inch model, as is the AMD Ryzen 5 4680U. The 15-inch edition of the Surface 4 is available with the aforementioned Core i7-1185G7 or with AMD’s Ryzen 7 4980U processor.
Early indications suggest that the AMD chipsets are superior to Intel’s offerings (and in some cases, offer double the performance
over the Surface 3). However, users can’t go wrong with any of the CPUs available.
Storage is a big factor when comparing laptops, and the Surface 4 is no exception. Both models come with the ability to swap out solid-state drives. What’s more, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options are available. Unfortunately, only two USB ports are provided on the Surface 4. So those looking to make use of additional storage via a thumb drive or external hard drive may need to sacrifice a USB peripheral to do so.
Battery life on the Surface 4 appears to fall right in the middle of the pack. As PC Magazine’s video rundown battery test notes
, the Surface 4’s 15-inch model outperformed two comparable Dell laptops while coming in behind the MacBook Pro
and LG Gram 17
. While it certainly doesn’t stand out in the battery life department, the Surface 4 performs admirably. It should last through the day if primarily dedicated to basic internet browsing and other straightforward tasks.
Price and Options
Ranging from $999 to $2,399, Microsoft has given consumers a wide pricing range to work with. The base version of the Surface 4 delivers the 13.5-inch screen and an AMD Ryzen 5 processor. It also comes with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage.
On the other end of the spectrum, shoppers with a sizable budget can grab a 15-inch screen and the Intel Core i7 with 32GB of memory and a 1TB SSD. Investing in this edition also means showing off a laptop finished in a sleek matte black that is sure to stand out. Several different configurations exist between these two extremes. The sweet spot (and most availability) rests at the $1299 price point.
The Surface 4 As a MacBook Pro Competitor
It’s no secret that Microsoft’s focus for the last two decades has been to wrestle market share away from Apple. It didn’t quite work out with the Zune HD. However, the Surface line of tablets and laptops have definitely found a following in an otherwise Apple-obsessed consumer device tech culture.
With the Surface 4 laptop, Microsoft has not only found a way to compete with the MacBook Pro at the very top end, but also, to offer a device that can duke it out with the midrange crowd of laptops sold by Dell, HP, and others. It’s a compelling option in a crowded market. It could even be the perfect tool for work, fun, and everything in between.
When you have the opportunity to purchase the Microsoft Surface 4, you may be offered an extended warranty from your retailer of choice. But with Upsie, you can cut out the middleman to save up to 70 percent. You’ll enjoy extensive protection that covers drops, spills, and other common concerns not always accounted for in standard warranties. In the event that your device sustains damage, you should have no trouble finding a local certified repair shop to get it back in working order.
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