SURFACE LAPTOP 4 REVIEW: NEARLY PERFECT

Surface Laptop 3 used to be a special machine when Microsoft for the first time in history decided to include an AMD processor. Will Surface Laptop 4 have anything special compared to its predecessor?

Surface Laptop 3
Surface Laptop 3

The good news is that Microsoft has "outdone itself" with a series of smart improvements on the Surface Laptop 4, a product with a more attractive price and longer battery life, while still retaining all outstanding features. and the simple design style of the previous generation (what is not broken does not need to be fixed!). It can be said that the Surface Laptop 4 is an almost perfect laptop model and a strong candidate to become your next computer.

Compared to the Surface Laptop 3 in 2019, the appearance of Surface Laptop 4 has not changed much. The new version still has a fingerprint-resistant black aluminum frame, and the number of ports has not changed - one USB-A, one USB-C, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port for charging. , though you can charge it via the USB-C port if you're not in a hurry. Even the weight and size of the machine are the same, respectively 1.54kg and 1.47cm thick. Of course, the keyboard is no exception.

Surface Laptop 4's keyboard feels great to type on, extremely smooth but not too light. If you're used to typing on a mechanical keyboard with the Cherry Red switch, you'll be pleased with the keyboard of this computer, and this is one of the small but worthwhile improvements over the previous generation.

The touchpad of the machine is also reasonably arranged and has the perfect size, ensuring that you do not accidentally touch it during typing. On laptops with too large trackpads, when users put their wrists on the machine to type, they may accidentally touch the surface of the trackpad, but Surface Laptop 4 does not have this situation.

Mouse pad of the machine
Mouse pad of the machine


The most notable changes of this new generation of Surface Laptops are in the internal hardware, starting with the new processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4980U. This 8-core/16-thread CPU can clock up to 4.4GHz, a big improvement over the 4-core/8-thread Ryzen 5 3580U in the Surface Laptop 3 at the same price. When comparing price with performance, it is clear that users will benefit more with Surface Laptop 4 using AMD chip, which has 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD. The machine's SSD is removable, allowing you to easily upgrade if you need more storage space. However, this is not a gaming laptop, so 521GB is definitely more than enough for any casual user.

There are quite a few other laptops on the market with faster hardware at the same price, or even a bit lower, like the MSI Stealth 15M, which weighs just 0.14kg and is just 1.02mm thicker. (Surface Laptop 4 also has a Ryzen 5 4680U CPU for $999 or $1,199 depending on RAM and SSD). But when it comes to the tasks this latest Surface Laptop is designed to do, that disparity is not worth bothering with.

In benchmarks, Surface Laptop 4 took less than 5 minutes to 3D render a car in Blender using the CPU, and a little more than 9 minutes if rendering with the GPU (graphics chip integrated with the processor, so It's CPU-based for better results). Encoding a 4K to 1080p video at 30fps with Handbrake also took almost 9 minutes.

Next, let's see how the machine performs when performing a range of daily activities, from opening and saving Word or Excel files, to browsing the web. Opening a Word document took an average of 2.3 seconds; saving a PNG image file takes 15.1 seconds; and other photo-editing tasks like color adjustment take just 3.3 seconds, although this depends on the software you use.

Surface Laptop 4
Surface Laptop 4

Surface Laptop 4 can "carry" a few games, as long as you lower the graphics settings low enough and don't try to play any games that require too much graphics power. You can play Overwatch at 74fps with medium settings. The screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio, a bit odd, but does not affect the game experience. Things can look a bit small on a 13.5-inch screen, especially when playing in 16:9 with a 1920x1200 resolution - which is why you should opt for the 15-inch version if you plan to. Buy Surface Laptop 4 to "plow" the game.

Microsoft has improved the battery life on the latest Surface laptop by almost 5 hours. The Surface Laptop 3 has an average battery life of about 7.5 hours. Good enough, but not compared to Apple's MacBook Air M1 and other popular office laptops. Battery life, of course, depends on how you use the laptop, but today's standard for work laptops is more than 8 hours/day.

And Surface Laptop 4 does more when reaching more than 12 hours after each full charge. Microsoft advertises the machine with 19 hours of battery life, but 12 hours is actually not bad. The test shows that the battery life of Surface Laptop 4 is 2 hours higher than the MSI Prestige 14 Evo using Intel chip, and 2 hours lower than the aforementioned MacBook Air model. It even overpowered the Razer Book 13, which only lasted 8.5 hours on a single charge. With such a long battery life, the Surface Laptop 4 is a worthwhile laptop for study and work, as well as cloud gaming if you have a good Wi-Fi connection.

Although Microsoft has improved on the most important points - processor, battery life, and price - it would be even better if they equipped the Surface Laptop 4 with one or two additional ports, such as a USB port- A more, or an SD card slot. Anyone editing videos or photos on the Surface Laptop 4 will need a USB dock if they want to transfer files from the SD card to the device. This laptop model is equipped with Bluetooth and is compatible with a wide range of styluses, but if you are in the group of users who like or need to connect multiple peripherals to the laptop at the same time, you will definitely need a USB dock.

USB-A port
USB-A port

And while the Surface Laptop 4 is an exceptionally good product, there's one thing that, if changed, would make it the perfect choice for everyone: AMD 5000-series mobile processors instead of 4000-series. AMD's latest processors now use a new architecture, giving them better performance than the previous generation.

It is not clear why Microsoft equipped the Surface Laptop 4 with an older generation processor, most likely because the design process of the machine began before AMD brought the 5000 series mobile processors to the market. laptop manufacturer.

However, with improvements in battery life, processing power, and price, the latest generation of Surface Laptop still deserves a place on the list of laptops you should consider for your children or for yourself. to replace obsolete machines. Surface Laptop is the right product for nearly everyone.

Surface Laptop 4
Surface Laptop 4

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