On test: Surface Laptop 4 13.5″ AMD Ryzen 5 / 16GB RAM
I have been lucky to have an aluminium Surface Laptop 4 13.5″ with 16Gb and the AMD Ryzen 5 chipset on loan for about 8 weeks, so thought it was about time I wrote my review! Thanks #SurfaceUK for the loan.
Overall feel and use
Microsoft’s latest and ever gorgeous looking Surface Laptop 4 naturally features the latest generation Intel or AMD chipsets, new colours and best of all much improved battery life which lasted a full 8hrs of constant use in my test – which is pretty damn good in my book (or laptop!)
As with previous iterations, it’s hard to spot any visual differences between this and Surface Laptop 3, with it matching the dimensions, weight, port selection and design which still looks beautiful and premium as ever.
As always, the keyboard is great quality, quiet and with great “key travel” making it easy to type. The large trackpad is smooth, responsive and precise but still manages to not get in the way of typing.
Screen is bright, great resolution with it’s standard 3:2 aspect ratio. Sound from the speakers are also clear and crisp and even has surprisingly good bass and mid tones and doesn’t sound at all tinny. Films on Netflix sounded really nice – though of course sound better beamed to a high quality set of speakers or sound bar!
The webcam naturally supports Windows Hello face recognition for logging into Windows in a split second and provides 720p quality webcam (with great light and perfect field of view and microphones are better than most for video calls.
Surface Laptop 4 was whisper quiet in operation – and in my all day use test I really couldn’t hear the fans when they did kick in, which they did a few times as I was working in direct sun with video on and lots of apps.
Battery life was some way behind the claimed 12± hrs but did last a full 8hrs with constant use – sitting outside in the sun, blue tooth paired headset, Wi-Fi and brightness set to high. My day was spend in back to Teams video calls along with regular dips into Apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Battery settings were left to their defaults.
My day started at 7.00am and Surface Laptop 4 got me through to just after 3:00pm when it hit 10% and battery saver engaged. I had, in my bag an external USB battery pack (just in case) which then managed to get me about 75% charge in about an hour so I didn’t technically need to finds a mains plug (though without my USB battery pack, my day wouldn’t have finished earlier than planned)!
Inside the device
As you’d expect with the latest version, the internal components of Surface Laptop 4 have been upgraded from Laptop 3. For the first time Microsoft has the AMD’s Ryzen 5 processors available in the 13.5in laptop. The Intel version gets options of 11th-gen Core i5 or i7 chips and graphics has also been significantly improved thanks to the use of the built-in “Xe integrated” graphics.
The Surface Laptop 4 is (as expected) a premium quality, thin and light weight Windows 10 power-notebook from Microsoft.
The device is modern, sleek, is very light yet high quality and feels great to use. Its quick and responsive and definitely attracts that “jealous look” as Surface devices always seems to stand out in a crowd.
One of the other great things (small but important) with Surface over many other OEMs is the lack of any bloat ware. Surface comes with “just Windows 10 installed“, and the standard stock apps (including Office which needs to be activated). This means it runs fast out of box and you don’t spend hrs removing bloatware!!
A great laptop for home or work that won’t disappoint – just wish Microsoft would let me keep it!!