Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 brings new chips and better battery life

The Surface Laptop 4 gives a boost to the Microsoft notebooks with the latest Intel and AMD processors, plus some handy accessories

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, announced today, provides a significant update for fans of the company’s flagship laptop offering. Available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch versions, the Surface Laptop 4 provides a choice of four new processors from Intel and AMD, improved battery life on all models and a new color for the 13.5-inch version.

While the Surface range is best known for its 2-in-1 devices, the Surface Laptop 4 is a fully-fledged laptop with a full-size keyboard. However, both 13.5-inch and 15-inch models have touchscreen displays, with 10-point multi-touch and are compatible with the Surface Pen for precision use.

Replacing the Surface Laptop 3, the new model has taken an, ‘if it ain’t broke’ approach to the design and remaining almost identical in looks to the original model. To be fair, it is a great-looking device. Inside though, it has had some nice upgrades.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The four color finishes of the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Surface Laptop now offers a choice of 11th gen Intel and AMD processors on both sizes. On the 13.5-inch you can choose between quad-core Intel i5 or i7 and AMD Ryzen 5 4680U processors, while on the 15-inch there is the option of the quad-core Intel i7 and the AMD Ryzen 7 4980U. Previously the 13.5-inch model offered only Intel chips and the 15-inch only AMD processors.

These new processors have also led to a significant jump in battery life. While the Surface Laptop 3 gave up to 11.5 hours per charge on both models, the Surface Laptop 4 gives 16.5 to 17 hours in the Intel processors and 17.5 to 19 hours using the AMD Ryzen chips.  

The onboard omnisonic speakers now support Dolby Atmos audio, though the 720p f/2 camera and dual far-field microphones appear unchanged. Once again, the 15-inch model comes in platinum and matte black versions, both with metal palm rests. The 13.5-inch model comes in four colors, including matte black and sandstone, both with metal palm rests as well as platinum and a new ice blue (replacing the previous cobalt blue) both with Alcantara material palm rests for a softer feel.

In addition to the Surface Laptop 4, Microsoft is bolstering its virtual meeting accessories. The new Surface Headphones 2+ for Business provide 13 levels of noise cancellation and battery for up to 15 hours of voice calls. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Modern range includes USB and wireless headsets, a USB-C speaker and a 1080p webcam.

Surface Headphones 2+ for Business

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Mat Gallagher
Mat Gallagher

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat is a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, cars, music or travel. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and is now based in Chicago.