Microsoft Surface Laptop 4: what we want to see

(Image credit: Future)

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 may have been a no-show in 2020, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. As a flagship device, it’s been showcasing the company’s best tech, and we doubt Microsoft will pass an opportunity to do so again. Besides, Microsoft has been releasing a steady stream of commercially and critically successful Surface devices, and there’s no doubt that Microsoft wants to keep the ball rolling.

Granted, it’s been more than a year since the release of Surface Laptop 3 in October 2019. However, it’s not unusual for manufacturers to skip a year, especially if they don’t have significant updates to justify a worthy successor. In fact, a device that could very well be the Surface Laptop 4 has been spotted recently passing through Bluetooth certification, which could be a sign that it’ll hit the streets soon, hopefully inheriting its predecessor’s impressive battery life and design.

While nothing is official yet, rumors and leaks are starting to pop up so it’s time for us to gather everything in one spot. Here’s everything we know about the Surface Laptop 4. Be sure to bookmark this page as we’ll update it as soon as new information reaches our desks.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Microsoft’s next flagship laptop
  • When is it out? Hopefully by the end of 2020
  • How much will it cost? Possibly around $1,199/£1,199/AU$1,999

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 release date and price

We don’t have an official Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 release date yet, but considering Microsoft’s previous Surface Laptop releases, October 2020 is a very likely date.

If the Surface Laptop 3 launch is anything to go by, Microsoft could have a launch event early in October, where it shows off the device, then later in the month the Surface Laptop 4 will go on sale.

As for price, again we don’t have any concrete details. However, we’d like to see Microsoft launch the Surface Laptop 4 at around the same price than the Surface Laptop 3.

This means a base configuration for a 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 of around $1,199/£1,199/AU$1,999. It’s likely Microsoft will once again offer a range of configurations for the Surface Laptop 4, with a high-end model costing around $2,099/£2,049/AU$3,449.

We also expect Microsoft to also offer a slightly smaller, more affordable 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4.

Again, we hope Microsoft stick closely to the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3’s launch price, which was $999/£999/AU$1,699 for the base model.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 leaks and news

We’ve seen a few rumors emerge about the Surface Laptop 4. A benchmark appeared earlier in 2020 that suggested that the Surface Laptop 4 would come with a choice of either new AMD Ryzen 4000 processors, or the upcoming Intel Tiger Lake-U CPUs.

A later benchmark appeared recently that apparently showed a Surface Laptop 4 running running Windows 10 May 2020 Update, and powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor.

This is based on AMD’s Zen 2 technology, and is a six-core processor with a 2.3GHz and a boost clock of 4GHz.

While these are still only rumors, we think it’s safe to assume that Microsoft will offer the Surface Laptop 4 with a choice of Intel or AMD processors, as it did with the Surface Laptop 3.

What we want to see from the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

We liked the Surface Laptop 3 a lot, but there are plenty of ways Microsoft could improve the device when it launches its sequel.

So, here’s what we want to see from the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4.

1. Longer battery life

Battery life is one of the biggest concerns for people when looking for a new laptop, so we’d like to see Microsoft offer best-in-class battery performance with the Surface Laptop 4.

The good news is that it was already offering pretty excellent battery life with the Surface Laptop 3 – it scored over 10 hours in our battery life benchmark.

With the Surface Laptop 4 hopefully taking advantage of Intel and AMD’s more power-efficient mobile processors, we’d like to see the Surface Laptop 4 last even longer without needing to be plugged in.

2. A bit of a redesign

Don’t get us wrong, we liked the look of the Surface Laptop 3. Microsoft has shown it can produce attractive flagship devices, but we’d still love it if it changed things up a little bit with the Surface Laptop 4.

The company has experimented with using uncommon materials you’d usually find in a laptop’s design (such as fabric) and it’d be great to see a return of that radical design ethos.

(Image credit: Future)

3. More ports, please

While Microsoft is redesigning the Surface Laptop 4, we’d like it to add a few more ports. With just a USB 3.0 and one USB-C port (alongside a headphone/mic jack), the Surface Laptop 3 was seriously lacking in ports.

We’d love to see Microsoft include a few more – and maybe even an SD card reader. It would certainly make the Surface Laptop 4 a more attractive purchase for professionals and creatives.

4. More power as well

We’d love to see the Surface Laptop 4 with cutting-edge tech that allows it to rival the MacBook Pro. Its predecessor felt too under-powered considering the price.

The Surface Laptop 3 also only came with integrated graphics. We’d love to see a version of the Surface Laptop 4 with a dedicated GPU. Not only so that we can play the odd game on it, but also to help with creative workloads like photo and video editing.

January 22, 2021
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