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The surface laptop 4 is Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook air

The surface laptop 4 is Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook air
One of the best laptops of 2021, the surface laptop 4 is a powerful Windows ultrabook perfect for business and home. We review price, specs and features.

Launched in April 2021, the surface laptop 4 is part of Microsoft’s expanding surface range of desktop computers, タブレット, ラップトップ, two-in-ones and accessories.

Historically a software company, Microsoft once preferred to take a backseat when it came to designing the machines that actually run Windows, instead allowing third-party manufacturers such as Dell and HP to handle the messy side of designing, building and selling computers.

This allowed Windows to find its way onto an enormous range of devices, from home PCs and laptops to web servers and cash machines, cementing the operating system as the de-facto platform for business and home use around the world.

に 2012, Microsoft launched the first surface laptop with a view to showcasing the latest version of Windows and competing with Apple’s universally popular and suddenly ubiquitous MacBook line. ほとんど 10 years and seven generations later, the surface range now includes everything from hybrid laptops and creativity-focused all-in-one PCs, to folding phones and lightweight ultrabooks.

これらの, the surface laptop 4 is the closest equivalent to the MacBook air. It’s a thin, sturdy and smart-looking machine designed around Windows, with a touchscreen and stylus support to boot.

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テスト方法

We tested the surface laptop 4 by throwing our usual workday at it, writing articles in Google Docs, juggling dozens of Chrome tabs, chatting on Zoom and editing audio and photography in Adobe Creative Suite. In the evenings we used the laptop as our go-to media device to watch television shows and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the evening.

We benchmarked using PCMark 10 and tested out the surface laptop 4’s graphics capabilities on a range of games of varying complexity, including indie game Sable as well as the more demanding Mafia: 決定版. Here’s what we found.

Microsoft surface laptop 4, 13.5に: £1,014.99, Amazon.co.uk

<p>This is the 13.5in model in platinum and ice blue Alcantara </p>

This is the 13.5in model in platinum and ice blue Alcantara

Here’s the configuration sent to us by Microsoft to review. The surface laptop 4 is also available in a more expensive 15in model with a faster CPU, or in a more affordable configuration using an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and a 256GB hard drive, which starts from £799.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 1137G7
  • グラフィックス: Intel Iris Xe
  • 羊: 8GB
  • 画面: 13.5に, 2256 x 1504p
  • ストレージ: 512GB
  • 長所: Powerful, great display, ウィンドウズ 11 準備
  • 短所: Thick bezels

設計

The surface laptop 4 is one of the most delightful-looking laptops you can rest your wrists on. The keyboard base is finished in Alcantara, a synthetic microfibre suede that’s hard-wearing and comfortable against the skin. You’ll find the same material used in place of leather on car dashboards and seats, as well as a little closer to home in the surface pro tablet’s typing cover. It’s soft without feeling plush or fluffy and looks absolutely luxurious: all mottled and dappled and diffusing the light.

Aluminium has never been 快適でない 使用する, but the feel of Alcantara is undeniably more pleasant than that of cold, emotionless metal. とはいえ, we do worry about what might happen if we were to drop a thick slice of buttered toast on this thing. The material is hydrophobic and should repel stains, but feels doomed to collect all manner of grot over a long enough time, particularly if you have a habit of eating lunch while working.

The surface laptop 4 is also available without the Alcantara finish, though only in the more expensive configurations of the device.

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The rest of the surface laptop 4 looks stunning, and echoes the overarching design goals of the whole range: the display is evenly thin from top to bottom and can be lifted open with a single fingertip, the corners are industrial and bold, and the hinges are sturdy enough to parry your touchscreen prodding without any wobbles.

<p>The entire speaker is situated beneath the keyboard to avoid any visible grilles </p>

The entire speaker is situated beneath the keyboard to avoid any visible grilles

The anodised chassis gives the impression of having been machined from a single block of solid aluminium. There are no screws and no seams to be found anywhere – even on the bottom of the laptop – and surfaces are unblemished by the typical smattering of holographic Intel stickers and assorted garish branding that makes some other Windows laptops look tacky.

画面

The display on the surface laptop 4 is bright and vivid. The resolution falls short of the near-4K found on some high-end surface devices, but this laptop really doesn’t need that many pixels. ザ・ 2256 NS 1504 looks crisp, is easy on the eyes, even easier on your battery life, and is ideally suited to the device’s compact 13.5in screen.

Colours and contrast don’t scream at you as much as they might on an OLED screen: instead the laptop has a more naturalistic range. ザ・ 3:2 aspect ratio is also ideal for things like document editing and web browsing. Laptops are increasingly moving towards this taller type of screen, and once you use one you’ll understand why – more headroom for on-screen information means less bouncing around and an incremental boost to your productivity. It’s a seemingly insignificant change, but switching back to a 16:9 screen feels claustrophobic once you’ve experienced 3:2.

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The most obvious downside here is the chunky black bezels surrounding the display, which feel like they don’t belong on a premium laptop in 2021. Watching movies and TV shows on the surface laptop 4 already feels boxed in by the taller aspect ratio, and the thick bezels only worsen this effect. You can certainly enjoy entertainment on this device, but there are laptops better suited to consuming media on the go.

<p>The 13.5in is small enough to chuck in a bag, but still big enough to get some serious work done on it </p>

The 13.5in is small enough to chuck in a bag, but still big enough to get some serious work done on it

Connections

We’re used to thin laptops sacrificing ports to save space, and the surface laptop 4 is no exception. You get a classic USB-A port, a new USB-C port and a headphone jack down the left side of the chassis. On the opposite side you get the charging port, which uses Microsoft’s magnetic doodad so you don’t yank your expensive laptop off the desk when you trip over. There are no card slots or HDMI ports, and the USB-C port is a standard one rather than the superfast Thunderbolt kind.

USB-C to HDMI cables are inexpensive and reliable, so the lack of a video-out port shouldn’t concern anyone who only needs to connect their laptop to a single monitor.

パフォーマンス

The configuration sent to us by Microsoft features the latest generation of power-efficient Intel core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and 512GB of storage. Performance is impressive and the laptop can handle pretty much any task you ask of it, juggling dozens of browser windows and happily taking on more CPU-intensive video and photo work.

Logging in with Windows Hello happens in a fraction of a second too, and because Windows wakes up as you open the display, you’re usually back at the desktop in the time it takes for you to rest your hands on the keyboard. It’s a small detail, but it makes the surface feel incredibly premium.

It’s possible to scale back these specs to a smaller 256GB hard drive and an AMD Ryzen 5 プロセッサー. The Ryzen 5 is less powerful on paper, but offers a big enough boost to battery life that we think it’s worth the imperceptible performance hit if you don’t think you’ll make the most of the Intel CPU’s potential.

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This is especially true if you don’t plan on playing many games. The Intel processor on the higher-end configuration features integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. 歴史的に, integrated graphics cards have been desperately underpowered, barely capable of stringing a handful of polygons together let alone rendering sprawling landscapes, but in recent years the tech has made enormous improvements.

The Iris Xe won’t go toe-to-toe with next-generation consoles, but it can deal with mid-range games without much fuss or overheating, and even offers fair performance with newer, big-budget titles so long as you dial the visuals way down. Faster integrated graphics also improve the performance of hardware-accelerated apps, such as Adobe Creative Suite and high-bandwidth video streaming on a site like Netflix.

<p>The surface laptop 4 weighs 1.26kg </p>

The surface laptop 4 weighs 1.26kg

バッテリー寿命

The advertised battery life of the surface laptop 4 までです 17 hours on a single charge, which is a generous estimate, but not too far off. Using the laptop for regular work – typing in Google Docs, sending emails, web browsing, Zoom calls, some very light Photoshop work, watching the odd YouTube video – the device ended each working day with somewhere near half a charge remaining. By this measure, the battery life of the surface laptop 4 is between 12 そして 13 時間.

That beats other surface machines we’ve tried, including both the surface book 3, and the previous surface laptop 3, which is impressive for a machine this light and thin, and for a laptop with a high-resolution display. You’ll only find a significantly longer battery life in a laptop running at a less detailed 1080p resolution.

評決: Microsoft surface laptop 4

ザ・ surface laptop 4 is the ideal demonstration of what a slim, portable and no-fuss Windows laptop can be. It’s a sleek piece of hardware built to work hand in glove with the operating system, and has none of the irritating pre-installed software often found lurking on third-party Windows laptops. It is an as near-to-perfect Windows experience as you can find.

There are more powerful laptops in our list of で最高のラップトップ 2021, which we’d recommend if you know you’ll need something with more performance, but for everything short of gaming and heavy image and video-processing tasks, there’s no better recommendation than the surface laptop 4.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

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Unsure whether this is for you? Read our round-up of the best laptops you can buy in 2021