Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop Review: A Sleek and Powerful Windows Laptop

The Surface Laptop 4 is the newest addition to Microsoft’s line of laptops, and it’s definitely the best Surface Laptop yet. We reviewed the slim, sleek Windows-based laptop with a 15-inch screen — though there is a 13-inch version, too — and we think it is the perfect combination of performance and design.

No, it’s not a revolutionary change from the previous Surface 3 Laptop, which came out in 2019, but we love the big screen, this subtle shade of Ice Blue and the comfy keyboard. And, if you’re planning on taking it with you this summer for vacation, getaways and road trips, its slender silhouette (0.58 inches) makes it easy to pack away—while simultaneously offering updated processors and a stunning quad HD screen resolution for streaming all your favorite entertainment on the go.

Price and Availability: The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is available now and starts at $999 for the 13-inch and $1299 for the 15-inch. It comes in Ice Blue, Platinum, Sandstone and Matte Black. You can get it at Microsoft, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Amazon and Walmart.

Why We Chose It: Since we’ve been working from home and not an office for what feels like forever, there are a few things we’ve realized. Like, working on a smaller laptop is not great on our eyes. Also, the cramped keyboard is not conducive to writing. And save buying a monitor and full-sized keyboard, having this big old 15-inch screen and expansive keyboard was the best way to get around it. The glass-topped trackpad is also spread-out enough to easily move your cursor around.

Set-up is simple from the get-go, and the Microsoft voice assistant, Cortana, will walk you through it for a more customized configuration. It asks, quite pleasantly, what your primary needs are for the laptop and uses your answers to optimize your experience. That includes setting up or creating a Microsoft Family account if you want to share it with your kids.

But the best thing about the Surface Laptop 4 is the updated performance which upgrades what you can do with its stunningly large screen with 3:2 display ratio. For $1299, you get the AMD Ryzen 7 processor and the ability to do easy breezy multitasking—from watching Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to browsing the web and making video calls to editing documents.

Why You Need It: Choosing the right laptop is more important than ever these days. Sure, you may need it for work, but most probably it will become a more communal device for all your home office/entertainment needs, including entertainment and streaming video and games.

Yes, you get a massive, high definition 15-inch screen which can be folded up and easily thrown in your bag, briefcase or suitcase. But you also get over 11 hours of battery life on one charge, which, if you’re planning on finally venturing back on long haul flights, is super helpful. It also works well in the back of a car for those family road trips.

If you already have a Microsoft 365 account, you’ll be able to pull up all your documents, photos, spreadsheets, etc., from the OneDrive cloud. Or you can set it up from scratch to encompass your current needs and users. Then, you’ll be able to pull up as many Chrome tabs as you’d like, because this laptop can juggle everything from YouTube videos to podcasts to a cheeky video game. This is amplified by its AMD FreeSync technology, which provides noticeably smoother video.

As for all those video calls you’ll be making (because, yeah, you know you will), the Surface 4 Laptop gives you an acceptable 720p front facing camera that also uses IR sensors to let you sign in using facial recognition—a neat trick that saves time. Studio mics round it out nicely and help you Zoom in style.

As for included ports, we love that it still has a headphone jack—especially when our teen decides to work on his beats at midnight, or we decide to stay up in bed streaming Shadow and Bone. And although ports include a USB-A and USB-C, there is a lack of a Thunderbolt 4 for more complicated external accessories.

But, one of the upgraded features that most piqued our interest was the booming speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. These most definitely up’d the ante for streaming movies and playing video games–and even gave us amplified bass on our tunes as well.

What Others Are Saying: Wired believes the Surface 4 Laptop is an excellent, all-around laptop that is competitive with Apple products. “For most, the base $1,299 version with the Ryzen 7, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and 256-GB SSD is more than enough for watching Netflix, editing documents, and browsing the web. What sets it apart from similarly priced, and certainly cheaper, laptops is the build quality.”

And TechRadar agrees that this laptop is a perfect hybrid model for office and home. “Just like any other Surface Laptop over the last decade, the Surface Laptop 4 is thin, light and powerful enough to get you through most everyday workloads. But when you combine that with the gorgeous PixelSense display and one of the most comfortable keyboards we’ve ever used, we kind of want this to be the laptop we take to the office once that’s a possibility again.”

 Final Conclusion: When it comes to the Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop, come for the stunning 15-inch display and stay for the updated, speedy performance. Here you’ll be serenaded with thumping bass powered by Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, jerk-free video and an all-around powerhouse for both work and play.

Buy the Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop on Amazon