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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 will reportedly include both AMD and Intel configurations

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 will reportedly include both AMD and Intel configurations


You can choose your CPU fighter

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The Surface Laptop Go on the corner of a table half open, seen from the back.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

For a while, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 was one of the best laptops you could buy. Microsoft is now planning its successor, the Surface Laptop 4, and it appears WinFuture has obtained details about this upcoming device. Per this report, the laptop is coming sometime in April.

The biggest news is that the new Surface Laptop will come with both Intel and AMD options. The AMD models will include chips from the Ryzen 4000 mobile series, including the Ryzen 5 4680U and the Ryzen 7 4980U. These aren’t AMD’s top guns; the current-gen Ryzen 5000 mobile series was announced earlier this year. The Intel models will have Intel’s latest 11th Gen CPUs, though, including the Core 15-1145G7 and the Core i7-1185G7.

Apart from the chips, it seems like very little is changing between the Laptop 3 and the Laptop 4. Here are some other tidbits we’ve learned from WinFuture’s report:

  • There will be 13.5- and 15-inch models available. These are also the models that the Surface Laptop 3 offered.
  • All models have a 3:2 aspect ratio. The resolution of the 13.5-inch device will be 2256 x 1504, and the 15-inch will be 2496 x 1664. These are the same resolutions that the Surface Laptop 3 offered. The 3:2 aspect ratio has been a staple of Microsoft’s Surface products for a few years now.
  • RAM maxes out at 32GB. But it looks like if you want that much memory, you’ll need to get an Intel model. The AMD configurations only go up to 16GB.
  • Storage maxes out at 1TB. Similarly, it looks like only the Intel models offer that much storage. AMD laptops will max out at 512GB.

If these leaks are true, I’m expecting Microsoft will take a similar approach to the Surface Laptop 4 as it did to the Surface Book 3 last spring — that is, bump up the chips with minimal changes to the chassis.

Best Laptops 2020: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
This is the Surface Laptop 3, to give you an idea of what the Surface Laptop 4 will look like.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be excited about, of course. Chip upgrades are still a big deal. One of our primary complaints about both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch Surface Book 3 models was that their battery life wasn’t great compared to the competition. The 15-inch model also ran into some performance issues in our testing. It had significant trouble running 4K 60fps videos and completing media exports. It will be great if the new chips are able to address some of these drawbacks.

I wouldn’t blame Microsoft for not overhauling the design; people like it, and why fix what’s not broken? But as I noted in my review of the Surface Book 3, there’s only so long the Surface line’s look can stay relevant. Across the market, laptop bezels are shrinking, chassis are getting lighter, and customers are expecting a sleeker and more modern vibe from both high-end and midrange products. The Surface Laptop’s design was never ugly, but as the likes of the Dell XPS and the HP Spectre continue to evolve, I worry that it won’t be too long before the Surface line’s look is left behind.

All that’s being said: these are still rumors at this stage, so treat them with a grain of salt. I’ll be sure to update you when we’ve gotten more concrete information about this upcoming device, hopefully sooner rather than later.