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Microsoft announces Surface Laptop 4 with choice of Intel or AMD processors

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The AMD version starts at $300 less than Intel’s equivalent

Microsoft is refreshing its Surface lineup with the Surface Laptop 4 today, which now offers the choice between AMD or Intel processors across both the 13.5- and 15-inch models. Both sizes will ship with Intel’s latest 11th Gen processors or AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series processors. Microsoft is shipping its Surface Laptop 4 on April 15th in the US, Canada, and Japan, starting at $999 for the AMD model and $1,299 for the Intel version — a $300 price gap between the pair.

The difference in pricing likely comes down to the fact that Microsoft isn’t using AMD’s latest 5000 series CPUs here. Instead, Microsoft is using AMD’s Zen 2-based chips for its AMD Ryzen Surface Edition processors. Despite this, performance between the Intel and AMD versions could be rather similar, but we’ll have to wait for full reviews to judge how Microsoft’s choices have landed.

The Surface Laptop 4 color options.
Image: Microsoft

These processor improvements allow Microsoft to promise up to 70 percent more performance over the Surface Laptop 3, and some (on paper) battery life gains. Microsoft is promising up to 19 hours of battery life on the 13.5-inch AMD model and up to 17.5 hours on the 15-inch version. The Intel-powered 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 is rated up to 17 hours of battery life, while the larger 15-inch model hits 16.5 hours. Both of the Intel versions will also ship with Intel’s latest Iris Xe graphics, which means games like Overwatch will be playable at 1080p ultra.

The Surface Laptop 4 also maintains the same design of the Surface Laptop 3 that shipped in 2019. You’ll be able to pick between the classic platinum Surface style and a new ice blue color on the 13.5-inch models, both of which are Alcantara fabric. Matte black and sandstone are also available in metal options for the 13.5-inch models, while the 15-inch versions are strictly platinum and matte black in metal and no Alcantara fabric.

The Surface Laptop 4 in ice blue.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft hasn’t really updated the rest of the Surface Laptop 4, though. There’s a single USB-C port, one USB-A port, a headphone jack, and Microsoft’s Surface Connect port for charging. There’s still no Thunderbolt support, and the M.2 NVMe SSD is still removable from a slot at the rear of the device.

As a result of the choice between AMD or Intel, the Surface Laptop 4 lineup is pretty complicated this time around. The 13.5-inch base model at $999 is the AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Intel base model is the 11th Gen Core i5 1135G7, with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. There will also be a variety of Intel models all the way up to the $2,299 version with a Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. A second AMD model with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will ship around eight weeks after launch for $1,199.

Over on the 15-inch side, there are more AMD options starting with the $1,299 AMD Ryzen 7 4980U model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You can configure this up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for $1,699. The Intel 15-inch models start at $1,799 for the Core i7 1185G7 with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, or there’s the option for 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage for $2,399.