Updated: July 25, 2021 6:46:36 pm
For many people, buying a Surface laptop over a Macbook or Dell XPS has something to do with the way Microsoft designs its computers. A Surface device feels different, and although they aren’t the most powerful or the cheapest, they do offer satisfying performance. The new Surface Laptop 4 appears like a high-end Windows notebook, though at Rs 1,77,499 the Surface Laptop 4 isn’t going to be an easy sell especially when the market is flooded with cheaper options. But then this is a Surface machine aimed at a certain audience who want the most premium and attractive Windows laptop in the market.
Here’s my review of the Surface Laptop 4.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review: A timeless design
As someone who takes a special interest in design and art, the Surface Laptop 4 feels as if it is designed exactly for people like me. I am among those who look for devices that have a bold and lasting impression along with a well-balanced feeling.
The Surface Laptop 4 is available in 13.5 inch and 15-inch screens — I got the latter for review. The laptop is all aluminum and its thin-and-light design makes this device so appealing.
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The Surface Laptop 4 is one of the most versatile and comfortable to use computers I have ever reviewed. Even though a traditional design debunks the myth that laptops have to be boring. This notebook provides a better work-from-home experience and is not confined to the desk.
Because it is lightweight and has a large 15-inch screen with a 3:2 ratio, I can take this machine anywhere around the house and immediately start working on my balcony while enjoying the rain or make myself comfortable on the bed over long periods of time. Also, the Surface Laptop 4 is one of the few notebooks I have used that can be opened with one hand. The build quality is excellent and the laptop doesn’t flex or bend either.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review: Excellent display
The size of the display is impressive for a laptop. Microsoft has introduced Snap Layouts in Windows 11 (I am currently testing the beta version), and the whole idea of running multiple programmes in a multi-window layout on a 15-inch screen makes so much sense. I can use the snap feature to open a Chrome window and edit a copy on the right-hand side of the screen and respond to mail on the left side. The display has a native resolution of 2496 x 1664 pixels, with a density of 201 ppi. That means the resolution of the display is higher than 1080p; plus, the 3:2 aspect ratio provides extra real estate than before. You will have a pleasant experience watching movies and reading e-papers.
It’s a bright, vibrant display that remains excellent, even outdoors. I am not so sure whether this display meets the expectations of professional users like graphic designers and video editors. In my case, I haven’t found any impact while editing photos. The display supports touch, although it would be awkward for anyone to draw and take notes on the screen.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review: The keyboard lacks snappiness
I have been using Surface devices for years, and the keyboard always stood out in my opinion. However, while using the Surface Laptop 4, I found that the keyboard lacks snappiness, delivering a less pleasant experience. That doesn’t mean the keyboard is unusable. In fact, some might love this softer, spongier feel. The trackpad, on the other hand, is the best I’ve ever used on a laptop.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review: Amazing sound
The speakers are amazing. They not only get loud but also sound way better. Let me put it this way: they don’t sound like laptop speakers. In my room, I can use the Surface Laptop 4 to watch movies or listen to casual music without needing to pair my Bluetooth speakers. What I liked about them is that at maximum volume they get a lot louder without the distortion. The microphones too are impressive. They are good enough to make your Zoom or Teams call much clearer. The 720p webcam, although average resolution delivers sharp image quality, and the Windows Hello biometric camera is also there for fast facial authentication.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review: Solid performance
The 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 model I tested was the highest-end configuration with Intel’s Core i7 11th gen processor along with the improved XE integrated graphics, 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD. I mostly relied on a “real-world test” that included everyday tasks like web browsing, editing stories, watching Netflix, casual video and photo editing, listening to music, and playing games via Xbox Game Pass. My experience with the Surface Laptop 4 has been fairly positive, and all the programmes and apps that I normally use have been running great. That said, this notebook isn’t designed for hardcore gamers and pro-level consumers.
To me, though, for the kind of work I do, the Surface Laptop 4 is more than enough. The fact that this machine is portable and provides performance without any compromises is exactly what I wanted in a computer. The notebook also gets decent battery life. I was able to get between 7 and 8 hours of battery with the brightness set at 50 per cent.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review: Limited ports
The problem with the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 is the lack of ports. The notebook has one USB-A and USB-C port each, which I think is not enough on a modern-day computing device. Sadly, the Intel model does not support Thunderbolt 4 connectivity on the USB-C port. The problem is if you want to connect to (such as external storage or a monitor), you will need to use a docking station or a USB hub.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review: Who’s this for?
The 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 is for those who wish to get a slick notebook that offers the perfect good screen size and portability, looks and sounds good and the battery life is incredible for a device with a display of this size and type. Yes, the Surface Laptop 4 is very expensive, and it goes without saying that the notebook will be better suited for business users, especially executives who want an aspirational computing machine that is not only beautiful to look at but also super capable and functional.
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