Microsoft generally updates its Surface hardware every October, generally targeting both the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop. But this fall, we missed the long-awaited Surface Laptop 4 and got the inexpensive Surface Laptop Go.
Microsoft is rumored to be planning the Surface Laptop 4 for next year. We haven’t heard much officially about the device, but a lot of rumors are circulating. Here’s everything we currently know and want from Microsoft’s upcoming flagship Windows 10 laptop.
Price and release date
We were expecting the Surface Laptop 4 in October 2020, but now it looks like it could arrive in 2021. Microsoft has really changed its typical product launch schedule, possibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other supply and demand issues. in the PC industry.
According to Windows Central, Surface Laptop 4 could arrive in the first half of 2021, “a few months” after the launch of the Surface Pro 8. We don’t have an exact schedule, but it looks like spring 2021 is likely.
As for prices, not much is known yet. The current 13-inch Surface Laptop 3 starts at $ 1,000, so we’re expecting a 13-inch Surface Laptop 4 to be in the same price range. The 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, meanwhile, retails for $ 1,200, so we expect the larger 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 to be in the same price range.
Other than the Surface Pro X, Microsoft doesn’t really update the design of its mainline Surface products often. It has been a “rinse and repeat” cycle. That means the Surface Laptop 4 might not look much different from the Surface Laptop 3. The Surface Laptop 4 is rumored to be more of an internal spec update than a design update.
Feeding that rumor some leaked photos of the Surface Laptop 4 from a round of certification tests in Korea. It looks like Microsoft could offer the Surface Laptop 4 in a matte black color like it has done in the past. In the photo, we can see that the supposed Surface Laptop 4 (codenamed 1950) looks almost identical to last year’s model.
With that in mind, expect the same design as before. The Surface Laptop won’t go the way of the Dell XPS 13 or Razer Book 13. It likely won’t have super-slim bezels and might still have its jaws and 3: 2 aspect ratio screen, just like before. But we expect a change (more on that later).
The latest from Intel and AMD on the inside
With the launch of the Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft chose for the first time AMD chips within one of its products. The 13-inch versions of the Surface Laptop featured Intel processors and the 15-inch versions came with custom “Surface Edition” AMD Ryzen processors. We hope it will be the same again this year, with a big change.
Again, according to Windows Central, the Surface Laptop 4 will come in two different variants. You can expect to see 13-inch versions with Intel’s 11th-generation Tiger Lake processors, as well as 15-inch versions with AMD’s new Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 “Surface Edition” chips. Surface Laptop 3 used the previous generation Ryzen mobile chips, which was disappointing. With possible AMD Ryzen 5000 mobile chips on the horizon, Microsoft may have delayed their release to sync up with newer AMD processors.
Even better? For the first time, Microsoft could also offer those AMD Ryzen chips in the 13-inch versions.
Added to that rumor are some benchmarks spotted online. First seen by Windows Latest, Geekbench Benchmarks for a product codenamed “OEMWY” and “OEMGR” showed a list for two devices. The first has AMD’s new Renoir chips, and the second shows Intel Tiger Lake U. It should also be noted that Microsoft has used similar device code names in the past when testing on Geekbench.
Geekbench listings can be manipulated, so it’s best to take that rumor with a grain of salt. However, if this is true, the Surface Laptop 4 could get a head start when it comes to light gaming and video editing. That’s thanks to Intel’s new Xe graphics on its 11th-gen CPUs. Even AMD’s new Renoir and Ryzen chips have proven to be very powerful when compared to the latest from Intel. That’s important, considering we were really disappointed in the performance of the older Zen +-based chips in the Surface Laptop 3 from last year.
Unfortunately, we don’t officially know much about the Surface Laptop 4 yet, but we wish very much. We hope Microsoft can reduce the bezels on the Surface Laptop and bring it up to speed with the XPS lineup.
It would be great to see the addition of an external graphics card too, so the laptop can have an added punch for light gaming. Of course, these things would require a massive design change by Microsoft, so it’s best not to hold your breath for now.
If you’re waiting for Thunderbolt to finally make its way to the Surface Laptop, you’ll have to wait for that feature too. Microsoft has chosen to avoid Thunderbolt on even its most powerful Surface devices, including the Surface Book 3.