It’s been more than a year since the launch of Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3, and while we expected to see its successor, the Surface Laptop 4, arrive back in 2020, we’ve now got a better idea of what to expect from the next iteration of the company’s flagship device.
According to a listing on benchmark site Geekbench, the Surface Laptop 4 – codenamed ‘Renior’ – will come with an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, marking another major win for the CPU maker (and further headaches for Intel) as it continues its partnership with Microsoft following the introduction of its tech in the Surface Laptop 3.
The listing suggests the base variant of the upcoming device will come equipped with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, though this remains unconfirmed.
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While the listing doesn’t reveal further specs for the Surface Laptop 4, the benchmark scores give an indication of just how powerful it might be. Geekbench had the device clock up a single-core score of 1063 and a multi-core score of 5726, while the Intel processor model of the same laptop achieved 1343 and 4970, respectively.
That suggests AMD’s CPUs match and, in some tests, exceed the power of their Intel counterparts, spelling more trouble for the once-dominant processor developer as its competitors – including Apple with its M1 chips – continue to gain a foothold in the industry.
No release date has yet been confirmed for Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4, but if the launch of its predecessor is anything to go by, we could expect a showcase event early in October, followed by a sale announcement later in the month.
What we want to see from the Surface Laptop 4
We liked the Surface Laptop 3 a lot, but there are plenty of ways Microsoft could improve the device when it launches its sequel.
The first upgrade we want to see is battery life. With the Surface Laptop 4 set to take advantage of AMD's more power-efficient mobile processors, we'd expect the Surface Laptop 4 to last even longer than the 10 hours achieved by its predecessor without needing to be plugged in.
We’d also love to see an updated design. The Surface Laptop 3 looks great, but Microsoft would do well to take advantage of its history of experimenting with uncommon laptop materials (like fabric) on its newest device – if only to make it stand out from other laptops on the market (as much we we lauded the new M1 MacBooks, their designs remain a little on the safe side).
With news that the next MacBook Pro models could regain HDMI ports and SD readers in 2021, it would be great to see Microsoft follow suit and add a few more ports to its latest Surface devices. With just a USB 3.0 and one USB-C port (alongside a headphone/mic jack), the Surface Laptop 3 was seriously lacking in that department, so we await with bated breath to see whether its successor can lay down a multi-port marker.
In any case, with AMD processors once again set to be a feature of the upcoming Surface Laptop 4 range (along with Intel options as well), Microsoft already looks to be on to a winner with its newest MacBook competitor.
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