While every tablet, laptop and desktop has inherent strengths and weaknesses, these three devices do close to the same thing. Many people own at least two of these devices, and some have all three. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one that had the power of a desktop, the portability of a laptop and the flexibility of a tablet?
Microsoft claims its Surface 4 Laptop is that device. According to the company, they’ve designed a stylish laptop that has “serious multitasking power,” so you can get your work done with ease.
The Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop sounded like the one device that could handle all of our computing needs. So, we tested this versatile laptop to determine if it really held up to all the marketing claims. This is what we found.
Our tester has been using laptops for about 15 years. They’ve used Apple MacBooks, MacBook Pros, HP laptops, Acer laptops and laptops from other brands as well. Our tester always looks for versatility since they use it for gaming, video editing and other resource-intensive projects.
Additionally, our tester’s ideal laptop is lightweight and travel-friendly, with enough battery life to last for an entire day of work. The screen must be bright enough to be visible in any lighting situation.
During the trial period, our tester explored the many features of the Surface 4 Laptop. Besides the aspects mentioned, they evaluated processing speed, speaker quality, video call quality and the feel of the keyboard.
The Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop is a desktop computer packed into a laptop. It has everything you need, from the impressive power required for multitasking to traditional input devices, such as a keyboard and a mouse (sold separately). This laptop also features a touchscreen, and you can fold it back to use as a tablet, either with your finger or the Surface Pen (sold separately).
We were impressed with this laptop straight out of the box. It looks and feels like a quality product. The model is thin (just 0.58 inches thick) with a stylish design, but the solid case gives you confidence that it’s built for travel. The hinges operate smoothly, but they are stiff, and some people might find the laptop difficult to open.
Spec-wise, the Surface 4 Laptop has 16GB of RAM, two USB ports and runs on Windows 11 OS. It features an 11th generation Intel core processor, a 720p HD camera, Omnisonic speakers and a studio-quality microphone.
The display is sharp, sporting visibly vibrant colors that show even in the bright afternoon sunlight. It has a 3:2 aspect ratio, which makes it more square than the average laptop or television screen. This gives you more vertical space for browsing and opening multiple windows.
The Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop with a 15-inch display, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage currently costs $1,499. It’s available on Amazon. Staples has a similar model with a 15-inch display, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for $1,499.99.
Setting up the Surface 4 Laptop is a breeze, especially if you have any experience with Windows. The process involves turning on the device, connecting to Wi-Fi, creating a Microsoft account (or signing in), creating a security PIN and navigating through a few setup menus. It only takes a few minutes to get up and running.
Minus the mouse, there are two main ways to interface with this laptop: keyboard and touchscreen.
Keyboard: This laptop was designed with writers in mind. The keys are effortless to use and have just enough travel to convey a sense of precision when typing. The overall touch sensation is pillowy. While this adds comfort, some users may find this feature slightly less desirable than a clicky response.
Touchscreen: The touchscreen’s responsiveness is a high point in the design. It quickly and accurately interprets every point of contact, whether a tap, drag or pinch. The stiff hinges allow you to reach up and tap the screen while in laptop configuration without fear that it will collapse backward.
Making a video call is as easy as navigating to your contacts list, right-clicking the desired contact and selecting “Start a Video Call.” Accepting a video call is even easier — just click the incoming alert. Video calls on the Surface 4 Laptop feature adequate image and audio, but nothing that stands out from comparable models.
This laptop has the processing speed and the RAM to open and use several apps at once with no noticeable decrease in speed. It excels in all the right areas, such as responsiveness, versatility, sturdy design and long battery life. The Surface 4 Laptop also has an appealing design that enhances the user experience.
Microsoft’s laptop has a few drawbacks. Wired connectivity is limited to one USB-A and one USB-C port. We also noticed the screen bezels seemed a bit thick. Also, the Surface Pen is not included with your purchase, and the keyboard can feel a little spongy. However, not a single one of these drawbacks is a deal-breaker because the benefits of this impressive model far outweigh these minor inconveniences.
If you want a versatile device that excels in productivity, the Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop should be on your list. It’s reasonably priced, it gives you the power of a desktop in a laptop and it has the versatility of a tablet.
If you like high-end models, this MacBook features the M1 chip and a 10-core CPU for faster performance than previous models. The 32-core GPU is designed for graphic-intensive apps, and the battery can last up to 21 hours on a single charge. The super-fast SSD storage can open files and launch apps in an instant.
Sold by Amazon
This is a comparable model for people who prefer HP products. It has a two-in-one laptop/tablet design with a 15.6-inch display. It comes loaded with Windows 11 Home, has 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage.
Sold by HP
If you’re on a strict budget and just need a low-end tablet for casual use, the new Fire 7 is Amazon’s fastest and most powerful model. When compared to the previous generation, this tablet is 30% faster. It has 16GB and 32GB options, a 10-hour battery life and built-in Alexa for convenience.
Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s and Staples
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.