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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Laptop Review - Too expensive with Intel CPU?

Microsoft lacks innovation. Microsoft's small Surface Laptop 4 gets a new Tiger Lake processor, but that's about it. Is that still enough in 2021 to compete with the rivals including Apple’s M1 MacBooks?
Andreas Osthoff 👁 (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 ...

The larger 15-inch model of the Surface Laptop 4 was already available with Intel or AMD CPUs last year, and Microsoft now adds an AMD option for the smaller 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 as well. Except for the processor, however, nothing really changed. Our test model is equipped with a Core i7-1185G7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, and 512 GB PCIe-SSD storage for 1849 Euros. The AMD CPU is only available with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage, and you have to get an Intel CPU if you need more memory/storage. The base price with a Core i5 is 1449 Euros (8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD). We will focus on the performance in this article, please see our previous review of the Surface Laptop 3 for comprehensive information on the chassis and the input devices.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7 (Surface Laptop 4 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-1185G7 4 x 3 - 4.8 GHz, 50 W PL2 / Short Burst, 30 W PL1 / Sustained, Tiger Lake UP3
Graphics adapter
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Core: 1350 MHz, Memory: 2000 MHz
Memory
16384 MB 
, LPDDR4x-4266, Dual-Channel, onboard
Display
13.50 inch 3:2, 2256 x 1504 pixel 201 PPI, capacitive, LQ135P1JX51, IPS, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Mainboard
Intel Tiger Lake-UP3 PCH-LP
Storage
Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU, 512 GB 
, 426 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Tiger Lake-U/Y PCH-LP - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Stereo, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14.5 x 308 x 223 ( = 0.57 x 12.13 x 8.78 in)
Battery
47.4 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 65W PSU, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.346 kg ( = 47.48 oz / 2.97 pounds), Power Supply: 306 g ( = 10.79 oz / 0.67 pounds)
Price
1849 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

mögliche Konkurrenten im Vergleich

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
84.7 %
05/2021
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
1.3 kg14.5 mm13.50"2256x1504
87.6 %
03/2021
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
975 g15 mm13.30"2560x1600
87.4 %
12/2020
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
1.3 kg14.8 mm13.40"3840x2400
91.1 %
12/2020
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1, M1 8-Core GPU
1.4 kg15.6 mm13.30"2560x1600

Case & Connectivity

The case is once again available in multiple colors and you can either get metal or Alcantara for the top of the base unit. A direct comparison reveals that the Alcantara version is not quite as sturdy in the center keyboard area, but there should not be any limitations in practice. All in all, the chassis quality is still very good, but you can hardly maintain the device. The screws are hidden underneath glued support feet and all you could change is the compact M.2-2230 SSD, even though there are not many suitable drives on the market anyway.

Size Comparison

308 mm / 12.1 inch 223 mm / 8.78 inch 14.5 mm / 0.571 inch 1.3 kg2.97 lbs308 mm / 12.1 inch 223 mm / 8.78 inch 14.5 mm / 0.571 inch 1.3 kg2.84 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 15.6 mm / 0.614 inch 1.4 kg3.03 lbs296 mm / 11.7 inch 209 mm / 8.23 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 975 g2.15 lbs296 mm / 11.7 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 14.8 mm / 0.583 inch 1.3 kg2.78 lbs
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Connectivity

Microsoft still avoids modern Thunderbolt 4 or USB 4 connectors, and you once again get the proprietary Surface Connect port for the power adapter and some accessories from Microsoft on the right side, but the handling is not great. Due to the angled base unit, you can only attach the power adapter when you lift the device on the right side. It is also possible to charge via USB-C.

Rechts: Surface Connect
Rechts: Surface Connect
Links: USB-A (3.2 Gen.1), USB-C (3.2 Gen.1, DisplayPort Alt-Mode, Power Delivery), 3,5-mm-Klinke
Links: USB-A (3.2 Gen.1), USB-C (3.2 Gen.1, DisplayPort Alt-Mode, Power Delivery), 3,5-mm-Klinke

The Wi-Fi module (Intel AX201) is identical to the previous model and it supports the fast Wi-Fi 6 standard. Our standardized Wi-Fi test with the router Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 reveals good transfer rates and we did not experience any signal problems with the router from Netgear or the AVM Fritz!Box 7590. Contrary to the Surface Pro 7 Plus, there is no option for an LTE module on the Surface Laptop 4.

Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1484 (1342min - 1614max) MBit/s ∼100% +8%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1380 (667min - 1483max) MBit/s ∼93%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s
1365 (955min - 1588max) MBit/s ∼92% -1%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1338 (871min - 1460max) MBit/s ∼90% -3%
Average Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
  (49.8 - 1775, n=268)
1157 MBit/s ∼78% -16%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
649 (611min - 664max) MBit/s ∼44% -53%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1547 (819min - 1624max) MBit/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s
1501 (1471min - 1536max) MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1426 (699min - 1490max) MBit/s ∼92% -8%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1251 (803min - 1358max) MBit/s ∼81% -19%
Average Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
  (136 - 1743, n=268)
1247 MBit/s ∼81% -19%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
757 (378min - 806max) MBit/s ∼49% -51%
0501001502002503003504004505005506006507007508008509009501000105011001150120012501300135014001450150015501600819160116241568157715951517152515201543158415781545112314591608156415461416156915911593155715461613151415331591154916108191601162415681577159515171525152015431584157815451123145916081564154614161569159115931557154616131514153315911549161066714421471145914491249147814831476145414321451147014741452144113521278137012901124145414831385140010601294132413101254Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø1519 (819-1624)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø1358 (667-1483)
ColorChecker
7.8 ∆E
10.5 ∆E
10.3 ∆E
9.3 ∆E
10 ∆E
8.9 ∆E
9.1 ∆E
8.9 ∆E
13.1 ∆E
4.2 ∆E
8.1 ∆E
7.2 ∆E
4.2 ∆E
6.8 ∆E
14.3 ∆E
4.3 ∆E
10.8 ∆E
9 ∆E
2.3 ∆E
6.1 ∆E
7.2 ∆E
6.1 ∆E
5 ∆E
7.3 ∆E
ColorChecker Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7: 7.95 ∆E min: 2.33 - max: 14.28 ∆E

Input Devices

The input devices did not change. The keyboard is decent for a subnotebook and the touchpad is very reliable. Our chassis color is called Sandstone and the contrast on the keys with the white lettering is not great, and the white illumination does not really help, either.

Display - Surface with 3:2 Touchscreen

We can keep it short in the display section, because Microsoft still uses the same panel. The subjective picture impression is excellent and you can only notice minor backlight bleeding on the bottom edge. The display is also identical at around 400 nits, but this also means there is no much headroom in very bright environments and the competition from Dell or Apple is superior in this respect.

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Minor backlight bleeding at the bottom edge
Minor backlight bleeding at the bottom edge
394
cd/m²
397
cd/m²
404
cd/m²
411
cd/m²
413
cd/m²
407
cd/m²
395
cd/m²
390
cd/m²
390
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LQ135P1JX51
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 413 cd/m² Average: 400.1 cd/m² Minimum: 6.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 406 cd/m²
Contrast: 1424:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.8 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.5, calibrated: 0.8
ΔE Greyscale 1.9 | 0.64-98 Ø5.7
97.2% sRGB (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
61.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
66.87% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
97.22% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
64.72% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.12
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
LQ135P1JX51, IPS, 2256x1504, 13.50
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
N133GCA-GQ1, a-SI IPS LED, 2560x1600, 13.30
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Sharp LQ134R1, IPS, 3840x2400, 13.40
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
IPS, 2560x1600, 13.30
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Sharp LQ135P1JX51, IPS, 2256x1504, 13.50
Display
0%
15%
1%
Display P3 Coverage
64.72
65.1
1%
80.15
24%
65.65
1%
sRGB Coverage
97.22
97.09
0%
99.97
3%
98.55
1%
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
66.87
66.63
0%
78.94
18%
67.78
1%
Response Times
44%
-29%
172%
0%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
62.8 ?(30.4, 32.4)
38.4 ?(20.4, 18)
39%
59.2 ?(30, 29.2)
6%
48 ?(18.8, 29.2)
24%
59.2 ?(28.4, 30.8)
6%
Response Time Black / White *
39.8 ?(21.2, 18)
20.8 ?(10.8, 10)
48%
40.4 ?(22.4, 18)
-2%
25.2 ?(8.4, 16.8)
37%
41.6 ?(23.6, 18)
-5%
PWM Frequency
21930 ?(50)
2137 ?(31)
-90%
122000 ?(49)
456%
21740 ?(51)
-1%
Screen
-1%
-10%
22%
10%
Brightness middle
413
325
-21%
508.7
23%
510
23%
403.4
-2%
Brightness
400
297
-26%
479
20%
491
23%
397
-1%
Brightness Distribution
94
83
-12%
84
-11%
94
0%
89
-5%
Black Level *
0.29
0.26
10%
0.3
-3%
0.29
-0%
0.34
-17%
Contrast
1424
1250
-12%
1696
19%
1759
24%
1186
-17%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.8
2.2
21%
2.72
3%
1.3
54%
0.94
66%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.2
3.5
51%
4.7
35%
3
58%
2.92
59%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.8
0.6
25%
1.92
-140%
0.99
-24%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.9
2.8
-47%
3.4
-79%
2
-5%
0.9
53%
Gamma
2.12 104%
2.05 107%
2.11 104%
2.23 99%
2.13 103%
CCT
6510 100%
6452 101%
6245 104%
6933 94%
6620 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
61.6
61.3
0%
70.7
15%
88.3
43%
62.3
1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.2
97
0%
100
3%
100
3%
98.7
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
14% / 5%
-8% / -9%
97% / 57%
4% / 7%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
39.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.2 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 97 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (23.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
62.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 30.4 ms rise
↘ 32.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 96 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (37.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 21930 Hz ≤ 50 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21930 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 50 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 21930 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17025 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

The factory calibration is a bit worse compared to the previous test model, but there is no color cast. All the color deviations are within the desired range after our calibration, so the display is suited for picture/video editing in the small sRGB color space.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability

Performance - Tiger Lake i7 at 25W


Processor - i7-1185G7

Our test unit is equipped with the fastest ULV processor from Intel you can get right now, the Core i7-1185G7 (Tiger Lake) with four cores and a maximum clock of up to 4.8 GHz (or 4.3 GHz for all active cores, respectively. The power limits are very generous for a 13-inch laptop at 50W for short bursts and then 30W (4x ~3.5 GHz) for a couple of minutes. We can see that the TDP level will eventually level off at 23W (4x 3.0-3.1 GHz) after around 12 minutes.

This means the Surface Laptop is faster than the rivals from Lenovo and Dell, and the i7 is also a very powerful CPU for everyday tasks, but the big problem is the comparison with Apple's M1 chip in the MacBook Pro 13. It is on par in native applications when we look at the single-core performance (see Cinebench R23), but it is much faster than the i7 in multi-core scenarios (at a much lower power consumption).

The performance is not reduced on battery power.

0551101652202753303854404955506056607157708258809359901045967.7866.31859.64851.41859.77853.33859.35862.57859.53855.05854.54848.18850.43850.74809.52747.26749.02750.03749.36751.09751.37755.59753.72752.19751.4801.23751.27735.08719.42699.44682.97662.13640.49616.49606.82655.08686.13670.81647.01617.47600.68647.11683672.94651.04624.89598.25635.26682.54679.07870.74775.15769.25742.98772.1726.07690.97762.14749.93665.32717.66761.53703.17670.06751.36738.47655.99722.22755.03676.78688.24757.49727.56631.55707.06762.4703.38646.05734.03730.89652.79720.8732.98648.34711.78745.35655.31664.09744.92713.76634.84710749.48677.15634.67731.3736.13644.42691.41751.921064.031068.351066.521063.941069.61067.261066.71067.521064.761066.441064.961067.181065.11065.561066.71066.271066.71066.811065.641065.811066.671062.051063.351067.181063.041066.441064.911065.051065.671064.881066.131065.641067.831066.891064.081065.331062.561067.071065.71066.351065.391066.841065.931065.051065.11067.291063.631066.181065.931066.55736657.65654.85655.23654.38657.39656.89653.96597.24620.93624.42622.31625.57626.5624.75612.68604.74600.67603.94603.7603.8595.21593.65592.31591.97588.11593.42593.97591.87590.06592.79591.93590.33592.4592.72592.88592.39592.15592.78591.14591.8590.16591.44592.58591.67593.81595.08592.23593.19591.68Tooltip
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7 Intel Core i7-1185G7: Ø817 (747.26-967.7)
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL Intel Core i7-1165G7: Ø667 (598.25-801.23)
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K Intel Core i7-1185G7: Ø714 (631.55-870.74)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB) Apple M1: Ø1066 (1062.05-1069.6)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7 Intel Core i5-1035G7: Ø609 (588.11-736)
CPU data Cinebench R15 Multi loop
CPU data Cinebench R15 Multi loop
Cinebench R23: CPU (Single Core) | CPU (Multi Core)
Cinebench R20: CPU (Single Core) | CPU (Multi Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Single 64Bit | CPU Multi 64Bit
Blender 2.79: BMW27 CPU
7-Zip 18.03: 7z b 4 -mmt1 | 7z b 4
Geekbench 5.3: 64 Bit Single-Core Score | 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2: 4k Preset
LibreOffice : 20 Documents To PDF
R Benchmark 2.5: Overall mean
Cinebench R23 / CPU (Single Core)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1525 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
1513 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (1251 - 1525, n=17)
1450 Points ∼95% -5%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1440 Points ∼94% -6%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1355 Points ∼89% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (409 - 1526, n=46, last 2 years)
1313 Points ∼86% -14%
Cinebench R23 / CPU (Multi Core)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
7811 Points ∼100% +52%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (965 - 12181, n=48, last 2 years)
5529 Points ∼71% +8%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (3610 - 6383, n=17)
5378 Points ∼69% +5%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5139 Points ∼66%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5062 (4319.28min - 5062.12max) Points ∼65% -1%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
3949 (3587.73min - 3948.77max) Points ∼51% -23%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
591 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
567 Points ∼96% -4%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (489 - 593, n=21)
558 Points ∼94% -6%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
556 Points ∼94% -6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
439 Points ∼74% -26%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (73 - 591, n=111, last 2 years)
436 Points ∼74% -26%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
406 Points ∼69% -31%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
2109 Points ∼100% +10%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (1425 - 2493, n=21)
2056 Points ∼97% +8%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1936 Points ∼92% +1%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1912 Points ∼91%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1859 Points ∼88% -3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (110 - 4704, n=111, last 2 years)
1717 Points ∼81% -10%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
1630 Points ∼77% -15%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
228 Points ∼100%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
220 Points ∼96% -4%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
217.07 Points ∼95% -5%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (168 - 230, n=20)
216 Points ∼95% -5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
208 Points ∼91% -9%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
172 Points ∼75% -25%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (31 - 237, n=111, last 2 years)
170 Points ∼75% -25%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
1070 (1060min - 1070max) Points ∼100% +11%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
967.7 Points ∼90%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (617 - 1066, n=25)
872 Points ∼81% -10%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
870.74 (631.55min - 870.74max) Points ∼81% -10%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
801 (598.25min - 801.23max) Points ∼75% -17%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (82.3 - 2024, n=117, last 2 years)
778 Points ∼73% -20%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
736 Points ∼69% -24%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU
Average of class Subnotebook
  (4.2 - 6277, n=99, last 2 years)
870 Seconds * ∼100% -39%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
771 Seconds * ∼89% -23%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
716 Seconds * ∼82% -15%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
652 Seconds * ∼75% -4%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
625 Seconds * ∼72%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (478 - 745, n=21)
586 Seconds * ∼67% +6%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5233 MIPS ∼100%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5211 MIPS ∼100% 0%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (3678 - 5507, n=20)
5110 MIPS ∼98% -2%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5099 MIPS ∼97% -3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1653 - 5800, n=101, last 2 years)
4334 MIPS ∼83% -17%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
4252 MIPS ∼81% -19%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
23422 MIPS ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (18812 - 27693, n=20)
23381 MIPS ∼100% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3267 - 54374, n=101, last 2 years)
21582 MIPS ∼92% -8%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
20478 MIPS ∼87% -13%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
19198 MIPS ∼82% -18%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
19168 MIPS ∼82% -18%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
1740 Points ∼100% +14%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1564 Points ∼90% +2%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1546 Points ∼89% +1%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1533 Points ∼88%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (882 - 1626, n=16)
1484 Points ∼85% -3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (293 - 1740, n=103, last 2 years)
1188 Points ∼68% -23%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
7590 Points ∼100% +31%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5791 Points ∼76% 0%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5785 Points ∼76%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5588 Points ∼74% -3%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (3323 - 5944, n=16)
5380 Points ∼71% -7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (591 - 7590, n=103, last 2 years)
4372 Points ∼58% -24%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (5.02 - 8.13, n=20)
6.6 fps ∼100% +11%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5.97 fps ∼90%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.65 - 14.8, n=96, last 2 years)
5.62 fps ∼85% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5.58 fps ∼85% -7%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5.28 fps ∼80% -12%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
4.632 fps ∼70% -22%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF
Average of class Subnotebook
  (12.9 - 281, n=91, last 2 years)
68.6 s * ∼100% -32%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
51.9 s * ∼76%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (41.3 - 61.7, n=19)
50.9 s * ∼74% +2%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
49.6 s * ∼72% +4%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
47.7 s * ∼70% +8%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.501 - 2.21, n=97, last 2 years)
0.74 sec * ∼100% -27%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Core i7-1185G7
0.605 sec * ∼82% -4%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
0.583 sec * ∼79%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7
  (0.55 - 0.615, n=20)
0.583 sec * ∼79% -0%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
0.574 sec * ∼78% +2%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
98.3 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
228 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
967.7 Points
Help

System Performance

The subjective performance impression with the fast processor and the PCIe-SSD is very good, which is also supported by the good benchmark results. However, all the comparison devices are pretty much on the same level, and you will not notice a difference in everyday situations even when you come from the old Surface Laptop 3.

PCMark 10
Score
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
4983 Points ∼57% +4%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (4746 - 5561, n=13)
4982 Points ∼57% +4%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Micron 2300 512GB MTFDHBA512TDV
4872 Points ∼56% +1%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
4809 Points ∼55%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1035G7, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
4421 Points ∼50% -8%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (790 - 6414, n=106, last 2 years)
4212 Points ∼48% -12%
Essentials
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
9864 Points ∼86% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (8279 - 10664, n=13)
9834 Points ∼85% +5%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Micron 2300 512GB MTFDHBA512TDV
9682 Points ∼84% +4%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
9325 Points ∼81%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1035G7, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
9086 Points ∼79% -3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2544 - 10836, n=106, last 2 years)
8502 Points ∼74% -9%
Productivity
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (6340 - 8770, n=13)
6847 Points ∼61% +3%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
6797 Points ∼61% +2%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1035G7, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
6765 Points ∼61% +2%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
6636 Points ∼59%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Micron 2300 512GB MTFDHBA512TDV
6622 Points ∼59% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1304 - 9852, n=106, last 2 years)
6315 Points ∼57% -5%
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
5009 Points ∼32% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (4424 - 5542, n=13)
5002 Points ∼32% +3%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Micron 2300 512GB MTFDHBA512TDV
4894 Points ∼32% 0%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
4879 Points ∼31%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (405 - 6709, n=106, last 2 years)
3851 Points ∼25% -21%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1035G7, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
3817 Points ∼25% -22%
PCMark 10 Score
4809 points
Help

DPC Latency

LatncyMon Main
LatncyMon Main
LatencyMon Drivers
LatencyMon Drivers
DPC Latencies / LatencyMon - interrupt to process latency (max), Web, Youtube, Prime95
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Micron 2300 512GB MTFDHBA512TDV
1271.96 μs * ∼100% -21%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
1047.9 μs * ∼82%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
931.6 μs * ∼73% +11%

* ... smaller is better

Storage Devices

Microsoft uses compact M.2-2230 SSDs like on the Surface Pro 7 Plus, which is attached via PCIe interface. Our test model was equipped with a PM991 from Samsung and a storage capacity of 512 GB; 426 GB are free for the user after the initial set-up. The transfer rates are just average and the competitors use faster drives, but you will hardly notice the difference in everyday scenarios.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Micron 2300 512GB MTFDHBA512TDV
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
Average Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
64%
42%
-7%
13%
49%
Write 4K
118.21
139.5
18%
86.04
-27%
112.3
-5%
130 ?(118 - 142, n=2)
10%
132 ?(4.58 - 269, n=101, last 2 years)
12%
Read 4K
37.54
36.38
-3%
40.11
7%
42.13
12%
42 ?(37.5 - 46.4, n=2)
12%
84.3 ?(7.11 - 3738, n=101, last 2 years)
125%
Write Seq
1016.79
1977
94%
1738
71%
630.4
-38%
1062 ?(1017 - 1108, n=2)
4%
1703 ?(37.3 - 18545, n=99, last 2 years)
67%
Read Seq
925.87
2207
138%
1553
68%
1023
10%
1274 ?(926 - 1622, n=2)
38%
1703 ?(143 - 4439, n=99, last 2 years)
84%
Write 4K Q32T1
354.16
510
44%
454.9
28%
336.6
-5%
411 ?(354 - 467, n=2)
16%
380 ?(5.62 - 662, n=101, last 2 years)
7%
Read 4K Q32T1
352.59
387.8
10%
385.4
9%
399.6
13%
439 ?(353 - 525, n=2)
25%
412 ?(9.66 - 792, n=101, last 2 years)
17%
Write Seq Q32T1
1174.2
2986
154%
2784
137%
820.8
-30%
1189 ?(1174 - 1203, n=2)
1%
1869 ?(41 - 5222, n=101, last 2 years)
59%
Read Seq Q32T1
2261.1
3540
57%
3217
42%
2030
-10%
2275 ?(2261 - 2288, n=2)
1%
2737 ?(128 - 7102, n=101, last 2 years)
21%
AS SSD
63%
-21%
-45%
-8%
-2%
Seq Read
1821
2861.05
57%
2143.76
18%
1387.11
-24%
1604 ?(1386 - 1821, n=2)
-12%
2087 ?(236 - 5403, n=102, last 2 years)
15%
Seq Write
794
1321.04
66%
1389.21
75%
503.83
-37%
1014 ?(794 - 1234, n=2)
28%
1319 ?(114 - 3952, n=102, last 2 years)
66%
4K Read
47.54
52.55
11%
49.77
5%
42.35
-11%
44.4 ?(41.3 - 47.5, n=2)
-7%
46.6 ?(8.95 - 83.8, n=102, last 2 years)
-2%
4K Write
141.6
196.67
39%
105.02
-26%
119.96
-15%
135 ?(128 - 142, n=2)
-5%
126 ?(16 - 237, n=102, last 2 years)
-11%
4K-64 Read
782.08
1152.72
47%
855.33
9%
497.4
-36%
818 ?(782 - 854, n=2)
5%
852 ?(21.1 - 2938, n=102, last 2 years)
9%
4K-64 Write
765.92
1807.06
136%
1659.75
117%
354.86
-54%
744 ?(721 - 766, n=2)
-3%
1001 ?(22.7 - 2245, n=102, last 2 years)
31%
Access Time Read *
0.191
0.064
66%
0.058
70%
0.055
71%
0.1445 ?(0.098 - 0.191, n=2)
24%
0.0858 ?(0.025 - 0.5, n=99, last 2 years)
55%
Access Time Write *
0.027
0.018
33%
0.272
-907%
0.093
-244%
0.061 ?(0.027 - 0.095, n=2)
-126%
0.086 ?(0.017 - 0.774, n=102, last 2 years)
-219%
Score Read
1012
1491
47%
1119
11%
678
-33%
1023 ?(1012 - 1034, n=2)
1%
1107 ?(64 - 3512, n=102, last 2 years)
9%
Score Write
987
2136
116%
1904
93%
525
-47%
980 ?(973 - 987, n=2)
-1%
1259 ?(60 - 2737, n=102, last 2 years)
28%
Score Total
2477
4322
74%
3570
44%
1520
-39%
2507 ?(2477 - 2536, n=2)
1%
2905 ?(163 - 7939, n=102, last 2 years)
17%
Copy ISO MB/s
1243.18
1929.19
55%
763.78
-39%
1264 ?(1243 - 1284, n=2)
2%
1324 ?(143 - 3306, n=70, last 2 years)
7%
Copy Program MB/s
627.74
1012.48
61%
256.11
-59%
515 ?(402 - 628, n=2)
-18%
479 ?(53.5 - 1087, n=70, last 2 years)
-24%
Copy Game MB/s
975.91
1736.66
78%
368.39
-62%
995 ?(976 - 1013, n=2)
2%
882 ?(127 - 1988, n=70, last 2 years)
-10%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
64% / 63%
11% / 2%
-26% / -31%
3% / -0%
24% / 17%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 2261.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1174.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 352.59 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 354.16 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 925.87 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1016.79 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 37.54 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 118.21 MB/s

Disk Throttling: DiskSpd Read Loop, Queue Depth 8

011022033044055066077088099011001210132014301540165017601870198020901866.932170.22171.452171.662171.662175.012175.642176.062176.682178.152178.262178.362178.572179.22179.412181.212181.292181.632182.552182.752182.752182.752182.962183.82183.82184.222184.222184.852185.482187.362187.992188.22188.822188.822189.242189.242189.242189.452189.452190.082190.52190.922190.922190.922191.132191.312191.342191.342193.432194.27Tooltip
: Ø2178 (1866.93-2194.27)

GPU Performance

GPU-Z Intel Xe Graphics G7
GPU-Z Intel Xe Graphics G7

The Core i7-1185G7 is equipped with the most powerful version of Intel's Xe Graphics G7 (96 EUs). It has a slightly higher clock of 1350 MHz and is much faster than the old UHD Graphics. Depending on the benchmark, the new Surface Laptop 4 is between 60-100% faster than the previous model. The integrated GPU is a good solution for common workloads including high-resolution video playback and the efficiency during video playback was further improved with this generation.

The graphics performance is not completely stable; the 3DMark Fire Strike stress test is not passed at 94.4%, but this deficit can be ignored even in longer gaming sessions. The GPU performs similar on battery power.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
6878 Points ∼100%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
6830 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (4841 - 7090, n=63)
6439 Points ∼94% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
5339 Points ∼78% -22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (410 - 12199, n=101, last 2 years)
4323 Points ∼63% -37%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G7
4279 Points ∼62% -38%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
5498 Points ∼100% +1%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
5455 Points ∼99%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (3113 - 5909, n=69)
4930 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
4669 Points ∼85% -14%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (313 - 8743, n=106, last 2 years)
3007 Points ∼55% -45%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G7
2692 Points ∼49% -51%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
29609 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (19487 - 38040, n=54)
27318 Points ∼92% -8%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
26820 Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1652 - 53539, n=81, last 2 years)
18555 Points ∼63% -37%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G7
16695 Points ∼56% -44%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
1607 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
1603 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
1562 Points ∼97% -3%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (994 - 1819, n=69)
1461 Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (116 - 3276, n=89, last 2 years)
1010 Points ∼63% -37%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G7
794 Points ∼49% -51%
3DMark 11 Performance
7364 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
20740 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
5010 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
1776 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Despite the increased performance of the iGPU, the Surface Laptop 4 is only suited for older or less demanding tiles. Modern games will often require substantial reductions in terms of resolution and/or settings. More gaming benchmarks with the Xe Graphics G7 are available here.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 95 61 33 16 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 83 56.9 37.7 37.4 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 24.8 34.1 31.3 fps

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

The increased performance also affects the fan noise. The maximum noise level of around 40 dB(A) is comparable to the previous model, but the fan reaches this level quicker at moderate workloads compared to the previous model. The fan is still idling a lot of the time when you do daily stuff and you can reduce the fan noise with the Windows performance slider when you don’t need the full performance. Still, the fan speed is not high-pitched or annoying even at the full speed and we did not notice any electronic sounds like coil whine.

Noise Level

Idle
24.2 / 24.2 / 24.2 dB(A)
Load
39.5 / 39.5 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Earthworks M23R, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 24.2 dB(A)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Micron 2300 512GB MTFDHBA512TDV
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1035G7, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
Noise
-12%
-4%
-12%
-8%
off / environment *
24.2
28.7
-19%
27.7
-14%
29.2
-21%
28.5
-18%
Idle Minimum *
24.2
28.7
-19%
27.8
-15%
29.2
-21%
28.5
-18%
Idle Average *
24.2
28.7
-19%
27.8
-15%
29.2
-21%
28.5
-18%
Idle Maximum *
24.2
30.6
-26%
27.8
-15%
29.2
-21%
28.5
-18%
Load Average *
39.5
37.3
6%
27.9
29%
32.1
19%
28.5
28%
Load Maximum *
39.5
37.3
6%
37
6%
41.9
-6%
40.4
-2%
Witcher 3 ultra *
37.3
32.8
40.4

* ... smaller is better

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2026.927.430.32525.923.822.93132.332.132.54026.129.826.35027.526.7286322.121.122.78020.321.521.51002524.724.91253320.838.6160231926.220020.419.521.525020.117.619.831521.617.121.640026.513.627.450026.514.326.263027.812.128.680024.311.524100023.210.823.5125024.910.823.8160026.310.525.8200027.510.527.9250028.910.928.5315029.411.429.5400030.111.729.1500030.211.930630027.912.127.8800024.712.224.61000019.112.119.51250015.81215.91600012.511.312.5SPL39.524.239.4N3.20.63.4median 25median 12.1median 25.8Delta2.92.73.4hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseMicrosoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7

Temperature

The metal surfaces of the Surface Laptop 4 get pretty warm under load and almost 47 °C is subjectively more uncomfortable at direct skin contact compared to plastic cases. You should not put it on your lap when you really stress it, but low workloads (like web browsing, video playback) are no problem at all.

Our stress test with combined CPU/GPU load shows that the processor consumes almost 60W at first (just as a reminder, it is a CPU with a nominal TDP value of 15W), but then levels of at 30W and later at 23W (similar to pure CPU performance). CPU and GPU have to share the TDP, so the CPU only runs at 1.6-1.7 GHz and the iGPU with 900 MHz.

CPU and GPU data stress test
CPU and GPU data stress test
Max. Load
 44.6 °C
112 F
43.2 °C
110 F
42.1 °C
108 F
 
 43.3 °C
110 F
42.6 °C
109 F
41.9 °C
107 F
 
 37.7 °C
100 F
32.9 °C
91 F
37.1 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 44.6 °C = 112 F
Average: 40.6 °C = 105 F
46.9 °C
116 F
46.9 °C
116 F
45.2 °C
113 F
44.5 °C
112 F
45.5 °C
114 F
45.4 °C
114 F
38.7 °C
102 F
39.2 °C
103 F
39 °C
102 F
Maximum: 46.9 °C = 116 F
Average: 43.5 °C = 110 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.3 °C = 103 F | Room Temperature 21 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40.6 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44.6 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 58.4 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.9 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 39.5 °C / 103 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.5 °C / 74 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 39.9 °C / 104 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 37.7 °C / 99.9 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.4 °C / 83.1 F (-9.3 °C / -16.8 F).
Surface temperatures stress test (top)
Surface temperatures stress test (top)
Surface temperatures stress test (bottom)
Surface temperatures stress test (bottom)

Speakers

The two stereo speakers of the Surface Laptop are still very good. As expected, you do not get much bass, but the sound is still rich and the modules are also loud enough for meetings or conferences. They also work well for media playback; external speakers or headphones sound better, but are not really necessary.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2027.431.22523.828.93132.135.84029.833.65026.734.66321.136.68021.537.810024.74512520.845.8160195220019.556.725017.658.831517.162.340013.666.750014.367.163012.167.680011.564100010.863.7125010.867.6160010.567.3200010.568.6250010.966.1315011.464.5400011.768.4500011.967.5630012.166.7800012.263.41000012.155.4125001256.51600011.353.3SPL24.278.4N0.645.3median 12.1median 64Delta2.75.333.63228.928.231.331.629.13034.634.526.734.224.338.926.447.423.648.224.250.523.656.121.655.719.760.91862.117.663.81764.417.56416.666.416.170.415.767.615.969.515.865.516.162.516.761.317.160.217.360.517.862.618.261.818.357.718.753.829.277.51.241.1median 17.6median 61.82.33.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMicrosoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 10.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 5% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 91% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 4% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 94% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB) audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 5% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 91% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 4% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 94% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Power Consumption

Our consumption measurements are pretty inconspicuous. As always, you should avoid the highest level of the keyboard illumination on battery power, because it will drain the battery unnecessarily. The consumption in the stress test is 65W for a short while, but quickly levels off at 47W (30W TDP) or 38W (23W TDP), respectively. The 65W power adapter is therefore completely sufficient. The power adapter also offers an additional USB-A port (up to 5W), where you can charge other devices like a smartphone.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.26 / 0.46 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.6 / 6 / 8.2 Watt
Load midlight 41.4 / 64.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Currently we use the Metrahit Energy, a professional single phase power quality and energy measurement digital multimeter, for our measurements. Find out more about it here. All of our test methods can be found here.

Battery Runtime

Microsoft slightly increased the battery capacity from 45 to 47.7 Wh, but the runtime in the Wi-Fi test is still a bit lower due to the more powerful components. We determine a runtime of around 7.5 hours at 150 nits and just ~6 hours at the maximum brightness. Only the 4K model of the Dell XPS 13 9310 is beaten, all the other rivals have more stamina, and the advantage of the MacBook Pro 13 is massive, because it manages about 20 hours (and still ~10 hours at the maximum brightness).

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1, M1 8-Core GPU, 58.2 Wh
1223 min ∼46% +169%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (258 - 1223, n=117, last 2 years)
582 min ∼22% +28%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13 Core i5-1035G7
i5-1035G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 45 Wh
495 min ∼19% +9%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 50 Wh
480 min ∼18% +6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 47.4 Wh
454 min ∼17%
Dell XPS 13 9310 Core i7 4K
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 52 Wh
430 min ∼16% -5%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 90)
7h 34min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 max Brightness (Edge 90)
5h 54min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 07min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 21min

Pros

+ sturdy and high-quality metal chassis
+ decent input devices
+ good system performance
+ high picture quality
+ very good speakers

Cons

- hardly any maintenance options
- no LTE
- comparatively short battery runtime
- limited configuration options
- still no Thunderbolt; limited connectivity
- slow response times
- bad price-performance ratio
- only 1 year warranty

Verdict - Microsoft falls behind

In review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5". Test model courtesy of Microsoft Germany.
In review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5". Test model courtesy of Microsoft Germany.

The Surface Laptop 4 13.5 with the Intel processor is basically just a minor update with a new and faster processor, but the biggest advantage is the more efficient and faster integrated GPU. Everything else is pretty much the same.

We still like the sturdy chassis and the 3:2 touchscreen also creates a good picture, but it would benefit from a more powerful backlight in brighter environments. The speakers are also good, but connectivity and battery runtime are two aspects where the device has fallen behind the competition.

Despite the new processor, the Surface Laptop 4 13.5 feels pretty outdated and Microsoft should consider a major update. The price-performance ratio is pretty bad and it is not easy to recommend the laptop. We do not understand the limitations of the configurations, either.

The Surface Laptop 4 13.5 is hardly a bargain and 1849 Euros for our test unit is a steep price. Sure, a similarly equipped MacBook Pro 13 with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage is even a little bit more expensive, but it is definitely the better product with more performance, modern ports, a better display, and especially much more stamina.

Price and Availability

Our test model of the Surface Laptop 4 13.5 is available at Amazon for $1699.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7 - 05/11/2021 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
81 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
43 / 75 → 58%
Weight
71 / 20-75 → 92%
Battery
83%
Display
87%
Games Performance
71 / 78 → 91%
Application Performance
89 / 85 → 100%
Temperature
85%
Noise
94%
Audio
83 / 91 → 92%
Camera
32 / 85 → 38%
Average
76%
85%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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Andreas Osthoff
Editor of the original article: Andreas Osthoff - Managing Editor Business Laptops - 1315 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2013
I grew up with modern consumer electronics and my first computer was a Commodore C64, which encouraged my interest in building my own systems. I started working as a review editor for Notebookcheck during my dual studies at Siemens. Currently, I am mainly responsible for dealing with business laptops and mobile workstations. It’s a great experience to be able to review the latest devices and technologies and then compare them with each other.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Laptop Review - Too expensive with Intel CPU?
Andreas Osthoff, 2021-05-13 (Update: 2021-05-13)