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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Review: Is AMD's Ryzen held back on purpose?

AMD only for the entry-level model. The smaller 13.5-inch model of the Surface Laptop 4 is now also available with an AMD Ryzen processor. Private customers, however, only get the base model with the Ryzen 5 and just 8 GB RAM. But is the AMD model perhaps still the better option?
Andreas Osthoff 👁 (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 ...

We have already reviewed the Surface Laptop 4 13.5 with the new Tiger Lake processor, and now we have a look at the new Ryzen model. Similar to the bigger Surface Laptop 4, Microsoft uses a special AMD chip, which uses a slightly modified iGPU. While private customers can choose between plenty of configurations with Intel CPUs, Microsoft places the AMD model in the entry-level segment for 1129 Euros with the Ryzen 5, 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD storage. Only business customers can get additional models (R7 CPU, more RAM and/or more storage). We do not think this limitation makes sense, and you have to get a more expensive Intel configuration (starting at 1449 Euros) if you want more memory.

We want to test how the Ryzen processor performance and find the differences compared to the Intel SKU. The screen, the speakers, and the input devices are identical, so please see our review of the Surface Laptop 4 13.5 Intel for more information on these sections. More information about the optional Ryzen 7 processor is available in our review of the larger Surface Laptop 4 15 AMD:

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5 (Surface Laptop 4 Series)
Processor
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U 6 x 2.2 - 4 GHz, 44 W PL2 / Short Burst, 23 W PL1 / Sustained, Renoir (Zen 2)
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR4X-4266, Dual-Channel, onboard
Display
13.50 inch 3:2, 2256 x 1504 pixel 201 PPI, capacitive, LQ135P1JX51, IPS, 60 Hz
Mainboard
AMD Promontory/Bixby FCH
Storage
Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ, 256 GB 
, 197 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Raven/Renoir/VanGogh/Cezanne - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
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 AX200 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14 x 308 x 223 ( = 0.55 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
1.267 kg ( = 44.69 oz / 2.79 pounds), Power Supply: 306 g ( = 10.79 oz / 0.67 pounds)
Price
1129 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible Competitors in Comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
85.2 %
05/2021
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
R5 4680U, Vega 7
1.3 kg14 mm13.50"2256x1504
84.7 %
05/2021
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
1.3 kg14.5 mm13.50"2256x1504
87.7 %
05/2021
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
i5-1135G7, Iris Xe G7 80EUs
1.2 kg16 mm13.30"1920x1080
87.6 %
03/2021
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
975 g15 mm13.30"2560x1600
91.1 %
12/2020
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1, M1 7-Core GPU
1.3 kg16.1 mm13.30"2560x1600

Case & Connectivity

While the Intel model is available in four different colors and you can choose between a palm rest made of metal or Alcantara, private customers interested in the AMD model are limited to the color Platinum and Alcantara. The surface is nice to touch, but the base unit of the Alcantara version is not quite as sturdy and you pressure on the center of the keyboard area is more noticeable compared to the metal version.

The Wi-Fi module (Intel AX200 instead of AX201 on the Intel SKU) supports the fast Wi-Fi 6 standard and the transfer rates are good. Microsoft does not equip the Intel model with Thunderbolt, so there are no differences in terms of the port selection.

Size Comparison

308 mm / 12.1 inch 223 mm / 8.78 inch 14 mm / 0.551 inch 1.3 kg2.79 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 16.1 mm / 0.634 inch 1.3 kg2.8 lbs302 mm / 11.9 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.2 kg2.62 lbs296 mm / 11.7 inch 209 mm / 8.23 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 975 g2.15 lbs
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Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1380 (667min - 1483max) MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1338 (871min - 1460max) MBit/s ∼97% +1%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1322 (651min - 1396max) MBit/s ∼96%
Average Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  (447 - 1645, n=117)
1094 MBit/s ∼79% -17%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
940 (858min - 985max) MBit/s ∼68% -29%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
552 (257min - 620max) MBit/s ∼40% -58%
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% +21%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
1492 (1304min - 1621max) MBit/s ∼96% +17%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1426 (699min - 1490max) MBit/s ∼92% +11%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1279 (603min - 1378max) MBit/s ∼83%
Average Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  (523 - 1640, n=118)
1173 MBit/s ∼76% -8%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
672 (614min - 682max) MBit/s ∼43% -47%
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; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø1258 (603-1378)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø1300 (651-1396)

Performance - Surface Laptop 4 with 6 cores and PCIe-SSD

The memory equipment with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage is currently more than sufficient for casual users and the Ryzen processor will not be a bottleneck in the next couple of years, either. Considering the high multi-core performance, the processor could also handle more challenging workloads, but the RAM will probably be the limiting factor here.

Note: Microsoft offers a Ryzen 5 SKU with 16 GB RAM in its U.S. store for $1199.

Processor - Ryzen 5 4680U

Just like the modified Ryzen 7 processor in the larger Surface Laptop 4 15, the CPU section of the Ryzen 5 4680U seems to be identical to the familiar Ryzen 5 4600U. You get 6 cores (12 threads) that can run at up to 4 GHz. More information about the processor is available in our tech section.

We can only compare the CPU performance with the Core i7-1185G7 in the high-end spec, but the actual rival for the Ryzen 5 4680U is the Core i5-1135G7. As expected, the single-core performance is lower compared to the Intel models, but even the more expensive i7 does not stand a chance in multi-core benchmarks. However, you must know that you are basically getting an old processor, and there are already laptops with the successor and better performance.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5 AMD Ryzen 5 4680U: Ø1072 (1037.83-1290.53)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7 Intel Core i7-1185G7: Ø817 (747.26-967.7)
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD Intel Core i5-1135G7: Ø650 (584.31-733.42)
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL Intel Core i7-1165G7: Ø667 (598.25-801.23)
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry Apple M1; Rosetta 2: Ø843 (817.01-1020.12)

Looking at the benchmark results we notice that the TDP settings are pretty much identical to the Intel model, which means there is no noteworthy difference to the larger Surface Laptop 4 AMD, either. Business customers interested in the Surface Laptop 4 13.5 with the Ryzen 7 CPU can expect similar results. The consumption will level off at 30 Watts for the first couple of minutes and the drop to 23 Watts, which can be maintained.

There is still one difference to the Intel model, because the Ryzen processor is much slower on battery power (up to ~12W multi-core & 5W single-core) and you have to expect a performance deficit of about 50%.

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% +31%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1496 Points ∼98% +29%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1355 Points ∼89% +17%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (409 - 1624, n=54, last 2 years)
1325 Points ∼87% +14%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
1308 Points ∼86% +12%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
1163 Points ∼76%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
1163 Points ∼76% 0%
Cinebench R23 / CPU (Multi Core)
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
7409 (6401.39min - 7409.31max) Points ∼100% +5%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
7073 Points ∼95%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
7073 Points ∼95% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (965 - 12181, n=56, last 2 years)
5577 Points ∼75% -21%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
5447 (4192.8min - 5447.26max) Points ∼74% -23%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5139 Points ∼69% -27%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
3949 (3587.73min - 3948.77max) Points ∼53% -44%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
591 Points ∼100% +31%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
556 Points ∼94% +23%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
504 Points ∼85% +12%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
451 Points ∼76%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
451 Points ∼76% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (73 - 620, n=113, last 2 years)
447 Points ∼76% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
401 Points ∼68% -11%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
2478 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
2478 Points ∼100% 0%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1912 Points ∼77% -23%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1863 Points ∼75% -25%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
1863 Points ∼75% -25%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1859 Points ∼75% -25%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (110 - 4704, n=113, last 2 years)
1773 Points ∼72% -28%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
228 Points ∼100% +34%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
220 Points ∼96% +29%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
208 Points ∼91% +22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (31 - 238, n=111, last 2 years)
175 Points ∼77% +3%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
170 Points ∼75%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
170 Points ∼75% 0%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
1291 (1037.83min - 1290.53max) Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
1291 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1020 (817min - 1020max) Points ∼79% -21%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
967.7 Points ∼75% -25%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
801 (598.25min - 801.23max) Points ∼62% -38%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (82.3 - 2024, n=118, last 2 years)
801 Points ∼62% -38%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
733 (584.31min - 733.42max) Points ∼57% -43%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU
Average of class Subnotebook
  (4.2 - 6277, n=107, last 2 years)
856 Seconds * ∼100% -87%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
716 Seconds * ∼84% -56%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
630 Seconds * ∼74% -38%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
625 Seconds * ∼73% -36%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
458 Seconds * ∼54%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
458 Seconds * ∼54% -0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
382 Seconds * ∼45% +17%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
5441 MIPS ∼100% +33%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5233 MIPS ∼96% +28%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5211 MIPS ∼96% +28%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
4579 MIPS ∼84% +12%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1653 - 5800, n=108, last 2 years)
4380 MIPS ∼80% +7%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
4077 MIPS ∼75%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
4077 MIPS ∼75% 0%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
34614 MIPS ∼100% +6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
32745 MIPS ∼95%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
32745 MIPS ∼95% 0%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
24447 MIPS ∼71% -25%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
23422 MIPS ∼68% -28%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3267 - 54374, n=108, last 2 years)
21802 MIPS ∼63% -33%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
19198 MIPS ∼55% -41%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1727 Points ∼100% +60%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1564 Points ∼91% +45%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
1533 Points ∼89% +42%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
1360 Points ∼79% +26%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (293 - 1740, n=107, last 2 years)
1202 Points ∼70% +12%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
1078 Points ∼62%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
1078 Points ∼62% 0%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
7578 Points ∼100% +31%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5785 Points ∼76% 0%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
5785 Points ∼76%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
5785 Points ∼76% 0%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5588 Points ∼74% -3%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
5233 Points ∼69% -10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (591 - 7590, n=107, last 2 years)
4402 Points ∼58% -24%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
7.66 fps ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
7.66 fps ∼100% 0%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
5.97 fps ∼78% -22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.65 - 14.8, n=103, last 2 years)
5.74 fps ∼75% -25%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
5.28 fps ∼69% -31%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
73.2 s * ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
73.2 s * ∼100% -0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (12.9 - 281, n=99, last 2 years)
67.2 s * ∼92% +8%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
58.8 s * ∼80% +20%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
51.9 s * ∼71% +29%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
49.6 s * ∼68% +32%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
12.88 s * ∼18% +82%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
0.732 sec * ∼100% -8%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.501 - 2.21, n=105, last 2 years)
0.729 sec * ∼100% -8%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
0.677 sec * ∼92%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
 
0.677 sec * ∼92% -0%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7
0.651 sec * ∼89% +4%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
0.583 sec * ∼80% +14%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7
0.574 sec * ∼78% +15%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5301
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
31826
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
10818
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
15.63 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
62.62 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1291 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
65.1 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
170 Points
Help

System Performance

The subjective performance impression and there is no noticeable difference to the Intel model. All inputs are quickly executed without any perceptible delays. The AMD model also performs very well in the synthetic benchmarks and there are no bottlenecks.

PCMark 10
Score
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
4983 Points ∼57% +6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
4809 Points ∼55% +2%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Vega 7, R5 4680U, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
4700 Points ∼54%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
 
4700 Points ∼54% 0%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
4692 Points ∼53% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (790 - 6414, n=107, last 2 years)
4310 Points ∼49% -8%
Essentials
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
9864 Points ∼86% +18%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
9514 Points ∼83% +14%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
9325 Points ∼81% +11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2544 - 10836, n=107, last 2 years)
8642 Points ∼75% +3%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Vega 7, R5 4680U, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
8365 Points ∼73%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
 
8365 Points ∼73% 0%
Productivity
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
6797 Points ∼61% +2%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Vega 7, R5 4680U, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
6661 Points ∼60%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
 
6661 Points ∼60% 0%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
6636 Points ∼59% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1304 - 9852, n=107, last 2 years)
6401 Points ∼57% -4%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
6265 Points ∼56% -6%
Digital Content Creation
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Vega 7, R5 4680U, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
5058 Points ∼33%
Average AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
 
5058 Points ∼33% 0%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
5009 Points ∼32% -1%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
4879 Points ∼31% -4%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
4703 Points ∼30% -7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (405 - 6709, n=107, last 2 years)
4004 Points ∼26% -21%
PCMark 10 Score
4700 points
Help

DPC Latency

LatencyMon Main
LatencyMon Main
LatencyMon Drivers
LatencyMon Drivers
DPC Latencies / LatencyMon - interrupt to process latency (max), Web, Youtube, Prime95
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
1047.9 μs * ∼100% -20%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
931.6 μs * ∼89% -7%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Vega 7, R5 4680U, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
872.7 μs * ∼83%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
12.3 μs * ∼1% +99%

* ... smaller is better

Storage Devices

Like the Intel model, our test unit is equipped with a compact M.2-2230 PCIe-SSD from Samsung. The PM991 has a storage capacity of 256 GB and you can use 197 GB after the initial set-up. The performance of the drive is pretty average, but it is still completely sufficient in practice. You could replace the drive in theory, but this is not really an option for most users due to the extremely poor maintainability.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
Average Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
19%
52%
92%
16%
70%
Write 4K
78.8
118.21
50%
136.9
74%
139.5
77%
122 ?(78.8 - 165, n=2)
55%
137 ?(4.58 - 324, n=101, last 2 years)
74%
Read 4K
27.88
37.54
35%
47.34
70%
36.38
30%
35.4 ?(27.9 - 43, n=2)
27%
49.3 ?(7.11 - 167, n=101, last 2 years)
77%
Write Seq
741.87
1016.79
37%
1150
55%
1977
166%
848 ?(742 - 955, n=2)
14%
1779 ?(37.3 - 18545, n=98, last 2 years)
140%
Read Seq
841.12
925.87
10%
2052
144%
2207
162%
854 ?(841 - 867, n=2)
2%
1765 ?(143 - 4439, n=98, last 2 years)
110%
Write 4K Q32T1
363.5
354.16
-3%
433
19%
510
40%
394 ?(364 - 424, n=2)
8%
393 ?(5.62 - 707, n=101, last 2 years)
8%
Read 4K Q32T1
317.64
352.59
11%
293
-8%
387.8
22%
398 ?(318 - 479, n=2)
25%
425 ?(9.66 - 939, n=101, last 2 years)
34%
Write Seq Q32T1
1057.2
1174.2
11%
1148
9%
2986
182%
1059 ?(1057 - 1060, n=2)
0%
1997 ?(41 - 5222, n=101, last 2 years)
89%
Read Seq Q32T1
2255.7
2261.1
0%
3427
52%
3540
57%
2253 ?(2251 - 2256, n=2)
0%
2864 ?(128 - 7102, n=101, last 2 years)
27%
AS SSD
16%
61%
86%
3%
25%
Seq Read
1687
1821
8%
2629
56%
2861.05
70%
1706 ?(1687 - 1725, n=2)
1%
2238 ?(236 - 5438, n=103, last 2 years)
33%
Seq Write
675
794
18%
1270
88%
1321.04
96%
803 ?(675 - 931, n=2)
19%
1396 ?(114 - 3952, n=103, last 2 years)
107%
4K Read
40.1
47.54
19%
65.2
63%
52.55
31%
45.1 ?(40.1 - 50.1, n=2)
12%
48 ?(8.95 - 83.8, n=103, last 2 years)
20%
4K Write
110.31
141.6
28%
182.5
65%
196.67
78%
124 ?(110 - 137, n=2)
12%
131 ?(16 - 293, n=103, last 2 years)
19%
4K-64 Read
676.39
782.08
16%
1032
53%
1152.72
70%
773 ?(676 - 870, n=2)
14%
897 ?(21.1 - 2938, n=103, last 2 years)
33%
4K-64 Write
679.71
765.92
13%
1257
85%
1807.06
166%
721 ?(680 - 762, n=2)
6%
1036 ?(22.7 - 2245, n=103, last 2 years)
52%
Access Time Read *
0.179
0.191
-7%
0.07
61%
0.064
64%
0.229 ?(0.179 - 0.279, n=2)
-28%
0.0854 ?(0.024 - 0.5, n=101, last 2 years)
52%
Access Time Write *
0.035
0.027
23%
0.023
34%
0.018
49%
0.0315 ?(0.028 - 0.035, n=2)
10%
0.0828 ?(0.013 - 0.774, n=103, last 2 years)
-137%
Score Read
885
1012
14%
1360
54%
1491
68%
989 ?(885 - 1093, n=2)
12%
1169 ?(64 - 3512, n=103, last 2 years)
32%
Score Write
858
987
15%
1567
83%
2136
149%
925 ?(858 - 992, n=2)
8%
1307 ?(60 - 2737, n=103, last 2 years)
52%
Score Total
2155
2477
15%
3573
66%
4322
101%
2386 ?(2155 - 2616, n=2)
11%
3042 ?(163 - 7939, n=103, last 2 years)
41%
Copy ISO MB/s
996.37
1243.18
25%
1430
44%
1085 ?(996 - 1174, n=2)
9%
1386 ?(143 - 3306, n=70, last 2 years)
39%
Copy Program MB/s
515.26
627.74
22%
782
52%
389 ?(263 - 515, n=2)
-25%
493 ?(53.5 - 1087, n=70, last 2 years)
-4%
Copy Game MB/s
810.81
975.91
20%
1177
45%
687 ?(562 - 811, n=2)
-15%
925 ?(127 - 1988, n=70, last 2 years)
14%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
18% / 17%
57% / 57%
89% / 88%
10% / 8%
48% / 41%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 2255.7 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1057.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 317.64 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 363.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 841.12 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 741.87 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 27.88 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 78.8 MB/s

Disk Throttling: DiskSpd Read Loop, Queue Depth 8

0Tooltip

GPU Performance - Vega 7 with more efficient video decoder

GPU-Z Radeon RX Vega 7
GPU-Z Radeon RX Vega 7

All the graphics calculations are handled by the integrated Radeon RX Vega 7 of the processor. Intel's Xe Graphics G7 (both with 80 as well as 96 EUs) offers similar performance.

A real optimization on the GPU side seems to be the video decoder, because the GPU is more efficient during video playback. A good example is 4K video playback. While the GPU load of a Vega 6 is around 60% for this task (Intel Xe Graphics G7 ~30%), the Vega 7 of the Surface Laptop only shows 7% load.

The performance is also pretty stable. Our sample does not pass the 3DMark stress test (Night Raid) at 95%, but you will hardly notice the 5% performance drop during gaming. Contrary to the processor, the graphics performance is not reduced on battery power.

Looking at the actual gaming performance, the Vega 7 is behind the current integrated GPUs from Intel. The Witcher 3, for example, only runs smoothly on medium settings, while you get playable fps numbers with the high preset on the Surface Laptop 4 13 with the i7 processor.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
6878 Points ∼100% +41%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
6830 Points ∼99% +40%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Intel Core i5-1135G7
5978 Points ∼87% +22%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (3993 - 5731, n=26)
5069 Points ∼74% +4%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Radeon RX Vega 7, AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
4895 Points ∼71%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (410 - 12199, n=102, last 2 years)
4569 Points ∼66% -7%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
5455 Points ∼100% +81%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Intel Core i5-1135G7
4705 Points ∼86% +56%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
4669 Points ∼86% +55%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (2407 - 3778, n=29)
3243 Points ∼59% +7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (313 - 8743, n=108, last 2 years)
3197 Points ∼59% +6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Radeon RX Vega 7, AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
3020 Points ∼55%
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 AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (16972 - 27164, n=16)
23387 Points ∼79%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1652 - 53539, n=81, last 2 years)
19804 Points ∼67%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1185G7
1607 Points ∼100% +82%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
1562 Points ∼97% +77%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Intel Core i5-1135G7
1351 Points ∼84% +53%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (116 - 3276, n=92, last 2 years)
1065 Points ∼66% +21%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (728 - 1100, n=25)
986 Points ∼61% +12%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Radeon RX Vega 7, AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
882 Points ∼55%
3DMark 11 Performance
5159 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2761 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
1006 points
Help
The Witcher 3
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
95 fps ∼100% +59%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
81.9 (65min - 91max) fps ∼86% +37%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (9.1 - 160, n=76, last 2 years)
63.2 fps ∼67% +6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
59.6 fps ∼63%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (25.5 - 70.7, n=22)
59.2 fps ∼62% -1%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
61 fps ∼100% +64%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
52.3 (43min - 58max) fps ∼86% +40%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
47.7 fps ∼78% +28%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8.2 - 92, n=64, last 2 years)
43.1 fps ∼71% +16%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
37.3 fps ∼61%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (9.74 - 45.7, n=13)
31.6 fps ∼52% -15%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
33 fps ∼100% +93%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Core i7-1165G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
27.6 (22min - 31max) fps ∼84% +61%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7 - 52.8, n=67, last 2 years)
24 fps ∼73% +40%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (10.9 - 22.6, n=20)
18.6 fps ∼56% +9%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
18.5 fps ∼56% +8%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
17.1 fps ∼52%
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Intel Core i7-1185G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
16 fps ∼100%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (5.13 - 30.1, n=53, last 2 years)
13.4 fps ∼84%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  (9 - 14.9, n=13)
12.8 fps ∼80%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1135G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
12 fps ∼75%
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 59.6 37.3 17.1 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 90.6 75.2 46.6 42.5 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 37.9 30.2 26.6 fps

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

The fan noise is comparable to the Intel model, but it takes even more time before it starts spinning on the Intel model. During our stress test, for example, it took around one minute before the fan was audible. This means you will probably enjoy a silent device in everyday scenarios. The fan speed will seamlessly increase during gaming or high CPU loads until it reaches its maximum volume at around 40 dB(A), which is obviously clearly audible, but the murmur is not annoying. We did not notice any other electronic sounds, either.

Noise Level

Idle
24.6 / 24.6 / 24.6 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: 24.6 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.128.6302525.725.524.93129.229.329.44027.526.226.7503527.335.3632220.222.48021.118.619.210028.324.22812534.820.625.31602221.323.12002120.220.225020.618.317.431519.716.115.240023.816.714.550023.815.613.263025.512.81280021.111.510.8100023.311.511.112502510.711160026.210.611200026.91111.6250030.511.212315030.411.512.4400029.41212.3500030.412.212.6630028.112.412.6800023.212.412.51000017.312.512.51250015.212.412.31600012.111.711.6SPL39.524.624.8N3.10.60.6median 23.8median 12.4median 12.5Delta3.42.53hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseMicrosoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5

Temperature

Overall, the surface temperatures are a bit lower compared to the Intel SKU and the palm rest made of Alcantara is subjectively not as hot as the metal version. But we still recommend you do not put the device on your lap under high load. There are no limitations during lighter workloads though.

During the stress test, we notice that the power consumption drops to around 17W after a while and the larger Surface Laptop 4 15 AMD also leveled off at a comparatively low value of 20W, while the Intel model of the smaller 13.5-inch model maintains 23W. Since both the fan speeds and the surface temperatures are comparable, we can conclude that the Ryzen processor with the Vega 7 iGPU seems to produce more heat than the Intel chip with the Xe Graphics G7.

CPU & GPU data stress test
CPU & GPU data stress test
Max. Load
 45.8 °C
114 F
43.4 °C
110 F
42.7 °C
109 F
 
 44.2 °C
112 F
42.8 °C
109 F
42 °C
108 F
 
 33.1 °C
92 F
30.9 °C
88 F
32.7 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 45.8 °C = 114 F
Average: 39.7 °C = 103 F
45.5 °C
114 F
45.4 °C
114 F
44.7 °C
112 F
42.9 °C
109 F
44.3 °C
112 F
44.1 °C
111 F
36.7 °C
98 F
38.1 °C
101 F
37.6 °C
100 F
Maximum: 45.5 °C = 114 F
Average: 42.1 °C = 108 F
Power Supply (max.)  37.9 °C = 100 F | Room Temperature 21.4 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39.7 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 30.6 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 45.8 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 35.7 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.4 to 58.4 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 45.5 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 39.5 °C / 103 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.3 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 30.6 °C / 87 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 39.3 °C / 103 F, compared to the device average of 30.6 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (33.1 °C / 91.6 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.3 °C / 82.9 F (-4.8 °C / -8.7 F).
Surface temperatures stress test (top)
Surface temperatures stress test (top)
Surface temperatures stress test (bottom)
Surface temperatures stress test (bottom)

Speaker

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.6282525.527.43129.332.54026.230.85027.3356320.234.28018.63910024.246.812520.647.916021.35420020.260.525018.362.431516.163.340016.76750015.668.263012.868.980011.566.4100011.569.9125010.768.6160010.667.420001167.1250011.266.7315011.56840001268.6500012.267.8630012.466.9800012.464.71000012.561.91250012.462.71600011.756.4SPL24.679.5N0.649.2median 12.4median 66.7Delta2.53.633.436.621.721.82020.62223.522.434.225.730.422.435.717.747.122.457.921.161.615.859.7156213.462.416.168.113.169.211.463.110.766.910.165.510.468.31168.71167.111.266.811.567.511.670.611.967.111.968.711.965.512.162.811.862.41160.623.979.60.547.3median 11.9median 65.523.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMicrosoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 10.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (2.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (8.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 7.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (6.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 0% similar, 100% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Power Consumption

The AMD and Intel model are almost identical in terms of power consumption and there are no surprises. The maximum consumption of 64W drops after a couple of seconds (like the TDP) to ~50W at first and later to 32W. The included 65W power adapter is completely sufficient.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.28 / 0.44 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.4 / 6.3 / 8.1 Watt
Load midlight 36.2 / 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.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
Vega 7, R5 4680U, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ256HBJQ
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1185G7, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1135G7, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
Power Consumption
3%
-2%
-14%
28%
Idle Minimum *
3.4
2.6
24%
3.2
6%
4.3
-26%
1.9
44%
Idle Average *
6.3
6
5%
6.7
-6%
7.1
-13%
6.4
-2%
Idle Maximum *
8.1
8.2
-1%
10.5
-30%
9.8
-21%
7
14%
Load Average *
36.2
41.4
-14%
28.5
21%
41.8
-15%
25
31%
Load Maximum *
64.1
64.1
-0%
64
-0%
60.9
5%
30.3
53%
Witcher 3 ultra *
28.5
41

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The battery capacity is identical (47.4 Wh) and the power consumption on battery is comparable, but the AMD model still manages much longer runtimes in our tests. The Wi-Fi test at 150 nits runs for almost 11 hours (Intel model ~7.5 hours) and still 7 hours at the maximum brightness (Intel model about 6 hours). This is mainly the effect of the reduced performance of the AMD processor on battery power.

Note: We usually perform the Wi-Fi test with the Windows performance setting "Better Performance". However, the Surface Laptop 4 adjusts the brightness automatically on battery in this setting (and the more efficient ones). You can usually adjust this setting in Intel’s and AMD’s graphics drivers, but the Surface Laptop 4 AMD is not equipped with the usual Radeon drivers and you cannot install it manually, either. To ensure a steady brightness in our runtime tests, we performed them with the performance setting "Best Performance".

Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1, M1 7-Core GPU, 49.9 Wh
960 min ∼36% +47%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1, M1 7-Core GPU, 49.9 Wh
914 min ∼35% +40%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
R5 4680U, Vega 7, 47.4 Wh
653 min ∼25%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (258 - 1223, n=118, last 2 years)
579 min ∼22% -11%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
i5-1135G7, Iris Xe G7 80EUs, 52 Wh
554 min ∼21% -15%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 50 Wh
480 min ∼18% -26%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 47.4 Wh
454 min ∼17% -30%
WiFi Websurfing 1.3 max Brightness
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1, M1 7-Core GPU, 49.9 Wh
508 min ∼59% +19%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (215 - 854, n=54, last 2 years)
437 min ∼51% +3%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5
R5 4680U, Vega 7, 47.4 Wh
426 min ∼50%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 50 Wh
402 min ∼47% -6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 i7
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 47.4 Wh
354 min ∼41% -17%
Dell XPS 13 9305 Core i5 FHD
i5-1135G7, Iris Xe G7 80EUs, 52 Wh
334 min ∼39% -22%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 90)
10h 53min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 max Brightness (Edge 90)
7h 06min

Pros

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

Cons

- hardly any maintenance options
- limited configuration options
- limited connectivity
- reduced CPU performance on battery power
- only 1 year warranty

Verdict - AMD model of the Surface Laptop 4 is actually better

In review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.
In review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.

The AMD model of the Surface Laptop 4 13.5 is an interesting alternative to the Intel SKU and there are some advantages: The device is more affordable, the battery runtime is better, and the multi-core performance is superior to the most expensive Intel option, even on the entry-level Ryzen 5.

The two devices are identical in many sections including the chassis, the input devices, the screen, and the speakers. Even the ports are identical, because Microsoft does not equip the Intel version with Thunderbolt, either, and still uses its proprietary Surface Connect port instead.

The entry-level version of the Surface Laptop 4 has a much better price-performance ratio and sufficient performance for everyday tasks. We do not understand the limitations of the configurations though.

The AMD model is more than 300 Euros less expensive compared to the Intel SKU with the Core i5, 8 GB RAM, and 512 GB storage (there is no Intel model with 256 GB storage) for 1449 Euros. We cannot understand why only business customers can access other AMD models with the even faster Ryzen 7 CPU and more RAM/storage.

If you compare the Surface Laptop 4 with other rivals, you should know that you are basically getting a last generation Ryzen processor. The integrated GPU was slightly modified (more efficient video decoder), but the new Ryzen 5000 CPUs offer more performance. Microsoft’s starting price of 1129 Euros is also right in the ballpark of the Apple MacBook Air. Depending on your usage scenario, we think the Surface Laptop 4 only offers the advantage of the 3:2 aspect ratio (with touch functionality), but if you are not bound to Microsoft Windows, the current MacBook Air M1 offers the superior overall package.

Price and Availability

Our test model is available on Amazon.com for $989.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13 Ryzen 5 - 05/27/2021 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
81 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
43 / 75 → 58%
Weight
72 / 20-75 → 94%
Battery
89%
Display
87%
Games Performance
63 / 78 → 80%
Application Performance
87 / 85 → 100%
Temperature
86%
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 - 1341 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 Review: Is AMD's Ryzen held back on purpose?
Andreas Osthoff, 2021-05-28 (Update: 2021-10-19)