New Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 leak reveals a larger battery, AMD Renoir Surface Edition APUs and favourable Intel Tiger Lake-U configurations
It is a poorly kept secret that Microsoft plans to release the Surface Laptop 4, as we have previously reported. Most recently, Geekbench showed that Microsoft has been developing AMD and Intel editions of the Surface Laptop 4; Renoir and Tiger Lake-U configurations to be specific. Now, Roland Quandt has revealed the processors that Microsoft will offer with the Surface Laptop 4, along with its storage and RAM options.
According to Quandt, Microsoft will continue to sell the Surface Laptop series with 13.5-inch and 15-inch screen sizes. However, the company will offer AMD and Intel processors across both screen sizes, which it decided against doing with the Surface Laptop 3. Unfortunately for AMD fans, Microsoft will restrict its 1 TB SSD and 32 GB of RAM configuration to models with Intel processors. Unsurprisingly, the Surface Laptop 4 will also be available with 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of storage.
The processors that Microsoft has chosen for the Surface Laptop 4 are somewhat unusual though, in our opinion. On the Intel side we have the Core i5-1145G7 and the Core i7-1185G7, which succeed the Core i5-1035G7 and the Core i7-1065G7, respectively. It is unclear why Microsoft did not choose the Core i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1165G7 here, although the Core i5-1145G7 has a 200 MHz higher base and boost clock than the Core i5-1135G7. Similarly, the Core i7-1185G7 has marginally higher base and boost clock speeds than the Core i7-1165G7. Quandt adds that these Intel processors will have Iris Plus Graphics 950 GPUs, but these should be Iris Xe integrated solutions, instead.
Additionally, Quandt asserts that Microsoft has chosen the Ryzen 5 4680U and the Ryzen 7 4980U for its AMD models. Presumably to be marketed as Microsoft Surface Edition processors, these will be Renoir APUs, not Lucienne or Cezanne ones. Based on Geekbench listings, these Surface Edition processors will have higher clock speed than AMD's regular SKUs, while the Ryzen 5 4680U will also have another Compute Unit (CU) built into its GPU. The name Ryzen 7 4980U is a strange one, as it suggests that it is a custom version of the Ryzen 7 4900U. No such APU exists though, and AMD never released the Ryzen 9 4900U.
Releasing Renoir and Tiger Lake-U versions of the same laptop may draw criticism, too. According to our database, the older Renoir APUs will outperform the Tiger Lake-U series ones in CPU tasks. Conversely, the Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs GPU in the Core i7-1185G7 will edge the Radeon RX Vega 8 GPU in the Ryzen 7 4980U.
Incidentally, the Surface Laptop 4 will have a 49 Wh battery, up from 45 Wh in the Surface Laptop 3. An 8.8% capacity increased should not be sniffed at, but it still falls short of the 52 Wh battery inside the XPS 13 9300, for example. We expect Microsoft to release Surface Laptop 4 within the next few months.