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Microsoft announced the Surface Laptop 4 yesterday, as we reported. While the company has re-used the Surface Laptop 3's chassis, the Surface Laptop 4's processors are a big performance uplift over the ones found in the previous model. Unfortunately, Microsoft does not make it obvious that you can configure the 13.5-inch model with the Ryzen 7 4980U, arguably the most powerful processor option available on the Surface Laptop 4.
The Ryzen 7 4980U is another Microsoft Surface Edition processor, although one that AMD and Microsoft based on the Ryzen 7 4800U. Neither Microsoft nor AMD have explained what the Ryzen 7 4980U offers over the Ryzen 7 4800U, although Geekbench listings suggest that it has another Compute Unit (CU) on its integrated GPU, much like the Ryzen 7 3780U does compared to the Ryzen 7 3700U. According to our database, this should mean that the Ryzen 7 4980U outperforms the Core i7-1185G7, albeit while falling over 10% short of the Ryzen 7 5800U.
However, Microsoft provides a way to purchase the 13.5-inch model with a Ryzen 7 4980U APU through its business platform. You do not need to be a business to order the Surface Laptop 4 for Business with a Ryzen 7 4980U. Currently, the model retails for £1,629 in the UK with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, which is £20 cheaper than any consumer configuration with the same volume of RAM and storage.
The Surface Laptop 4 for Business does not come with a free pair of Surface Earbuds as the consumer model does, but this will only be available for pre-orders anyway. Ultimately, we do not understand why Microsoft has decided against openly offering the 13.5-inch model with a Ryzen 7 4980U. Thankfully, there is a way around the company's artificial limitation.