Microsoft just announced the release of several models of the Surface line at its fall event. Surface Laptop Studio is a new product that offers the form factor of the Surface Laptop 4, along with some design inspirations of its own. Although at first glance they look similar, there is a considerable distance between these two teams, both in price and in specifications. We face the Surface Laptop Studio vs. Surface Laptop 4 to analyze all the differences and thus help you choose.
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Before starting, we remind you that the Surface family is made up of two types of equipment: Laptops and 2-in-1. They have screens from 10.5 to 15 inches and with 10th and 11th generation AMD, Intel processors.
The Surface Laptop 4 starts at $ 1,000 for the 13-inch model with an AMD Ryzen processor. If you want the 15-inch version, which is available with an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7, the starting price jumps to $ 1,300. At the higher end, you could spend up to $ 2,400 on the Surface Laptop 4 with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
The new Surface Laptop Studio starts at $ 1,600. Microsoft has not announced prices for the high-end version. The base model comes with a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. If you want the dedicated RTX 3050 Ti graphics card or a Core i7 processor, it will cost you a lot more for sure.
The difference is that the price makes sense given the power disparity. Both machines use Intel’s 11th generation mobile processors, but the Surface Laptop Studio uses the H35 chipset more powerful, which can run up to 35 W. It also comes with an option for a dedicated graphics card, which the Surface Laptop 4 lacks.
The Surface Laptop Studio is scheduled to launch in time in conjunction with the Windows 11 release on October 5. Surface Laptop 4 is available now through Microsoft’s website.
The design difference between the Surface Laptop 4 and the Surface Laptop Studio is in the name. Both are traditional laptops, so they don’t have detachable keyboards like the Surface Pro 8.
The Studio model borrows from Microsoft’s all-in-one Surface Studio and features an on-screen hinge that allows you to rotate it downward and operates in three modes.
The first is like a traditional laptop with the screen back. From there, you can pop out the bottom of the screen to cover the keyboard, which Microsoft calls “Stage Mode,” or you can lay it flat on the base of keys for “Study Mode.”
Although it is a big difference, the screen is not all that separates these two teams. Microsoft offers the Surface Laptop 4 in a 13.5-inch or 15-inch configuration. Surface Laptop Studio makes it easy to choose with a single 14.4-inch model.
Although larger, the Surface Laptop Studio isn’t much thicker than the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4, being only 0.13 inches thicker, which is unnoticeable in your hands.
Port selection is better on the Surface Laptop Studio, even if both computers have few ports. It has two USB 4.0 ports with Thunderbolt 4 capability, a 3.5mm headphone jack. Surface Laptop 4 also comes with two USB ports, divided into a USB-A and USB-C connection that is compatible with USB 3.2.
In terms of looks, the slightly older Surface Laptop 4 wins. In addition to the four color options, Microsoft offers the Surface Laptop 4 with a metal or alcantara cloth tray. Surface Laptop Studio seeks to adopt a simpler design with silver aluminum around all points of the body. We do not know yet if it will be available in other colors.
However, the Surface Laptop Studio wins the design section simply because of the strength of its rotating screen. It also comes with built-in charging for the new Surface Slim Pen 2, which is something the Surface Laptop 4 lacks.
Despite the difference in size, the Surface Laptop 4 and Surface Laptop Studio have similar displays with a few key differences. They both use a 3: 2 aspect ratio and come with a pixel density of 201 dpi. Resolution doesn’t really matter, each of the displays reaches density at its given size, but they all fall around the 2,560 x 1,440-pixel mark.
However, there is a big difference between the two screens. The Surface Laptop Studio comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the Surface Laptop 4 is limited to 60Hz. Also, the Surface Laptop Studio’s display supports Dolby Vision and comes with the aforementioned swivel hinge. Both displays are compatible with the Surface Pen and are 10-point multi-touch.
There really isn’t a competition here. With the same pixel density and features, the Surface Laptop Studio display advances with its high refresh rate and Dolby Vision support.
Specs-wise, it’s a clear winner. Size is a different matter. The Surface Laptop Studio is only available with a 14.4-inch screen, while the Surface Laptop 4 has a 13.5-inch and 15-inch option.
It is important to note that 14 inch laptops are becoming more and more popular, just look at the Razer Blade 14, which offers a balance between screen size and portability. It all comes down to preference, but if you like a 15-inch screen without bulk, the Surface Laptop Studio seems like a solid compromise.
At its higher price, it should come as no surprise that the Surface Laptop Studio has more powerful hardware than the Surface Laptop 4. It comes with Intel’s 11th Gen H35 chips, combined with a discrete RTX 3050 Ti or integrated graphics card, as well as up to 32 GB of RAM.
Surface Laptop 4 uses the standard line of 11th generation processors that do not consume as much power. Increased power makes a big difference. Although both computers have quad-core processors, the H35 chip can run multi-core tasks up to 33 percent faster (at least according to the one in the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE).
You’ll get a powerful Intel processor either way – the 11th generation chip in the Dell XPS 13 proves it. However, the H35 is designed to offer better performance in applications that stress the processor, that is, creative apps.
Microsoft also offers the Surface Laptop 4 with AMD Ryzen 4000 processors, while the Surface Laptop Studio is limited to Intel. The 15-inch model packs an eight-core Ryzen 7 processor, and those extra cores make a big difference in our tests.
The main problem is the context of the Ryzen chips. Surface Laptop 4 doesn’t offer a discrete graphics option. That makes it hard to sell for creative apps like Adobe Premiere, which would otherwise benefit from the extra cores the Surface Laptop 4 offers.
Although the Surface Laptop 4 offers a more powerful processor, it delivers all the performance results without being impressive. The discrete graphics option on the Surface Laptop Studio complements the specs, making it more suitable for creative applications, as well as gaming.
With three screen sizes spanning our two competitors, it’s difficult to make direct portability comparisons. Naturally, the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 is the smallest and lightest of the three models. Beyond that, though, things get interesting.
The 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 is lighter than the Surface Laptop Studio. With the Core i5, the Surface Laptop Studio weighs 3.83 pounds, while the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 weighs 3.4 pounds. If you want the i7 on the Surface Laptop Studio, you’ll have to deal with a four-pound weight.
Surface Laptop 4 is lighter no matter how you set up your computers. Sometimes that disparity is less than half a pound, but it could be more than a pound. Although heavier, the Surface Laptop Studio isn’t much bigger than the Surface Laptop 4.
The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 measures 12.1 x 8.8 x 0.57 inches in width, height, and thickness respectively. The Surface Laptop Studio is only slightly larger at 12.7 x 9 x 0.7 inches in width, height, and thickness; in that order.
The most interesting comparison is how much smaller the Surface Laptop Studio is compared to the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4. It cuts out 0.7 inches wide and 0.6 inches long (though it’s still a bit thicker).
Battery life is better on the Surface Laptop Studio, too. Microsoft claims to deliver up to 19 hours in a typical use case with the Core i5 processor, compared to 17 hours on the Surface Laptop 4. However, AMD chips are more efficient and offer up to 19 hours of life on the Surface 13.5-inch laptop 4.
If portability is your main concern, the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 is the smallest and lightest option on the market. However, the Surface Laptop Studio isn’t much bigger and has a longer battery life. Just be prepared to deal with a little extra weight.