Microsoft’s latest Surface Laptop goes on sale this week, starting at $999

Microsoft is understandably positioning the latest additions to its Surface line as productivity devices. Laptop sales, in particular, have jumped amid the pandemic, as many have scrambled to shift to a work from home setting. With that in mind, the latest version of the Surface Laptop is far and away the headline item amid a new batch of devices.

The Surface Laptop 4 doesn’t seem to mark a massive upgrade to the line, arriving about a year and half after the previous model. Of course, the product has been one of the better received among the company’s proprietary hardware offerings, swapping the more creator-focused convertible models for a more straightforward approach. Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason.

Image Credits: Microsoft

Available with either a 13.5- or 15-inch touchscreen, the new Laptop sports either an 11th Gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen processor. The system’s lowest configuration will run $999, but Microsoft has yet to break down the pricing from there. The company is promising improved performance and increased battery life, over the 11.5 posted hours on the Laptop 3. The below video puts the new time at “up to 19 hours,” which big if true — and nice for when we all start traveling again.

The system builds on its predecessor’s HD webcam with the addition of improved low-light capabilities. That’s paired with a studio mic array. Again, nothing groundbreaking, but it’s nice to see companies paying attention to this stuff in the age of COVID-19, when a concerning percentage of our interpersonal communication occurs via webcam.

The design language is similar to earlier versions, though the company has swapped in a new Ice Blue color option. Microsoft is keeping that proprietary charging port around (fast charging will get you up to 80% in an hour). That’s coupled with USB A and C. There are a pair of Dolby Atmos speakers on board and the touchscreen works with the Surface Pen.

The Laptop is available for preorder today in the U.S., Canada and Japan, and starts shipping on April 15. The 13.5-inch AMD Ryzen with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage runs $999. On the high end, the 15-inch Intel Core i7 with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage is $2,399 (plus another $100 if you want to upgrade Windows 10 Home to Pro). The company is tossing in Surface Earbuds for early preorders.