Recently Microsoft launched the Surface Laptop Studio which is a welcome addition to the Surface family. With the Laptop Studio now readily available, let’s take a look at the difference between Laptop Studio and the Laptop 4.
Boundary Pushing Designs
These two devices have the same appearance when comparing them side by side, both having the traditional clamshell laptop look. However, one feature that separates the devices, is the Laptop Studio hinged screen that allows you to work in three different modes. The first mode being the traditional laptop, or you can pull out the bottom of the screen to cover the keyboard and move into “Presentation Mode,” or you can lay it flat on the keyboard for “Canvas Mode.” This is a big design feature for the Laptop Studio.
When taking into account screen size, the Laptop 4 has two options, either a 13.5” or 15” configuration, giving this model an advantage. The Laptop Studio falls in the middle with a single 14.4” model. However, let’s not forget the Laptop Studio comes with built-in magnetic storage and charging for the New Slim Pen 2 under the keyboard which the Laptop 4 does not.
The Laptop Studio also has a refresh rate of 120Hz - the first of its kind in a Surface device, while the Laptop 4 is limited to a refresh rate of 60Hz. A higher refresh rate is a big advantage these days as it allows the running of transitions and animations to look much smoother.
If we look at the ports, the Laptop Studio introduces something major for Surface devices, and that’s the Thunderbolt support. It has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, so you can use all kinds of docks and external displays. The connectivity options the Laptop Surface offers, make it a far more versatile model. Comparatively, the Laptop 4 has a built-in Type-A port, so it supports legacy devices more easily.
Performance Without Breaking a Sweat
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Laptop Studio packs a more powerful hardware punch than the Laptop 4.
The Laptop 4 uses the standard range 11th-gen processors and although both devices have quad-core processors, the H35 chip in the Laptop Studio can run multi-core tasks faster. You are getting a powerful Intel chip with both machines, however the H35 chip is designed to deliver better performance especially in creative apps.
A big advantage of the Surface Laptop Studio is in its GPU, specifically in the higher-end models. If you choose an Intel Core i7 processor, you also get an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and that gives you a massive advantage in performance compared to the integrated graphics on the Surface Laptop 4.
Battery life is better on the Surface Laptop Studio when you compare it to the i5 devices. Boasting up to 19 hours (under typical use) for the Laptop Studio and 17 hours of battery life for the Laptop 4. However, if you look at the Laptop 4 AMD’s Ryzen chip, they can be more efficient, offering up to 19 hours of life on the 13.5” i5 Laptop 4 (based again on typical usage).
Make it Your Own
A big advantage for the Surface Laptop 4 is its smaller and lighter compared to the Laptop Studio. The 13.5” Laptop 4 weighs in at 1.3kg and is an impressive 0.57” thick, making it more portable and easier to carry while commuting. The Laptop Studio is slightly heavier and larger at 1.82kg and 0.7” thick - definitely not as light as the Laptop 4, but still light enough to be an easily portable device.
Serious Contenders Among the Surface Family
When all is said and done both are great devices.
The Laptop 4 is the most proven in the field but both offer enough differences to stand alone in their respective roles.
The newer Laptop Studio is easily the most powerful of the two devices but on the other hand, the Laptop 4 still delivers great performance for day-to-day use whether you’re using it for office work or browsing the web.
If you’re interested in comparing different Surface devices, Microsoft has a handy website that allows you to do just that. It’s easy to use and gives you at a glance comparisons.