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Surface Laptop Review – Is 4 GB RAM Enough??

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Surface Laptop Review – Is 4 GB RAM Enough??

Hey how’s it going, Dave2D here and these are Surface Laptops this is a 4 GB model and then this is an 8GB model. I’ve done a couple videos about these guys already, so this will just be kind of like a mini review, but I want to spend some time talking about the viability of the 4GB model.

So in case you don’t know, Surface laptop has amazing build quality; this is the new leader in build quality for 13-inch Windows laptops. It’s better than the XPS 13, better than the Razer Blade Stealth, better than the HP Spectre, and better than the Lenovo X1.

I mean those are all really well-made, but these are a step up. It’s not so much that the materials are better (they’re still aluminum) it’s more of the fact that they’re just really precisely machined and like everything about it is so finely tuned.

The hinge feels just bang-on, but you are paying a premium for it. It’s an expensive device and I think a big part of that cost goes to the fact that they’re as well-built as they are. The screens are really good.

It’s not my favorite screen and there’s too much wobble to use it regularly for pen input, but visually it’s really nice and it gets bright. The webcam and mic are pretty good, this is what it looks like: and this is what it sounds like: the SSD speeds are slower than I was hoping, so the drives in here get faster as the capacity increases but at the 128GB and 256 GB models, they’re not very impressive.

The speakers are pretty good, they’re hidden underneath the keyboard but they projects upwards, so positioning is nice. They sound good, not amazing, certainly not as good as a MacBook Pro or the HP Spectre line, but they’re better than the XPS 13 and the Razer Blade Stealth.

The keyboards are really nice to type on so the Alcantara fabric is – I mean it’s soft, it’s inviting, it’s comfortable to use, and we still don’t know about its long-term durability, but it’s a very nice keyboard to type on, and I think most people will get used to it really quickly.

Same thing goes for the trackpad – good size, great texture, but if I was looking for something to complain about, I would say that the click is a little loud, but in general, the inputs on this thing are great.

Now battery life was one of the headlining features of this laptop, and it’s excellent – it’s a 45 watt hour battery, which isn’t actually that large for a laptop of this size. Ultrabooks sometimes have 60 watt hour batteries.

This one’s smaller but I can comfortably get eight hours on this thing doing normal tasks with the screen at around 250 nits. Thermal performance is good – it runs quietly, and the fans don’t come on often, even if you’re watching videos, but when they do, it’s louder than you’d expect for a device like this.

All right so the thing I want to focus on in this video is the performance of the base model, and for students, this thing’s $900 for regular people; it’s a thousand and all the great hardware stuff that I’ve mentioned previously exists on the base model, but the thing is this thing has 4GB of RAM.

This has 8GB of RAM and this is significantly more expensive, so it’s kind of like a tough decision for people to choose between the two, when the main thing that they’re concerned about, is the difference in RAM.

Now just to get this out of the way, gaming performance on the base model isn’t great. It’s an HD 620 – really light games, or in this case with Overwatch, really low settings will let you get passable frame rates, but don’t get a base or a mid tier Surface laptop to play games.

In regards to regular performance, I did the free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro right away. I mean, I think for 99% of you guys you won’t want to stay with Windows 10 S. And performance on the 4GB machine is actually not bad.

I can comfortably have 4 or 5 chrome tabs open with Netflix streaming, Microsoft Word and Excel open – it’s still manageable. If you use software at school like MATLAB or something not crazy intensive, it’s the same thing – memory gets tight, but for the most part, the user experience stays fluid.

Now if you use any kind of imaging software, or if you’re doing even moderate content creation, you’re going to need more RAM, but if your work flow is more productivity focused, you’ll be fine with 4GB.

Even if you’re a software developer, unless you’re working with like 3D graphics or like a really heavy IDE, you’ll be ok with 4 – and the core i5 will give you pretty decent compiling times. So to answer the big question, yes I do think that 4GB of RAM is enough for some people, especially if productivity and media consumption is your jam, but it kills me that Microsoft couldn’t just add 8GB of RAM to this, because in order to get 8GB of RAM right now, you have to buy the more premium version with more storage, and not everyone needs that storage.

So yeah that’s kind of a bummer. Whether or not it’s worth it on the whole, like the Surface laptop, I mean you’re getting a really nice-looking laptop with great build quality. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is a good option.

Ok hope you guys enjoyed this video, thumbs if you liked it subs if you loved it. See you guys next time.

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