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.

100 thoughts on “Surface Laptop Review – Is 4 GB RAM Enough??

  1. Really wished the surface laptop came with 8gb ram at the base model. Still, it's one of the prettiest looking windows laptops available. Thanks for watching 2d fam!

  2. Never had problems with the 4BG RAM on my Macbook Air, but it gets tight quite easily with Surface Pro 4 & WIndows 10. Still no major slowdowns though, maybe because of rather fast SSD, so I'll manage.

  3. Hey awesome review Dave. Do you think the i7 model is overkill for web developers and programmers? Really liking these and Im unsure if I should stick with the mid tier model or go for the high end model. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  4. Hi Dave.
    Question..if i buy one and i do the widows 10s upgrade to 10 pro..it will last just until next year??i will have to pay the upgrade ??
    Thanks

  5. Got a refurbished dell xps 13 with 16gb of ram and 500gb of storage, glad I did not get a surface laptop

  6. can you please do a battery life comparison of XPS 13 vs Surface Laptop on a real world scenario. Trying to make a purchase and am very confused.

  7. The amazing thing is current flagships (and not so flagship) phones start at 4 GB of RAM so I think modern laptops should really start at 6 or 8GB of RAM considering you are more likely to do heavy work or gaming on your laptop rather than on your phone.

  8. So…ok…what happens to the Alcantara covering when you need to fix/open the laptop? I've seen a video where it rips. Who replaces this? Warranty?

  9. I will get the iPad Pro 10,5" instead of Surface Pro/Surface laptop because the 8gb model is too expensive, yes the iPad has 4gb but it runs mobile os so.. ok let me end this comment here k

  10. Mine just died today, no support from Ms, all BS, lost all my datas, Thank MS, never again. Search black screen on death with surface, you will see by yourself….

  11. Thanks for the review. What do you think about 4gb of ram in Surface Pro? Because its on sale in my country and 4gb and i5 is twice cheaper then i5 with 8gb. Do you think 4gb will be enough for media and office works?

  12. This is a hell of a beautiful laptop but it's not worth it!!! You're paying one frickin thousand dollars for 4 gigs of ram. VALUEEEE. Get another laptop for the same price and get wayyyy better specs. They don't look bad at all, either.

  13. 4GB of RAM and 120GB SSD 🤣😂 that's just laughable, for such a big price tag the base model should have been the 8GB of RAM with the 256GB SSD.

  14. I really want to laugh at this lol 4 ram in a windows os? Lol even macos with their extremely good optimization won't go with 4 ram lol

  15. I wish that it was a full aluminum uni-body with a magnetic fabric/alcantara that can easily be washed/replaced and customized. In addition, it would allow the product to actually be opened and worked on when errors occur instead of having to destroy/tear off the alcantara top. Personally, the feeling of the alcantara feels very weird to me and I wish it was an option on this device.

  16. Did u rrally just recommend a 4gb model to a software developer? Are you nuts? I easily use up atleast 10gb of ram.myself as a software engineer

  17. Thank you for the info. It answers the exact question I had: as to whether I needed more than 4 RAM for a statistics package (in my case, SPSS 23) and Photoshop Elements. Quite useful 🙂

  18. As a developer, I have a really hard time believing that any developer would be fine with 4GB memory. Hell, I can't even deal with 8, and I'm just a web dev.

  19. On sale at bestbuy now for $599.. the m3/4gb/128gb version so not great but for the quality of the laptop it's great and like you mention 4gb is fine.. I'm your average media consumer/office/quickbooks user and 4gb hasn't been an issue for me. If this had a usb c for charging I'd be all over it. I love my tab pro s and using my same c charger for everything is fantastic. Maybe the 2nd version of the surface laptop will have it.

  20. I have been using surface pro i3 core, and its just great for my use, ai even use photoshop and Illustrator And browes with over 5 taps. Never been slow or anything. My question is do I really need to upgrade to the 8GB model? Because I think the base model will be just fine for me

  21. How the hell can you do a review of this laptop and not mention that it only has ONE USB A PORT, A CHARGING PORT AND MINI DP FOR I/O

  22. I have a Surface 3 (non-pro) and have been feeling like it's time to upgrade. I don't need a beast of a machine, just a good on the go writing computer with great battery life. Would this be good enough?

  23. No, 4GB is not enough in the year 2018, especially on a laptop this expensive. Microsoft is being stupid and a bit Apple-esque with this crap. They're fooling nobody. The only reason they do this is to try and force people to spend more money on the more expensive.

    They also need to get rid of the alcantara. It looks and feels great, but it will come unglued and will eventually get dirty and be impossible to clean.

  24. It's really stupid that they kept n-trig pen tech in the surface laptop. It raises the production costs (requires an additional digitizer), and it is just about unusable since this is not a 2-in-1. The laptop can't even open a full 180 degrees… I don't really know what the designers were thinking.

  25. Hi i have bought a pc (not this one) with 4 GB ram. Will it run for example word, 5 articals on Chrome and Discord? It has i3 7th gen (I know it was a weird example) Thanks!

  26. Hi Dave, thanks always for the great reviews. I am considering buying a base 4gb, 128bg, + arc mouse at BestBuy for $650 and was wondering if this is still a good buy at this price point after a year of your initial review. I have a main laptop for work and desktop for games and stuff so this will mainly be for media consumption and travel. I'd greatly appreciate it if you can help me decide. Thanks!

  27. This 4gig rendered an illustrator cc2018 file faster than MacBook Pro 2016 and razer blade 2017. And I wana know why and how ? MacBook Pro got stuck on same file rendering and took 3 minutes to render where surface 4Gb rendered in less than a minute

  28. Thanks great vid! So glad you talked about RAM. Because I need a laptop for work, and the 4Gb ram model is alot cheaper than the 8Gb (ofcourse) so I'm quite happy that it will do the job just fine. Mainly gonna use office and web browsing. Saved me alot of money so again thanks! 🙂 Saved alteast 100$.

  29. I just saw this used for $300, still will not buy because 4GB simply is not enough.
    I think some people can get buy on 6GB, but heck, even my mom uses 3.3 gigs of RAM these days – it's not comfortable to have a machine where you know that just one more Electron application could result in Windows having to disk swap.

  30. I love Microsoft, but be careful about windows 11 introduction. based on my experience of 8 years using windows phone and surface, I am almost sure that they will not update the current devices. it's not surprising even if they would sell the Surface line to other companies, and say bye to Tablet or even laptop markets, and focus on their office 365.

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