Goodbye Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Hello Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge

Neither I nor my wife looked back with much regret when we escaped the Apple socialist computing lifestyle and adopted Android smartphones and Windows PCs. Can you say freedom?

In December 2022, I bought Surface Laptop Studio for me. Config: 14.4-inch touchscreen (2400 x 1600 resolution); quad-core 11th-generation Intel Core H35 i7-11370H processor; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics; 32GB RAM; 2TB SSD. She got Surface Laptop 5. Config: 13.5-inch touchscreen (2256 x 1504 resolution); 12th-generation Intel Core i7-1255U processor; 16GB RAM; 512GB SSD.

From the start, despite ample memory and big storage, my notebook felt slow. Pauses were many, while waiting for the operating system to do its thing, and I mean simple stuff like working with File Explorer. Initially, I attributed the apparent lagging to my experience coming from MacBook Pro. Then I used my wife’s Surface, which has a newer Intel chip and is perceptually speedier. More cores matter.

That said, overall, the design of the Laptop Studio appeals to me. I briefly explored swapping for the successor released in autumn 2023. Two months ago, I also strongly considered Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra but decided to pass on the opportunity.

Then, on May 20, 2024, Microsoft and its OEM partners announced a new generation of ARM-based laptops. I luckily joined the preorder queue for Samsung’s model, and the only one obviously packing the highest-end CPU. Config: 16-inch AMOLED touchscreen (2880×1800 resolution); Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite X1E-84-100 processor; Qualcomm Adreno GPU and Hexagon NPU; 16GB RAM; 1TB SSD.

Honestly, I considered cancelling countless times before the official release date of June 18—when UPS delivered Galaxy Book4 Edge. Integrated graphics, lesser memory, mechanical trackpad, no Windows Hello, and smaller SSD topped my reservations. Bury the qualms! I love this laptop, which delivers the best out-of-box experience in as long as I can remember.

Simple setup started off the feel-goodness, which expanded from there—and has yet to reach crescendo. That may come when I more fully take advantage of the Galaxy AI, Microsoft Copilot+, and Samsung ecosystem interoperability capabilities.

I love the responsive, tactile keyboard and crisp, contrasty display. Windows is speedy and battery life is beyond exceptional. Standy-by consumption is nominal, and I can work continuously without worry of running down the charge. (Surface Laptop Studio wouldn’t last more than a few hours. Sometimes, I recharged twice a day. I love the notebook’s utility, such as the fold-out tent configuration and stylus support. But they’re nice-to-haves, whereas battery and performance are musts.)

Tech reviewers are quick to compare Qualcomm Snapdragon X laptops to various MacBook Air or Pro models, because of the ARM architecture and potential similar meaningful benefits like long battery life. Out come the benchmarks for various attributes like single- and multi-core performance. I wouldn’t buy anything based on such criteria. Nor should you.

MacOS and Windows are two different platforms—as are the digital lifestyle ecosystems supporting them, which includes mobile devices and online services. Choose based on need and real-world benefits.

For my needs, Samsung offers cohesive interoperability among its technology products. Galaxy AI and Copilot+, supported by fast-enough NPU (Neural Processing Unit), promise to improve my creative productivity. We will see about that.

But the biggest benefits staring at me right now are the sudden speedy fluidity of Windows 11 and the wondrously long battery life. We’ll see if in the coming days whether or not my enthusiasm continues. I have yet to undertake massive photo or video projects. Can this computer deliver enough satisfaction with integrated graphics and only 16GB of RAM? I will let you know.

But, at this juncture, four full days with the new laptop, I am super satisfied—and I would recommend the Galaxy Book4 Edge to anyone asking about ARM-based computers.

Composition of the Featured Image won’t win awards. I used Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to quickly shoot something to illustrate this post. Perhaps, I will replace when there is opportunity. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 64, 1/200 sec, 23mm (film equiavlent); 1:22 p.m. PDT, today.