Why you can trust ZDNet
Our recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product through our links. This helps support our work but does not influence what we write about or the price you pay. Our editors thoroughly review and fact check every article. Our process

‘ZDNet Recommends’ What exactly does that mean?

ZDNet’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of YOU, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form


Microsoft rolls out Surface Laptop 4 alongside new headsets, a webcam, and a speaker

Microsoft's spring Surface rollout includes not just the expected new Surface Laptop 4 devices, but a number of other peripherals positioned for remote work use.


Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft introduced on April 13, as expected, its Surface Laptop 4 line-up. The company also announced a bunch of new accessories, including Surface Headphones 2+, two Microsoft headsets, a Microsoft-branded webcam, and a Microsoft desktop speaker.

ZDNet Recommends

The best Surface PCs

Microsoft's lineup of Surface PCs now covers a wide range of hardware factors and price points -- and every model is Windows 11-ready.

Read More

There were few surprises about the Surface Laptop 4, thanks to numerous leaks ahead of time. Surface Laptop 4 will come in two sizes (13.5 inches and 15 inches) and with an 11th-generation Intel Core or AMD Ryzen Mobile processor inside either sized model. 

In terms of ports and storage options, the Laptop 4 offers the same choices as the Surface Laptop 3. Pricing starts at $1,000 and users can preorder today in the US, Canada, and Japan, with more market availability slated for "the coming weeks." Shipments will begin April 15. US customers who buy Surface Laptop 4 through microsoft.com or bestbuy.com before April 15 will receive Surface Earbuds for free.

I liked the Surface Laptop 3 quite a bit. It's actually lappable (!). I did have to pay to repair the motherboard just a month after my warranty expired. But Laptop 3 is still my daily driver and it's getting about four to five hours of battery life at this point. Since Laptop 4 is an incremental upgrade, I'd expect it to be another solid performer. 

Also: Laptops we love: Most ZDNet writers prefer this notebook above all others

The new peripherals -- some of which also were expected thanks to leaks -- are all focused on business users who need to communicate virtually. On the list:

Microsoft Modern USB Headset: Starting at $50 and shipping in select markets starting in June, this is a "certified for Microsoft Teams" device with an on-ear design. a USB-A connection, and support for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, macOS 11.0/10.15.

Microsoft Modern Wireless Headset: Starting at $100 and shipping in select markets in June, this is a "Certified for Microsoft Teams" headset. With an on-ear design, flip-to-mute microphone, and on-ear controls, the headset provides up to 30 hours of talk time on a Teams call or up to 50 hours of music listening time, Microsoft says. It has a USB-A dongle and Bluetooth compatibility. It works with Windows 10 (RS5 and more recent), Windows 8, Windows 7, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Microsoft Modern Webcam: A $70 webcam with a 1080p camera, USB-A connection, and integrated privacy shutter. It works with Windows 10, macOS 11.0/10.15, Windows 8.1, and 8. (For those wondering, this is not a Windows Hello-supported webcam.)

Microsoft Modern USB-C speaker: Another certified-for-Microsoft-Teams device, this $100 compact USB-C desktop speaker is meant for workplace use. It includes background-noise reducing microphones, a status light to see whether others can hear your voice, and Windows 10 PC and Surface compatibility. It will start shipping in June.

Surface Headphones 2+: The second iteration of Microsoft's Surface headphones, tailored for business use -- and with Teams certification -- cost $300 when they start shipping later in April. Headphones 2+ will provide up to 15 hours of voice calling, Microsoft says.

(I'm not sure why Microsoft branded only the headphones with "Surface" and the other peripherals with the "Microsoft" name. Maybe it's because the Surface team designed the headphones but not the other devices?)

Microsoft also announced today that Surface Duo availability is expanding to commercial markets in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The Duo is Microsoft's dual-screen Android-based mobile device introduced last year.

Show Comments