May 30,2024

Surface Laptop Go 2 Review: Big Style, Small Battery

by Kolbowicz Marek

Microsoft announces Surface Laptop Go 2 starting at $599

Microsoft has launched its Surface Laptop Go 2, a compact and lightweight Surface laptop that starts at $599. Microsoft’s “Go” models signifies a more economic option for students or remote workers who want the Surface computer experience while saving some cash.

The Surface Laptop Go 2 has a compact 12.4-inch PixelSense Display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 1536 x 1024 px resolution and a maximum brightness of 330 nits. This laptop is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor and there are three tiers to choose from.

The base model comes with 4GB RAM + 128GB SSD with an 8GB + 128GB option for $699, and an 8GB + 256GB tier for $799. While the latter two models do feature integrated fingerprint scanners in the power key, the base model does not. There are four color options including Platinum, Sage, Ice Blue, and Sandstone.

I/O ports for the Laptop Go 2 includes a full-size USB-A port, a USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port for Microsoft’s magnetic charger and docking accessories. The new Laptop Go 2 is now up for pre-order on Microsoft’s website with a release date of June 7.


Surface Laptop Go 2: Price, release date, and everything you need to know

Microsoft has officially announced the next version of the Surface Laptop Go, fittingly titled "Surface Laptop Go 2" which features a better processor, faster graphics, and kills off the 64GB eMMC base model in favor of one with 128GB SSD storage.

It's also available in a new Sage color, which mixes hints of green, silver, and blue together for a unique looking design.

The Surface Laptop Go line is Microsoft's budget-friendly Surface Laptop, and we think it's one of the best Surface PCs for students thanks to its premium design and small overall form factor.

Surface Laptop Go 2: Availability

Surface Laptop Go 2 is available to order now (opens in new tab), with shipments expected to begin starting June 7.

Surface Laptop Go 2: Price and specs

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Laptop Go 2 features a starting price of $599, up from $549 on the first Surface Laptop Go. This is because the Laptop Go 2 has more storage, and a better processor on the inside in the base model.

Surface Laptop Go 2 specifications Category Spec OS Windows 11 Home Processor Intel Core i5-1135G7 RAM 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4x Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics Storage 128GB or 256GB SSD Display 12.4-inch 1536 x 1024 (148 ppi) 3:2 PixelSense Touch display Ports 1x USB-A, 1x USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, Surface Connect port Audio Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby-Audio Premium Wireless Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1 Camera 720p HD f2.0 camera Security Windows Hello fingerprint Battery Up to 13.5 hours Dimensions 10.95 x 8.12 x 0.62 inches Weight 2.48 lbs (1,127g) Color Platinum, Ice Blue, Sandstone, Sage Availability June 7 Price $599, $699, $799

Price list Price SKU $599 Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD $699 Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD $799 Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD

Surface Laptop Go 2: Design and features

Surface Laptop Go 2 is a relatively minor refresh, meaning there are no significant design changes to the product. This means it features the same 12.4-inch screen size, same ports, thickness, chassis, and materials as the first generation device.

There is a new Sage color option, but that's the only external difference you'll notice. The bigger changes are on the inside, with improved thermal cooling, and more replacable parts including the keyboard, trackpad, display, battery, and Surflink cable.

Unfortunately, the Laptop Go 2 still misses out on a backlit keyboard, and its display resolution is still quite low compared to other Surface devices on the market.

Surface Laptop Go 2 Review: Big Style, Small Battery

The Surface Laptop Go 2 is an iterative upgrade from the previous model, there’s no doubt about that. But as a device that prioritizes design, portability, and usability, it may just be a shrewd decision that keeps the price of this posh pocket laptop within a student's range.

Cutting to the chase, this laptop is an absolute joy to use. Those who may not be able to afford a pricier MacBook but have long wanted to buy one should absolutely look to the Surface Laptop Go 2. It’s the closest thing you can get to a cut-price Apple clamshell device.

It’s super slim, and much of the laptop is finished in stylish and lightweight aluminum. But unlike the MacBook, it also comes in a colorful set of hues. It is largely the same selection as last time, with one delightful Sage addition. I’ve been testing the Ice Blue, which is understated, but the tint gives it a refreshing pop. This is a device that you’ll be happy to pack in and out of a bag each day, secure in the knowledge that you’ve got something that looks good and feels built to last.

Keys Performance

Photograph: Microsoft

Working on this laptop is a breeze, with a keyboard that is one of the best for getting your essays and musings down. The keys have a great amount of travel for a device this thin, and a good level of feedback that keeps just on the right side of mushy to remain satisfying.

The trackpad isn’t the largest, but then again it’s not a large device, and thankfully it’s accurate and clicky from corner to corner. What lets the bottom half of this laptop down is a lack of backlighting, which might make things tricky in a darkened lecture hall. The fingerprint button—available on the two 8-GB RAM models but not the 4-GB—does get some lighting, so you’ll be able to sign in promptly at least. Somewhat surprisingly, this Surface device does not offer Microsoft’s Windows Hello facial sign in, but the webcam quality is half-decent nonetheless.

Along with the lack of keyboard backlighting, there are a few other compromises with varying levels of impact. The display sits between 1080p and 720p resolutions, and you'd think this would be a major hurdle, but it's not in person. Assisted by the small 12.4-inch screen size, it wraps the low resolution in vibrant colors and a good level of detail. Its 3:2 aspect ratio enhances the laptop's productivity chops as well. The screen brightness is okay: You won’t have trouble working in most scenarios. But use outside is a no-no, and the glossy display doesn't help either.

You also only get an Intel 11th Gen chip, rather than one from the latest 12th generation. For a device costing you upwards of $500, you might expect the very latest components, but the results don't make this much of a compromise at all. Combined with 8-GB RAM—the model I tested—the chip provides more than enough for note-taking and web browsers alike. The low price is a big part of the attraction of the Surface Laptop Go 2, and given how it plays out in reality, a 12th Gen processor doesn't seem worth the likely bump in cost.

  • Kolbowicz Marek
  • May 30,2024

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