Anyone who buys a Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 should be fully aware of the flaws of the laptop.
The first and most important is that the base model, the one that gives it its attractive starting price of $600, comes with just 4GB of non-upgradable RAM and should be ignored by just about everyone. Seriously, don’t buy it and try to convince yourself of it just to save money.
Act like the actual starting price is $700, the amount it costs to get the configuration with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s even closer to “budget” than “high-end” when it comes to ultrabooks, but the list of omissions, shortcomings, and weird decisions gets harder to ignore the more money you spend. . The previous generation processor. The non-backlit keyboard. The small selection of ports. A touch screen neither particularly high resolution nor very colorful. A 128GB SSD that will feel cramped for a lot of people, and a 256GB option that (1) isn’t everything this much bigger and (2) adds another $100 to the price.
None of these issues should be glossed over or ignored. But as frustrating as some of them are, the fact remains that the Laptop Go 2 is a cute, light and capable laptop that’s a joy to use. Microsoft gets most of the important stuff here, and there’s no laptop in this price range that doesn’t come with some sort of compromise.
Especially if you can find it on sale – and the old Laptop Go was regularly discounted by Microsoft, Best Buy and others who sold it – the Laptop Go 2 is a budget laptop well worth buying. be considered if you can live with its flaws.
Thoughtful design, minimalist features
|Specs at a Glance: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2|
|Filter||12.4-inch 1536 x 1024 (148 PPI) touchscreen|
|SE||Windows 11 Home|
|CPU||4-core/8-thread Intel Core i5-1135G7|
|RAM||4 GB or 8 GB LPDDR4x|
|GPUs||Intel Iris Xe Graphics (80EU)|
|Storage||128 GB or 256 GB NVMe SSD|
|Networking||WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1|
|Ports||USB-A, USB Type-C, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphones|
|Cut||10.95 x 8.12 x 0.62 inches (278.2 x 206.2 x 15.7mm)|
|lester||2.48 pounds (1.12 kg)|
|Price as reviewed||$799.99|
|Other advantages||720p webcam, fingerprint reader mounted on power button in 8GB models|
Externally, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is indistinguishable from the original. Microsoft didn’t change the keyboard, trackpad, display, or chassis at all, opting to simply replace the internals. The only external difference is the addition of a color called “Sage”, a vaguely green-tinted silver finish that complements the returning options of pink-tinted sandstone, blue-tinted ice blue and untinted platinum. It weighs less than 2.5 pounds and is very easy to pick up and carry, whether you’re carrying it in a bag for travel or just moving between rooms in your home.
If you’re unfamiliar with the original Laptop Go, here’s a quick recap: the laptop features a lightweight aluminum lid and palm rest, combined with a plastic bottom cover. The suit is light and reasonably sturdy, though the thin aluminum feels a bit more flexible than what you get with a MacBook, Dell XPS, or Microsoft’s high-end Surface and Surface Laptop devices. The trackpad is small, but it’s precise and responsive. And while the keyboard doesn’t have a backlight, the spacing and travel of the keys is nice, and its power button-mounted fingerprint sensor is a welcome addition.
The laptop’s main departure point from other laptops in this price range is a 12.5-inch 1536×1024 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which makes it narrower but a lot larger than the 16:9 or 16:10 screens of most ultrabooks. The display’s 376-bit peak brightness, 1,159:1 contrast ratio, and color gamut coverage (94% of sRGB gamut, just 68.5% of DCI-P3 gamut) are all Very good for the price.
But the display isn’t as dense as a more typical 13.3-inch 1080p or 1920×1200 display (about 149 PPI, down from the mid-to-high 160), which makes text look a bit jagged. in comparison, especially at smaller sizes and lighter weights. But the screen size and format are perfect for such a small and light laptop. If you happen to replace an older budget 11.6-inch 16:9 laptop with the Laptop Go 2, the difference is night and day.
It’s harder to like the Laptop Go 2’s port selection, although it shares that shortcoming with the larger Surface Laptop. You get a single USB-A port, a single USB-C port, a headphone jack, and the proprietary Surface Connect port, and that’s it. It’s nice to be able to charge the laptop without blocking either USB port, and it’s handy to be able to charge through the USB-C port if you need to or prefer to. This is just a minimal selection of ports, and we’d swap Surface Connect for another USB-C port any day.
And while that doesn’t really make a difference in day-to-day use of the device, there’s something to be said for getting some of the fringe benefits of Surface ownership in a cheaper laptop. There are many Windows devices that cannot remove UEFI firmware updates or other hardware/firmware level security features seamlessly through Windows Update, and most budget devices are lucky to get many of these types of updates. To its credit, Microsoft regularly keeps budget-focused devices like the Surface Go or Surface Laptop Go updated.
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