Microsoft’s new mainstream laptop competes directly with chromebooks: Surface Laptop Go is compact, lightweight, has a total stylistic identity with the Microsoft Surface range and offers the power of a 10nm Intel Core i5 Ice Lake processor and the familiarity of Windows 10 at a price never seen before.
Microsoft’s PC maker activity is increasingly intense and knows no setbacks despite the COVID emergency. In the first 9 months of 2020, the House of Redmond presented its first dual-display, the controversial Surface Duo, launched the commercial distribution of its first Connected PC WOA Surface Pro X, updated Surface Book and Surface Go. And today it expands the range towards the mainstream segment with its cheapest notebook ever, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go.
Microsoft Surface Laptop go in Sandstone color
Let’s start by saying that despite the price, Surface Laptop Go has the same family design as the other Surface and shares the same attention to detail and quality of materials. The lid is made of aluminum while the base is made of a composite material of polycarbonate and glass fiber with 30% recycled materials, a combination that allows for the best compromise between aesthetics, lightness and strength.
It is thus possible to remain in the weight of 1.1Kg and in the thickness of 15.69mm without sacrificing design and adequate protection of the display. Weight, small footprint and sturdiness are very important features for an ultraportable notebook like this one, made to travel in a work bag or to end up tossed among the books in a student’s backpack. The target of the Surface Laptop Go is in fact absolutely identical to that of chromebooks, a category that now has its following globally and that this year is also trying to relaunch in Italy.
Surface Laptop Go has a clear stylistic identity
There are three colors, Ice Blue, Sandstone and Platinum, but only the latter will be available in Italy, at least for the first phase of marketing. Moreover, the same color and finish has been applied both on the cover and on the base, with a uniformity that makes it difficult to distinguish the differences in materials and which gives the Surface Laptop Go the appeal of a higher-end laptop.
Ice blue, Sandstone and Platinum, the three colors of Surface Laptop Go
The display is a 12.4 “PixelSense panel with an HD resolution of 1536 x 1024 and an aspect ratio of 3: 2 which is one of the most popular in this period because it guarantees better comfort in text editing and Web browsing. . It is inserted into the chassis through frames that are not particularly thin but of equal thickness on three sides and has an edge-to-edge coating that helps to reinforce the feeling of balance and precision of the design. There is also the 10-point capacitive touch. if we are a little skeptical about the usefulness of this feature on a laptop in clamshell format and we suspect that the touchscreen layer can reduce the image quality especially outdoors or in difficult lighting conditions.
The display has a diagonal of 12.4 “and an aspect ratio of 3: 2
The base is almost entirely occupied by a very large Precision touchpad with glass coating and a full-size keyboard with a 1.3mm key travel, soft touch and backlight for a perfect typing experience. Except on the input configurations, there is also a fingerprint sensor integrated in the power button to unlock with Windows Hello and One Touch sign-in.
Integrated fingerprint on some models
On the sides are the interfaces that include a full size USB-A, a USB-C, an audio jack and a Surface Connect port. The only lack is an SD card reader which can be easily replaced by an external USB adapter. A vice that the Laptop Go shares once again with the chromebooks and which presumably depends on the cloud-centric approach of these laptops that rely on online resources rather than local storage expansions.
Comfortable and spacious input devices: keyboard and touchpad
Hardware platform and availability
Inside the Surface Laptop Go we find an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor with 4 or 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM memory and storage on 64GB eMMC modules or 128GB or 256GB SSD. It is an excellent CPU for the price range and guarantees calculation performance and good efficiency. Too bad for the Intel UHD gen11 integrated graphics in its poorest configuration and for the very modest, almost anachronistic memory and storage allocation on the entry models.
The networking sector with Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 6 802.11ax is also convincing, albeit partial, but without a mobile broadband connectivity option, not even 4G LTE. In short, there is clearly some small sacrifice to be made due to the price, but the Surface Laptop Go still remains a good note