Anyone who buys the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 should be fully aware of the laptop’s drawbacks.
First and foremost, the base model, which gives it its attractive $600 starting price, only comes with 4GB of non-upgradable RAM and should be overlooked by everyone. Seriously, don’t buy it, and don’t try to talk yourself into it just to save money.
Treat it as if the actual starting price is $700, the same amount it costs to get a configuration with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s still closer to “budget” than “high-end” as ultrabooks go, but the list of omissions, shortcomings, and awkward decisions make it harder to ignore as you spend more money. Generation old processors. Without backlit keyboard. Small port selection. A touchscreen that’s neither particularly high-resolution nor very colorful. A 128GB SSD that will feel cramped for many, and a 256GB option that (1) isn’t everything He Too big and (2) adds another $100 to the price.
Neither of these problems should be overlooked or ignored. But as disappointing as some of them are, the fact is that the Laptop Go 2 is a lovely, light, capable laptop that’s a pleasure to use. Microsoft gets most of the important things right here, and there’s no laptop in this price range that doesn’t come with any sort of trade-off.
Especially if you can find it on sale—and the older Laptop Go was regularly discounted by Microsoft, Best Buy, and others selling it—the Laptop Go 2 is a no-fuss budget laptop that’s at this point. Worth considering if you can live with its flaws.
Thoughtful design, minimal features
|Specs at a glance: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2|
|screen||12.4 inch 1536×1024 touchscreen (148 ppi)|
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
|cpu||4-core/8-thread Intel Core i5-1135G7|
|to hit||4GB or 8GB LPDDR4x|
|GPU||Intel Iris XE Graphics (80 EU)|
|storage||128GB or 256GB NVMe SSD|
|networking||Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1|
|ports||USB-A, USB Type-C, Surface Connect, 3.5mm Headphones|
|Shape||10.95×8.12×0.62 inches (278.2×206.2×15.7 mm)|
|weight||2.48 lb (1.12 kg)|
|price as per review||$799.99|
|other facilities||720p webcam, power button-mounted fingerprint reader in 8GB model|
Externally, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is indistinguishable from the original. Microsoft hasn’t changed the keyboard, trackpad, screen or chassis at all, only opting to change the internals. The only exterior difference is the addition of a color called “Sage”, a fuzzy greenish silver finish that complements the returning pink-tinted sandstone, blue-tinted ice blue and non-tinted platinum options. It weighs less than 2.5 pounds, and it’s super easy to pick up and carry around, whether you’re carrying it in a bag to travel or moving between rooms in your home.
If you’re not familiar with the original Laptop Go, here’s a brief recap: The laptop has a lightweight aluminum lid and palm rest, combined with a plastic bottom cover. The combination is lightweight and reasonably sturdy-feeling, even if the thin aluminum makes you feel a bit more flexible than the MacBook, Dell XPS, or Microsoft’s own high-end Surface and Surface Laptop devices. The trackpad is on the small side, but it’s accurate and responsive. And while the keyboard lacks a backlight, its key spacing and travel both feel pleasant, and its power button-mounted fingerprint sensor is a welcome addition.
The laptop’s biggest point of departure from other laptops in this price range is the 12.5-inch 1536×1024 screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, making it narrower but smaller than the 16:9 or 16:10 screens in most ultrabooks. Makes it longer. The screen’s 376-nit peak brightness, 1,159:1 contrast ratio, and color gamut coverage (94 percent of the sRGB gamut, just 68.5 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut) are all for the price. are fine for
But the display isn’t as dense as the more typical 13.3-inch 1080p or 1920×1200 screens (about 149 PPI, down from the mid-to-high 160s), which makes text a bit jagged by comparison, especially on smaller screens. size and light weight. But the screen size and aspect ratio are great for a laptop this small and light. If you’re replacing the old 11.6-inch 16:9 netbook-y budget laptop with the Laptop Go 2, the difference is night and day.
It’s hard to like the Laptop Go 2’s port selection, though it shares this shortcoming with the larger Surface Laptop. You get a USB-A port, a 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 the USB port, and it’s handy to be able to charge via the USB-C port if you need or prefer. That’s just a near-minimal selection of ports, and we’ll be trading the Surface Connect for another USB-C port any day.
And while it doesn’t really matter in the day-to-day use of the device, there’s something to be said for getting some of the fringe benefits of Surface ownership in less-expensive laptops. There are plenty of Windows devices out there that can’t natively pull down UEFI firmware updates or other hardware/firmware-level security features via Windows Update, and most budget devices are lucky enough to receive many of these types of updates. To its credit, Microsoft keeps updating budget-focused devices like the Surface Go or Surface Laptop Go regularly.