Microsoft’s compact Surface Laptop Go updated with 11th Gen Intel processor

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The most compact and affordable entry in Microsoft’s Surface laptop line – the Surface Laptop Go – is updated with a newer chip as well as an “upgraded” webcam and thermals. The Surface Laptop Go 2 is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor (up from 10th Gen in the previous model), with prices starting at $599.99 for a model with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of memory. storage.

The original Surface Laptop Go was released in 2020 as part of Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Chromebooks. It had a lower starting price than the rest of the Surface Laptop line and a smaller 12.4-inch touchscreen that maintained Microsoft’s 3:2 aspect ratio (resolution sits at 1536 x 1024). Not much has changed for its successor, which measures just 10.95 x 8.12 x 0.62 inches and weighs just under 2.5 pounds.

It has the same 12.4-inch screen.
Picture: Microsoft

The overall form factor is nearly identical.
Picture: Microsoft

That said, there have been some tweaks with the Surface Laptop Go 2. Its starting price has gone up by $50, likely because Microsoft cut the base version that shipped with just 64GB of storage. It also comes in a new “sage” green/grey color, which joins the pre-existing blue, sandstone, and platinum options. Rated battery life has been increased from 13 hours to 13.5 hours, and the laptop also comes with Windows 11 this time around.

Finally, Microsoft says the Surface Laptop Go 2 has more replaceable components, including the keyboard and trackpad, screen, and battery; although they are designed to be replaced by one of Microsoft’s authorized repairers.

There are fewer tangible details about other upgrades, which we’ll probably only get a better idea of ​​once we’ve used the laptop ourselves. Microsoft’s press release boasts that the Surface Laptop Go 2 has “quieter improved thermals that make focusing easier” as well as an “upgraded HD camera”. But the webcam’s resolution continues to be 720p, like the previous model, suggesting that its upgrades are more about image processing than raw resolution.

The laptop comes with a fingerprint sensor in the power button of some models.
Picture: Microsoft

Otherwise, this is a very similar laptop to its predecessor. There’s still a fingerprint sensor built into the power button on some models, the ports are the same (one USB-A, one USB-C, headphone jack, and proprietary Surface port for charging), and it still offers dual microphones and Wi-Fi 6. There’s no mention of a backlit keyboard, which was a main complaint with the first Surface Laptop Go.

All laptop models feature the same Intel Core i5 processor, but there are a range of different RAM and storage configurations available. Prices start at $599.99 for a consumer model with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, rising to $699.99 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or $799.99 for 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Prices for these models are $100 higher on the retail side, where there’s also an additional 16GB RAM/256GB storage version available for $1,099.99. Pre-orders open today, with delivery expected to begin June 7.

We weren’t blown away by the original Surface Laptop Go. That’s not because it was a bad laptop, but because it wasn’t competitive with other devices at its price point. With its higher starting price, the Surface Laptop Go 2 could face a similar challenge.

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