For the new Surface Laptop Go 2 announced on Wednesday, Microsoft hasn’t changed much from the original launched in 2020. It’s still an attractive, budget-friendly, small, thin, and lightweight laptop built with a roughly 12.4-inch touchscreen. A tall 3:2 aspect ratio and a 1,536×1,024-pixel resolution.
Inside, Microsoft updated the processor to an 11th-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor that, while not the latest, should give it capable performance for school or business basics. The consumer version can be configured with either 4GB or 8GB of memory (which is onboard so it can’t be expanded later), while the commercial model will go up to 16GB of RAM. Solid-state storage options are 128GB or 256GB; The 2020 model debuted with just 64GB SSD.
The base model Surface Laptop Go 2 from Microsoft with a Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD starts at $600 (£529, AU$1,199). No matter how good it sounds, 4GB of memory isn’t great for a $600 laptop. Increasing it to 8GB would add $100 to the cost. Like the 2020 base model, the power button in the new base model does not include a fingerprint reader. And, although Microsoft said it has improved the webcam, it’s still 720p instead of the 1080p cameras found in many new ultraportables.
Also, while it’s not uncommon for budget-friendly laptops to have some upgradeable or replaceable parts, Microsoft has made most of its parts user-replaceable, including the display, keyboard and touchpad, solid-state storage, and the SurfLink cable. Battery, which can also be replaced by Microsoft or service provider. One of the few things that can’t be changed: RAM.
If you’re looking for something slim and small with a premium design for $600 or less — and you don’t want a Chromebook — this could be a good place to start. The new Microsoft Surface Go 2 is available for pre-order from Microsoft and is expected to ship on June 7.