a midrange laptop that packs a punch

(Microsoft)

Since the launch of the original Microsoft Surface Laptop Go in 2020, hybrid laptops have caused quite a stir in the tech world. They are sleeker and more compact than a laptop and have many more features than a standalone tablet. It is also the perfect model for those on a budget.

The Surface Laptop Go 2 took advantage of this frenzy and is an upgrade from the first version. Priced higher at £529, this laptop sits firmly in the mid-range category. It comes with all the features you’d expect and a few extras (more of which below), making it a great buy for anyone who needs something to use on the go that won’t break the bank.

    (Microsoft)

(Microsoft)

Specifications at a glance

  • Screen: 12.4 inch PixelSense screen

  • Resolution: 1536 x 1024 (148 PPI)

  • Screen ratio: 3:2

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 quad-core (11th generation)

  • Store: 128GB or 256GB SSD

  • Memory: 4GB or 8GB of RAM

  • Camera: 720P front

  • Connectivity: wifi 6 (ax), Bluetooth 5.1, USB-A, USB-C, headphones, Surface Connect, fingerprint sensor

  • Operational system: Windows 1

  • Dimensions: 10.95″ x 8.12″ x 0.62″

  • Weight: 1127 grams

  • Graphics: Intel iris Xe

The design

The new design is impressive. Available in four different stylish colors – platinum, sage, ice blue and sandstone, this laptop looks like it means business. For those looking for something light, it doesn’t get any better than this, as the entire device only weighs 1127g. Along with its lightweight feel, it’s incredibly thin and generally much more compact than other models – perfect for carrying to and from the office or on the go.

    (Microsoft)

(Microsoft)

At 12.4 inches, we were a little disappointed in the screen size. Compared to other similarly priced laptops, the screen is smaller and feels more like a tablet; a con for anyone who uses this as their main laptop, but it’s ok if you need it on call for entertainment and light remote work. However, the size is also made up for by the higher 3:2 aspect ratio that makes it suitable for everyday use.

The keyboard and trackpad were two standout features when it comes to the design. Both worked beautifully. The keyboard feels like a full-size version and the trackpad’s accuracy cannot be faulted.

The CARACTERISTICS

When it comes to everyday use, this laptop comes close to perfection. It has a vibrant display, color contrast and higher resolution than similar models, making it perfect for social media streaming and scrolling.

A marked improvement over the first model, the Go 2 features a 720p webcam and microphone for crisp, clear audio, meaning Zoom meetings have never been easier. The speakers also produce decent sound quality and volume, but they won’t replace the need for a separate speaker.

In contrast to its predecessor, there are no overheating issues or noisy background hum and it’s 23% faster.

Regrettably, what is the same is the battery life. It still lags behind other laptops, with a full charge offering a day’s light usage (about six hours), but it would be risky not to have a charger handy; hardly ideal if you want to travel light.

Fingerprint scanner and one-touch login are a useful addition and increase the laptop’s efficiency.

We could open large documents normally and use multiple applications without any problems. Of course, updates over the last few years have helped simplify Windows 11 and there seem to be no software issues.

    (Microsoft)

(Microsoft)

Verdict

Overall, the laptop’s design and feel is remarkably similar to the iPad pro, but when it comes to the actual workings of the Go 2, it works much more like a PC than a tablet thanks to its Windows processor.

The new additions and improvements compared to the first version make this laptop worth the extra money, and of all Microsoft products this is the best value. If they could increase the battery life it would be perfect.

If you’re looking for a laptop for school or university, little beats the Go 2 – it’s portable, great for taking notes via the touchscreen keyboard or stylus, and has all the firepower of Windows 11 behind it. It’s not just for students: as business travel resumes and WFH days are an ongoing reality for many, a lightweight laptop that meets the demands of your work is an absolute must, and this reliable laptop won’t let you down.

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