Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review: versatile and compact, but with (many) commitments

Microsoft Surface Laptop Pro

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is one of the latest laptops in Microsoft’s popular “Surface” family, presenting itself as the most affordable option for those on a tighter budget. Thus, taking into account the target audience for which it is intended, it arrives with a modern design, with a robust, versatile and extremely compact construction.

With all these options in its development, Microsoft was able to launch a notebook capable of meeting the needs of a wide variety of users. However, it is impossible to turn a blind eye to all the commitments you had to make along the way.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Pro

Surface Laptop Go is available at a price base only € 649, being by far the most affordable Surface notebook. However, its base model cannot be considered a good investment for the overwhelming majority of users due to the 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC disk.

Strengths of Surface Laptop Go

  • Compact and very light format
  • Charging via USB-C
  • Keyboard full size and very comfortable

Weaknesses of Surface Laptop Go

  • Low resolution screen
  • Keyboard without backlighting
  • Too reflective display in bright environments

Surface Laptop Go arrives with a design that makes you forget some problems

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go design

For those looking for a compact laptop, truly portable, but with a robust construction and pleasant to the eye, the Surface Laptop Go will be an excellent investment. With just over 1kg, this laptop from Microsoft will be very easy to carry, going unnoticed in any suitcase or backpack.

In general terms, its aluminum construction provides a very pleasant and considerably premium user experience, with only its base made of polycarbonate. Thanks to the rigidity provided by the aluminum plate, the keyboard resists pressure very well as you type, with very little movement.

As you would expect in any product in the Surface line, Microsoft does not disappoint in its Laptop Go design, literally maintaining all the popular lines of the other models that are at a much higher price level.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Keyboard

Your keyboard will certainly cause mixed emotions, and is sometimes impressive thanks to its size and layout of the keys, which allows for a very comfortable typing process. But, on the other hand, it doesn’t come with backlight (backlighting), making it impossible to see the keys in dimly lit environments.

Finally, its 12.4 “inch screen left a lot to be desired during the testing time. Although it can reproduce the vast majority of content with acceptable quality, the glossy finish combined with a mediocre brightness level (300 nits) , prevents comfortable outdoor use.

Surface Laptop Go screen reflection

Since this could be considered an ideal laptop to “work anywhere”, it turned out to be a little disappointment in this regard. In addition, its resolution does not reach 1080p, which will certainly be a frustration for many users.

Immaculate performance guarantee in multiple environments

With regard to its performance, we can say that it was acceptable most of the time, even managing to surprise in certain situations. However, we must always take into account its various limitations. The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is available in three models, all of which come equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor.

Then, the 3 variants offer the following memory combinations:

  • 4GB RAM + 64GB storage (eMMC) – € 649
  • 8GB RAM + 128GB storage (SSD) – € 819
  • 8GB RAM + 256GB storage (SSD) – € 1,019

Considering even the most basic tasks performed by most users, it is very difficult to be able to recommend an investment in the base model, both because of the limitations of 4GB of RAM as well as the great limitations of eMMC storage.

Surface Laptop Go fingerprint reader

When we exclude the base model, the Surface Laptop Go ends up not presenting itself as a budget laptop, since its price about for € 819. Although it is considerably more affordable than the other products in the Surface line, for this price you will already find several alternatives with much lower prices.

Still, the Surface Laptop Go’s performance level managed to impress in several situations, such as its fluidity during working hours, when it found itself with a good dozen open tabs in Google Chrome, Slack and Spotify application in operation.

In addition, since it is not used for large “projects”, it still managed to occasionally handle image manipulation in Photoshop.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go laptop

Another very interesting situation that I had the opportunity to experience was its possible use as a gaming laptop. Thanks to Google Stadia, you can use this laptop to play your favorite games anywhere, all you need is a stable internet connection.

So, if you are looking for a beautiful, light and compact laptop to perform tasks mostly focused on using Google Chrome and writing texts, this may be a good option.

An autonomy that is not surprising, but satisfies

This is a very sensitive category in this type of notebook computers, especially for its more modest specifications and compact dimensions. With an Intel Core i5 processor and a 12.4 “inch screen with a 1024p resolution, you would expect enviable autonomy.

However, during the test period, despite being able to guarantee a satisfactory autonomy, easily holding out during a working day of approximately 8 hours, with some battery still available. But, Microsoft promises up to 13 hours of autonomy that, making normal use of the equipment, seems to be virtually impossible to achieve.

Surface Laptop Go connectivity

To charge the Surface Laptop Go, you can use Microsoft’s proprietary input that looks a bit like Apple’s MagSafe, or take advantage of support for charging via the USB-C input.

Buy Surface Laptop Go if …

  • You want to enter the “Surface world” without having to invest more than € 1000
  • Do a lot of text writing work anywhere
  • One of the main priorities is to buy a compact and robust notebook

Don’t buy Surface Laptop Go if …

  • You regularly work with (heavy) video and photo editing
  • You need a large screen
  • Work regularly on the street and in overly lit environments


Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

There is no doubt that the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is an excellent portable computer. But, it is also true that it will not be suitable for all types of users.

Although it is considered a “budget” portable computer, it is important to remember that you should only consider buying the medium (or higher) model, so that you do not have frustrating performance and longevity limitations. The price hike could certainly make many users reticent.

In general terms, it is a competent portable computer that could be the ideal investment for some types of users. For example, if you are looking for a lightweight, easy-to-carry laptop that has an immaculate performance in internet browsing and producing written content, Laptop Go may be perfect for you.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a slightly more capable notebook with an above average quality screen, this will not be an investment that you should consider.

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