Microsoft has taken the wraps off a new addition to its ever-expanding line of Surface hardware, the Surface Laptop Go. As the name suggests, this is designed to be a more affordable variant of the Surface Laptop 3. And starting from £549.99, this Windows 10 machine almost certainly has Google and Apple a little worried.
That’s because that aggressive price point brings this fully-fledged laptop, which ships with a 13-hour battery life and HD touchscreen display, shoulder-to-shoulder with the entry-level Apple iPad (complete with its keyboard accessory) and Google Chromebooks – both of which are popular options with school boards and individual students looking to upgrade to the latest kit.
As it stands, the Surface Laptop Go is one of the most affordable options in the Surface line-up, which are designed by Microsoft to showcase the best of its Windows 10 and Office 365 software. In fact, the Laptop Go is only beaten by the Surface Go 2, which has a tablet form-factor coupled with a Type Cover and Surface Pen stylus for extra productivity.
Surface Laptop Go only has a 12.4-inch display, compared with the 13.5-inch one found on the Surface Laptop 3. However, it keeps the same 3:2 aspect ratio found on the vast majority of Microsoft’s hardware. That smaller frame means the Surface Laptop Go is the lightest Surface laptop yet – weighing in at 1,110 grams. That’s lighter than a MacBook Air.
Despite its diddy size, the Surface Laptop Go still manages to pack a full size keyboard – with 1.3mm of travel – and a pretty expansive trackpad. There’s also room for USB-C and USB-A ports, so you won’t have to worry about packing any adapters in your bag to connect to any hard-drives, printers, scanners or flash drives.
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The magnetic Surface charging cable also makes a very welcome return, which means tripping over the lead won’t send your brand-new laptop on a one-way flight across the classroom. Not only that, but the Surface Laptop Go supports fast-charging, so you’ll be able to top-up the battery to 80 percent in an hour – handy if you’re forgotten to charge everything the night before and you’re running late for a lecture.
There is a 720p webcam, but it doesn’t support facial recognition for the oh-so convenient Windows Hello login. Instead, Microsoft has included a fingerprint scanner in the power button to save you the trouble of typing out your password.
Powering the Surface Laptop Go is a 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor. That’s not the latest version of this chipset – Intel started to ship the 11th generation earlier this year – but the quad-core silicon here should be more than good enough to juggle multiple windowed apps, streaming music and a few games on-the-go.
Of course, we’ll have to test the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go ourselves to see how it holds up, but on paper, this looks like a good balance between price and raw grunt.
The entry-level Surface Laptop Go ships with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of solid-state storage. Those are the kind of specs you’d expect to find in an iPad at this price point, not a fully-fledged Windows 10 machine. If you want more RAM and storage, you’ll need to cough-up for the £699 model, which packs 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
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