Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review: a mid-range laptop that packs a punch

·4-min read
 (Microsoft)
(Microsoft)

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

The Surface Laptop Go 2 has capitalised on this frenzy and is an upgrade from the first version. With a higher price tag, at £529, this laptop sits firmly within the mid-range category. It comes with all the features you would expect, and a few extras (more of which below), making this a great purchase for those needing something to use on the go that won’t blow the budget.

 (Microsoft)
(Microsoft)

Specs at a glance

  • Screen: 12.4in PixelSense Display

  • Resolution: 1536 x 1024 (148 PPI)

  • Aspect ratio: 3:2

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

  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB SSD

  • Memory: 4GB or 8GB RAM

  • Camera: 720P front-facing

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

  • Operating 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 sleek colours - platinum, sage, ice blue and sandstone, this laptop looks like it means business. For those after something lightweight, it doesn’t get better than this as the whole device weighs a mere 1127g. Alongside its feather light feel, it’s incredibly slim and is generally a lot more compact than other models - perfect for carrying to and from the office or on travels.

 (Microsoft)
(Microsoft)

At 12.4 inches, we were slightly let down by screen size. Compared to other similarly priced laptops, the display is smaller and feels more tablet-like; a con for anyone using this as their primary laptop, but fine if you need it on call for entertainment, light gaming and remote working. However, the size is also compensated by the taller 3:2 ratio that makes it suitable for daily use.

The keyboard and trackpad were two standout features when it came to the design. Both worked beautifully. The keyboard feels like a full size version and the trackpad’s precision couldn’t be faulted.

The features

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

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

In contrast to its predecessor, there’s no problems of overheating or noisy whirring in the background, and it’s 23 per cent faster.

Disappointingly, what’s the same is the battery life. It’s still lagging in comparison to other laptops, with a full charge offering a day’s light usage (around six hours), but it would be risky not having a charger close to hand; hardly ideal if you want to travel light.

The fingerprin scanner and one touch sign in is a handy addition and adds to the efficiency of the laptop.

We could open large documents normally and use multiple apps without trouble. It’s clear that the updates over the past few years have helped streamline Windows 11 and there appear to be no software issues.

 (Microsoft)
(Microsoft)

Verdict

Overall, the design and feel of the laptop is remarkably similar to the iPad pro, but when it comes to the actual working of the Go 2, it operates far 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 out of all Microsoft’s products this is the best value. If they could up the battery life, it would be perfect.

If you’re after a laptop for school or university, then little beats the Go 2 - it’s portable, great for note-taking via the keyboard or touchscreen 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 trusty laptop won’t let you down.

Where to buy

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