Review and Guide

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Powerful Laptop for Premium Usages

The rain of laptops does not stop, and it is the turn to analyze the convertible Microsoft Surface Laptop Go. The latest from the window brand comes to fight with models like the HP Specter X360, or the MacBook Air. Here we will have a fairly Premium design with a 12.4 ”touch screen in 3: 2 format and only 15.7 mm thick to provide maximum mobility weighing just over 1 kg.

The design work is combined with a keyboard and touchpad section with unbeatable experience, and no less than 13 hours of Battery . To do this, it uses a 10 nm Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor and 8 GB of RAM . A different bet than usual, just like Apple does, and with a pretty good price. We’ll reveal all its details and performance during our review, so it’s time to get started!

Design


If something distinguishes Microsoft’s products is their minimalist, modern and premium appearance , with a style we would say similar to what is also seen in its more direct rival Apple. As a good convertible laptop that it is, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go comes with ultra-compact measurements designed to provide maximum mobility.

More specifically, we have a peculiar 3: 2 format with a 12.4-inch screen , offering overall measurements of 27.8 cm wide, 20.5 cm deep, and only 15.7 mm thick in the area. rear. The main chassis is built on exquisitely molded aluminum , except for the base which will be made of composite material. The weight of the most powerful version will be only 1.1 kg , and considering that the screen will have a rigid glass for being tactile it is an incredibly tight figure.

Starting with its top cover, it reveals a completely smooth surface with the brand’s logo in the central area, which is not illuminated. It will be available in this unique silver color , with slightly rough surfaces to improve one-handed grip. This not quite matte finish has the great advantage of not marking too much fingerprints , and most of the time it will remain in perfect condition.

From its design we love the rounded ends of the corners, and the light and subtle bevel that has been carried out around the edge. We will also find this same on the edge of the interior area, whose sides are extremely clean as there is very little connectivity in them. All the edges reveal a first aluminum zone perfectly integrated into the plastic base. To improve the feeling of thinness, the edges have been heeled inwards , with a greater incidence on the front.

In this way we go to the lower area, which has absolutely no opening for or anything like that to cool the hardware inside. The ventilation grille is found along the hinge , incredibly concealed and with little space for air inlet and outlet. Will this be a problem in the face of temperatures?

But it is not an ordinary plastic lid, as it presents an exquisite construction, with a composition of polycarbonate with resin composed of fiberglass and 30% recycled materials according to the manufacturer. It provides a perfect and secure grip thanks to its slight roughness, with two non-slip rubber feet for perfect support on the ground.

We now go to the inner area of ​​the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go , and the first thing we must comment on is that there is no slit on the front that allows us to comfortably open the lid. The compact measurements of the set make us have a keyboard without NumPad completely adjusted to the width , with wide island-type keys with a surface of wonderful touch . The touchpad is still as good as in the previous generation, located in the central area with standard measurements

To ensure maximum thinness, the keyboard sinks in to keep the keys at the same height as its aluminum base. The hinge system will consist of a central anchor with a smooth and firm movement, which will keep the screen fixed in any position. The system used will allow a maximum rotation of 140 o , which means that this model does not allow it to be used in tablet mode as for example the HP Specter X360. In any case, for a 100% tablet mode we will already have other models such as the Surface Book 3, or the Pro 7 for example.

The screen will be approximately 4mm thick , with excellent rigidity as a hard glass is fitted to ensure good tactile interaction. The design is quite elegant, as the corners offer a 2D curvature similar to that of a Smartphone, and a black frame integrated into the glass itself.

Display


One of the orientations for this Microsoft Surface Laptop Go could also be the use for design, although this role can be better performed by the Surface Laptop 3 model.

So in this model that we analyze we will have a 12.4-inch IPS PixelSense technology screen . It compensates for its small width with a good depth, offering a 3: 2 image format with a native resolution of 1536x1024p . These characteristics generate a density of 148 dpi , similar to having, for example, a 20-inch screen with 2K resolution.

In any case, we are not reaching the figures that an Apple Retina Display could offer, although we do not see it as a direct competitor in this section either . This resolution on the other hand offers a perfect balance between sharpness, image quality and consumption , and it would not be very useful for a standard user to increase it even more. It has an ambient light sensor to adapt the screen brightness automatically, being a clear orientation to Tablets and portable devices.

The image quality is very good with this panel, with very natural colors without harshness, making it clear that its calibration is quite good. Its refresh rate is 60 Hz , and it has a 10-point touch input. For this we have an excellent quality glass similar to that of Tablets with good texture and glide, and a mirror-like surface finish. In the experience of use we will not have complaints of any kind, providing the sensations of a tablet.

It does not provide data on maximum brightness or color coverage, so we will discover them with our colorimeter.

Ports and connectivity

Perhaps this is the weakest section of the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, since the connectivity that we find will be quite fair even for a convertible. All of it will be in the lateral areas and will consist of the following:

Surface Connect port (right area)

  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
  • 3.5mm combo jack for audio and microphone

We will only have two ports with a USB interface, and the Type-C this time does not have Thunderbolt 4 although the processor does support it. At least this port does have Display Port 1.4 , thus covering the lack of an HDMI video port. In general , connectivity seems scarce , and in the lateral areas there is still room for greater capacity.

Regarding network connectivity, we will only have an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 card , the Dual Band 2 × 2 version with bandwidth of up to 2.4 Gbps in 5 GHz. This model will not be compatible with the new band of 6 GHz (Wi-Fi 6E).

Omnisonic Sound with Dolby Audio

The audio system of the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go will consist of two speakers compatible with Omnisonic technology and Dolby Atmos . In this way, the sound quality will be ensured, although the surround effect will be provided through the 3.5 mm Jack connector .

The experience we get with this little laptop is very good, perhaps better than the previous generation, although with the same clarity and configuration guidelines. The balance is very well carried out by the speaker manufacturer, with very well controlled treble and worthy bass presence . The set could be compared to that of a high-end Smartphone and a tablet, and it has a better job than many laptops to use.

In this case, the webcam is a typical 720p HD sensor with medium-low quality for a convertible like this so oriented towards mobility. Yes, we will have an array of far-field microphones of excellent quality for chats or meetings. We miss a Full HD sensor, as it is quite a laptop oriented to work and travel.

Best keyboard and Touchpad


We go on to see one of the strengths of this Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, which will be its keyboard and touchpad, which will make a perfect team with the complement that is the touch screen.

Not because it is a convertible, the quality of these components has been left behind, on the contrary. First of all, we have a TLK-type keyboard that takes advantage of the entire width of the equipment without sacrificing wide 15 x 15 mm keys and in an island-style design. Personally, I love that it uses an ISO-type distribution and also in perfect Spanish, since the writing experience is excellent.

The keycaps have a silky and premium texture like few others , using a chiclet-type membrane with a travel of approximately 1.5 mm with a soft feel and very padded contact. At the time of use we will know that it is designed to lock, write, and not to play. The only thing that we miss very much in it will be the lack of backlighting , which at this point we see as a disadvantage for night use.

Regarding the touchpad, we can say that the experience is as high level as it is with the keyboard. Of him we will miss a design of greater amplitude, since it remains in almost standard measures of 100 x 66 mm. But in the absence of an extended format, we have a Teflon or similar material trackpad that offers a wonderful cushioned texture and better glide than those made of glass. This is coupled with an excellent implementation with virtually no travel and completely silent buttons . It is worth it that you try it to notice the difference with the usual touchpads.

When it comes to biometric authentication systems, we really miss a Windows Hello compatible webcam. Yes, we will have a fingerprint sensor integrated directly on the power button. A fairly discreet situation and that perhaps for many users goes unnoticed.

Internal and hardware features

We go on to know the technical characteristics of the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, which incorporates a 10th generation Intel CPU. The three versions that we will have available equip exactly the same processor.

It is specifically an Intel Core i5-1035G1 equipped with 4 cores and 8 processing threads with a 6 MB L3 cache. It belongs to the 10th generation of the blue brand known as Ice Lake, which began using a 10nm SuperFin manufacturing process. We hope that for the next iteration we already have the 11th generation Tiger Lake processors and their Intel Iris Xe graphics.

This model will provide us with a base frequency of 1.00 GHz and turbo mode up to 3.60 GHz, all under a TDP of only 15 W configurable . The limitation that we have with this unit will be in some way the integrated graphics, since it uses the Intel UHD inferior in performance to the Iris Plus of the i7-1065G7 for example, or the Iris Xe of the last generation. An upcoming update will catapult this Laptop to new possibilities especially in terms of graphics performance.

The RAM memory configuration will be available in 4 or 8 GB of type LPDDR4X , being the model that we analyze the most powerful available. For the type of users this team is aimed at and with the rest of the specifications it has, we see it enough for now, but again, in a next generation 16 GB should already appear as an option.

And the storage configuration will consist of three variants , a basic one with 64 GB eMMC memory , which is not recommended , an intermediate one with a 128 GB SSD aimed at storage and cloud work, and the advanced one with 256 GB aimed at personal storage. Honestly here we expected to see at least 512 GB units as it is ultimately a convertible, and it remains a little below what is seen in the competition. The drive used operates under a PCIe x2 interface judging by its maximum performance of 2000 MB / s in sequential read.

Finally, regarding the cooling system we do not have images of the interior as the lower cover is quite complicated to remove. It only has an inlet and outlet grille in the hinge region that expels air towards the screen thanks to a fan .

Battery

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go meets expectations very well as far as autonomy is concerned, with a 39.7 Wh battery capacity , of course made of Lithium Polymer. The external charging and power system will provide us with exactly the same capacity of 39W, which we consider quite tight for providing a somewhat slow charge of more than an hour and a half.

The autonomy that we see with a full charge cycle is no less than 12 and a half hours approximately . This coincides quite well with the 1pm specified by Microsoft. Our test has been carried out with a balanced profile and maximum savings, half brightness and practicing basic tasks such as browsing or editing documents.

Final Words

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go may be the laptop you are looking for if you want high autonomy, maximum versatility and decent performance to work on the go.

It is not the most powerful version of Microsoft, but neither is it the one that offers extreme handling as it is not a Tablet as such. This 2-in-1 laptop offers the best of both worlds, with a very good quality touchscreen , and a keyboard and touchpad set that is a true marvel in terms of user experience. These are combined with well-defined audio with Dolby Audio and fingerprint sensor. We must bear in mind that the screen cannot be placed in tablet mode.

The design will be one of its main advantages, in terms of handling and its high manufacturing quality. Its aluminum surface does not leave marks, and the base of composite plastic materials does not detract from the premium equipment touch it has. The display surface finish and panel quality are quite high, with good calibration , but not enough coverage for designers.

With the dimensions of the equipment and its extreme thinness, we have a performance a little lower than the maximum possibilities of the i5-1035G1 CPU that is equipped. For its price, the best advantage we obtain is the autonomy of more than 12 hours , but its rivals do better in memory and storage configuration , something just for a laptop.

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