Surface Laptop Go 2: First Impressions

The Surface Laptop Go 2 has been available for around two weeks, and my test device arrived here last week. After playing with it for a few days it’s time to write down some first impressions and they are mostly positive.

Microsoft sent me the Surface Laptop Go 2 in the new color “sage”, which I think has a beautiful green tint in the press photos. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look quite as nice in reality, because it tends to be too gray for my taste (although not as much as it looks in the photos). My favorite color therefore remains “ice blue”.

For those readers who aren’t familiar with the Surface Laptop Go 2, let’s start with the specs and available model variants.

The specifications of the Surface Laptop Go 2

  • Display: 12.4-inch PixelSense display, 1,536 x 1,024 pixels (148 PPI), 3:2, multi-touch
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 with Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • RAM: 4, 8 or 16 GB (16 GB only in the business version)
  • Storage: 128 or 256 GB SSD, interchangeable
  • Wifi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Camera: 720p front camera
  • Microphone: 2 Far Field Microphones
  • Dolby Audio Premium Sound
  • Security: Windows Hello fingerprint sensor in the main switch (not in the 4GB/128GB version)
  • Connections, 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 3.5mm audio, Surface Connect
  • Operating system: Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro
  • Power adapter: 39 watts
  • Battery life: up to 13.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 278x205x15.7mm
  • Weight: 1,127 grams
  • available colors: platinum, ice blue, sandstone and sage (the business versions and the 4GB consumer model are only available in platinum)

Surface Laptop Go 2 front top

Variants for private customers with Windows 11 Home:

  • 4GB RAM / 128GB: €669
  • 8GB RAM / 128GB SSD: €769
  • 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD €869

Variants for business customers with Windows 11 Pro:

  • 4GB RAM / 128GB: €769 €
  • 8GB RAM / 128GB SSD: €869 €
  • 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD: €969 €
  • 16GB RAM / 256GB SSD: €1,169

My test device is the consumer top model with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD. Since this is a brand new device, offers below the RRP of 869 euros are hard to find or not worth mentioning. To deal with the price discussion at this point: Yes, it is a Surface and you pay significantly more for this device than you get from other manufacturers with the same equipment. This is part of Microsoft’s product strategy, they want to be “premium” and also avoid direct competition with their OEM partners.

Surface Laptop Go 2 back side

The “Go” stands for the small offshoots in the Surface series. The Surface Go is the small offshoot of the Surface Pro, the Surface Laptop Go is the compact addition to the Surface Laptop. In this case, the “go” is too much understatement for me. While the Surface Go is not suitable as my primary work device due to the small screen and you have to make compromises in terms of performance, the 12.4 inches of the Surface Laptop Go 2 are almost perfect for me. In fact, I could imagine using it permanently as a mobile work device.

This is also due to the Intel Core i5-1135G7, which is not a narrow-gauge processor. It’s no longer the latest Intel has to offer, but what does that mean given the now small leaps between generations. As far as I can tell so far, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is well equipped for all everyday activities. I haven’t had any waiting times or anything like that before, and the device is ready to use within fractions of a second when you open it.

The fingerprint scanner works quickly and reliably. You have to do without an infrared camera with face recognition on the Surface Laptop Go 2. Since the cheaper Surface Go has one installed, I don’t think the camera was saved for cost reasons. I rather suspect that they wanted to differentiate themselves functionally from the “big” Surface Laptop. The still missing key illumination also speaks in favor of this strategy, which, in contrast to the missing IR camera, is a real KO criterion for me. If one were available, I would probably even prefer the Surface Laptop Go to the big brother, and I have probably already given myself the answer as to why it was done this way.

Surface Laptop Go 2 keyboard

Logically, I can’t say anything about the battery life yet. The workmanship is as good as usual, and although it’s been a long time since my last contact with the first generation of the Surface Laptop Go and the memory has faded accordingly, I can say that both the keyboard and the touchpad have evolved. In any case, typing on the Surface Laptop Go 2 is excellent.

more coming soon

Surface Laptop Go 2

Disclaimer: The device discussed here was provided on loan by Microsoft. There was no influence on the test report or an obligation to publish it.

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