New Surface Laptop launched with a 12.4-inch PixelSense display, an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor and steep memory upgrade prices
Microsoft has quietly released the Surface Laptop Go, its latest laptop place of the Surface Laptop 4. As expected, the Surface Laptop Go has a 12.4-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. A 12.4-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio corresponds to a resolution of 1,536 x 1,024 pixels and a pixel density of 148 PPI, which are both considerably lower values than the two versions of the Surface Laptop 3 that Microsoft released last year.
Microsoft has equipped the Go with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, which is a lower-end version of the Ice Lake chips that it includes in the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7. The Core i5-1035G1 is still a 15 W and quad-core processor, but consumers can only pair it with 4 or 8 GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 64 to 256 GB of storage. Worse still, that 64 GB option uses eMMC flash storage, which is noticeably slower than the NVMe drives that Microsoft uses for its 128 GB and 256 GB SKUs.
According to Microsoft, the Surface Laptop Go weighs 1.1 kg and is 15.7 mm thick. While that may seem a little chunky for a 1.1 kg laptop, Microsoft has included a USB Type-A port, along with a USB Type-C port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The obligatory Surface Connect port returns, but Microsoft continues to shun the Thunderbolt 3 standard. Microsoft has made further compromises with the laptop's construction, too. The company has opted for a 'polycarbonate composite resin with glass fibre[s]' for the base and an aluminium display lid. Similarly, the Surface Laptop Go has a fingerprint sensor within its power button rather than a Windows Hello camera and a 720p webcam instead of a 1080p one. Microsoft is promising up to 13 hours of battery life from the device, though.
The Surface Laptop Go starts at US$549.99 with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, but there is a version with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage that retails for US$699.99. The entry-level model will only be available in Platinum, but Microsoft will sell all other SKUs also in Ice Blue and Sandstone. These include a US$899.99 SKU with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, along with a US$1,119.99 model with 16 GB of RAM for business customers. This SKU also only has 256 GB of storage though, which makes it a pricey upgrade. The same is true for all RAM and storage upgrades in truth, as there is a US$350 difference between the top and bottom-end consumer SKUs. Microsoft will begin shipping the Surface Laptop Go from October 13 in the US, but other markets must wait until November.