Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review : Surface Laptop The Go 2 is an iterative upgrade from the previous model, no doubt about it. But as a device that prioritizes design, portability and usability, this posh pocket laptop can be a smart decision to keep the price within a student’s reach.
This laptop is a pleasure to use. Those who can’t afford an expensive MacBook, but have wanted one for a long time, should definitely look at the Surface Laptop Go 2. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to a cut-price Apple clamshell device.
It is very slim and most of the laptop is finished in stylish and lightweight aluminum. But unlike the MacBook, it also comes in a set of colors. It’s pretty much the same option as last time, with a delightful sage addition.
I’m testing Ice Blue, which is understated, but the tint gives it a refreshing pop. It’s a device you’ll be happy to pack into a bag and take out every day, knowing you have something that looks good and feels built to last.
Keys features Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
This laptop is a joy to work on, best for getting your essays and musings down with the keyboard. The hinges have a lot of travel for such a thin device and feel good enough to be on the right side to be satisfying.
The trackpad isn’t huge, but then again, it’s not a huge device, and thankfully it’s accurate and clicky from corner to corner. The lack of backlighting to lower the bottom half of this laptop can make things tricky in a darkened lecture hall.
The fingerprint button—available on both 8-GB RAM models but not the 4-GB—gets some lighting, so you can at least sign in instantly. Somewhat surprisingly, this Surface device doesn’t offer Microsoft’s Windows Hello facial sign-in, but the webcam quality is half-decent.
Besides the lack of keyboard backlighting, there are a few other compromises with varying degrees of effectiveness. The display is between 1080p and 720p resolution, and you’d think that would be a big hurdle, but it’s not personally.
With the help of a small 12.4-inch screen size, it packs a low resolution in vibrant colors and a good level of detail. Its 3:2 aspect ratio also boosts the laptop’s productivity chops. Screen brightness is OK: you won’t have trouble working in most cases. But using it outside is a no-no, and the glossy finish doesn’t help either.
You’ll only get an Intel 11th Gen chip, not the latest 12th gen. For a device that will cost you more than $500, you can expect a lot of the latest components, but the results aren’t that compromised. Combined with 8 GB of RAM—the model I tested—the chip provides more than enough for note-taking and web browsing.
The low price is a big part of the Surface Laptop Go 2’s appeal, and given how it actually plays, the 12th-gen processor doesn’t seem worth the price hike.