Until now, the ticket to enter Microsoft’s Surface has been worth its weight in gold. Like his compatriot Apple, the company created by Bill Gates positioned its machines on a premium segment reserved for a public with comfortable finances.
Like the Surface Go in the tablet world, Microsoft now offers the Surface Laptop Go in the PC universe. This term “Go” refers to the entry level Surface. These products use the ingredients for which the premium models are famous and do away with elements considered secondary for traditional use.
This is what Surface Laptop Go is: an accessible ultrabook sold from 629 euros, neat design, with a Surface keyboard, a touch screen and sufficient performance to accompany a student or non-creative user on a daily basis. Microsoft is therefore not playing the big guns and it is successful.
Price and release date
The Surface Laptop Go comes in three versions, all equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core i5 chip. The first model, sold for 629 euros, includes 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The other two have 8 GB of RAM and are offered at 799 euros (128 GB) and 999 euros (256 GB).
Microsoft offers its Surface Laptop Go in three colors : Platinum (test model), Sand and Steel Blue (very original).
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go at the best price
Base price: 629 €
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Design and connection
The great strength of the Surface Laptop Go is its size. Very compact (278 x 205 x 157 mm) and light (1.11 kg) the Microsoft ultrabook will quickly be forgotten when you travel.
Its contained dimensions do not prevent it from integrating a fairly comfortable 12.4-inch screen. The designers have limited the width of the borders with some success. They even kept the webcam above the slab. On each side of the optics, two microphones allow better capture of sound during videoconferences. If the camera remains limited to 720p the sound capture, it is bluffing.
Microsoft is not doing miracles with the connectivity. The available space allows it to integrate only four ports: a USB-A, a USB-C, a 3.5 mm jack on the left and a Surface Connect, its proprietary charging port, on the right. It’s already not bad considering its very small size. Also note that the fingerprint reader used to unlock the PC is hidden under the on / off button on the keyboard.
In addition to this optimization of space, the Surface Laptop Go stands out for its premium appearance mainly due to its coating unibody in polycarbonate and aluminum. If our model Platinum is distinguished by its sobriety, the colors Sable and especially Glacier Blue give it a touch of originality that makes the difference.
Finally, I would like to emphasize the high quality of the keyboard / trackpad combo of this Surface Laptop Go. The first is distinguished by its short and light stroke as well as its softer coating to the touch. I did not shy away from my pleasure during my long writing sessions (especially that of this test). In my opinion, Surface keyboards are the most enjoyable to use every day. Only flaw on this model: it is not backlit.
Microsoft has also taken care of the work on its trackpad. Despite limited available space, it spreads over a surface comfortable enough to do without a mouse, even for extended use.
With this Surface Laptop Go, Microsoft therefore confirms what we already knew: the American knows how to make very nice products. If we often praise Apple’s work in terms of design, Microsoft has absolutely nothing to envy, including on its more affordable machines.
Screen and audio
The Surface Laptop screen is not the most conventional. The 12.45-inch panel adopts a 3: 2 aspect ratio that we have already seen on Huawei Matebooks. By choosing this more square format, Microsoft slices in the quick: the Surface Laptop Go is a PC cut for productivity.
Indeed, the 3: 2 format allows you to display more content in the vertical direction. Perfect for web browsing, social networks or office automation. On the other hand, it cuts a lot on video content, so two big black bands will frame the films and series designed for broadcasting in 21: 9.
Too bad, because even if the definition of 1536 x 1024 pixels cannot be qualified as Full HD (1080p), the quality is there. To be completely frank, the difference with a Full HD screen remains imperceptible.
In addition, the display quality is convincing. The brightness allows occasional use outdoors without suffering too much from reflections. There are also good contrasts and above all excellent colorimetry.
Don’t look for speakers, you won’t find any. In order to reduce the size of his machine, Microsoft has housed its Dolby Audio compatible Omnisonic speakers under the keyboard. A daring and profitable choice.
The sound quality is very good for the use that we will make of such a computer (listening to music while working, a few videos, a little game). The 3.5mm jack will give you the freedom to connect your favorite headphones. Wireless devices are obviously supported (bluetooth 5.0 connection).
Performance and software
Before getting to the heart of the matter, let us specify that our test model is a “for Business” version. It therefore includes 16 GB of RAM against 4 or 8 GB for consumer models. Our Surface Laptop Go also comes with Windows 10 Professional and not Windows S.
For the rest, the configuration is identical. So we find a 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 chip and an Intel UHD Graphics GPU that we will qualify as standard. This is particularly felt with 3D games (not necessarily the most demanding) which are displayed with poor graphics quality and questionable fluidity.
The Surface Laptop Go is therefore not a computer made for gaming. This is good, Microsoft did not design it for this. This computer intended for students or professionals (commercial for example) is made for (oh surprise) study and work.
On this point, the contract is perfectly fulfilled. Surface Laptop Go runs like clockwork, easily switches between software and supports a large number of applications running simultaneously. Be careful, demanding software like Photoshop or Premiere Pro will run in slow motion, the PC not being designed for creative people.
In any case, you will not be able to install them on a general public machine since they are delivered with Windows S. In this “light” version of Windows 10, only applications available on the Microsoft Store can be installed, that is to say quite a few. This limited catalog has at least the advantage of not allowing the installation of everything and anything at the risk of deteriorating the performance and / or the autonomy of the machine.
Again, the test version presented here has 16 GB of RAM which helps improve performance in multitasking. But it’s safe to assume that the versions with 8 GB of RAM will be just as effective. I have more doubts about the models with 4 GB of RAM which seem a bit tight.
Anyway, Surface Laptop Go does just fine. This machine will accompany you during your long working hours without showing any signs of fatigue.
Autonomy and recharging
From reading the datasheet, I already assumed that the autonomy of the Surface Laptop Go would not reach new heights. Its 39 Wh battery pales in comparison to the 60 Wh of an HP Specter x360 for example. However, I preferred to give him the benefit of the doubt, hoping that the software optimization would compensate for this weakness.
Unfortunately, my fears were confirmed during my test. If Microsoft promises 13 hours of use with a single charge, I was never able to exceed 8-9 hours of work (editorial staff, social networks, web browsing, image editing).
If you punctuate the whole thing with videos, then you will see the battery melting like snow in the sun. Three 45-50 minute episodes of a series on Netflix drain almost 50% of energy. Of course, the Surface Laptop Go was not designed for this purpose but as a work machine. Is. However, even by contenting itself with basic uses, it does not shine with its endurance.
I therefore recommend taking the charger with you for safety. Luckily, it’s pretty compact (you’ll easily slip it into a bag) and very fast. Allow 15 minutes to recover 20%, 30 minutes to reach 40% and about 1h30 for a full charge. Note that these scores were obtained using the charger Surface Connect supplied with the computer. Surface Laptop Go can also charge (slower) with a USB-C charger.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go at the best price
Base price: 629 €
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The Surface Laptop Go is far from perfect. Its autonomy is fair, its keyboard is not backlit, its webcam can be improved and its configuration limits it to productivity (and a little multimedia).
However, this PC is a real crush. First for its almost flawless design, its perfectly calibrated LCD touch screen or the quality of the sound delivered. I will also mention the excellent integration of the screen (very fine screen contours), the ultra-compact format which is very pleasant for everyday use or the comfort of the keyboard.
With the Surface Laptop Go, you’ll feel like you’re using a very high-end machine for an affordable price. Even if the performances allow only office use, they perfectly meet the needs of the target. In my opinion, the Surface Laptop Go is the perfect PC for students.
Surface Laptop Go
- Neat design and compact size
- Good audio quality
- Perfectly calibrated touchscreen
- One of the best PC keyboards
- Good value for money
We like less
- Average autonomy
- Screen format unsuitable for multimedia
- Average webcam quality
- Non-backlit keyboard
- Slightly fair performance