Microsoft's New Surface Laptop Go 2 Starts At $599 But There's A Catch

Microsoft has had a fair amount of success with its first-generation Surface Laptop Go, which the company launched at the height of the pandemic in 2020. The product, which Microsoft presented as a more affordable option for consumers who wanted a Surface PC, has finally received a much-needed upgrade for 2022.

On June 1, Microsoft announced the launch of the Surface Laptop Go 2 following a leak about the device earlier in the day. An obvious successor to the original product from 2020, the new laptop continues to be the most affordable offering in the Surface lineup and features several upgrades over its predecessor. These upgrades include an entirely new generation of Intel processors that promise better performance and improved thermals, a much better web camera for improved video calling experience, and a slight improvement in the overall battery life.

Apart from the marginal changes to the hardware, Microsoft has also slightly increased the base prices of the machines from $549 to $599. The model continues to flaunt its compact form factor, with the overall size and weight remaining nearly the same.

Two steps forward, one step back

With the Surface Laptop Go 2, Microsoft has tried to address an issue that plagued its entry-level machine from the previous generation. Even the base variant of the Surface Laptop Go 2 now boasts 128GB of storage, a welcome upgrade over the paltry 64GB capacity that the older machines came with. What is also new is that the 128GB storage is enabled via an SSD on the base variant as opposed to slower eMMC storage in the first-generation model. Like its predecessor, the top variant of the machine continues to boast 256GB of storage.

While the addition of a larger capacity and faster storage is a welcome change, there is a catch: Microsoft continues to offer just 4GB of RAM on the baseline variant. Users do get the option to opt for 8GB RAM on the higher-priced variants. The Surface Laptop Go 2 also gets marginal updates in the graphics department with new Intel Xe Graphics. The machine continues to use a 12.4-inch touch-enabled display in the unusual 3:2 aspect ratio. This panel boasts a resolution of 1536 x 1024 pixels and is fairly bright, with a maximum brightness of 30 nits.

Microsoft offers the Surface Laptop Go 2 in three different trims, with all of them featuring an Intel 11th-gen Core i5 1135G7 processor. As outlined in one of our previous reports, the machine is also offered in a new color option called Sage, which joins the existing color options: Ice Blue, Sandstone, and Platinum.

Scoring high on sustainability

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 also scores well on the sustainability front, with the machine now featuring several replaceable components. The press release announcing the launch of the product seems to take a sly dig at Apple by actually listing out the replaceable parts. Among the components that can be easily replaced include the entire keyboard and trackpad assembly, the complete display, and the battery. As for the keyboard on the Surface Laptop Go 2, Microsoft claims the 2022 model has 30% more key travel than Apple's MacBook Air.

Connectivity options on the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 include a single USB-C port, one USB-A port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect port. In addition, Microsoft claims improved camera performance on the new machine even though the camera resolution remains the same (720p) as the 2020 model. Apart from coming preloaded with Windows 11 Home, Surface Laptop Go 2 users also get a one-month trial for Microsoft 365 Family and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The product is already up for preorder via the Microsoft Store and Best Buy. Shipping will commence on June 7 for the U.S. market.