We recently provided some basic information about the Surface Laptop Go 2. Now that it is all available to the public, our questions about its actual performance, internals, and value can finally get some answers.
Surface Laptop Go 2 still carries the aesthetic DNA of its luxurious-looking predecessor. It looks like a premium laptop, but this college budget-friendly laptop is not that far from the original Surface Laptop Go. There are minor and major changes, but Microsoft tried to keep these upgrades close to reality, given that it has a $599 starting price. This explains why despite its look, some of its internal specs are not what you would expect for today’s modern laptops. For instance, it still lacks the backlit keyboard that frustrated many of us in Surface Laptop Go. It is not big of a deal, but for such a price point and today’s modern laptop standards, it is dismaying that Microsoft still didn’t listen to the previous demands of Surface Laptop Go customers.
On the other hand, the biggest detail we have probably been all waiting for about the Surface Laptop Go 2 is its battery performance. When Microsoft introduced the laptop, the company announced that it could last up to 13.5 hours. However, given the actual performance of its predecessor (which was promised to deliver 13 hours of battery life only to end up lasting less than 8 hours), believing it wouldn’t be easy. So, can the Surface Laptop Go 2 really last 13.5 hours? It reportedly can only last for a maximum of 9 hours in most actual tests. Nonetheless, it is important to note that it depends on the settings you’ll use and the activities it will perform. As such, if you want to make it last on a single charge, you might need to make some sacrifices in some areas like screen brightness.
The laptop has an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 instead of the 12th Gen Core i5 you’ll anticipate for a 2022 laptop, but then again, it is a budget laptop. Aside from limited supplies, the cost can be too much for the Surface Laptop Go 2. The good news about it, though, is that it is still a significant improvement from the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 of Surface Laptop Go. That said, it has better speed and performance compared to its predecessor. In a report from Windows Central, Surface Laptop Go 2 is said to perform better than Surface Laptop Go in different benchmark tools, such as Cinebench 23 (23% improvement), Geekbench 5 (30% improvement), and PCMark 10 (43% improvement).
Complementing the said processor is the Intel Iris Xe for the GPU, which is also a decent improvement from the Intel UHD of the old model. It doesn’t make it the best for AAA gaming, but it can handle light and casual games.
Another thing worth mentioning is how better its storage capacity is than the Surface Laptop Go. There are two options available: 128GB or 256GB SSD. The base option is the 128GB SSD but compared to the 64GB eMMC of the old model, Surface Laptop Go 2. Even more, it is a PCIe SSD, which means it is faster. You also have one more option for the RAM and upgrade it from 4GB to 8 GB, which is ideal since it means better performance when multitasking. Opting for the higher RAM also gives you the fingerprint reader feature built into the power button, which is not available in the version of the laptop with 4GB LPDDR4x RAM.
One of the last decent upgrades of Surface Laptop Go 2 contributing to its performance is the camera. Though it remains at 720p resolution like its sibling, it is better since it is made f/2.0, and current users claim that it shows sharper images. Accompanying it are the dual far-field Studio Mics and Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Audio Premium, making it outstanding when it comes to the audio section.
Aside from those major changes, another remarkable detail Surface Laptop Go 2 is bragging about is the new Sage color, which turns your color choices into four. Other small improvements include Bluetooth 5.1, more replaceable components, a Secured-core PC feature, and Windows 11 Home OS.
That said, is Surface Laptop Go 2 a big upgrade from Surface Laptop Go? Yes. The new laptop might not have all the latest specs we expect for a modern laptop, but comparing it to the original Surface Laptop Go reveals how significant its upgrades are, particularly in its processor, RAM, storage, and graphics. The battery doesn’t live up to our expectations, but it is still better than what’s in Surface Laptop Go. Even more, the top-tier model with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD only costs $799 despite having the same configuration as the $899 2020 Surface Laptop Go. With all those things mentioned, does the Surface Laptop Go 2 offer a good value? Absolutely.
For its first firmware update, click here.