Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review: our full review – Laptops – Frandroid

What does such a well-known manufacturer as Microsoft and its Surface series do in the world of high-end laptops when it comes to attracting new consumers? Simple: Create a slightly more accessible device, to try to facilitate the arrival of new buyers without affecting its brand image too much.

The “Go” series is exactly that, and the Surface Laptop Go 2 is its latest representative. But without the magic of the 2-in-1 format, does brand appeal still work?

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2Technical sheet

Model Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
Screen size

12.4 inches

Definition

1536 x 1024 pixels

Display technology

LCD

Touch screen

Yes

Processor (CPU)

Core i5-1135G7

Graphics chip (GPU)

Intel Iris Xe

Memory (RAM)

4 GB, 8 GB

Internal memory

128 GB, 256 GB

Wi-Fi standard

Wi-Fi 6 (ax)

Bluetooth version

5.1

Operating System (OS)

Microsoft Windows 11, Microsoft Windows 11 Pro

Dimensions

reach

Price

€769

Product sheet

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2Design

Oh yes: it’s a Surface product. This is particularly noticeable on the front chassis, which takes on the simplistic elegance of the series with its brushed aluminum shell and square mirrored Microsoft logo. The device itself has nice rounded corners, but its edges are still very marked and can be a bit sharp. However, the underside of the Laptop Go 2 is not made of the same material. We find here a good quality plastic and two large rubber pads, which avoid the slightest slip.

Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

The distinguishing feature of this Surface Laptop Go 2, like the first model, is its format. At 12.4 inches diagonally, it fits like a cute little companion that can quickly slip into a bag. And this without being too afraid of damaging the product, whose construction is terribly solid. No flexibility can be observed either at the level of the screen or the keyboard.

Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

Keyboard and touchpad

It is perhaps at this point that the Surface Laptop Go 2 made a strange choice. The keys themselves are very comfortable; we feel that Microsoft is keen to maintain its trademark image on this point, with very plump keys that are wide enough and spread out to be a joy to use. The same goes for the touchpad, smaller than average due to the phone’s size, but awfully comfortable under the finger.

Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

No, it’s in the placement of the keys that the Laptop Go 2 is great. They are actually much more offset from row to row than on most configurations, requiring significant adjustment time. To put it bluntly, I currently have the computer slightly tilted on my lap to regain my usual typing speed.

Note that the Surface Laptop Go 2 does not have an infrared camera, but uses a fingerprint reader integrated directly into the power button. It is the latter that is used for Windows Hello.

plug

Again we find the brands of Surface devices. But not necessarily in a good way. On the Laptop Go 2, you are only entitled to three connectors, located on the left: a USB-C USB 3.2 Gen 2, a USB Type-A USB 3.2 and a combo connector. On the right we have the Surface connector, which is used for charging as well as for connecting an extension dock created by the manufacturer, but not included. For most people, this will remain the magnetic charging port.

Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

It is easy. Very easy. But at the same time, this limitation is excused a little more on such a compact format. Still, over the years and the evolution of USB-C, one can’t help but wonder if this proprietary Surface connector still has any value; seeing 2 additional USB-Cs or an SD card reader would have been more than appreciated.

webcam and sound

Hello 720p webcam! If you like noise and artifacts, you will be served. Otherwise, we must admit that you will not be the most visible companion of your video conference, but no one will notice you unkindly.

On the audio side, the Surface Laptop Go 2 speaker located under the keyboard develops a rather surprising volume. A nice surprise, which is, however, tarnished by the quality of the sound itself. You’ll have to like the treble, as that’s about the only spectrum that gets a bit of respect. The media is compressed when the bass is non-existent. We are hitting the limits of physics for the latter, but the former could have been better.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2Screen

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 benefits from a 12.4-inch IPS LCD panel with Microsoft’s signature aspect ratio, 3:2. This panel supports a definition of 1536 x 1024 pixels, a maximum refresh rate of 60 FPS and is tactile. The computer is not convertible, which is almost a pity.

Under our probe and thanks to the DisplayCal software, we observe a maximum brightness of 374 cd/m² for a contrast ratio of 1088:1, which is quite good. The panel covers 96% of the sRGB space, 66.2% of Adobe RGB and 68% of the DCI P3 space. The average color temperature is 6254K, relatively close to the video standard, although slightly warmer.

However, the plate is not the best calibrated. We find an average Delta E00 of 2.91, which is just below the difference of 3 that we expect. The Surface series is used to offering excellent screens in all respects, with a much more precise calibration, but this is a path that Microsoft has chosen to save some money. Understand: it’s not a bad record, far from it, but rather banal at this price.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2Software

Buying a Microsoft computer should give you some of the least patched Windows in the world, right? On the software side, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is characterized by only two applications. The first, soberly named “Surface”, allows you to take a tour of the device and its features.

The second, the “Diagnostic Toolkit,” allows you to perform some tests to make sure your computer’s hardware is working properly. A basic but useful tool. Still, out of these two experiences, which aren’t particularly significant, Windows 11 expresses itself freely here. And without pre-installed bloatware.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2Performance

In our test configuration, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is powered by an Intel Core i5-1135G7. It is an 11th generation SoC from Intel, with 4 cores for 8 threads that can turbo up to 4.2 GHz. It is here connected to 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256 GB SSD in PCIe Gen 3. Note that on this generation Microsoft has finally retired the option of 64 GB of eMMC memory, far from sufficient for modern use.

Performance and cooling

I will need your attention on this part. We are well aware of the capacity of the Intel Core i5-1135G7, which is generally around 5000 in multi core and 1300 in single core on Cinebench R23 as an example. After several tests, however, I could not get better from this machine than 3717 points in multicore and 1170 points in single core. For those curious, we also have a score of 4411 points on PCMark 10, again below expectations.

My first tests, which put the computer as low as 2200 in multi core, were done during the heat wave. This explains it in a Parisian apartment without air conditioning, of course. But I took advantage of the cool morning the next day to run more tests without ever reaching at least 4000, which would have been more acceptable. With an interesting new observation: physically, the Surface Laptop Go 2 has never exceeded 45°C on the chassis, which is also entitled to its own internal probe.

This is therefore a behavior that the manufacturer wants. It just looks like the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is absolutely trying to maintain an ultra-comfortable 45°C chassis temperature without ever making a sound from its fans. Performance is sacrificed for user comfort. An astonishing bias, but not meaningless. Especially since, despite all this, the computer remains fluid all the time and never suffers from the slightest slowdown.

Also, if you’re looking for the machine with the most powerful Core i5-1135G7, avoid the Surface Laptop Go 2. But if you’re looking for a machine that will never heat your step and make the slightest noise, this laptop is perfectly optimized for that. The SSD, meanwhile, performs exactly as expected from a PCIe Gen 3.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2Autonomy

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 has a battery of only 41Wh, which can be recharged with the included proprietary charger or via the USB-C port thanks to the Power Delivery standard. The computer charges at 39W in both cases.

Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

In terms of autonomy, we are still quite far from reaching the 13 hours announced by Microsoft. In my pure office use, with the screen brightness set to half, I was able to comfortably use the computer for 9/10 hours on a single charge. Sufficient for a whole day, of course, but after a diet that is potentially a little strict for those who like to navigate from gourmet application to gourmet application.

Considering the small format of the device, it is still very important. The promise of a small computer that can be thrown in a bag and used all day is being delivered.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2Price and availability

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is available at a starting price of 669 euros for 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but ignores the fingerprint reader. The next configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, which includes the fingerprint reader, is available for 769 euros.

Where to buy The

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 at the best price?

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