Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 - Full Review with Pros and Cons
With the all-new Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 launched in India, Microsoft is trying to tackle a highly competitive market. Mid-range chip with high-end pricing, can it be justified. Now with the price starting on the higher side and still using an older chip, is the decision made by Microsoft, right? With the Apple MacBook M1’s still strong performing stance being a threat to the newbie, let’s find out.
This Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a mid-range laptop with touch screen support and an aluminum building. It has the 11th gen intel i5 and base storage starting at 128 GB and base RAM of 4 GB, a combination which is a rarity in the year 2022.
Build and Quality
Starting from the build, the one place where Microsoft deserves all the respect is in the terms of build quality. The top is all-aluminium and the base is an Aluminium and polycarbonate composite resin system with glass fibre and 30% post-consumer recycled content. Apart from the metal build, the laptop feels solid to hold and reaffirm. The presence of only a single colour option hurts but the platinum does feel premium. The Surface’s design is clean and feels elegant.
The hinge is good and it does not wobble, though the single-handed lift is not possible. But what is possible is an easy manoeuvre of this laptop. The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 weighs just around 1.12 kilos which are light. The laptop is not thin though but the small form factor and the light weight feel reassuring.
Ports, I/O and Connectivity
Moving on to ports, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 feels like where things should have been better. The port list includes one USB-C, one USB-A, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a Surface Connect port. The connecting port is utilised for charging and once a USB-A – Port is used up there is no direct way to connect another.
On to the wireless connectivity options, this laptop supports Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible and Bluetooth® Wireless 5.1 technology. These are standard for the price range but Bluetooth 5.2 would have been a better choice. While the wired selection feels underwhelming the wireless options are just acceptable.
On the maintenance front, The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 does not support RAM expansion whilst the storage (SSD) can be upgraded by the end-user. This does come in handy as the base storage starts at a mere 128 GB. Here Microsoft should have given a choice to the user for RAM expansion but the small size does come at a cost.
Keyboard – The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 has a proper qwerty keyboard and has a full-function key row. What it does not have is a full numeric keypad and someone coming from a larger laptop might feel this is a problem. For what it’s worth the keyboard experience is nice and the key does have good travel. There is a lack of backlighting which is also a pain if you are a user who uses a laptop in an unevenly lit condition.
Trackpad – The Trackpad is small but efficient, the windows trackpads are finally catching up with their Apple counterparts and this is evident from this laptop.
Coming towards the display, this is one of the areas where the last generation didn’t perform well. Though touchscreen, the quality of the screen was not good in the previous generations, Microsoft has improved quite a bit. The Surface Laptop Go 2 sports a 12.4” touchscreen with PixelSense technology and has a resolution of 1536 × 1024 and pixel density of 148 PPI. This is not a 360 convertible hence using the touchscreen is limited. While the bezel could have been smaller, the screen looks a bit outdated due to the presence of thicker bezels than most laptops nowadays.
The laptop could have been a full HD display but Microsoft doesn’t feel like providing a good display at this price point. Touchscreen doesn’t compensate for the lower resolution and while cheaper laptops are providing way higher-resolution OLED displays this display surely feels like a compromise.
Jumping on the performance part, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 has a not-so-new Quad Core 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 Processor. This Quad-core processor is on par with Ryzen 5 5500U. The biggest complaint is the use of 11th Gen silicon while the 12th Gen chips are already available in the market. Though the laptop is not meant for heavy tasks, it can easily handle a few heavy apps but multi-tasking should be strictly avoided as the RAM is limited. That being said, the laptop runs cool and does not tend to heat up except while charging.
Gaming is also an area which has to be avoided in this laptop. The Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics does not help in gaming and no external support for graphics cards means the gaming experience is something one might experience on this laptop. For day-to-day light-weighted usage, it is fine, but with heavy multi-tasking and gaming, this laptop should be your choice.
Tuning to the speakers’ section, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 has an excellent media consumption experience. The Dual far-field Studio Mics with support for Omnisonic® speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium provide extremely good sound quality and enhance the overall experience. The previous generation too had an excellent set of speakers and this continues the legacy. For movie watching, music or even casual video calls, the speakers are quite capable enough.
Lastly, the battery on the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is good. It is a 40 Wh unit which is not large but given the laptop’s screen size, it lasts quite a lot. On the charging front, it has a 39 W charger which is included in the box and charges the device in around 2 hours. The only problem with the charger is its shape which may create a problem on a few surfaces to charge and use the laptop simultaneously.