Surface Laptop Go 2 review: A timid update to Microsoft’s 12.4-inch laptop

Building

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s chassis doesn’t change one iota from its predecessor. We thus find ourselves with an aluminum cover with a sandblasted finish of the most beautiful effect, all flanked by a Windows logo with a mirror effect. The interior is of the same ilk with a borderless screen all dressed in glass as it is touch. The piano that houses the keyboard with gray keys is made of the same material as the casing, only the lower part of the chassis is finally made of plastic.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Aluminum Case

The design of the Surface Laptop Go 2 is understated.

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Opening the screen reveals a keyboard without a number pad, but coupled with a correctly sized touchpad, the screen’s 3:2 format is no stranger to this. Typing is very pleasant and does not suffer from any particular defect. The touchpad is also comfortable to use. The swipe is particularly fluid and multi-finger Windows gestures are perfectly taken into account. Note that the keyboard is not backlit, but it does have a home button with integrated fingerprint reader. It makes it very easy to unlock Windows using the Hello feature.

keyboard microsoft surface laptop go 2 azerty

Despite being 12.4 inches, the Surface Laptop Go 2’s keyboard and trackpad aren’t cramped.

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Connectivity is the poor relative of the Surface Laptop Go 2, as Microsoft only found it useful to equip it with a USB-C 3.2 port with support for charging and DisplayPort, as well as a USB 3.2 (10Gb/s) port. A Surface Connect port completes the connection and serves as a charging port.

Surface Connect 2-port charger for Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

The charger plugs into the Surface Connect port which is magnetized.

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Wireless connectivity is provided by the Intel AX201 chip, thus offering support for Wi-Fi 6 at 2400 Mb/s and Bluetooth 5.2. A webcam with a 720p sensor is present at the top of the screen. Quality is barely decent in broad daylight, while noise is especially present in the dark.



In the shadow


With good exposure.

The heat release of the Surface Laptop Go 2 is well controlled. After about twenty minutes of coding, the surface of the keys barely exceeds 37 °C, while the touchpad is spared from the heat given off by the processor. Noise pollution is also limited. Thus, in the default performance mode Our recommendations, the Surface Laptop Go 2 remains very discreet with a high 35.6 dB. Therefore, you will go unnoticed even in a library.

thermal image Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

The heat release is mainly present in the center of the keyboard.

If you feel like it, it is possible to open the Surface Laptop Go 2. Then you need to remove the two rubber strips that act as anti-slip pads, then unscrew the five Phillips screws. Be careful when reassembling: two screws are longer than the others. Otherwise few items can be replaced. Only the battery is easily accessible, the SSD in M.2 2240 format hidden under a black hatch at the top of the motherboard. The wifi card and memory are soldered and are not replaceable.

microsoft surface laptop go 2 disassembly components ssd ram battery

Access to the component is from above.

Editor Rating: 2 out of 5

Performance

The Surface Laptop Go 2 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 quad-core hyperthreaded processor. On paper, it runs at 2.4GHz and can occasionally go as high as 4.2GHz. It’s packed with a 28W surround, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB M.2 SSD that accompanies this Intel Core i5 . In practice, during our encoding, the processor reached a boost of 4.19 GHz and stabilized at an average frequency of 2.24 GHz.

performance microsoft surface laptop go 2 intel core i5 1135G7

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 would have deserved a newer processor.

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The Surface Laptop Go 2 and its Core i5 score a performance index of 61, slightly behind the same processor-equipped HP Envy x360 13 (69), and logically well behind the Framework Laptop’s Core i7-1185G7 (87). or the Honor MagicBook 15 and its AMD Ryzen 5 5500U. Microsoft would have done well to select a 12th generation Core i5 to take advantage of the performance gains offered by its hybrid architecture and increased core count.

As for storage, the 256 GB SSD reaches 2.4 GB/s read and 1.6 GB/s write. In use, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is particularly responsive, whether on startup or waking up.

Editor Rating: 3 out of 5

Screen

Microsoft has kept its 12.4-inch panel in 3:2 format with its touchscreen overlay. The definition is, on the other hand, a bit exotic with 1536 x 1024 px. So this lends itself more to productivity than watching movies at a higher height.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 definition screen

The Surface Laptop Go 2 screen has an unusual definition of 1536 x 1024 px.

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Under our probe, the slab proves to be well calibrated with a delta E of 2.6. Therefore, it is impossible to distinguish the colorimetric drifts with the naked eye. Its brightness is 370 cd/m², a correct value for indoor use, but too fair for outdoor use. Despite the glossy finish of the panel, the reflectance is only 24.5%, a sign of an effective anti-reflective treatment, at the level of the MacBook Pro 13, for example.

However, the contrast ratio is a bit low at 1098:1 and the black edges of movies will actually appear a bit grey. Color temperature is 6065K – colors will appear slightly warmer than the ideal video standard of 6500K.

Finally, the remanence was measured at 20 ms, an average value that will have little impact on office use.

Editor Rating: 3 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

The Surface Laptop Go 2 has a compact format thanks to its 12.4-inch screen and, above all, a 3:2 format. This gives it some contained measures with 27.8 cm wide and 21 cm deep, being its thickness less than 1.6 cm. Its weight is also modest at 1.1kg on the scale – the 39W charger adds 213g in total. We would have preferred a brick charger rather than a two-part charger with a power cord and proprietary tip.

charger microsoft surface laptop go 2

Microsoft retained the proprietary charging port.

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With its tiny 41 Wh battery, the Surface Laptop Go 2 falls short of the 13 hours of battery life Microsoft claims. By turning the brightness down to 200 cd/m² and launching our regular series on Netflix through Chrome, the Surface Laptop Go 2 lasted exactly 6 hours. A somewhat adjusted autonomy that does not allow you to last the day, especially since the Surface Laptop Go first of the name lasted 8 hours in the same conditions.

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