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Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review: The writer’s laptop


I spend most of my time in front of the laptop, even when I am not working. While testing the new Surface Laptop Go last week, I had one important thing on my mind: is the small form factor of this laptop a trade-off? In the seven days I’ve had the Surface Laptop Go, I typed lengthy stories, edited lots of photos, watched all episodes of Tandav on the machine. My usage of the Surface Laptop Go gives you a fair idea about who should buy portable computers like these.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go price in India: Rs 71,999 onwards

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review: What’s new?

There is a common perception that 12-inch notebooks are not comfortable for work and content consumption. While using the 12-inch Surface Laptop Go, I never felt its size is not suitable for productivity tasks. In fact, I think the bigger laptops are not comfortable for content viewing compared to the smaller size.

Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go review, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go price in India, Surface Laptop Go specs, Surface Laptop Go features, Microsoft surface The Surface Laptop Go is a different kind of Windows laptop. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

This notebook is perfectly balanced and it’s really quite easy to hold. When sitting on the couch, reading an e-edition of Indian Express, I never felt I needed a table. The Surface Laptop Go looks and feels exactly like a Surface device. The lid and keyboard deck are made of aluminum, while the bottom of the notebook is polycarbonate resin, which doesn’t feel cheap at all. I am glad to see that the customer who likes to purchase the Surface Laptop Go is not giving up on portability. I usually carry a messenger bag, and this notebook isn’t even noticeable. It’s small and lightweight, 1.1kg to be precise.

Microsoft has included one USB-A and one USB-C alongside a 3.5mm headphone jack and Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connect port. I wish the notebook had another USB-C, as well as a microSD or SD slot.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go hands-on: 48 hours with the ‘iBook G4’ of this generation

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review: What’s good?

I still prefer a traditional notebook design. Even though many people now opt for convertible laptops, a device like the Surface Laptop Go isn’t trying to be an iPad Pro or Surface Pro. I always wanted something in the form factor of an iPad Pro but a conventional laptop that is great for travel and meets the need of a digital journalist. I am not a demanding user, but I can’t compromise on certain things. Writing news stories, of course, is what I do the most on the laptop besides light photo editing, watching YouTube videos, and uploading stories. This is exactly why I felt the 12-inch Surface Laptop Go would be apt for my needs.

Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go review, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go price in India, Surface Laptop Go specs, Surface Laptop Go features, Microsoft surface The model I tested had 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Now the controversial part of the Surface Laptop Go: its display. The 12.4-inch display supports full touch and has a 3:2 aspect ratio, like all other Surface devices. But the display has a resolution of 1536 x 1024, which translates to 148 pixels per inch. Well, in practice, I did not face any issues with the display. I cannot tell the difference between the display quality of the Surface Laptop Go and the Surface Pro. The display is nice, for sure. The speakers sound solid, too. Microsoft’s microphones are really good too, with the ability to cut out background noise, resulting in a clear call.

Here are the full specs:

Display: 12.4-inch PixelSense display (1536×1024)
Processor:  Intel Core i5-1035G1 (10th generation), Graphics: Intel UHD
Memory: 8GB RAM
Storage: 128GB SSD or 256GB SSD (as tested)
Ports: 1 USB Type C, 1 USB Type A, Surface Connector, 3.5mm audio jack
Camera: 720p HD
Battery: Up to 13 hours of typical device usage
Wireless: WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5
Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Dimensions (inches): 278.18 x 205.67 x 15.69 mm
Weight: 1.1kg

I find the Surface Laptop Go’s keyboard really comfortable for typing, even for longer periods of time. It is a full-sized keyboard, although the keys aren’t backlit. To my surprise, the trackpad works surprisingly well. Microsoft also managed to add a fingerprint scanner in the power button on the Surface Laptop Go. And it works just fine.

My review unit has a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. This is the top model that will set you back by Rs 91,999, but I think its best to get a model with 8GB RAM and 128GB of SSD storage for Rs 71,999 and thus save Rs 20,000 by forgoing the extra storage.

Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go review, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go price in India, Surface Laptop Go specs, Surface Laptop Go features, Microsoft surface Microsoft Surface Pro (left), Surface Laptop Go (right). (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

These days, since I am working from home due to the pandemic, I use Zoom or Microsoft Teams a lot to attend digital events and when conducting the interview. For the kind of work, I do on a laptop, the Surface Laptop Go is more than enough. This laptop is really fast. It’s mostly meant for typing, working on Google Doc or MS Office, making presentations, running productivity-centric programmes, or just for browsing the web. Unless you need a machine for rendering high-quality videos or playing AAA games, you should be fine working as a blogger or a writer on the Surface Laptop Go. Don’t worry, WordPress works absolutely fine on this machine.

The Surface Laptop Go’s battery life isn’t bad by any means. The battery lasted through close to 9 hours, which is pretty good. The laptop also comes with a 39W charger that connects to its Surface Connect port.

Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go review, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go price in India, Surface Laptop Go specs, Surface Laptop Go features, Microsoft surface The keyboard has a good typing experience, but the keys are not backlit. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review: What’s not good?

However, everything is not perfect with the Surface Laptop Go. Microsoft still includes a 720p HD webcam. It might not be a big deal in the past, but now when video calls are the need of the hour, the 720p HD webcam is not just not acceptable.

Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go review, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop Go price in India, Surface Laptop Go specs, Surface Laptop Go features, Microsoft surface The Surface Laptop Go is a well-designed laptop. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review: Should you buy it?

From the moment I started working on the Surface Laptop Go, I have fallen in love with it. The fact that it’s small and lightweight, and also has a full-size keyboard, and is powerful enough to get the work done makes the Surface Laptop Go winner for writers and journalists. Yes, it is a little pricey, but you are paying the premium price for the Surface brand.



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