Surface Laptop Go Review

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From a distance, the Surface Laptop Go looks like a scaled-down version of Microsoft’s 13-inch laptop series. However, if you are very close, you will notice that it does not have an all-metal cover. The top still has the anodized Aluminum that we have become accustomed to since the very first Surface laptop, but the lower part is made of a plastic resin. It feels stiff, and I kind of dig the soft-touch texture, but this was my first reminder that it was a Budget machine. To be fair, Microsoft says that the material of the lower cover contains about 40% fiberglass, so it’s not the lowest plastic, and it helps to keep the weight low.

By the way, this thing weighs only 2.45 pounds, a significant improvement over Microsoft’s 2.8-pound 13-inch Surface laptop. At first glance, this does not seem to be a big difference, but I noticed that I treated the laptop very differently from what I did in my house from room to room. It looks less like a laptop and more like an oversized tablet.

The 12.4-inch screen of the Surface Laptop Go is reminiscent of the 12-inch MacBook. It’s not as tight as the Surface Go 2’s 10.5-inch screen, which has made multitasking more difficult. There is just enough space to have a web browser and a note-taking app side by side or to keep a small YouTube window open when browsing Twitter. The high aspect ratio of 3:2 also makes the display more usable than a Standard 12-inch widescreen; there is a little more space for reading long articles or editing documents. Of course, there is touch screen support, but the Go laptop unfortunately does not work with the Surface stylus.

As useful as the screen is, it also has a major drawback: it is the screen with the lowest resolution we have ever seen on a Surface device, with meager pixels of 1,536 by 1,024. This is significantly below 1080p. For Context was even the first sharper Go Surface! The Laptop Go’s display offers only 148 pixels per inch (PPI), which means that you can easily detect individual pixels when you lean closer. I haven’t experienced this with an Ultraportable in years, especially since Apple has made its high-resolution Retina display the standard. For example, the 12-inch MacBook offered a pixel density of 226 PPI.

Microsoft representatives say they landed on the resolution as a compromise because laptop users often sit further away from their screens than tablet users. Even if it’s true, it’s still a hard pill to swallow. You will definitely be near the Go laptop screen if you like Netflix in bed, for example. I admit that the screen seems Usable from a normal viewing distance; the colors pop, and it is bright enough to be used in direct sunlight. Aside from these pleasant colors, working on a Go laptop feels like a trip back in time after years of living with crisp, pixel-dense screens.

While the screen is a small disappointment, it’s nice to see that Microsoft has tried to reduce the borders. They are not as thin as the Dell XPS 13 or even the Surface Pro X, but they are not as bulky as we expect from the rest of the Surface range. A smaller margin on the side and at the top of the screen offers great advantages: Microsoft can use a smaller cover and give the laptop a more modern style compared to most budget laptops.

It’s interesting to see how Microsoft balances a laptop with a premium feel while remaining cost conscious. For example, the keyboard and Trackpad on the Go laptop are comparable to more expensive Surface devices. The keyboard is full-size, not shrunken as you would expect from compact laptops, and offers a healthy key stroke of 1.3 millimeters. It’s a pleasure to type, but unfortunately there is no backlight. This makes it much more difficult to work on the laptop in low light conditions. Likewise, the Trackpad feels smooth and precise, but it’s noticeably smaller than the Jumbo pads we’ve seen on other Ultraportables.

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