Surface Laptop Go 2 review: Microsoft’s 12.4-inch laptop shy update

Building

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s chassis doesn’t change one iota from its predecessor. Thus we find an aluminum lid in a sandblasted finish with the most beautiful effect, all surrounded by the Windows logo with a mirror effect. The interior is of the same type with the borderless screen all covered in glass as it has a texture. The piano that hosts the grey-key keyboard is of the same material as the shell, only the underside of the chassis is plastic at the end.

Microsoft Surface Go 2 Aluminum Laptop

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s design is all sober.

© The Digital

Opening the screen reveals a keyboard without a numeric keypad, but besides the touchpad with the correct dimensions, the 3:2 format of the screen is no stranger to it. Writing is very enjoyable and does not suffer from any particular drawback. The touchpad is also convenient to use. The glide is particularly fluid and Windows’ multi-finger gestures are fully taken into account. Note that the keyboard is not backlit, but it does have a start button with a built-in fingerprint reader. It makes it very easy to unlock Windows using the Hello function.

keyboard microsoft surface laptop go 2 azerty

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

© The Digital

Connectivity is the Surface Laptop Go 2’s weak relationship, and Microsoft deemed it worthwhile only to equip it with a USB-C 3.2-compatible charging port and DisplayPort, as well as a USB 3.2 (10Gb/s) port. The Surface Connect port completes the connection and acts as a charging port.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2-Port Surface Connect Charger

The charger plugs into the magnetic Surface Connect port.

© The Digital

Wireless connectivity is provided by the Intel AX201 chip, providing support for 2400Mbps wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. A webcam with a 720p sensor is located at the top of the screen. The quality is barely decent in broad daylight, while the noise is especially present in the dark.



in the shade


With good exposure.

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s heat release is well controlled after about twenty minutes of encoding, the surface of the keys barely exceeds 37°C, while the touchpad escapes heat from the processor. Noise pollution is also limited. Thus, in the default performance mode, our recommendations, the Surface Laptop Go 2 remain very discreet with a lift of 35.6 dB. So you will pass unnoticed even in the library.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Thermal Imager Imager

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

If desired, it is possible to open the Surface Laptop Go 2. You should then remove the two rubber bands that act as non-slip pads, and then unscrew the five Phillips screws. Be careful when reassembling: 2 screws are longer than other screws. Otherwise, only a few items can be replaced. Only the battery is easily accessible, with an M.2 2240-format SSD hiding under a black hole at the top of the motherboard. The wifi and memory card are soldered and cannot be replaced.

Microsoft surface laptop go 2 Disassemble the components of the RAM SSD battery

Access the component from above.

Editor's Rating: 2 out of 5

performance

The Surface Laptop Go 2 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with four interlocking cores. On paper, it runs at 2.4GHz and can sometimes go as high as 4.2GHz. It comes with a 28W envelope, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB M.2 SSD that comes with the Intel Core i5 processor. In practice, during our encoding, the processor reached a boost of 4.19 GHz and settled at an average frequency of 2.24 GHz.

Microsoft go 2 intel core i5 1135G7 surface laptop performance

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 deserved a newer processor.

© The Digital

The Surface Laptop Go 2 and its Core i5 get a performance index of 61, slightly behind the same processor-equipped HP Envy x360 13 (69), and logically far behind the Framework Laptop’s Core i7-1185G7 (87) or Honor MagicBook 15 and AMD Ryzen 5 5500U. Microsoft would have been better off choosing a 12th-generation Core i5 processor to take advantage of the performance gains offered by the hybrid architecture and the increase in the number of cores.

As for storage, the 256GB SSD achieves 2.4GB/s read and 1.6GB/s write. During use, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is particularly responsive, both on startup and when you wake up.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Monitor

Microsoft kept the 12.4-inch panel in a 3:2 format with touchscreen overlay. On the other hand, the definition is a bit weird with 1536 x 1024 pixels. So this lends itself more to productivity than watching movies of greater height.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Definition Screen

The Surface Laptop Go 2 display has an extraordinary definition of 1536 x 1024 pixels.

© The Digital

Under our probe, the board was proven to be well calibrated with Delta E 2.6. It is therefore impossible to distinguish chromatic drifts with the naked eye. Its brightness is 370 cd / m², which is a correct value for indoor use, but very suitable for outdoor use. Despite the glossy finish of the panel, the reflection is only 24.5%, which is a sign of 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 borders of the films will appear slightly gray. Color temperature 6065K: Colors will appear slightly warmer than the ideal 6500K video standard.

Finally, the rest was measured at 20ms, which is an average value and will have little effect in office use.

Editor's 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 the 3:2 format. This gives us measurements that have measurements of 27.8 cm wide, 21 cm deep, and less than 1.6 cm thick. Its weight is also modest at 1.1kg on the scale – the 39W charger adds a total of 213g. We would have preferred a block charger rather than a two-part charger with a main cable and a proprietary tip.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Charger

Microsoft has kept its own charging port.

© The Digital

With its small 41Wh battery, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is a far cry from the 13 hours of autonomy that Microsoft demands. By reducing the brightness to 200 cd/m² and launching our usual series on Netflix via Chrome, the Surface Laptop Go 2 lasted for exactly 6 hours. Reasonable amount of autonomy that doesn’t last all day, especially since the first Surface Laptop Go of the name lasted 8 hours in the same conditions.

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