Microsoft’s compact Surface Laptop Go updated with 11th Gen Intel processor 

The most compact and affordable entry in Microsoft’s lineup of Surface Laptops — the Surface Laptop Go — is being updated with a newer chip as well as an “improved” webcam and thermals. The Surface Laptop Go 2 is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor (up from 10th Gen in the previous model), with prices starting at $599.99 for a model with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The original Surface Laptop Go was released in 2020 as Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Chromebooks. It had a lower starting price than the rest of the Surface Laptop lineup and a smaller 12.4-inch touch display that maintained Microsoft’s signature 3:2 aspect ratio (resolution sits at 1536 x 1024). Little of this has changed for its successor, which measures in at just 10.95 x 8.12 x 0.62 inches and weighs a little under 2.5 pounds.

It’s got the same-sized 12.4-inch display.
Image: Microsoft

The overall form factor is almost identical.
Image: Microsoft

That said, there have been some tweaks with the Surface Laptop Go 2. Its starting price has gone up by $50, likely because Microsoft has cut the base version that shipped with just 64GB of storage. It’s also available in a new green / gray “sage” color, which joins the preexisting blue, sandstone, and platinum options. The rated battery life has gone from 13 hours to up to 13.5 hours, and the laptop is also shipping with Windows 11 this time around.

Finally, Microsoft says that the Surface Laptop Go 2 has more replaceable components, including the keyboard and trackpad, display, and battery; though they’re designed to be replaced by one of Microsoft’s authorized repair providers.

There are fewer tangible details about the other upgrades, which we’ll likely only get a better idea for once we’ve used the laptop ourselves. Microsoft’s press release boasts that the Surface Laptop Go 2 has “quieter, improved thermals that make it easier to focus” as well as an “improved HD camera.” But the webcam’s resolution continues to be 720p, same as the previous model, which suggests its upgrades are more about image processing than raw resolution.

The laptop comes with a fingerprint sensor in the power button of select models.
Image: Microsoft

Otherwise, this is a very similar laptop to its predecessor. There’s still a fingerprint sensor built into the power button on select models, the ports are the same (one USB-A, one USB-C, a headphone jack, and a proprietary Surface port for charging), and it still offers dual microphones and Wi-Fi 6. There’s no mention of a backlit keyboard, which was a primary complaint with the first Surface Laptop Go.

All models of the laptop come with the same Intel Core i5 processor, but there’s a range of different RAM and storage configurations available. Prices start at $599.99 for a consumer model with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, rising to $699.99 for 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, or $799.99 for 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Prices for these models are $100 higher on the commercial side, where there’s also an additional 16GB RAM / 256GB storage version available for $1,099.99. Preorders open today, with shipping due to start on June 7th.

We weren’t blown away by the original Surface Laptop Go. That’s not because it was a bad laptop but because it wasn’t competitive with other devices at its price point. With its higher starting price, the Surface Laptop Go 2 could face a similar challenge.