Microsoft unveiled its new Surface Laptop Go 2 in June 2022, nearly two years after the original Microsoft Surface Laptop Go released back in October 2020. As you might expect with such a short interval between releases, the Go 2 is more evolution than revolution.
Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go 2 retains the inexpensive design and premium look of its predecessor, but packs upgraded internals and a better webcam that will hopefully address some of our complaints about the original model's poor performance.
Here's what we know so far about the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2, the latest in Microsoft's economy-minded line of Surface laptops.
Surface Laptop Go 2: Price and release date
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 goes on sale June 6 and is available for order right now from Microsoft's website (opens in new tab) at a starting price of $599. For that you get one with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, which is a nice bump up from the 64GB of storage that its predecessor started with.
There's no option to upgrade the CPU or get a discrete GPU, but you can pay more for upgraded memory and storage. You can pay an extra $100 to double the RAM or storage, so you can get the same model with 8GB of RAM for $699, or with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $799.
Take a look at our Microsoft promo codes page for the latest offers and discounts.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2: Design
The Surface Laptop Go 2 hasn't gotten much of a redesign, and retains much of the look of the original model. It has the same 12.4-inch (1,536 x 1,024 pixel) touchscreen as the original Laptop Go, which means it still isn't quite 1080p. It also offers the same pair ports (one USB-C and one USB-A port, a headphone jack and a Surface Connect port) and the same size and weight (10.95 x 8.1 x 0.62 inches, 2.48 pounds) as the original Surface Laptop Go.
However, it does at least come in a new color, Sage, a more greenish option that Microsoft now offers the Go 2 in alongside the Platinum, Ice Blue and Sandstone color schemes of the original model.
Microsoft also claims to have redesigned the chassis to be more easily accessible, so that you can get more of the Surface Laptop Go 2 repaired by third-party shops (or your handy friend) without having to ship it back to Microsoft. Specifically, the SSD, battery, display cover and trackpad are all designed to be removable and replaceable (though Microsoft cautions you only to trust a certified technician using Microsoft's guidelines) which is a nice nod to sustainability that renders the Go 2 more repairable than its predecessor.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2: Specs
The Surface Laptop Go 2 comes with Windows 11 and packs an 11th Gen Intel® Core i5-1135G7 processor, which is a step up from the 10th Gen i5 that powered its predecessor. However, it's still not exactly the cutting edge, since Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake chips have been redefining our expectations of laptop power efficiency for months now.
Like its predecessor, the starting model of Laptop Go 2 ships with 4GB of RAM, but it starts with 128GB of SSD storage. Luckily, its always SSD storage, unlike the original entry-level Laptop Go which came with lower-quality eMMC storage instead.
As noted above, you can pay an extra $100 for twice the RAM (up to 8GB) and another $100 to double the SSD size, so for roughly $800 you get a Laptop Go 2 with 8GB LPDDR4x RAM and 256GB of storage.
Unfortunately, the Surface Laptop Go 2 sports only a 720p webcam, so you probably won't look your best during video calls. However, the pair of far-field mics built into the laptop should help you sound pretty good.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2: Outlook
We thought the Surface Laptop Go was a solid, if unremarkable laptop. Its aluminum lid, keyboard deck and thin bezels gave it the appearance of a premium system. Its general performance provided enough speed for basic multitasking and its port selection struck a nice balance between modern and legacy ports. Unfortunately, we were less than enthused by the machine’s meager battery life and its sub-full HD display. We also thought the laptop got a little too warm.
Based on what we know so far about the Surface Laptop Go 2, we don't have high hopes that it will improve significantly on its predecessor. With a newer, faster Intel CPU, and a higher standard for storage on the entry-level model, the Surface Laptop Go 2 will certainly be better than the original Go. But the webcam still appears lackluster, the display is still sub-1080p, and we don't have high hopes that the 13.5-hour battery life that Microsoft promises with the Surface Go 2 will prove any more true than it did for the original, which couldn't even last 8 hours in our in-house battery test.
Of course, we'll have to wait until we get a Surface Laptop Go 2 in for testing and review before we can say for sure whether it deserves a spot among the best laptops on the market. Stay tuned!