Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Price, specs, release date and more

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 image provided by Microsoft
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft unveiled a new Surface Laptop Go 3 laptop this week during its September Surface event, and it looks to be a slick low-cost Windows 11 productivity laptop.

It's a follow-up to the Surface Laptop Go 2 the company launched last year, and little looks to be different about this year's model compared to what we saw last year. We're still talking about a small, cheap laptop that's well-suited for getting work done on the go, though it can't match the premium specs or light weight of Apple's MacBook Air M2.

But of course the latest Laptop Go is far cheaper, starting at just $799. Here's everything we know so far about the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3
Price$799 to start
Display12.4-inch (1536x1024) PixelSense touchscreen
CPUIntel 12th Gen Core i5-1235U
GPUIntegrated Intel Iris Xe graphics
Storage256GB SSD
PortsUSB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery life15 hours advertised
Dimensions10.95 x 8.12 x 0.62 inches
Weight2.49 pounds

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Price and availability

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 is available for pre-order right now from Microsoft's website at a starting price of $799, with units slated to start shipping out on October 2.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Design

The Microsoft Surface Go 3 keeps the same trim, thin-bezelled design of its predecessors.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 image provided by Microsoft

(Image credit: Microsoft)

It's roughly 0.62 inches thin, weighs 2.49 pounds and comes in your choice of 4 colors: Ice Blue, Sage, Sandstone and Platinum.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Display

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 ships with a 12.4-inch (1,536 x 1,024 pixels) PixelSense touchscreen, just like its earlier incarnations.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review

The screen on the original Surface Laptop Go (pictured) was similarly low-res and not too bright, so while it was fine for working indoors you didn't get full 1080p detail. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That's a pretty low-res screen, and since it's less than 1080p you won't be enjoying the full HD experience when streaming movies and watching videos. Microsoft claims it can get as bright as 320 nits, which isn't great, so I wouldn't count on getting a ton of use out of this laptop outside on a bright day.

Microsoft Surface Go Laptop 3: Performance

Performance-wise, the Microsoft Surface Go Laptop 3 doesn't have much going for it. The base model ships with an old 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake Core i5-1235U CPU, a chip that's soon going to be two years out of date.

The laptop also ships with 8-16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and if you want it to feel snappy and responsive I highly recommend splurging for the 16GB model. With such anemic specs on this laptop it's going to feel old fast, and doubling the RAM out of the gate should put some much-needed pep in its step.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Camera

Like its predecessors, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 ships with a simple 720p webcam mounted on the front.

That's pretty low-res for a laptop webcam, and you'll feel the lack of resolution when you're making video calls. Still, it's not as though most laptop webcams make you look great, so perhaps you won't mind the comparatively cheap quality of this machine's camera.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Battery life

Microsoft claims we should expect the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 to last up to 15 hours on a full charge, which sounds pretty good on paper.

Of course, we'll have to get one into our testing lab and put it through its paces to know how accurate that promise really is. When we reviewed the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, which had an advertised battery life of up to 13 hours, for example, it lasted under 8 hours in our real-world use tests.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Outlook

Microsoft didn't change much about the Surface Laptop Go this time around, and perhaps that's a good thing for fans of the company's cheap Windows 11 laptops.

Personally, I wish the company had been more ambitious with its revisions. The Surface Laptop Go holds down a key spot in the Surface laptop lineup thanks to its low cost of entry, but the sub-par screen and CPU seem likely to handicap it in the long run. Some of the best budget laptops on the market offer more for the same price, so it will be interesting to see how Microsoft's low-cost laptop fares once it's out on store shelves.

Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.