Surface Laptop Go 2 Review: A Fearful Update for Microsoft’s 12.4-Inch Laptop

Construction

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s chassis does not change a bit from its predecessor. We thus find an aluminum cover with a sandblasted finish of the most beautiful effect, all flanked by a Windows logo with a mirror effect. The interior is of the same style with a screen without edges all clad in glass as it is tactile. The piano, which hosts the keyboard with gray keys, is of the same material as the hull, only the underside of the chassis is ultimately plastic.

microsoft surface laptop go 2 aluminum case

The design of the Surface Laptop Go 2 is completely in sobriety.

© The Digital

Opening the screen reveals a keyboard without a numeric keypad, but combined with a touchpad of correct dimensions, where the 3: 2 format on the screen is no stranger to this. The entry is very comfortable and does not suffer from any particular defect. The touchpad is also comfortable to use. The glide is particularly fluid, and multi-finger Windows movements are perfectly considered. Note that the keyboard is not backlit, but has a start button with integrated fingerprint reader. It makes it very easy to unlock Windows using the Hello feature.

keyboard microsoft surface laptop go 2 azerty

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

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Connectivity is the bad thing about the Surface Laptop Go 2, where Microsoft has only found it useful to equip it with a USB-C 3.2 port that is compatible with charging and DisplayPort, as well as a USB 3.2 port (10 Gb / s) . A Surface Connect port completes the connection and acts as a charging port.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2-port Surface Connect charger

The charger is inserted into the Surface Connect port, which is magnetized.

© The Digital

Wireless connectivity is provided by the Intel AX201 chip, and thus offers support for wifi 6 at 2400 Mb / s and Bluetooth 5.2. A webcam with a 720p sensor is present at the top of the screen. The quality is not so good in broad daylight, while noise is especially present in darkness.



In the shadow


With good exposure.

The heat release of the Surface Laptop Go 2 is well controlled. After about twenty minutes of coding, the surface of the keys exceeds almost 37 ° C, while the touchpad is spared from the heat released by the processor. Noise pollution is also limited. Thus, the Surface Laptop Go 2 remains very discreet with 35.6 dB raised in the standard performance mode Our recommendations. You will therefore go unnoticed even to a library.

photo thermal imaging Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

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

If you like, it is possible to open the Surface Laptop Go 2. You then need to remove the two rubber strips that act as non-slip pads, and then unscrew the five star screws. Be careful when reassembling: Two screws are longer than the others. Otherwise, few items can be replaced. Only the battery is easily accessible, the M.2 2240 format SSD hides under a black hatch on the top of the motherboard. The Wi-Fi card and memory are soldered on and cannot be replaced.

microsoft surface laptop go 2 disconnect components ssd RAM battery

Access to the component is from above.

Editor's rating: 2 out of 5

Performance

The Surface Laptop Go 2 features an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with four hyper-wired cores. On paper, it runs at 2.4 GHz and can occasionally reach 4.2 GHz. It is equipped with a 28 W envelope, 8 GB DDR4 RAM and a 256 GB M.2 SSD that accompanies this Intel Core i5. In practice, during our coding, the processor reached a boost of 4.19 GHz and stabilized at an average frequency of 2.24 GHz.

performance microsoft surface laptop go 2 intel core i5 1135G7

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 would have deserved a newer processor.

© The Digital

Surface Laptop Go 2 and its Core i5 achieve a performance index of 61, slightly behind the HP Envy x360 13 equipped with the same processor (69), and logically far behind Core i7-1185G7 from Framework Laptop (87) or Ær MagicBook 15 and its AMD Ryzen 5 5500U. Microsoft would have been wise to choose a 12th generation Core i5 to take advantage of the performance gains from its hybrid architecture and the increase in the number of cores.

In terms of storage space, the 256 GB SSD achieves 2.4 GB / s read and 1.6 GB / s write. In use, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is particularly responsive, whether it is at startup or when waking up.

Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

Screen

Microsoft has retained its 12.4-inch panel in 3: 2 format with its touchscreen overlay. The definition, on the other hand, is a bit exotic with 1536 x 1024 px. This is therefore more suitable for productivity than for watching movies at a higher altitude.

microsoft surface laptop go 2 definition screen

The Surface Laptop Go 2 screen has an unusual definition of 1536 x 1024 px.

© The Digital

Under our probe, the plate turns out to be well calibrated with a delta E of 2.6. It is therefore impossible to distinguish the colorimetric drives with the naked eye. Its brightness is 370 cd / m², a correct value for indoor use but too reasonable for outdoor use. Despite the glossy finish of the panel, the reflectance is only 24.5%, a sign of effective anti-reflection treatment, e.g. on par with the MacBook Pro 13.

However, the contrast ratio is a bit low at 1098: 1, and the black edges of the films will actually appear a bit gray. The color temperature is 6065K: colors will seem a little warmer than the ideal video standard of 6500K.

Finally, the remanence was measured at 20 ms, a value on average, and which will have little impact on 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 a 3: 2 format. This gives the contained measure with 27.8 cm wide and 21 cm deep, its thickness is less than 1.6 cm. Its weight is also modest with 1.1 kg on the weight – the 39 W charger adds 213 g in total. We would have preferred a block charger over a two-part charger with a power cord and a proprietary tip.

microsoft surface laptop go 2 charger

Microsoft retained the proprietary charging port.

© The Digital

With its small 41 Wh battery, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is far from reaching the 13 hours of autonomy that Microsoft claims. By reducing the brightness to 200 cd / m² and launching our usual series on Netflix via Chrome, the Surface Laptop Go 2 lasted exactly 6 hours. A nice bit of autonomy that does not last all day, especially since the first Surface Laptop Go of the name had lasted 8 hours under the same conditions.

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