Microsoft just introduced the new $549 Surface Laptop Go

Patrick

Microsoft

Microsoft has just announced its newest addition to the growing Surface family, the Surface Laptop Go, alongside an updated Surface Pro X. The Laptop Go aims to bring affordable Windows computing to stylish, premium hardware in the mid-range laptop segment, starting from $549. The LTE-enabled Pro X, on the other hand, starts at $999 and is more of a refresh, specifically on the top-tier models of the ultra-portable, always-connected two-in-one PC.

There’s a lot to love about the Surface Pro X, but while an LTE-connected computer is starting to feel like something of a bygone era, given current mobility trends, the Surface Laptop Go may be debuting at just the right time. As Panos Panay, chief product officer of Microsoft points out, Microsoft’s goal of a PC for every member of a household is becoming more necessary than ever. And making them affordable is a good idea.

At the $549 price, the Surface Laptop Go comes with an i5-1035G1 10th-Gen Intel processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC storage. It also promises up to 13 hours of use, with fast charging that can juice up the laptop from zero to 80 percent in little over an hour. These are highly competitive specs to the similarly named Pixelbook Go from Google, which costs $100 more and packs an m3 processor with 8GB RAM, 64GB SSD storage, and up to 12 hours use in its base model. Of course, the Pixelbook is more limited within its Chrome OS versus Windows 10 Home in S mode, which comes loaded (and can easily be upgraded to full Windows 10 Home for free) on the Surface Laptop Go. It’s also worth noting that you can configure and i5 8 GB RAM 128GB model for the same price as the base Pixelbook, $699.99.

The Laptop Go also has more ports, packing USB-C, USB-A, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, along with its proprietary magnetic charging port. Microsoft’s “Omnisonic” speakers, first introduced in the first-gen Surface Laptop, output sound by emanating it from beneath the keyboard, eliminating speaker grills and still achieving Dolby Audio Premium quality.

Facial recognition for Windows Hello’s snappy sign in is included across the Laptop Go range, as is a 720p webcam, but only the 128GB and 256GB SSD variants with 8GB RAM have this as well as a fingerprint sensor/power button combo for One Touch sign in.

The aluminum-bodied Surface Laptop Go comes in three elegant colors—silver, gold, and a stylish light blue called Ice Blue—but only one size, with a 12.45-inch 1536×1024-pixel touchscreen display. It’s about a third of a pound lighter than the lightest Surface Laptop 3 currently for sale, too.

The ARM-based Surface Pro X is a more niche device, but it has a lot more going for it than just its always-connected LTE integration. Being a refresh aimed at sprucing up the top-tier models specifically, Microsoft will still be offering the original Surface Pro X with its Qualcomm- and Microsoft-created SQ 1 chip in 8GB and 16GB RAM models with either 128GB or 256GB storage, while the new Microsoft SQ 2 chip, with a slightly improved Adreno 690 GPU, comes in 16GB RAM versions with either 256GB or 512GB SSD storage.

The company says the SQ 2 chip will improve performance, particularly in multitasking, but further details on these advancements are scarce at the moment. Battery life improvements over the previous 13-hour span come to the entire Pro X range by way of software improvements that raise this to 15 hours of usage.

With this refresh, Microsoft has also optimized Edge, Teams, and Visual Studio for better ARM support, while adding an eye contact feature that digitally alters your eyes to keep your video chats looking as though you’re looking directly into the camera. The company will also be introducing emulation support for x64 applications, set to be released in the next Windows Insider release for developers to work with. Currently, emulation is only supported on x32 applications.

Other than these tweaks and the new platinum colorway, the Pro X offers the same slim dimensions and familiar experience as the original. With a 13-inch, 2880×1920 pixel touchscreen display, removable SSD storage in 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB, and the optional Surface Pro X keyboards, which have Slim Pen storage and wireless charging for it now available in blue, red, and gray, the Pro X offers a sleeker Surface package, with increasingly comparable capabilities to the flagship Surface Pro 7.

Microsoft also announced a handful of new accessories—a few new keyboard and mice options, as well as a new wireless display adapter.

  • Microsoft’s Modern Mobile Mouse now comes in the gold-ish color, Sandstone, to match the Surface Laptop Go colorway.
  • The Microsoft Designer Compact Keyboard sells for $69.99 and connects with up to three devices via Bluetooth, delivers two years of battery life, and comes in black or silver.
  • Microsoft Number Pad is a $24.99 wireless numpad that complements the Compact Keyboard.
  • The Bluetooth Ergonomic Mouse sells for $49.99 and has customizable buttons and a comfortable shape for resting your hand. It also comes in a hot-pink color, light blue, silver, and gray.
  • And the Microsoft 4K Wireless Display Adapter retails for $69.99 and can broadcast your computer screen to any HDMI-enabled device.

The Surface Laptop Go is available for preorder now from $549, while the Surface Pro X starts at $999. Both will ship starting October 13.

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