Surface Laptop Go 2 review: a timid update to Microsoft's 12.4-inch laptop

Surface Laptop Go 2 review: a timid update to Microsoft’s 12.4-inch laptop

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Construction

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s chassis doesn’t change one iota 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 ilk with a screen without borders all dressed in glass since it is tactile. The piano that hosts the keyboard with gray keys is of the same material as the shell, 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 all in sobriety.

© The Digital

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Opening the screen reveals a keyboard without a numeric keypad, but coupled with a touchpad of correct dimensions, the 3:2 format of the screen being no stranger to this. The typing is very pleasant and does not suffer from any particular defect. The touchpad is also comfortable to use. The glide is particularly fluid and multi-finger Windows gestures are perfectly taken into account. 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 function.

keyboard microsoft surface laptop go 2 azerty

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

© The Digital

Connectivity is the poor relation of the Surface Laptop Go 2, Microsoft having only deemed it useful to equip it with a USB-C 3.2 port compatible with charging and DisplayPort, as well as a USB 3.2 port (10 Gb / s ). A Surface Connect port completes the connection and serves as a charging socket.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2-Port Surface Connect Charger

The charger plugs into the Surface Connect port which is magnetized.

© The Digital

Wireless connectivity is provided by the Intel AX201 chip, thus offering 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 barely decent in broad daylight, while noise is particularly present in the dark.



In the shadow


With good exposure.

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

photo thermal imaging Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

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

If you feel like it, it is possible to open the Surface Laptop Go 2. You must then remove the two rubber strips that act as non-slip pads, then unscrew the five Phillips screws. Be careful when reassembling: two screws are longer than the others. Otherwise, few elements can be replaced. Only the battery is easily accessible, the SSD in M.2 2240 format hiding under a black hatch on the upper part of the motherboard. The wifi card and the memory are soldered on and not replaceable.

microsoft surface laptop go 2 disassembling components ssd RAM battery

Access to the component is from above.

Editor's Rating: 2 out of 5

Performances

The Surface Laptop Go 2 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with four hyperthreaded cores. On paper, it operates at 2.4 GHz and can occasionally reach 4.2 GHz. It is equipped with a 28 W envelope, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256 GB M.2 SSD accompanying this Intel Core i5. In practice, during our encoding, 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

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

© The Digital

The Surface Laptop Go 2 and its Core i5 obtain a performance index of 61, slightly behind the HP Envy x360 13 equipped with the same processor (69), and logically far behind the Core i7-1185G7 of the Framework Laptop (87) or the Honor MagicBook 15 and its AMD Ryzen 5 5500U. Microsoft would have been well advised to select a 12th generation Core i5 in order to take advantage of the performance gain offered by its hybrid architecture and the increase in the number of cores.

As for storage, the 256 GB SSD achieves 2.4 GB/s reading and 1.6 GB/s writing. In use, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is particularly responsive, whether at startup or when waking up.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Screen

Microsoft has kept its 12.4-inch panel in 3:2 format with its touchscreen overlay. The definition is on the other hand a little exotic with 1536 x 1024 px. This therefore lends itself more to productivity than to watching films with a greater height.

screen microsoft surface laptop go 2 definition

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

© The Digital

Under our probe, the slab proves to be well calibrated with a delta E of 2.6. It is therefore impossible to distinguish the colorimetric drifts with the naked eye. Its brightness is 370 cd / m², a correct value for indoor use, but too fair for outdoor use. Despite the glossy finish of the panel, the reflectance is only 24.5%, a sign of effective anti-reflective treatment, at the level of the MacBook Pro 13 for example.

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

Finally, the remanence was measured at 20 ms, a value in the average and which will have little impact in 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 it contained measurements with 27.8 cm wide and 21 cm deep, its thickness being less than 1.6 cm. Its weight is also modest with 1.1 kg on the scale – the 39 W charger adds 213 g in total. We would have preferred a block charger rather than a two-part charger with a mains cable 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 claimed by Microsoft. 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 fair bit of autonomy that does not last the day, especially since the first Surface Laptop Go of the name had lasted 8 hours under the same conditions.

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