Microsoft launches $599 Surface Laptop Go 2 with 128GB SSD

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 2 starts at $599.

Microsoft

Microsoft on Wednesday began taking pre-orders for the Surface Laptop Go 2, the first revision of its entry-level laptop. The PC starts at $599, which is a $50 increase over the original Surface Laptop Go that Microsoft released in 2020.

The tech giant is sticking to its incremental approach to product updates to its Surface lineup, which drove revenue growth of 5% in the past fiscal year. It’s slower than most of the company’s other major products. But the Surface devices are more than a revenue game – they serve to show what’s possible with Windows, and with the new device, Microsoft intends to show that a good quality Windows laptop can be affordable.

Microsoft has failed to make the Surface a major hit in the nearly 10 years that the product line has been around. The company held a 0.6% share of desktops and laptops in the first quarter, according to data from industry researcher IDC. But many Surface computers have posted prices over $1,000, and with the Surface Laptop Go 2, Microsoft is targeting consumers and businesses with less money to spend — and offering a new alternative to cheaper Chromebooks running Chrome. Google OS.

The new laptop bears a strong resemblance to the original Surface Laptop Go. It still has a 12.4-inch screen, 4GB of RAM at the bottom end, and a fingerprint scanner built into the power button.

There are, however, a few notable changes. The new comes with Windows 11, which Microsoft released last year. The initial model shipped with Windows 10 in S mode, which prevented users from running programs that are not listed in Microsoft’s App Store, although it is possible to exit this mode. Microsoft has offered customers a free Windows 11 upgrade for people who purchase the first Surface Laptop Go.

The base model comes with a 128GB SSD, instead of 64GB like the last one. Microsoft says the new laptop’s battery will last 13.5 hours, compared to 13 hours for its predecessor. And customers can replace more components of the gadget, including the display, trackpad, feet, keyboard cover and top assembly, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

It also packs an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 chip, which is newer than the original model’s 10th Gen processor, though it forgoes the 12th Gen chips, found in PCs like HP and Dell.

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Lance B. Holton