How does it compare?
Microsoft announced its new Surface Laptop Go – a few of you might want to know whether it’s worth buying for business and how it compares. As with most Surface devices, there's no direct competitor for the new entry-model. Here’s the run-down.
What is it?
Microsoft's new entry-level laptop offering. With a smaller 12.4 inch display, the Surface Laptop Go, slots in below the Surface Laptop 3. Like the Surface Go 2 tablet, it's smaller, lighter and less expensive than its larger peers.
How does it compare to the Surface Laptop 3 13.5 inch?
The closest alternative in the Surface range is the entry-level Surface Laptop 3 with Intel Core i5.
We’re omitting the entry level Surface Laptop Go from this comparison. Although it’s powered by the same processor as the upgrade models, we don’t recommend the entry-level model’s 4GB of RAM or 64eMMC storage for business users. That model also misses out on the fingerprint reader that's standard on the upgrade models.
Bold indicates better. *4GB Surface Laptop Go available in consumer range, 16GB model available in Platinum
Performance: Better than we expected.
Application performance from the Intel Core i5 1035G1 is generally excellent, and roughly equivalent to both the entry-level Surface Laptop 3 and other current 10th generation Intel Core i5 business laptops. It’s notably more powerful than the Surface Go 2 tablet.
The Surface Laptop Go uses the latest version of the Intel UHD ‘G1’ graphics, which is competitive with most other brand devices – but it can’t match the Intel Iris Plus ‘G7’ graphics that’s standard on the Surface Laptop 3. The upgrade options available on the Surface Laptop 3 are also more powerful – if you want an i7 processor, or more 256GB storage, opt for the Surface Laptop 3.
Display: Smaller, less detailed than Surface Laptop 3.
The Surface Laptop Go has a smaller 12.4 inch touch screen – as with other Surface Devices this is the squarer 3:2 aspect ratio shape than most competitors widescreen displays.
The display resolution is noticeably lower the Surface Laptop 3’s 13.5 inch display with approximately one third lower horizontal and vertical resolution. At 1536 x 1024, its resolution is lower than the typical 1920 x 1080 displays seen on other laptops. This may be a good thing for business users given many in-house legacy software interfaces don’t work well with small screens at high resolutions. The pixel density is roughly equivalent to a 15.6 inch Full HD screen. Not recommended for users who stack multiple documents or applications on their laptop screen at the same time, unless they want to use an external monitor.
Surface Pen not supported:
The Surface Laptop Go is the first Surface device not to support the Surface Pen for on-screen writing and drawing. That's probably a moot point for most Surface Laptop users. Unlike the Surface Book, Surface Go or Surface Pro, the Surface Laptop 3 does not have a detachable or reversible keyboard for dedicated pen users.
Fingerprint reader is a first for Surface:
Both SSD versions of the Surface Laptop Go include an integrated fingerprint reader for Windows Hello authentication. This is in place of the infrared facial recognition of the Surface Laptop 3. The fingerprint reader is integrated into the power button for instant-on authentication.
Users: Commuters and general fleet users apply:
Both the Surface Laptop 3 and new Surface Laptop Go are good choices for commuters, students and travellers – both are light, slim and offer good battery life. Surface Laptop Go users miss out on the illuminated keyboard of the Surface Laptop 3, which is invaluable for presenters and travellers.
Power users, heavy admin-users and creatives should opt for the Surface Laptop 3 to enable stacking of documents onscreen, better graphics performance and should consider the 16GB upgrade. Further up the tree, the Surface Book 3 with dedicated graphics provides the highest performance and greater versatility for power users, professionals and content creators.
Our pick: Surface Laptop Go with 8GB or 16GB and 256GB SSD.
This provides sufficient storage for most business users and application performance that's competitive with any other 10th generation business laptop powered by Intel Core i5 despite the entry-level billing.
If you’re considering switching your users to the Surface Laptop Go, please contact us for deal pricing and to book in a demo when these become available. Being a new form-factor, it's worth trying before buying under our seed programme.
If you’re looking to switch to Surface, ask about our fleet and user migration services to make the move painless.
Contact us for pricing, or to find out more: