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Microsoft's cute Surface Laptop Go has a 12.4-inch screen, starts at $549

Devindra Hardawar
·Senior Editor
·3-min read

Last year, Microsoft went big with first-ever 15-inch Surface Laptop. Now, it’s going smaller: the Surface Laptop Go is a sleeker (and cuter) notebook with a 12.4-inch screen. And similar to the Surface Go 2, it’s being positioned as a low-cost device, with a starting price of $549. But unlike the Go 2, a compact machine that quickly gets more expensive as you spec it up, Microsoft claims even the entry level Laptop Go should feel pretty snappy.

The cute new PC is powered by 10th generation Intel Core i5 processors, and can be equipped with up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Clearly, it’s not meant to compete with larger Surface Laptop entries. Instead, the Laptop Go seems like an ideal machine for kids, students, and anyone who doesn’t want to spend over $1,000 on a notebook. It features a full-sized Surface keyboard (with 1.3 millimeters of key travel), as well as a large precision trackpad. The Laptop Go also surprisingly accessory-friendly, with both USB-C and USB-A connections, along with Microsoft’s proprietary Surface power port.

From the video and photos we’ve seen, the Surface Laptop Go appears to keep the overall style of Microsoft’s notebook line, but refines things a bit with slightly slimmer screen bezels. It’s still far from what we’re seeing with Dell’s XPS 13, which has bezels so thin they’re almost invisible, but it’s still an improvement for Microsoft. The 12.4-inch touchscreen should also make the Laptop Go more usable for productivity apps than the Go 2, which felt pretty cramped with its 10.5-inch screen.

Surface Laptop Go
Surface Laptop Go

You won’t find a Windows Hello camera on the Laptop Go — a surprise since that’s been a key feature on every Surface model over the least few years, even the budget-friendly Go 2. Instead, you can opt for a model with a fingerprint sensor on the power button. Given the lower starting price, and the fact that Microsoft was able to shave off some screen bezel with a smaller camera, I won’t miss the Windows Hello camera too much.

Surprisingly enough, the only other Surface device Microsoft announced today is the revamped Surface Pro X, a sequel to last year’s disastrous Windows on Arm laptop. You’ll likely have to wait until next year for updates across the standard Surface lineup. I’m not too disappointed though. All of Microsoft’s other PCs are still worthy machines, and it’s also filling a potential hole in its lineup with a smaller Surface Laptop model.

You can pre-order the Surface Laptop Go today, and it’ll be available in stores on October 13th.

Update 11:36AM ET: This post originally stated that the Surface Laptop Go had a 12.6-inch display. It has updated to correctly reflect that it has a 12.4-inch screen.