Microsoft Announces Cheaper Surface Laptop Go, Updates Pro X

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft announced two devices today: the Surface Laptop Go, an affordable 12.4-inch laptop, as well as a new configuration of the Surface Pro X with a new Microsoft SQ2 processor. Both are available for pre-order and will go on sale on October 13.

The Laptop Go starts at $549 and boasts a 12.45-inch, 1536 x 1024 3:2 display. It will use Intel’s 10th Gen Core quad-core Core i5-1035G1, and will feature up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.The keyboard will offer 1.3 mm of key travel, and the touchpad will use Windows 10 precision drivers. The chassis will come in sandstorm, ice blue or platinum, with an aluminum lid and a polycarbonate composite base. 

While the regular Surface Laptop uses an IR camera for facial recognition, the Laptop Go has a fingerprint reader in the power button. Ports include both USB Type-A and USB Type-C, a headphone jack and the proprietary Surface Connector. Microsoft is promising up to 13 hours of battery life for the new hardware, as well as fast charging.

One disappointment here is that the Surface Laptop Go utilizes a 720p webcam, rather than the 5MP camera with 1080p video capability we saw earlier this year on the Surface Go 2. This is surprising, as Microsoft is positioning the Laptop Go for students and professionals working from home.

It will come running Windows 10 Home in S Mode, which should work for many of Microsoft’s own apps, but if you need anything outside of the Microsoft Store, you’ll need to switch out of S Mode for free.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop GoMicrosoft Surface Pro X
CPU10th Gen Intel Core i5-1031G1Microsoft SQ1 / Microsoft SQ2
GraphicsIntel UHD GraphicsMicrosoft SQ1 Adreno 685 / Microsoft SQ2 Adreno 690
RAM4GB or 8GB LPDDR4X (16GB LPDDR4X on business version)8GB or 16GB LPDDR4X
Display12.45-inch, 3:2, 1536 x 1024, Touch13-inch, 3:2, 2880 x 1920, Touch
Storage64GB eMMC or up to 256GB SSDUp to 512GB SSD
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home in S ModeWindows 10 Home on ARM
Ports1x USB Type-C, 1x USB Type-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, Surface Connect2x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2, Surface Connect, Nano SIM
Battery LifeUp to 13 hours (claimed), Fast Charge to 80% in one hourUp to 15 hours (claimed)
NetworkingWi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0, Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE

The big change to the Surface Pro X is that the 2-in-1 will see the Microsoft SQ2 system on a chip in top-end configurations, and the tablet will also be available in platinum as well as the black color that’s currently on sale. This chip, like the SQ1, has been developed with Qualcomm, and we suspect that the SQ2 is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G. But this tablet is only offering LTE connectivity.

New configurations of the Surface Pro X, with the SQ2, will start at $1,499.99.

There are three new color options for the keyboard cover: platinum, poppy red and ice blue, with room to store the optional Surface Slim Pen. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Our biggest issues with the Surface Pro X when it launched were with software compatibility on Windows 10 on Arm. Here’s how Microsoft is describing it’s progress:

“Surface Pro X brings you the best of today’s web-first experiences like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Edge, Netflix, Spotify and more, while supporting thousands of the existing Windows apps you know and love today like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Whatsapp. We are also excited about the momentum we are seeing from key app partners embracing Windows on ARM, taking advantage of the power and performance benefits of Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2 processors to bring new experiences to all Surface Pro X customers.”

Microsoft also claims Edge and Teams will be faster on these chips while using less battery life, and is promising up to 15 hours across both configurations of the Surface Pro X.

Lastly, Microsoft is introducing new accessories today: a $69.99 Designer Compact Keyboard to switch between three devices on two-year battery life; a $24.99 Bluetooth number pad; a $69.00 4K wireless display adapter to project Windows 10 to a TV or large monitor; and a $49.99 Bluetooth ergonomic mouse.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • HideOut
    $1500+ for an ARM laptop? hahahhahahaahhahahahahahahahahhaa
  • jakjawagon
    All the benchmarks I could find for the Snapdragon 8cx from a quick google (which wasn't many) put it on par with 10th gen i3 U-series processors. The 8cx Gen 2 doesn't appear to be a huge improvement (again, very little actual data available).
    So what about this justifies the price? Integrated 4G? Probably less hassle to tether to your phone. Battery life? A ~£30 power bank will add significantly more.