Microsoft has unveiled the latest version of its budget Surface clamshell, the Laptop Go 2, with an 11th Gen Intel processor and firmware-level protections.
The Laptop Go 2 is available for preorder, with shipping set to start on 7 June, at a starting price of $599 (£475).
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It's the first Intel-based Surface Laptop to house Microsoft's secured-core PC, which is a layer of protection built into the hardware that protects from firmware vulnerabilities. The original Surface Laptop Go, released back in October 2020, was seen as a budget version of Microsoft's main Surface Pro series. The tech giant has spun out several different versions, such as the 2-in-1 Surface Go, but the Laptop Go was a budget clamshell with a lower quality build and a more frugal spec sheet.
The second iteration features a 12.4in touchscreen, with largely the same capabilities as its predecessor; a 1,536 x 1,024 resolution with a 148-pixel density and a 3:2 aspect ratio. This small scale display might make it difficult to work on multiple apps/projects without an external monitor, but the Laptop Go 2 will likely achieve similar high scores for colour accuracy and brightness as the original version did without calibrator benchmarks.
On the inside, there has been a CPU upgrade with an Intel Quad-Core i5-1135G7 processor replacing the i5-1035G1 that was in the 2020 Laptop Go. The consumer version is matched with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, but the business model comes with the option of 16GB and either 128GB or 256GB. These different storage options will mean different prices and that is the same for the operating system, with the consumer model available with Windows 11 Home and the business version available with Windows 11 Pro or Windows 10 Pro.
All models will come with preloaded apps for Microsoft 365 - under a free trial period - though business models will also ship with Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Microsoft 365 Business Premium. This is in addition to the usual features, such as Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 and a 720p HD webcam. For ports, the Laptop Go 2 will feature 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, a 3.5mm headphone jack and 1 external Surface Connect port will be included in the box.
When it comes to battery life, Microsoft estimates the Laptop Go can offer up to 13.5hrs based on 'typical' usage. The previous model lasted 8hrs 29mins under our intensive looped video test, so we expect a similar score for the newer model assuming Microsoft's in-house tests are less strenuous. However, its 39W charger can take the Laptop Go to 80% in just over an hour, the tech giant said.
Users can get either the consumer or business model of Surface Laptop Go in Sage, Ice Blue, Sandstorm or Platinum.
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Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.
Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.