Microsoft on Wednesday morning announced its Surface Laptop Go 2 with a newer Intel Core i5 processor and twice the memory of the original in its base configuration.
It’s the sequel to a device originally launched for home users and students when the pandemic reignited the PC market in October 2020. Microsoft wanted to offer an alternative to Google Chromebooks at the higher end of the budget PC price range before venturing out. a year later with the $250 Surface laptop SE.
Surface Laptop Go 2 faces a different environment. According to Gartner, PC shipments fell 6.8% in the first quarter. Demand for Chromebooks has dropped.
In a nod to inflation, Microsoft is setting the starting price for the base version of the Surface Laptop Go 2 at $599.99, up from $549.99 for the original at launch. (Microsoft continues to incorrectly round prices in its promotional materials and incorrectly describes the Surface Laptop Go 2 as $599 in a blog post.)
Microsoft Surface revenue rose 13% to $1.7 billion in the March quarter.
However, first-party PCs and tablets remain a small portion of Microsoft’s overall business, with devices accounting for about 4% of total sales. Microsoft views Surface products in part as a way to experiment with new form factors and approaches that other Windows PC manufacturers can adopt in their own products.
Here are the key specs for the consumer version of the Surface Laptop Go 2:
- 11th Gen Intel Core i5 1135G7 processor (compared to a 10th Gen Core i5 in the 2020 release);
- Base configuration with 4GB of RAM (same as the original) and a 128GB solid state drive (up from 64GB in the previous base configuration), with options for up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
- The screen is the same as the original: a 12.4-inch touchscreen PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
- The ports are the same, too: one USB-C, one USB-A, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a proprietary Surface Connect charging port.
- It comes with a 720p camera, just like the original, but Microsoft says the camera has been improved.
- The operating system is Windows 11 Home (the original came standard with Windows 10 in “S” mode.)
- It weighs slightly more than the original, 2.48 pounds (1,127 grams) versus 2.44 pounds (1,110 grams) previously.
An 8GB-128GB configuration costs $699.99; 8GB to 256GB is $799.99.
The colors are platinum, ice blue, sandstone and a new option, sage, seen here.
Pete Kyriacou, Microsoft VP of Devices, writes in a blog post that device color has “become a defining characteristic” of Microsoft product design.
“Inspired by subtle natural tones, Sage carries notes of green and gray with hints of blue,” he adds. “In natural light you will notice the soft reflection of the high quality aluminum material. This color has a calming effect while also being an edgy addition to the Surface color palette.”
A business version comes with up to 16GB of RAM and runs on Windows 11 Pro or Windows 10 Pro.
Details of the device were revealed in a listing from a Korean retailer earlier this week.
Pre-orders begin today, ahead of a June 7 release.