May 24 2021

Review: The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Combines Power with Portability for Road Warriors

This secure travel companion lasts all day and does everything professionals need.

With so many people working from home these days, powerful notebook computers are essential to keeping businesses running efficiently.

The ideal notebook for professionals is lightweight, secure and easy to use and maintain. It also has a powerful battery and a great camera to support remote meetings. The new Microsoft Surface Laptop Go provides all these features and then some.

The Laptop Go is highly portable and has ease-of-use features similar to other lightweight business laptops, and it packs the power of an Intel Core i5 chipset that many rivals lack. It also boasts all the compatibility and usefulness of a full Windows 10 operating system.

Startup the Laptop Go with Ease

Booting up the system and logging in to the Laptop Go is extremely easy. The power button doubles as a fingerprint reader, so the act of turning on the device can also authenticate its user, a feature that people working in more security-conscious businesses will appreciate. The Laptop Go also uses Windows Hello, which adds facial recognition to the mix with its high-definition front-facing camera. Users need only power up and sit in front of a Laptop Go to access the desktop and critical files.

Powering Picture Perfect Video Calls

The same camera works in conjunction with two far-field studio microphones to create the ultimate in high-resolution videoconferencing. Along with the 12.4-inch monitor with its 1536x1024 maximum resolution, it’s easy to see and hear everything that clients or colleagues are saying during online meetings. The screen also supports touch input, which makes it more compatible with some business applications, including those that use online forms or that capture handwriting and signatures.

Because the Laptop Go can be loaded with Microsoft 365, workers will have access to all the Office productivity tools they need, such as Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. All Microsoft 365 applications run smoothly on the Laptop Go, and like everything else about the device, they are kept automatically updated and patched in the background while users work.

At less than 2.5 pounds, the Surface Laptop Go is ready to go anywhere at any time. Should business travel become the norm once more, the Laptop Go won’t take up much room or be too heavy out on the road. Plus, it’s powerful enough that it will work just fine as a primary computer back in the office too.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Overtime Isn’t Overtaxing on the Laptop Go

Battery technology has come a long way in a relatively short time. That’s a good thing, because a laptop that can maintain its charge for an entire day of travel or work is much more useful for professionals.

In many cases, workers now telecommuting from home will probably have access to a power outlet, but you can’t always count on that, especially with people setting up makeshift office spaces that were unnecessary before the pandemic. People might also want the freedom to cut their cords, taking their work outside to a deck or patio if the weather is nice. And some workers are still traveling or soon will again, so battery power directly translates into productivity for them.

At just 2.5 pounds, one might think the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go would be light on power. After all, batteries are normally one of the heaviest components in a computer. Somehow, though, the Laptop Go turns in impressive longevity numbers.

I first booted up the system and ran Word plus an internet browser in what could be considered a fairly standard use of the laptop. In that test, the Laptop Go lasted for more than 12 hours and 30 minutes before it started to warn about the low charge. And the device got 80 percent of its charge back after plugging in for just one hour.

A more pressing test added a videoconference call to the previous mix of applications. That didn’t dent its performance too much, as it still ran for just over 12 hours.

To really push the envelope, I locked in the brightness at 80 percent, disabled all power-saving tools, then ran everything from the previous tests and added a movie playing on a loop. Only then did performance drop, yet it still managed to hold out for more than 10 hours. That’s longer than a typical workday for most people, and an outstanding performance given the unrealistic circumstances.

In almost any possible scenario, the Surface Laptop Go can provide enough battery life for a full day of working, plus any unexpected overtime.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

SAFE: Offers secure, one-touch sign-in
PORTABLE: Easy for travelers to carry
POWERFUL: Tackles any business application

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