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Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Review: Is this the ultimate back-to-school laptop?

Choosing the right laptop for your kids is tough, the back-to-school marketing blitz can be confusing, the recommendations from schools are vague and your budget can blow out very fast. With all this in mind, I think the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go might just have hit the sweet spot in terms of back-to-school Laptop options.

What Microsoft has done here is bring their brand, their design, their quality to a solid price point that will be the most desirable part of this whole proposition.

Starting at $999, you’ve got a laptop that absolutely and utterly will tick the boxes for schools.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

WiFi – Tick. In fact WiFi 6 enabled so it’s future proof and has the best and fastest WiFi possible.

Battery Life – Tick – up to 13 hours battery life which is more than enough for a full school day by any measure.

Top down look at the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go keyboard

Portability – Tick – this thing weighs just 1.1kg, the kids will hardly notice it’s in their backpack.

Screen – Tick – the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go has a 12.4 inch touch screen with a resolution at 3:2 aspect ratio that falls short of Full HD but won’t disappoint.

Design – Tick – it’s thinner and just a million times better looking than most $1,000 laptops.

Keyboard close-up showing power button

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go has Windows Hello face recognition as well as a fingerprint reader under the power button so it’s got all those bells and whistles too!

Is this a gaming machine? Absolutely not. In fact, this is a machine that is built for your kids school work and basic productivity. At $999 it has two serious flaws you must be aware of before buying.

The Microsoft Logo on the top of the laptop

Firstly, it has just 4GB of RAM. Today, my minimum recommendation is 8GB. I say that to people because I want them to get 4-5 years life from a device. With 4GB of RAM you’ll be fine in Office applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, you’ll certainly be AOK on the web, and most programs will run just fine.

Even Adobe Suite will run here – but don’t expect to be video editing here, and if you do, head off and watch a movie while your production renders.

The second flaw is storage. At $999, there’s just 64GB of storage onboard. That’s because in the modern school age kids are running their lives in Google Classroom – all the storage is in the cloud. It’s for that reason I’m still ok with recommending it, because a savvy teen will soon realise they have almost infinite storage in the cloud.

JB HiFI shopping page for USB-C thumb drive

Plus, for just $39, you can get another 64GB in the form of a USB-C thumb drive, or invest a bit more for an external drive. Use this from day-1 and your kids will never need to use the internal storage.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go showing USB-C and USB-A ports

Saving the best for last, the real genius here is the use of an Intel 10th Generation Core i5 Processor.

Again, at this price, you might expect to see an i3 Processor, but Microsoft has wisely gone all-in here, meaning you have the power that you need, in fact in some ways this makes up for the lower specced RAM.

Honestly, that’s all you need to know. I think Microsoft has a strong brand appeal among all ages, I also think it’s a whole lot more appealing than almost all the other mainstream brands.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go and its retail box

That said, don’t get me wrong, I love what Dell is doing with their XPS range, there’s some slick designs out there – but these are all in the upper end of the price range. $2500 is the budget for a really slick looking laptop, so for $999 this is a real cracker.

If I was to get utterly picky, I wish Microsoft would ditch their proprietary power connector. It’s great, works well, but why not use USB-C in a world of USB-C, giving additional expansion capability as well as options for charging. Go Figure.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go charging port

If the device itself appeals, but my concerns worry you, you can stump up for a higher spec, the $1,249 model features 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. But stretching to $1,549 just to get to 256GB of storage seems mad when you look at the price of portable hard-drives which can take advantage of the higher speed USB-C connectivity.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is what my next kids into high school will be getting.

Web: Microsoft Store

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
Author Rating
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Product Name
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
Price
AUD 999
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Review: Is this the ultimate back-to-school laptop?
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