Microsoft's ever-expanding range of portable PCs got a brand new addition in 2020 in the form of the Surface Laptop Go.
As the name suggests, this is an affordable alternative to the company's flagship Surface Laptop line, which has so far spawned four generations. It's the second device to get the Go treatment, with the Surface Go and Go 2 proving to be a compelling Surface Pro alternatives in the 2-in-1 space.
The first-gen Laptop Go was generally well received, ticking a lot of boxes for a more affordable laptop. However, the more expensive models struggle to compete with similarly-priced competition.
Here's everything you need to know about its successor, which we assume will be called the Surface Laptop Go 2.
When will the second-gen Surface Laptop Go be released?
Microsoft is holding a virtual event on 22 September, with new Surface hardware expected to be on the agenda.
However, this is unlikely to include a new Surface Laptop Go. With only one generation to go from, it's very difficult to predict when a successor might arrive. Some time in 2022 seems likely, but that's pure speculation at this stage.
How much will the Surface Laptop Go 2 cost?
There's no news at this very early stage, but the pricing of two existing Surface products gives us a good idea how much the second-gen Laptop Go will cost. One is the current model, which starts at £549/US$549 but also has options at £699/US$699 and £899/US$899 if you want to increase RAM and storage capacity.
As the first 'Go' branded device to reach its second generation, the Surface Go 2's RRP is also an indicator of how much the price might change over the original. That device bumped the starting price from £379/US$379 to £399/US$399, which had a knock-on effect for the more expensive models.
These modest hikes are unlikely to price potential customers out of the market, but Microsoft will be wary of the most expensive configurations coming close to the Surface Laptop 4 in terms of cost.
What does this all mean for the Surface Laptop Go 2's price? It'll probably stay roughly same, unless Microsoft implements upgrades of the like included in our wish list below.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 spec rumours
At this stage, there are no concrete rumours surrounding what we can expect from the second-gen Surface Laptop Go.
The only thing we know for sure is that it'll run Windows 11 out of the box. Microsoft's new OS will be released on 5 October, with all new Surface PCs expected to use it from now on.
Elsewhere, internals are the most likely place we'll see an upgrade, with the current 10th-gen i5 moving to Intel's latest Tiger Lake chips or even the upcoming Alder Lake. That would see the inclusion of the latest and great integrated graphics (currently Iris Xe), which would help give a useful upgrade to performance.
The Laptop Go maxes out at 8GB of RAM, but bumping this up to 16GB or even 32GB is unlikely considering the device is targeted towards students. For any more intensive tasks, Microsoft can point people in the direction of the Surface Laptop line, which isn't currently much more expensive than the top-spec Laptop Go.
There may be an option for an SSD of 512GB or more, but with Microsoft's focus on the cloud (in particular Microsoft 365) internal storage is less of a priority.
The bezels are already impressively narrow for a laptop at this price point, so we're unlikely to see any wholesale design changes. Moving to OLED would also be a big surprise, although increasing the display's 1056x1024 resolution could happen.
It all feels a bit like guesswork at the moment, but we'll update this section as soon as we know more.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 wish list
Considering the scarcity of concrete rumours, we've put together a wish list on all the things we'd love to see come to the second-gen Surface Laptop Go. We haven't finished reviewing the original, but from spending a few hours with the device we have a few ideas on where Microsoft could improve:
- Bigger screen - The Laptop Go introduced a brand new screen size to the Surface family - 12.5in. While you do get used to this slightly smaller form factor, it can feel a bit cramped at times. We're not saying Microsoft should ditch the 12.5in screen, but having a larger alternative would be welcome.
- More ports - The Laptop Go is one of the few devices to have a USB-A port, but with just one other USB-C port and a headphone jack your options are quite limited.
- USB-C for charging - The only other port you'll find on the device is the Surface Connect for charging, which Microsoft continued to persist with. Ditching this for USB-C would be a big step forward.
- Convertible functionality - This might be a long shot, especially considering it's not yet available on the flagship Surface Laptop line, but it would be great to have more flexibility in terms of screen angles. Plenty of devices are able to rotate their displays a full 180 degrees, which opens up plenty more potential use cases. The touch input is already there to make the most of it.
- Fingerprint sensor - The Surface Laptop Go has Windows Hello support, but it only works for face unlock. Adding a fingerprint scanner to the device would be a welcome alternative.
We'll be publishing our review of the current Surface Laptop Go soon, so keep an eye on the site to see if it can be considered one of the best Microsoft Surface devices you can buy. If it's really good, it might even make its way into our best laptop chart.