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Review Microsoft Surface Laptop Go A Lightweight Windows 10 Laptop


hey everybody it’s lon seiben and we’re taking a look today at the surface laptop go this is a relatively low-cost and lightweight 12-inch laptop from microsoft running windows 10 of course and it’s something that i was eager to try out because i love these small laptops that have decent capabilities and this one isn’t too bad we’re going to take a closer look at this and what it’s all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that i paid for this with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewing it or approving it before it gets uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this laptop is all about now the price point on this starts at 5.99 and goes up to 7.99 depending on configuration all of the models though have a lot in common the first is that they all have a 12.4 inch display this is a 3×2 aspect ratio so it’s more of a square display it’s running at 1536 by 1024 it’s got decent viewing angles on it the brightness is about 300 nits or so so it’s not the brightest display out there but it looks pretty nice it also has a neat touch because all of the corners are rounded on this

as opposed to just being a straight up square so it’s got a little bit of a unique design to it it is a touch display so you can touch things and move them around it’s a multi-touch display but this is not a tablet like some of the other surface devices are and the display kind of goes down to about here so it’s not going to be good for using a pen or something like that it is mostly a laptop with a touch surface on it now this three by two aspect ratio is good for editing documents and whatnot you might though see a little bit of letterboxing when you’re watching youtube and netflix videos you’ll see some black bars top and bottom just because it’s a more square than wide display but everything looks great on it it’s a really nice display i think for an entry level laptop it’s not as high resolution as some of the more expensive laptops out there like the mac and the dells and the other ones that are more premium but it does look good enough and i think it’s nice to have this in a relatively small form factor now the model i went with is the mid-range model with eight gigabytes of ram and 128 gigabytes of storage the top-end model also only has eight gigs of ram but 256 gigabytes of storage the 128 and 256 varieties of this have an ssd the entry level model has only four gigs of ram and a 64 gigabyte emmc drive so if you’re looking at one of these i would not go with the entry level model even though the price is very attractive four gigs of ram and 64 gigs of storage on windows 10 these days just isn’t enough in my opinion and even eight gigabytes these days is kind of pushing it a bit as well so i would again start with the eight gigabyte configuration unfortunately right now they’re not offering a 16 gig version

but if you happen to see one down the road that might be a good starting point and of course you want at least 128 gigs of storage if not more you cannot upgrade anything on this either so whatever you buy now is what you’re going to have forever the good news is that they did choose a nice processor for this it’s got an intel i5 1035 g1 this is not great for gaming but it is great for just about everything else that you might do with a laptop at this price and form factor and as you’ll see in a few minutes it’s very competitive on the types of productivity tasks that people would do with a laptop like this so i was happy with that this one weighs about 2.44 pounds or 1.1 kilograms very lightweight and i bought this actually to use here on the studio set for things that run windows i’m always looking for something small and compactive and i don’t have a lot of space here to work with and i was using a surface go tablet for quite a while but i found myself never using it as a tablet and i was constrained by its smaller screen so this was like a nice little step up for me and i’m really going to be i think pleased with that for my purposes now the build quality on this is a little unique for a surface device typically they use this magnesium metal alloy this one has aluminum which is on the keyboard deck here and on the top of the lid and then the base here is using a polycarbonate resin system that they say is glass fiber and 30 percent post consumer recycled content so they’re hitting all the buttons there with advanced materials and recyclability it’s also very well balanced as you can see so when you lift the display up here the keyboard doesn’t come with it i always look for that on a laptop design so that’s very nice let’s flip over to my overhead view here and we can check out the keyboard now it’s not backlit although the fingerprint reader here does backlight itself but nothing else is backlit on there the keys are

very nice to type on they feel great even though they’re a little smaller than normal it is a very nice typing keyboard and if you’re doing a lot of document work and stuff i think you’ll enjoy typing on it the trackpad is also nice microsoft has been doing nice track pads for a while now the fingerprint reader works pretty nicely on it too i’ll just rest my finger on that lit up keypad there and there you go you are in and ready to work it does not support face recognition though only the fingerprint reader and another reason maybe to look at the mid or upper level models is that there’s no fingerprint reader on the entry level version only the two higher end models now for ports on this one there aren’t many but more than the surface go you have a full size usb 3 port over here you have a full service usb type-c port here so this will do display out it’ll do power in and it will do usb data devices that you plug in so if you want to hook up a dock or something you can do that next to it you’ve got a headphone microphone jack there and then on the other side you have that special microsoft power connector which is a magnetic breakaway i’ll switch back over here and show you how that works this is something that’s been on all the surface devices it just plugs in like so to charge the laptop this is nice because it’ll keep your usb c port free and you can see it breaks away very easily so if the cat or the kid or the adult in the room happens to trip over it it just pops right out on you there and you don’t have to worry about the laptop falling off the desk so all in nice build quality nice keyboard and decent ports for its size now the battery life on this though i think for most folks will be in the seven to eight hour range on this that’s what i’m seeing with it so not spectacular battery life but you can get through a good chunk of the workday you’ll do a little bit better if you can keep the screen brightness down on it there is a webcam here at the top it’s 720p not the best quality out of it but it’s

competitive with other entry-level laptops it’ll be good enough for doing your team’s meetings and all the other stuff that you might do with it so you got that nice big bright light there to let you know that that camera is on and all in a nice little package here from a physical standpoint but we need to take a look and see how it performs we’re going to start off with some web browsing and look at a few other things too now the laptop is running with windows 10 s which is a version of windows that only allows software to be installed from the windows app store however you can disable s mode and have it work as a regular windows 10 home device in the control panel all right let’s take a look at google chrome here and see how fast everything performs we’ll visit the nasa.gov home page and browse a few pages here and as you can see everything is pretty snappy and responsive as i would expect out of one of these i5 processors this supports wi-fi six i have it connected up to my ac wireless network right now you’ve also got bluetooth 5.0 on here for headphones and other bluetooth devices as well so it’s got all the latest wireless stuff going here you can even get your nasa thanksgiving recipes right here as well we also ran youtube a little bit earlier we like to take a look at these 1080p 60 videos because those often struggle on lower end laptops and we were able to play back one of these fine without any drop frames so all in i think it’s going to be good for twitch for youtube for running netflix videos and everything else out there so all together i think a very nice laptop for doing the basics whether it’s web browsing word processing excel or even video watching i didn’t find anything that concerned me there and on the browserbench.org

speedometer test we got a score of 189 and version 1.0 of that test and 111 on version 2.0 and that was right within the margin of error of other intel processors from this generation the 10th generation chips so really holds up well against other machines with the same processor but this one might be a lot lighter than some of the other ones you might be looking at with a similar configuration so let’s take a look at some games now we’ve got fortnite running here native resolution lowest possible settings and we were getting roughly about 40 to 50 frames per second it would sometimes boost up a little bit higher we’d occasionally get hit with these little lags when it’s loading in data and stuff so it’s not the most consistent performance we’re not going to expect much out of a machine like this for games but fortnite was relatively playable on this one we also ran rocket league again native resolution lowest settings and here we were getting about 30 to 40 frames per second so playable but not spectacular we also took a look at a aaa title this is the witcher 3 again lowest settings native resolution and we were hovering in the 20 frames per second territory so the aaa stuff is probably not going to be ideal here but older games do really well this is half life 2 which is about a decade or so old now and as you can see we’re you know in the high hundreds here on frame rates so i think the older stuff should work fine uh more casual titles like rocket league and some of the 2d platformers and things will run okay on here too but this is not running with the new intel tiger lake chips which do much better graphically this would have been a great machine to pair up with the new generation of amd processors but as configured here it’s not doing too bad on games just don’t plan on running any aaa titles on it and on the 3dmark cloudgate benchmark test we got a score of 9777 this again is right in line with what we’ve seen out of some other intel processors from this generation so no surprises there good and decent performance now you might be asking is

this good for video editing and photo editing and i think the answer to those questions would be yes provided you’re not doing anything too crazy from a processing standpoint so for video edits i think more simple edits like i do on this channel would be fine here but if you’re getting into after effects or something more strenuous you’ll probably want to go with a more advanced laptop with a gpu on board but still for a bulk of the simpler tasks this should do just fine and on the 3dmark stress test we got a score of 97.7 percent that is a passing grade which indicates you won’t see all that much thermal throttling this is an actively cooled laptop in other words it has a fan on board you rarely hear it unless you really put it under load and when you do that fan will make some noise it’s not distracting too much it’s not a obnoxious fan but given the small size here and the space that it has to work in you’re going to hear it when you’re doing something that really stresses the processor and you can see the vents for that fan under the hinge here the nice thing is though is that there is no air intake on the bottom so they’ve designed a pretty nice cooling system and it will allow you to put the laptop down on surfaces you normally couldn’t if it did have some kind of air intake here so that was neat to see and as i was trying to figure out how the thermal system worked on this i was noticing that there were no speaker grilles anywhere and what they did is they integrated the speaker into the keyboard so it’s coming up from the keyboard here at you it sounds okay it’s a little tinny given the space constraints here but it has decent stereo separation and it’s loud enough but of course you can hook

up headphones or bluetooth devices to it to get some better audio quality but i thought it was kind of neat to integrate those speakers in that way because you really don’t see them but you can hear them which is really really neat we got one last thing to check out and that is believe it or not linux compatibility let’s have a look at that so we booted up the latest version of ubuntu here it was kind of fun to see the windows logo combined with the ubuntu logo here at boot and once it came up surprisingly everything just worked so we had full features here the display worked the touch screen worked wi-fi bluetooth and audio all worked video as you can see here is working just fine as well we were able to boot up firefox and visit my youtube channel and play back some video all together it felt really snappy as good as it does in windows and it was nice to see a microsoft device here boot up ubuntu pretty seamlessly we were able to run some other apps on it here as well the one issue though that happened after i booted up ubuntu is that when i went to reboot into windows the bitlocker thing got out of whack and i had to go in and get my recovery key and we were not doing anything to the internal drive just booting up off of an external drive to get ubuntu going but that’s one little issue you’ll have to deal with if you do want to dual boot this i’m sure it’s not a hard problem to solve we were able to recover back into windows here pretty quickly but altogether i was just surprised that umbuntu actually worked on this

microsoft device at all and it actually worked much better than i expected it would work so that was great and of course we’ve seen ubuntu run just fine on other intel i5 based machines like this one so overall i’m very happy with this thing i really like the lightweight design this is perfect for what i bought it for which is for studio use the i5 chip is certainly a lot more powerful than what was in my surface go tablet i like having a bigger display it really is just a nice 12-inch laptop and i’m a big fan of this form factor especially with a 3×2 display many of you have heard me say in the past that my little 12-inch macbook is one of my favorite computers of all time this one is not quite there but it’s close it’s certainly not as thin and light as that little macbook is but for again what i’m going to do with it i am very very pleased with it and i think if you’re looking for a good on-the-go laptop that’s running windows that you can bang out a lot of documents on and stuff this is going to be just fine for that and that is going to do it for this look at the surface laptop go until next time this is lon seiben thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters brian parker jim peter tom albrecht and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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