Surface Laptop Go is official with a 12.45-inch display and Intel Core i5 for $549

Surface Laptop Go Promoshot
Surface Laptop Go Promoshot (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has unveiled a new Surface Laptop.
  • Designed as an entry-level option at $549.
  • Features a smaller display, fingerprint reader, and more.

Microsoft is today unveiling a new product in the Surface family; the Surface Laptop Go, designed as an entry-level variant of the Surface Laptop for a much lower starting price. Surface Laptop Go begins at $549, which nets you an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor along with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage.

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SKUPrice ($)

Pricing and SKUs go up from there, with options for an 8GB RAM model with 128GB or 256GB of SSD storage, just like the Surface Go. Surface Laptop Go features the same great laptop design found on the Surface Laptop 3, but just a little bit smaller and lighter with an Aluminium lid and keyboard deck paired with a polycarbonate base.

Surface Laptop Go also features relatively thin bezels. As a result, and to save on costs, Microsoft has swapped out Windows Hello facial recognition for a fingerprint reader built right into the power button instead on the higher-tier models. That means the entry-level model does not have Windows Hello in any capacity.

Curiously, Surface Laptop Go is the first Surface to feature rounded corners on its display. This gives it a more contemporary look and is something that I imagine will slowly but surely make its way to other Surface products in the future. It also features a large trackpad and relatively full-size keyboard with 1.3mm of travel.

It comes in three colors; Platinum, Ice Blue, and Sandstone, with no Alcantara options. For those curious, here's the full specs list:

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CategorySurface Laptop Go
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home in S mode
Display12.45 inches3:2 aspect ratio1536x1024 (148 ppi) resolutionPixelSense
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1035G1
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
Memory4GB or 8GB LPDDR4x16GB (commercial only)
Storage64GB eMMC128GB or 256GB SSD
Front Camera720p HD f/2.0
SecurityFingerprint Reader
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5.0
Ports1x USB-C, 1x1x USB-A3.5mm headphone jack1x Surface Connect
AudioOmnisonic Speakers with Dolby Premium Audio
BatteryUp to 13 hours
Dimensions10.95 x 8.10 x 0.62 inches278.18mm x 205.67mm x 15.69mm
ColorsPlatinumSandstoneIce Blue

Surface Laptop Go exists as a budget version of the premium Surface Laptop. At $549, you're getting a premium looking PC with a few compromises. 64GB of eMMC storage isn't the best, and a lack of Windows Hello on the base model is also a huge miss. I suspect most people will want to upgrade to the next available tier which has 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and a fingerprint reader for $699.

But it's important to understand why this $549 entry level model exists in the way that it does. Surface Laptop Go's primary goal is to compete in the education market, head to head with Chromebooks. In a lot of cases, schools and universities will buy the entry-level model in bulk to give out to students, and in that scenario, the device doesn't need a fingerprint reader or high-resolution display.

For the individual buyer, opting for a higher tier model makes more sense. Either way, Surface Laptop Go is somewhat of a bargain for the Surface line. Unlike Surface Go, Surface Laptop Go comes with the keyboard and trackpad included, and a much more powerful Intel Core i5 processor and a larger display for just $150 more than the base Surface Go. That's a deal.

Surface Laptop Go availability

Surface Laptop Go is available on October 13th in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Additionally, Surface Laptop Go will be available on October 27th in the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Poland
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

It will be coming to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan on November 1st. It will then come to Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand on December 6th. In 2021, Surface Laptop Go will come to more markets, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudia Arabia, and UAE on January 12th, India on March 30th, and South Africa on April 13. So, Surface Laptop Go is going to be available everywhere.

You can pre-order Surface Laptop Go today. What are your thoughts on Microsoft's new addition to the Surface family? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads