Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 3 emerges as a compelling option that ticks many of the right boxes. In the ever-evolving world of laptops, finding the perfect balance between performance, portability, and affordability can be a daunting task. However 12-inch laptop has come a long way since its initial release, and it now stands as one of the most enticing choices in its category. In this in-depth review, we will explore the various aspects that make the Surface Laptop Go 3 a strong contender as your next computing companion.
Evolution of the Surface Laptop Go 3
Three years ago, when Microsoft introduced the Surface Laptop Go, it aimed to provide a budget-friendly Windows laptop without compromising on the signature Surface design. However, the initial specifications left much to be desired, making it a less-than-ideal choice for most users. Fast forward to today, and the Surface Laptop Go 3 has undergone a remarkable transformation.
The Surface Laptop Go 3 starts at a base price of $799, reflecting its significantly enhanced internal components. It now boasts Intel’s 12th-generation Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a generous 256GB SSD. For those willing to invest a bit more, there’s a version available for $999, equipped with a substantial 16GB of RAM. This substantial increase in memory capacity positions the Laptop Go 3 as a potential primary computing device rather than merely serving as a secondary or backup machine.
Design and Build
While the Laptop Go 3 may not quite reach the premium aesthetics of Apple’s 12-inch MacBook, it gets remarkably close. Its construction includes an aluminum top lid and keyboard deck, complemented by a smooth plastic bottom. Impressively, this laptop tips the scales at a mere 2.5 pounds, making it an exceedingly portable option, perfect for those frequently on the move.
The Display Dilemma
One area where the Laptop Go 3 falls slightly short of expectations is its display. While it excels in offering vibrant colors and outdoor visibility, its sub-1080p resolution (1,536 x 1,024) may be somewhat disappointing for those who place a premium on sharpness and clarity. Nevertheless, for everyday tasks and productivity, this compromise may not be a deal-breaker.
Thanks to the introduction of the new Intel 12th-generation Core i5 CPU, the Laptop Go 3 delivers a markedly snappier performance compared to its predecessors. Whether you’re juggling numerous browser tabs, running productivity apps, or even engaging in some light image editing, this laptop maintains a commendable level of responsiveness.
- PCMark 10: 4,785
- Geekbench 5 (single-core/multi-core): 1,430/6,094
- 3DMark Wildlife Extreme: 2,810
Gaming and Streaming
Although the Laptop Go 3 is not positioned as a dedicated gaming machine, it exhibits the capability to handle casual gaming and Xbox cloud streaming with surprising efficiency. This versatility makes it a compelling choice for entertainment enthusiasts.
Keyboard and Trackpad
One of the standout features of the Laptop Go line is its exceptional keyboard. The keys are highly responsive and offer a satisfying typing experience. The trackpad, while not the largest in its class, performs perfectly adequately for everyday web browsing and productivity tasks.
The Laptop Go 3 maintains its reputation for solid battery life, clocking in at around 9 hours and 10 minutes in the PCMark 1 battery test. While this may fall slightly short of Microsoft’s estimated 15 hours, it still places the laptop on par with other ultraportables in its category.
Microsoft could enhance the versatility of the Laptop Go 3 by incorporating additional connectivity options. Presently, it features one USB Type-A port, a USB-C port, a headphone jack, and a Surface charge port. The addition of extra USB ports or a microSD card slot would be a welcome improvement.
Price and Competition
With a starting price of $799, the Surface Laptop Go 3 positions itself in the mid-range laptop segment. The $999 model, equipped with 16GB of RAM, enters the premium tier. In comparison to Apple’s M1 MacBook Air, Microsoft’s offering boasts superior portability while sacrificing some raw computing power.
In a market with limited options for 12-inch Windows PCs, the Surface Laptop Go 3 distinguishes itself. With its enhanced performance, exceptional keyboard, and remarkable portability, it emerges as an enticing choice. Microsoft has inadvertently created a compelling mid-range laptop, and if you’re seeking a new ultraportable, the Surface Laptop Go 3 should unquestionably be on your shortlist. However, do bear in mind its display limitations.
In conclusion, the Surface Laptop Go 3 is an incredibly versatile and compact Windows laptop that combines enhanced performance, a comfortable keyboard, and impressive portability. While it may not meet the display expectations of some users, it excels in various other aspects, making it an appealing choice for those in search of a mid-range ultraportable laptop.