Surface Laptop Go 2: Specs, release date, and everything we expect

Surface Laptop Go 2: Specs, release date, and everything we expect

Microsoft’s Surface family includes some of the most iconic premium laptops on the market. From the original Surface Pro to the most recent form factors like the Surface Laptop Studio, the company has always made very interesting devices. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen Microsoft invest more in more affordable laptops including the Surface Laptop Go released in 2020. This was a great budget laptop for students, so it’s natural to expect a Surface Laptop Go 2 at some point.

The Surface Laptop Go is also the Surface device that’s in the biggest need of an upgrade – of course, excluding the Surface Book and Surace Studio, which have been collectively replaced by the Surface Laptop Studio. It’s been well over a year since the original Surface Laptop Go launched, and while it had decent specs, hardware has definitely evolved since then, and it’s set to evolve even more with Intel launching its 12th-generation Alder Lake processors sometime soon. So what can we expect from the Surface Laptop Go 2?

What is the release date of the Surface Laptop Go 2?

Right now, Microsoft has yet to announce a Surface Laptop Go 2, and we haven’t heard many rumors about it, either. It’s hard to say when it will come out, but the fact is Microsoft has never given up on a product line with just on product. The Surface RT, Surface Studio, and Surface Book all got at least two entries before being killed off, and with the Surface Laptop Go being fairly well received, it’s reasonable to expect a successor.

A first-generation Surface Laptop Go

A possible announcement time is sometime next spring, which is a common time for Microsoft to announce new devices. The Surface Laptop Go will be about 18 months old at that point, plus we may already have Intel’s 12th-generation mobile processors available to power the laptop. Low-power devices like the Surface Laptop Go might benefit the most from the new hybrid architecture in Intel’s latest processors, so it makes sense to wait for those to be available. It also took just under two years for Microsoft to refresh the original Surface Go, so this lines up fairly well.

What new features will the Surface Laptop Go 2 have?

Being that it’ll be over one year since its predecessor, you might expect some notable changes with the Surface Laptop Go 2. However, it’s also worth keeping in mind Microsoft doesn’t usually make huge changes to its products with the second iteration. Let’s see what might be added with a successor to the Surface Laptop Go. On top of that, these are low-cost devices, so they’re not going to get big upgrades as often as the more premium ones.

Of course, the first thing you can always expect with a new laptop, especially after so long, is upgraded internals. The original Surface Laptop Go come with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, which was a fairly decent CPU, although it lacked Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics from that year. That was a 10th-generation processor, and in the 11th-generation lineup, there’s no Core i5 model that doesn’t have Iris Xe graphics. Unless Microsoft decides to step it down to a Core i3, the Surface Laptop Go 2 could include a big step up in graphics performance, in addition to a better CPU compared to the original.

It seems more likely that we’d see a new laptop with 12th-generation processors at this point, and we don’t know what those will look like just yet. However, Intel’s hybrid architecture could mean even better performance and better battery life, too, based on what we’ve seen with 12th-generation ‘Alder Lake’ desktop processors in our review.

Hybrid architecture in Intel’s Alder Lake processors

The rest of the specs are unlikely to change that much. The Surface Laptop Go starts with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, and the recently-launched Surface Go 3 still uses those base specs, too. It’s probably going to continue being Microsoft’s strategy for entry-level models.

Of course, a new Surface Laptop Go would also ship with Windows 11, which is going to be the default going forward. That’s probably all we can really expect from a Surface Laptop Go 2.

One thing you likely shouldn’t expect is support for Thunderbolt, which is very rare in laptops at this price point, and with Microsoft taking so long to embrace Thunderbolt in its premium devices, it’ll probably be even longer until we see it in budget laptops, if it shows up at all.

What features would we like to see?

While there isn’t a lot we can say for sure Microsoft will do, there are certainly things we’d like to see the company add to the Surface Laptop Go 2. Here are a few things we’d like to see that are feasible for Microsoft to include in this lineup.

Windows Hello by default

Since Microsoft introduced Windows Hello in 2o15, the Surface Laptop Go was the only one of the company’s devices to not ship with Windows Hello facial recognition, and the base configuration doesn’t have Widows Hello at all. The higher configuration tiers add a fingerprint reader, but you’d have to spend $700 to get it, and even then it’s not as convenient as an IR camera. In a Surface Laptop Go 2, we’d love to see Windows Hello included in every configuration, preferably via an IR camera.

Fingerprint reader on the Surface Laptop Go

A higher resolution display

Most Surface devices have very sharp displays, and while the Surface Laptop family has the lowest pixel density of the family, the Surface Laptop Go arguably took things a little too far and stepped below Full HD resolution. It’s probably still sharp enough, and many laptops in this price range do still come with sub-1080p panels, but it would be nice to see a slightly sharper display since that’s always been one of the standout features of Surface.

A new design

With the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Laptop Studio, Microsoft started embracing the Surface Slim Pen form factor for its premium devices, after first introducing it with the Surface Pro X in 2019. While a budget device like the Surface Go 3 is still favoring the classic Surface Pen design, it would make sense for more and more devices to transition to the Surface Slim Pen, and the Surface Laptop Go 2 could have a design similar to the Surface Laptop Studio to store the pen. However, the laptop form factor doesn’t need this the most, and these more affordable devices will likely to the longest to transition to the new style of pen.

What will the price of the Surface Laptop Go 2 be?

If Microsoft’s history with the Surface Go line is any indication, the Surface Laptop Go 2 will likely keep the exact same price tag as its predecessor. Affordability is the big draw of these devices, and it wouldn’t make sense to bring them closer to the more premium Surface devices. As such, you can probably expect a Surface Laptop Go 2 to start at $549, with a couple of upgrades available from there. The most expensive model for consumers would end up at around $900.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Of course, that will also depend on what Microsoft decides to do with the specs and features. Adding everything we’d like to see would probably result in a higher price, which is why you shouldn’t expect all our requests (or any of them) to come to fruition.

We’ll have to wait a while longer for official information from Microsoft regarding a potential Surface Laptop Go 2, but for now, this is what we expect. We’ll update this page as new information is available. If you want to buy a new PC and you can’t wait for new devices to be announced, check out our list of the best Surface PCs you can buy today.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.