back to article Microsoft touts its Surface Laptop Go as 'cheap' option – but that price quickly goes up for useful RAM and storage

As well as the updated and costly Surface Pro X, Microsoft has unveiled a cheaper way for users to dip a toe into its hardware waters with the Surface Laptop Go. Described as the "everyday, everywhere laptop", the diminutive machine packs a 12.4" touchscreen and "all-day battery life". Assuming your day lasts about 13 hours …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Premium Price...

    So the Rejects of Redmond think their brand commands a premium price when it basically is an incompetent ripoff of a Chromebook. I think not.

  2. Sloppy Crapmonster

    "as does a 30-day trial of Microsoft 365 Family (assuming the company's cloud hasn't dropped from the sky again)"

    Shirley, they mean a 720 consecutive hour trial. No backsies for when The Cloud has evaporated.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Trollface

      No, 365 is the number of hours of uptime you can expect during the month.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple prices without the desirability

    And crap resale value.

    Where do I sign up?!?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Apple prices without the desirability

      "And crap resale value."

      Unless you're the person it's being resold to ... Stick Linux on it and use it as a "who cares" road machine when going into iffy areas. Don't forget your travel insurance.

      1. ST Silver badge

        Re: Apple prices without the desirability

        > Stick Linux on it and use it as a "who cares" road machine when going into iffy areas.

        It's too expensive for a "who cares" laptop ...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Apple prices without the desirability

          Re-read what I typed. All will be revealed.

          1. ST Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Apple prices without the desirability

            > Re-read what I typed. All will be revealed.

            Still too expensive. As I had already stated.

            Do you have anything else to offer, O Great Sage? Or are your Internet pronouncements beyond question?

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Apple prices without the desirability

              @ST

              jake was suggesting that this laptop, *if bought second hand*, might qualify as a 'who cares machine'. You have only been referring to its new retail price, which is moot to his point.

              There would have been more ambiguity in jake's post had he used a single full stop followed by a line break, but he didn't.

              1. ST Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Apple prices without the desirability

                > jake was suggesting that this laptop, *if bought second hand*, might qualify as a 'who cares machine'

                - I do not see the words if bought second hand anywhere in jake's posts.

                - The laptop models under discussion aren't even available on the new market yet. They've just been announced. I fail to see how they would be available on the second-hand market.

                So please explain to us here how exactly this ex post facto ${EXPLANATION} fits with the original statement. It's all in the ellipsis? Really?

                1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

                  Re: Apple prices without the desirability

                  Because given that the SL-Go would likely be bought by Millenials with more money than sense, they'll probably turn it over for the next year's shiny, and can't be arsed to try to get their money back out of it. As in " 'ere, take this ancient smelly thing of my hands. You can have it for a tenner..."

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Apple prices without the desirability

                  "I do not see the words if bought second hand anywhere in jake's posts."

                  No? Perhaps your parser is b0rken.

                  An AC wrote: "And crap resale value."

                  I responded "Unless you're the person it's being resold to ... " Meaning that the second-hand purchaser will be getting a good deal. This is based on myself (and others) watching the market for $SHINEYKIT after the lust(er) has worn off somewhat ... the prices plummet, almost universally.

                  You continue with "The laptop models under discussion aren't even available on the new market yet."

                  Correct. Shirley the proverbial thinking man would understand I was discussing potential future events? The comment after the ellipsis was one use I could see for the thing if I could purchase one at a low enough price at some time in the future. It would seem that most of our fellow commentards figured that out.

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    4GB is plently enough RAM

    for what I use a laptop for: something to take out & about, a bit of web browsing, ssh, libreoffice. It has a small 12.4" screen which makes a nice fit for my rucksack. I assume that I will be able to upgrade the OS to Linux Mint or similar.

    My main machine at home is more powerful. El Reg reviewers always assume that everyone needs a lot of grunt, not true.

    £550 is a tad expensive for a small machine to use on walkabout, there are others that are cheaper. Finding a small screen is harder.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

      Pretty much mirrors my thoughts. Will it run Slackware?

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

        If it’s like the Surface Book Pro I had a couple of years ago, you have to disable Secure Boot to boot a non-Windows OS. Which gives you a giant red padlock warning symbol on the screen at every boot. Not a showstopper, but annoying... kind of nagging you for straying from the True Microsoft Way.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

          It's rare that I run up against the limits of the 4GB RAM in my ancient laptop, but my CAD models only have a few parts (think chairs, not combine harvesters) and my Illustrator documents are only usually a single page and the artwork fairly simple - saved documents are usually only a few MB in size. Still, going for 8GB and having some headroom seems sensible.

          I don't have much cause to do video editing, but with an SSD some simple editing of HD video isn't a headache.

          I can envisage jobs (more complex CAD simulations and visualisations) where I'd benefit from much more RAM, but those same tasks would also benefit from from more CPU GPU grunt, and possibly better Thunderbolt implementation - i.e, starting with a different machine that's actually designed for such stuff.

          As it is, I like the 3:2 screen of this Surface laptop, and I'll will read up on its performance with a stylus ( though the stylus is an optional extra that bumps the price yet higher)

    2. Julian 8

      Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

      Haven't tried MS Teams on that spec of laptop then...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

        I don't use teams on any size laptop. We use proper communications tools around these here parts.

        1. Sceptic Tank Bronze badge
          Mushroom

          Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

          Smoke signals? ==>

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

            Smoke signals? ==>

            If you tried running MSTeams on the Surface Go, you'd probably have plenty of smoke signals emanating from it.

    3. Triggerfish

      Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

      I have the previous version and forked out for 8gb RAM & Win10 Pro, TBH it give it a far bit of grunt. When my laptop was out of play it stood up nicely to a couple of weeks of work, inc some light CAD and Power BI (although it would be painful to do too much on it for them). But having far to many chrome tabs open, excel, teams, outlook zoom and so on, it surprised me at how well it handled being a daily work PC.

      It's too small to use long term, typing and so on while the keyboard is nice it's just a bit small, but output from USB C to a big monitor made it fine screen wise when working at home. Surface pen is nice for notetaking.

      The best thing though is its just really handy to carry about, I can fit it in a small satchel sized bag when out and about and use it, it's a shame the LTE version was so pricey.

    4. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

      4gb is barely enough ram for Web browsing these days. Anyway, sounds like you really ought to gave a powerful tablet and wireless keyboard instead.

    5. the hatter

      Re: 4GB is plently enough RAM

      4gb may be fine for you and a machine that's a stopgap between your shiny phone and your desktop(s) but I don't know if that's who they want to attract. For a lot of people, their laptop is their computer. The tiny SSDs and 4gb of ram on the entry level put it squarely in chromebook territory, rather than something a student can pour all (or realistically, at least most) of their needs into and have it be happy.

  5. Kane Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "lack of a Fingerprint Power Button, that allows one-touch sign-in"

    Yah, because that's the reason I'll be avoiding it like the covids.

  6. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    An iPad Pro may be better value for some users

    Though you have to factor in the keyboard which (depending on choices made) can be pretty eyewatering. It's also worth taking into account the longevity of the device. Come to think of it, the new Air is also looking good as a Surface alternative. The iPad should also perform quite a bit better, but the Apple silicon vs Intel debate is thorny to say the least.

    I did consider the Surface Go and (this year's) Surface Go 2 as a replacement for my ancient (none Pro) Surface 3*, but these smaller Microsoft devices aren't great value once a good enough spec is factored in.

    As for storage, 64GB is the new 32GB as far as Windows goes: Inexcusable!

    * AKA the Super Surface after it saved my bacon when a corporate Dell crapped out on a site trip to Africa - I still keep it up to date.

  7. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Cheap??

    I love how MS has the chutzpah to call a $549 glorified tablet "cheap". Especially when you think of the Samsung or Lenovo tablet you could get for that money, with plenty of money for a keyboard case to go with it.

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