Friday, October 2nd 2020

Microsoft Introduces Surface Laptop Go, New Updates to Surface Pro X and New Accessories

The idea of working and learning from home, which at one point felt temporary, has for many of us started to feel more permanent. Even as some people in cities around the world return to work and schools in person, many others have found themselves reorganizing homes to create makeshift offices and classrooms. Whether your commute is across the house or across town, the PC continues to play an integral role in keeping all of us connected to our work, school, and lives - and each person in the household needs one.

As we continue to expand our Surface family of devices with the new Surface Laptop Go and updates to Surface Pro X, our goal is to design a Surface for every person, work style and location. To give every person in your household or organization a laptop that's not just something you need to use, but something you want to use. A virtual office you want to be in, a virtual classroom that engages you to learn, a place you can play your favorite game or watch a movie - with a bright vibrant screen, a fluid and comfortable keyboard, high quality cameras and mics, and the versatility of touch screens.
With Surface Laptop Go we are bringing the features most loved by our Surface Laptop customers to a smaller, more affordable design. For people who need to stay connected and want the versatility of a 2:1 with a gorgeous, edge-to-edge screen, we're also bringing new updates to Surface Pro X including new app experiences, enhanced performance and a new Platinum finish. And for anyone looking to refresh their home office or home classroom setup we're offering several new Surface and Microsoft accessories.

Meet Surface Laptop Go
Starting at $549.99, Surface Laptop Go delivers the perfect balance of style, performance and battery life in the lightest, most affordable Surface laptop yet. It has a beautiful 12.4-inch PixelSense touchscreen display, large precision trackpad and a full-size keyboard with 1.3 mm key travel for an accurate and comfortable typing experience. The sleek, streamlined design comes in three durable and lightweight metal finishes: Ice Blue, Sandstone and Platinum. For a quick and secure sign-in, select models of Surface Laptop Go have a Fingerprint Power Button with One Touch sign-in through Windows Hello. One Touch sign-in also provides fast, secured access to OneDrive Personal Vault files and more so you can jump in quickly and be productive. Surface Laptop Go is powered by Intel's 10th Gen i5 Quad-Core processor with up to 16 GB RAM and 256 GB storage and every configuration is optimized for performance and battery life. All configurations of Surface Laptop Go feel snappy and fast, even at the entry level, taking full advantage of cloud connected experiences like Microsoft 365 and online storage. With up to 13 hours of battery life plus Fast Charging, it will keep up with you all day.
Whether you're learning or working, chances are you're using your camera, speakers and mics more now than ever before. Surface Laptop Go has a built-in 720p HD camera and Studio Mics so your colleagues and classmates can see and hear you clearly. Omnisonic Speakers and Dolby Audio surround you with amazing sound - whether on a video call, watching a movie, listening to music and more. To help you connect, there are both USB A and USB C ports, an audio jack and the Surface connector.

For families, students and businesses looking for a new device to add to their households or organizations, Surface Laptop Go offers a premium Surface look and feel at an amazing value.

Meet Surface Pro X
We introduced Surface Pro X last October to push the boundaries for what an always connected, ultra-light and incredibly thin 2:1 device could be. It's built for people who are ready for what's next - who need to be connected, productive and creative at any time. We partnered closely with Qualcomm to design custom silicon to create a powerful PC that benefits from generations of innovations in mobile architectures. Today, Surface Pro X is getting even better, with a new configuration that includes our next-generation custom processor and a new Platinum finish, along with new app experiences, resulting in longer battery life and increased performance across all Surface Pro X devices.
For our customers who need more power, we've refreshed our top end SKUs by adding the new Microsoft SQ 2 processor - the fastest processor in its class[2] - and a new Platinum finish. The new configurations start at $1499.99. We're also introducing three new colors for the Signature Keyboard: Platinum, Ice Blue and Poppy Red, all with the same built-in storage and wireless charging for the Surface Slim Pen.

Surface Pro X brings you the best of today's web-first experiences like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Edge, Netflix, Spotify and more, while supporting thousands of the existing Windows apps you know and love today like Google Chrome, Firefox and Whatsapp. We are also excited about the momentum we are seeing from key app partners embracing Windows 10 on ARM, taking advantage of the power and performance benefits of Microsoft SQ 1 and SQ 2 processors to bring new experiences to all Surface Pro X customers. We've made Microsoft Edge faster and announced a new version of Microsoft Teams optimized for Windows on ARM. We will also expand support for running x64 apps with x64 emulation, starting to roll out later this year. For developers, Visual Studio code has been updated to run natively. For organizations, we're committed to help you ensure your apps work with Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 Apps on ARM64 devices with App Assure with Fast Track. All of this adds up to overall faster performance and longer battery life. Surface Pro X now gets up to 15 hours of battery life across both configurations.

Surface Pro X is the thinnest and most connected 2:1 we've ever shipped and we're excited to deliver these new experiences at a time when connectivity has never been more top of mind. Access to fast, reliable bandwidth to support remote learning and working for multiple people in a household has become challenging for many. With ultra-fast Gigabit LTE connectivity, Surface Pro X users always have a direct connection on demand - even if their kids are on Xbox or their roommate is on a video call.

New Surface and Microsoft accessories
If your at-home setup is in need of a refresh this holiday, Microsoft has a few new accessories to outfit your new work or school spaces.
  • Microsoft Designer Compact Keyboard is a slim, narrow and elegant keyboard optimized for modern productivity with Bluetooth seamlessly switching between three devices, 2-year battery life and two colors options, and is priced at $69.99.
  • Microsoft Number Pad is a slim, modern and elegant number pad with Bluetooth wireless that enables you to get the most out of your Surface or modern PC, priced at $29.99.
  • Microsoft 4K Wireless Display Adapter offers the easiest way to project your Windows PC on the big screen, supporting 4K resolution and is priced at $69.99.
  • Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic Mouse brings comfortable ergonomic design to premium wireless performance with a soft thumb rest, a light and durable design, and two customizable buttons. Available in several colors and priced at $49.99.
  • Microsoft Modern Mobile Mouse, now available in Sandstone, is lightweight and portable to perfectly complement Surface Laptop Go.
The new Surface Laptop Go and new Surface Pro X configurations are available for pre-order today in select markets at the Microsoft Store on microsoft.com and other major retailers and will be available for purchase starting Oct. 13. We continue to expand our lineup of Surface devices and accessories to make it easier to find the Surface that's right for you. To better address the global demand we are seeing for Surface, we are excited to share that we are bringing Surface to consumers in 11 new European markets: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.
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18 Comments on Microsoft Introduces Surface Laptop Go, New Updates to Surface Pro X and New Accessories

#1
Chaitanya
$900 for laptop that comes with i5, 8GB ram and 256GB(probably soldered) SSD Microsoft must be out of their minds. For $550 Asus vivobook with Ryzen 5 4500u, 8GB Ram and 512gb ssd can be had.
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#2
Chrispy_
Chaitanya
$900 for laptop that comes with i5, 8GB ram and 256GB(probably soldered) SSD Microsoft must be out of their minds. For $550 Asus vivobook with Ryzen 5 4500u, 8GB Ram and 512gb ssd can be had.
OOoof.

I was interested if the $549 was i5/8GB/256 given that it's going to be an alloy unibody design with a great screen and trackpad. Let me guess, $549 is an i3/4GB/128 configuration? Those are 2016 specs! :\

$900 is well into premium Intel options with far better specs from all of the big OEMs and those models are only selling because Renoir availability still isn't there.
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#3
Chaitanya
Chrispy_
OOoof.

I was interested if the $549 was i5/8GB/256 given that it's going to be an alloy unibody design with a great screen and trackpad. Let me guess, $549 is an i3/4GB/128 configuration? Those are 2016 specs! :\

$900 is well into premium Intel options with far better specs from all of the big OEMs and those models are only selling because Renoir availability still isn't there.
Much worse for $549 i5, 4GB ram and 64GB eMMC SSD. Seems like display and chassis are same throughout the range.
Renoir availability seems to be improving slowly but far from what it should be. Yes for $900 there are better options available with better servicability and after sales service from competitors.
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#4
Darmok N Jalad
Chaitanya
$900 for laptop that comes with i5, 8GB ram and 256GB(probably soldered) SSD Microsoft must be out of their minds. For $550 Asus vivobook with Ryzen 5 4500u, 8GB Ram and 512gb ssd can be had.
The bigger distinguisher is likely the quality of the display--that is, wider gamut and calibrated for accuracy. The site doesn't mention this, but I believe that is standard fare on all Surfaces. There are many cheaper laptops where the hardware specs look great, but the compromise is the display. This edition puts it at parity with the MacBook Air, but costing $100-200 less. No 512GB storage options though.
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#5
Grigor
MS needs to update their surface design, maybe tigerlake, TB4 and better pen, slim bezel. stop messing with the stupid ARM, no one want a arm windows machine lmfao

pro x is a right direction in some way, just give me a tigerlake SoC instead, intel have show that refenence tigerlake boards are even more compact. i am not paying 1.2K a piebook.
Posted on Reply
#6
Chaitanya
Darmok N Jalad
The bigger distinguisher is likely the quality of the display--that is, wider gamut and calibrated for accuracy. The site doesn't mention this, but I believe that is standard fare on all Surfaces. There are many cheaper laptops where the hardware specs look great, but the compromise is the display. This edition puts it at parity with the MacBook Air, but costing $100-200 less. No 512GB storage options though.
For that entry level model what good is the display given the mere storage is mere 64GB eMMC and only 4GB of RAM.
Posted on Reply
#7
Darmok N Jalad
Chaitanya
For that entry level model what good is the display given the mere storage is mere 64GB eMMC and only 4GB of RAM.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, the base config is terrible with 64GB emmc—that’s just not enough on a Windows machine.. iPads can get away with that and they use NMVe and are cheaper still. I’d rather MS went with an i3 and upped to 8GB/128SSD for a similar price if they could. But my comment above was about the $899 config, not the $549 model. The top model gets closer to the 2020 Air. It might even perform better if MS has a beefier cooler in the Go.
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#8
Chaitanya
Darmok N Jalad
Oh, don’t get me wrong, the base config is terrible with 64GB emmc—that’s just not enough on a Windows machine.. iPads can get away with that and they use NMVe and are cheaper still. I’d rather MS went with an i3 and upped to 8GB/128SSD for a similar price if they could. But my comment above was about the $899 config, not the $549 model. The top model gets closer to the 2020 Air. It might even perform better if MS has a beefier cooler in the Go.
I believe iPads even entry level models have done away with eMMC storage and might have moved to UFS storage. Certainly having i3 class CPU with faster storage system certainly would have been better compromise for User experience. For top model once again in Windows segment there are competitors offering similar or better experience to this notebook from MS. In terms of cooling if MS has attached a fan directing airflow over CPU heatsink would be a big win over what Apple calls a "cooling" solution in their Air family.
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#9
Chrispy_
Wide-gamut, calibrated displays are good to have, but not worth paying a large premium for. 1000:1 IPS at 300 nits is plenty for the target market of budget laptops, and budget is the key audience for Microsoft's "Go" models.

Let's face it, the clamshell laptop design isn't much use to artists when tablet/pen surfaces are so much better suited to them so calibration isn't even that important, and it's not as if Apple or Samsung cameras generate perfectly accurate colours either. These are consumer devices aimed at consumers who will largely be typing and consuming media on them. As long as they aren't obviously bad displays, they'll be fine.
Posted on Reply
#10
Darmok N Jalad
Chrispy_
Wide-gamut, calibrated displays are good to have, but not worth paying a large premium for. 1000:1 IPS at 300 nits is plenty for the target market of budget laptops, and budget is the key audience for Microsoft's "Go" models.

Let's face it, the clamshell laptop design isn't much use to artists when tablet/pen surfaces are so much better suited to them so calibration isn't even that important, and it's not as if Apple or Samsung cameras generate perfectly accurate colours either. These are consumer devices aimed at consumers who will largely be typing and consuming media on them. As long as they aren't obviously bad displays, they'll be fine.
It depends on your preference. The most demanding thing I do on any machine is post processing. If my display isn’t much good or isn’t calibrated, then the other specs don’t mean much. There are lots of gaming-class laptops that sacrifice on the screen, either by being a cost saver or prioritizes refresh rates over gamut. That’s one thing that often gets overlooked with Apple products, they usually have very good displays in this regard, and finding the equivalent in a cheaper Windows PC is nearly impossible. Surface is the closest I’ve found that isn’t really expensive. MBA should have had a better cooling design, but it handles bursty work okay. I wouldn’t want to encode videos on it.
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#11
phanbuey
They should be fined for pollution, for putting out a saughtered 4GB laptop that's going to go straight to a landfill.
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#12
lemonadesoda
Wow, with those specs and pricing... might as well buy an Apple!
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#13
HugsNotDrugs
I appreciate keeping the BOM low but 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage is a hard compromise for a late 2020 laptop, regardless of MSRP.

This might be Microsoft strengthening margins on products popular with institutional purchasers. Really not sure.
Posted on Reply
#14
Chrispy_
Darmok N Jalad
It depends on your preference. The most demanding thing I do on any machine is post processing. If my display isn’t much good or isn’t calibrated, then the other specs don’t mean much. There are lots of gaming-class laptops that sacrifice on the screen, either by being a cost saver or prioritizes refresh rates over gamut. That’s one thing that often gets overlooked with Apple products, they usually have very good displays in this regard, and finding the equivalent in a cheaper Windows PC is nearly impossible. Surface is the closest I’ve found that isn’t really expensive. MBA should have had a better cooling design, but it handles bursty work okay. I wouldn’t want to encode videos on it.
That's fine; You're doing a pro or prosumer task that demands a calibrated display. I'd wager 95% of the audience don't even recognise the difference between a calibrated and non-calibrated display - chances are good they'll prefer an inaccurate, overly-saturated version over the calibrated one. I sit on the same floor as a bunch of graphic designers and video editors using €1800 Eizo Coloredge displays with DeltaE of <1 and 100% AdobeRGB at 200nits. They are dull, boring displays to look at, but critical for accurate mastering.

The Go is a consumer device for media consumption. It needs to have good brightness and black levels and as long as the gamut coverage and accuracy aren't substandard the target audience won't even notice. Allocating budget at this price point towards expensive gamut coverage and expensive calibration completely obliterates the purpose of the go - which is to be an accessible, affordable device.

You said it yourself, the best alternative to Apple is the Surface Pro. The calibrated displays and focus on content creation is right there in the name, and the surface Pro starts at similar price points to Apple's low-end hardware so it's not even unfair to compare the two.

I think the bigger problem with the Go here may be that you are right - the ridiculous cost ($549) for a 4GB netbook with 64GB eMMC storage means that the money is in the display. I'm guessing the lack of storage and RAM means that even for light prosumer editing it's wholly inadequate for that.
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#15
Xajel
Chaitanya
Renoir availability seems to be improving slowly but far from what it should be. Yes for $900 there are better options available with better servicability and after sales service from competitors.
AMD surprised every one with Renoir, and every one surprised AMD with the demand, they put more orders for the chips, which requires few months to bring the chips from TSMC, at least 3~4 months if the 7nm allocation wasn't busy (which is very very busy, AMD must have did some order balancing), so it's actually this time we should expect more laptops.

If Renoir is this good, I wonder how will next one (with Zen3) will be.
Posted on Reply
#16
Chrispy_
Xajel
AMD surprised every one with Renoir, and every one surprised AMD with the demand, they put more orders for the chips, which requires few months to bring the chips from TSMC, at least 3~4 months if the 7nm allocation wasn't busy (which is very very busy, AMD must have did some order balancing), so it's actually this time we should expect more laptops.

If Renoir is this good, I wonder how will next one (with Zen3) will be.
Agreed, though I'm probably defecting to Tiger Lake at this point. I've been on the official "notify me" list for a Lenovo Yoga 7 Slim (4800U, 16GB LPDDR4X) Since January and Lenovo just cancelled that line altogether for Europe after nine months of "coming soon".

Renoir with Vega8 and LPDDR4X in a slim 15W form factor is a myth at this point, barely in the hands of even tech journalists. Tiger Lake's IGP pisses on Vega8 anyway so I'm done waiting for AMD. At least Intel (even with its dirty tactics) are moving 15W GPU performance forwards. AMD have stagnated on Vega for far too long at this point and deserve to lose their market position if Intel can deliver the products and outperform Vega.

I had cash waiting for AMD for 9 months, and I probably would have updated around 50 old laptops at work with the Yoga Slim 7. All they had to do was actually deliver on their promises. Vega 7 and DDR4-3200 is pretty much the best you can reasonably find at the moment and that's not a compelling upgrade for ultraportables that need GPU performance - our MX150 and Vega10 2700U/3700U laptops are about the same for lightweight demos and 3D modelling on the go. (Rhino, Enscape, Lumion, 3DS) so there's literally no point in buying Renoir over 3-year-old hardware unless it's Vega8 and LPDDR4X.
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#17
Darmok N Jalad
Chrispy_
That's fine; You're doing a pro or prosumer task that demands a calibrated display. I'd wager 95% of the audience don't even recognise the difference between a calibrated and non-calibrated display - chances are good they'll prefer an inaccurate, overly-saturated version over the calibrated one. I sit on the same floor as a bunch of graphic designers and video editors using €1800 Eizo Coloredge displays with DeltaE of <1 and 100% AdobeRGB at 200nits. They are dull, boring displays to look at, but critical for accurate mastering.

The Go is a consumer device for media consumption. It needs to have good brightness and black levels and as long as the gamut coverage and accuracy aren't substandard the target audience won't even notice. Allocating budget at this price point towards expensive gamut coverage and expensive calibration completely obliterates the purpose of the go - which is to be an accessible, affordable device.

You said it yourself, the best alternative to Apple is the Surface Pro. The calibrated displays and focus on content creation is right there in the name, and the surface Pro starts at similar price points to Apple's low-end hardware so it's not even unfair to compare the two.

I think the bigger problem with the Go here may be that you are right - the ridiculous cost ($549) for a 4GB netbook with 64GB eMMC storage means that the money is in the display. I'm guessing the lack of storage and RAM means that even for light prosumer editing it's wholly inadequate for that.
I believe they did the same thing before with the Surface 3--the display was great, but the Atom CPU, eMMC, and minimal RAM made it a terrible experience. Because Surface 3 ran regular Windows 10, that meant it loaded standard, non-mobile versions of webpages. I had a Surface 3s, and browsing was a terrible experience at that time, as Flash was still prevalent on most websites. Adblock helped, but ultimately the device felt underpowered--the beauty of it didn't matter. iPads at the time could have less RAM and a weaker CPU because they loaded mobile versions of websites, which shut down Flash altogether.

Surface Go 1 had similar spec issues, and so does this device. The fully-loaded device would be a decent experience, but the base config is a head scratcher. This time, they went overboard on the CPU, which likely costs a decent percentage of the BOM, but there's not as much need for a 4C/8T CPU on the base model when 2C/4T would suffice. That money could have been spent on at least proper storage!
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#18
Chrispy_
Darmok N Jalad
there's not as much need for a 4C/8T CPU on the base model when 2C/4T would suffice. That money could have been spent on at least proper storage!
Indeed. eMMC in anything over $150 is criminal.
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