Microsoft Floor Laptop computer Go evaluation: Not So Price range

When the Floor vary started life as a single 2-in-1 again in 2012, few may have imagined simply how rapidly Microsoft’s hardware would broaden. There are actually a staggering 9 product strains, with 4 model new gadgets launching within the final three years alone.

The most recent of those is the Floor Laptop computer Go, a conventional clamshell machine pitched as an reasonably priced various to the flagship Floor Laptop computer three. Microsoft is making an attempt to repeat the success it’s loved with the Floor Go line, which started life in 2018 as a less expensive Floor Professional and is now in its second technology.

With demand for laptops extraordinarily excessive in 2020, it might seem like a good time to launch a finances machine. However is the cash you save over the common Floor Laptop computer sufficient to justify the inevitable trade-offs? Learn on to seek out out.


Let’s begin with arguably crucial a part of any laptop computer – the show. The Laptop computer Go comes packing a 12.4in LCD panel at a decision of 1536×1024. It’s a bit smaller than you’ll be used to on a laptop computer, and falls simply in need of Full HD, however when you begin utilizing the machine these potential drawbacks quickly fade into the background.

Colors are wealthy and vibrant, providing a superb stage of element. It additionally reached a most brightness of 310 nits in testing, making working outdoors an actual chance. You may wrestle in direct daylight, although.

Any lack of decision over the 2256×1054 Floor Laptop computer three is barely noticeable right here, though the smaller show can really feel a bit restrictive at occasions. My workflow usually entails having a number of home windows open without delay, I discovered myself solely in a position to comfortably one by one. I’d due to this fact really feel far more snug utilizing it as a private machine as an alternative of 1 I relied on to get work performed, however that’s a matter of private choice.

The three:2 side ratio helps in that regard, giving a boxier look than conventional 16:9 shows and permitting extra content material to be displayed vertically. It’s additionally price drawing consideration to the impressively slim bezels, which give the machine a extra trendy feel and look than even the Floor Laptop computer three.

The place you do lose out over the flagship machine is the selection of display sizes, so that you’ll must be content material with a 12.4in show until you need to pay extra. Contact help remains to be right here, however with out being a convertible I discovered its usefulness to be comparatively restricted.

Design and construct

As I alluded to above, the Laptop computer Go has a premium design which belies its relative affordability. The aluminium and polycarbonate mix is nothing out of the strange for contemporary laptops, nevertheless it appears extraordinarily glossy and trendy. The selection of supplies additionally permits the machine to stay impressively gentle – at simply 1.1kg it’s considerably much less weighty than each Floor Laptop computer three fashions.

Apart from the show, the one most spectacular factor about this laptop computer is its keyboard. Microsoft has managed to suit a full-size keyboard into a tool that’s below 11 inches vast, and the Laptop computer Go advantages vastly consequently.

Keys are tactile and responsive, providing a formidable quantity of journey contemplating the slimline physique. It’s not fairly nearly as good because the Floor E-book three, however you must think about that this machine prices lower than half the value in lots of instances.

Nonetheless, the large factor you lose out on when in comparison with equally priced rivals is backlit keys. That was little greater than a minor inconvenience for me however is perhaps a difficulty for those who commonly work in low gentle. The one key that does gentle up is the ability button, which doubles as a fingerprint scanner for password-free login. That’s a characteristic you gained’t discover on the E-book three.

The opposite biometric possibility is face unlock by way of the zero.9Mp webcam, which can also be able to outputting 720p video for the all-important video calls. I discovered it to be barely clearer than your typical webcam, however actually nothing to put in writing dwelling about.

This laptop computer has clearly been designed with the earn a living from home crew in thoughts, although. Twin far-field studio mics enable for clear, crisp calling, whereas Dolby Audio audio system guarantee audio output is simply as spectacular. The latter is barely missing in bass, however that’s to be anticipated on this form of type issue.

With a purpose to make room for that keyboard, the touchpad is comparatively small and a bit fiddly. I used to be in a position to transfer by Home windows simply advantageous, however all the pieces appeared to take a bit longer than common. There’s additionally little or no room to relaxation your palms whereas typing, which might make all the pieces really feel a bit cramped. A kind of issues will be solved by switching to the Floor Cell Mouse, which connects seamlessly and works extraordinarily effectively for those who’re on a flat floor.

The vary of ports is consistent with most different Floor PCs. There’s one USB-C, one USB-A, a three.5mm headphone jack and Floor Join for charging. Microsoft continues to stick with its proprietary charging answer, which stays fiddly and has the tendency to be dislodged comparatively simply. Ought to the corporate ever swap to USB-C, we’d anticipate its flagship hardware to be among the many first to undertake it.

The Floor Laptop computer Go is marketed as a extra enjoyable, accessible various to the Laptop computer three, and that’s mirrored within the color choices accessible. The Platinum mannequin I examined is joined by Ice Blue and Sandstone variants.

and efficiency

Earlier than moving into its efficiency, it’s price detailing the variation in specs and pricing between Floor Laptop computer Go fashions.

All include 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processors and UHD graphics, however the entry-level £549 mannequin solely pairs that with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. With system information usually taking on round 20GB, that offers you little or no free area to play with. Stepping as much as £699 will get you 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, whereas doubling the storage on the mannequin I examined prices £899.

Due to this fact, I can solely touch upon how effectively the top-spec Floor Laptop computer Go performs, and it’s extremely unlikely to be the identical throughout all configurations. My every day workflow entails numerous Chrome tabs, Slack and occasional picture enhancing, and the Laptop computer Go was in a position to deal with all that with ease. There have been occasional hesitations when rapidly switching between apps, however nothing that considerably affected my productiveness.

The strong efficiency doesn’t fairly stretch to graphic-intensive duties like gaming or video enhancing, however that’s most likely not a precedence for those who’re contemplating this laptop computer.

As you possibly can see from the under benchmarks, the Laptop computer Go is roughly in line with many equally priced gadgets. It appears to be an enormous step up from the Floor Go 2 on paper, nevertheless it’s price remembering that I used to be solely in a position to check the Intel Pentium Gold model of that machine.

Nonetheless, one factor I discovered notably irritating was the extraordinarily loud fan noise. This kicks in even when performing essentially the most primary duties and seems like a aircraft is taking off when beginning a giant obtain. With many laptops now sporting fanless designs, certainly Microsoft may have launched a extra environment friendly cooling system. The machine solely ever will get barely heat to the contact, however at what price?

There’s no want to speak intimately in regards to the professionals and cons of Home windows 10 in a separate part, nevertheless it’s price noting the Laptop computer three ships operating the working system in S mode. This implies you possibly can’t obtain software program outdoors of the Microsoft Retailer, however you possibly can simply swap to Home windows 10 Residence in Settings. Except you’re planning on giving the machine to college students or younger kids, it’s one thing I’d extremely suggest doing immediately.

Battery life

Battery life is one space the place the Laptop computer Go struggles barely. Microsoft doesn’t quote a selected capability however claims the machine can present ‘all-day battery life’ with as much as 13 hours of typical utilization.

With the brightness set to 120 nits (63%), I recorded 10 hours and 47 minutes of 720p video playback. That’s round common among the many laptops I examined, though it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be staying on one process for the entire day.

In my typical workday, which entails numerous web shopping, e mail, phrase paperwork and Slack, I struggled to make by a full 7 hours while not having a prime up. Nonetheless, I had the machine set to ‘better performance’, so that you may have the ability to eke out a bit additional for those who prioritise battery life.

Both method, if you wish to use the Floor Laptop computer Go as your on a regular basis machine, be sure you don’t stray too removed from a supply of energy. Talking of energy, utilizing the included 39W adapter I used to be in a position to get 37% of battery in 30 minutes. Meaning you are taking a look at round 2 hours 40 minutes for a full cost. 

Worth and worth for cash

As I detailed within the and Efficiency part, there’s so much to contemplate when shopping for the Floor Laptop computer Go. Unusually, you get i5 processors and UHD graphics on all configurations, with the variation coming in RAM and storage.

The £549/US$549 determine that’s marketed solely will get you 4GB RAM and 64GB of slower eMMC storage, so that you’ll have to pay £699/US$699 to double the RAM and get a 128GB SSD as an alternative. The high-end 8GB/256GB mannequin I examined will set you again £899/US$899.

All configurations can be found from the Microsoft Retailer, though the top-spec is at the moment discounted to £764 at Amazon.

It’s price noting that the most affordable Floor Laptop computer three configuration is normally simply £100 extra at £999. That and a number of other different entries in our greatest laptop computer chart present fierce competitors which make the Laptop computer Go a troublesome promote.

Except you’re pleased with the paltry RAM and storage choices on the entry-level mannequin, you’ll most likely discover higher worth for cash elsewhere.


Contemplating the success of the Floor Go line, it was maybe inevitable that Microsoft would launch a less expensive clamshell machine in some unspecified time in the future. The Floor Laptop computer Go is strictly that, though it doesn’t fairly hit the mark.

The large issue is worth, with the poor entry-level specs which means you’ll have to pay no less than £699 for a mannequin that’s price shopping for. Any greater than 128GB of storage will set you again £899, placing it effectively out of finances laptop computer territory. What’s extra, the wealth of nice choices at this worth level means the Laptop computer Go loses its huge promoting level of affordability.

Battery life can also be a priority, with the machine struggling to make it by a full working day throughout testing.

Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless loads to love in regards to the Floor Laptop computer Go. Efficiency on the top-spec mannequin I examined is strong, whereas together with a terrific keyboard and show in such a slimline physique is basically spectacular. The Dolby Audio audio system and twin studio mics additionally make for a terrific audio expertise.

There are many laptop computer that additionally excel in these areas although, lots of that are extra reasonably priced. There’s positively a marketplace for a tool just like the Floor Laptop computer Go, however the power of the competitors makes this one arduous to suggest.

Microsoft Floor Laptop computer Go: Specs

12.4in 1536×1024 PixelSense show, three:2 side ratio
Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor
Intel UHD Graphics
four/8GB RAM
64/128/256GB storage (eMMC/SSD)
Home windows 10 in S mode (free improve to Home windows 10 Residence)
zero.9Mp front-facing digicam with face unlock
Fingerprint scanner
1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, three.5mm headphone jack, Floor Connnect
Wi-Fi 6
As much as 13 hours battery life (quoted)

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