Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 review: A delicious treat reheated (again)

The Surface Laptop Go is back for a third generation, and despite its lack of innovation, it’s still the best among 12-inch laptops. I’ve reviewed Surface products before, but never the Laptop Go series. The Surface Laptop Go 3 was the first product to arrive in my hands, but I instantly recognized it as a Surface product. This goes well beyond the Microsoft logo on the lid. Surface products share the same DNA, and the Laptop Go 3 is no exception, even though it’s considered a budget device. It’s a compact clamshell laptop with a high-end design, flexible performance, and a great keyboard for students and young professionals who want a laptop that looks a lot more expensive than it lists for. When we reviewed the Surface Laptop Go 2 , it was clear that Microsoft had done the bare minimum to update the original device. New Sage colors have been added, and it’s received a Security Core designation, which improves security, but other than that, it’s mostly a performance improvement. The Laptop Go 3 has even fewer changes. It comes in the same four colors, has the same size and weight, and the display remains the same. However, since the 4GB RAM model has been phased out, it does have faster RAM, faster CPU, better battery life, and fewer configuration options.

The Surface Laptop Go 3 is aimed at students and young professionals who want a nice device that measures around 12 inches, but lacks changes compared to the previous generation and there are more laptops with better specs in this price range. Might make it a hard sell .Design and featuresNo substantive changes despite rivals boosting budget lineupsSurface Laptop Go 3 cover
The original Surface Laptop Go launched in 2020,  Microsoft Laptop Battery and apart from the color options, the design hasn’t changed much over the years. The Laptop Go 3 has the same physical dimensions as the Laptop Go 2, but for those of you with a pedantic streak, the newer model is 0.01 pounds heavier. At 2.49 pounds (1.13 kilograms), it’s firmly in the realm of mobile computing. Microsoft uses aluminum for the lid and keyboard bezel (the parts you’ll most commonly see), and a mixture of plastic resin and fiberglass for the base.

I reviewed the Ice Blue finish, which is one of the more subdued colors along with Platinum; Sage and Sandstone are also suitable for those who want to stand out. The Laptop Go 3’s combination of aluminum and polycarbonate creates a pleasing two-tone color combination , and features a soft-touch base that hides fingerprints and smudges. Microsoft has covered the screws on the bottom panel with rubber feet, which must be removed to access the laptop’s internals, including the upgradeable M.2 2230 SSD.

The webcam located above the display is also unchanged. It’s still 720p, and the image quality, balance, and exposure are pretty good. This camera originally cost $599 and looked great, but at over $800 new it feels even more out of place. Lenovo Yoga 6 is another great line of budget laptops that even comes with a 1080p webcam on models starting at around $550. The Surface Laptop Go 3’s display is no different from the Laptop Go 2, which in turn is no different from the original Laptop Go It sports a 12.4-inch display with a resolution of 1536×1024, an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a pixels per inch (ppi) density of 148. That means it still has the lowest pixel density since 2012’s Surface RT, beating even the Surface Go 3 we reviewed, which had a 10.5-inch display with a ppi of 220. I tested the Surface Laptop Go 3’s color reproduction using a SpyderX Pro colorimeter and obtained 99% sRGB, 74% AdobeRGB, and 74% DCI-P3 color reproduction It’s no surprise, we saw the same results with the Laptop Go 2 Editor-in-Chief Rich Woods noted in his Surface Laptop Go 2 review that “its display is the worst in the current Surface lineup,” which is true for the Laptop Go 3 The same is true for. I’d rather lose the touch functionality – it’s something I wouldn’t use very often, especially on a laptop that only opens to about 135 degrees, and the resolution or refresh rate could be increased to make it’s easier on the eyes.
Performance and

 Surface Laptop Go  3 batterySmall improvement, but not enough to warrant an upgrade Microsoft likes to use previous-generation processors in its latest devices, and the Laptop Go 3, which comes with a 12th-generation Intel Core i5-1235U chip, is no exception. Microsoft says the chip is adequate for the use cases it plans to cover, including Clipchamp, Microsoft Designer and Office suite productivity.
This laptop does always feel responsive (whether on AC power or not), no doubt helped by the new default 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and changes across processor generations. The chip is still an upgrade compared to the 11th-gen CPU in the Laptop Go 2, and Microsoft assures me that the thermal design has been tweaked to better handle the new processors.
I first ran a full-system stress test for about 15 minutes to see how well the compact system handled power and heat. The CPU climbed to 84 degrees Celsius, then dropped to 63 degrees Celsius and stayed there for the remainder of the test. At its peak, CPU power consumption was 25W, then back to 12W, with a peak clock speed of 2.99GHz and a steady 1.29GHz. The Surface Go Laptop 3 is a gorgeous device. Despite its smaller size, this laptop offers a top-notch typing experience. It’s easy to carry and stands out no matter when you put it down, and it’s flexible enough to handle productivity work with ease while charging to last most workdays.

However, the budget angle was ruined when Microsoft chose to drop the 4GB/128GB configuration (which no one should buy in 2023 anyway). Now you start at $800 and climb to $1,000 if you want 16GB of RAM, which puts the Laptop Go 3 , like many third-party laptop manufacturers, into deeper trouble. Although the price is now often lower at third-party retailers about five months after its launch, it still struggles compared to other budget laptops. If you’re not interested in the 12.4 -inch size, you can easily find 13- and 14-inch laptops with better displays, higher performance, longer battery life, and competing features for about the same price. You might not notice the details that come with the Surface, but for many people, that won’t matter when faced with the other perks.

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