Microsoft unveils the budget-friendly Surface Laptop Go and new Surface Pro X

Microsoft is refreshing its Surface lineup for the holiday 2020 season with two new devices and a series of new accessories. As previously rumored, the additions include the new Surface Laptop Go, as well as a refreshed top-end Surface Pro X model, in a new platinum color with an updated Microsoft SQ2 processor inside.

Both are now up for pre-order at the Microsoft Store and will be available for purchase starting October 13.

Surface Pro X

Leading the holiday lineup is a refreshed Surface Pro X. This new top-end configuration of the Microsoft 2-in-1 starts at $1,500 and comes with the next-generation ARM-based Microsoft SQ2 processor. Microsoft calls this the fastest processor in its class, which includes existing ARM-based PCs like the Samsung Galaxy Book S.

The new top-end Surface Pro X comes in a platinum finish to bring it on par with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 and the rest of the Surface Pro lineup. Microsoft is also introducing new Surface Pro X Signature Type Cover keyboard options. Keyboard colors now include Platinum, Ice Blue, and Poppy Red. All these keyboard covers come with built-in storage and wireless charging for the Surface Slim Pen.

The design of the Surface Pro X remains otherwise unchanged. It still features thin bezels around the sides of the screen, a pop-out and replaceable SSD, and a built-in kickstand. Internally, the device still features Gigabit LTE connectivity, which allows for a direct connection to the internet, even when Wi-Fi is available. This is a big selling point over the rest of the Surface Pro lineup.

Microsoft promises it will be introducing expanded support for running x64 (64-bit) apps through emulation later this year, after first testing it with Windows Insiders in November. The combination of this, and the SQ2 processor, should allow for up to 15 hours of battery life. It should also help address the criticism that arose when the Surface Pro X first launched, as it suffered from app emulation issues.

Surface Laptop Go

The $550 Surface Laptop Go, a new 12.4-inch laptop, is essentially a scaled-down version of the popular 13-inch and 15-inch versions of the Surface Laptop 3.

In comparison to the $1,000 starting price of its larger siblings, Microsoft calls it the most affordable Surface Laptop yet. Priced cheaper, the laptop also competes with Google’s $650 Pixelbook Go and Apple’s $1,000 MacBook Air.

Design-wise, the Surface Laptop Go mimics the larger models, but has slimmer bezels. It keeps the metal finish in three color options: Ice Blue, Sandstone, and Platinum. It has a full-size keyboard with 1.3 mm of key travel. Select models of the Surface Laptop Go will also have a fingerprint reader in the power button.

Much like the 13-inch Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Laptop Go is powered by Intel’s 10th generation Core i5 Ice Lake processor with up to 8GB RAM (or 16GB in commercial SKUs). Storage, meanwhile, can be configured up to 256GB. These are not the latest 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors from Intel, but Microsoft says that the combination of specs should mean that the laptop will last 13 hours on a single charge, and “feel snappy and fast even at the entry-level.”

As for connectivity and ports, the Surface Laptop Go includes a USB-A port, as well as a USB-C port. There’s also an audio jack and Surface connector. The webcam comes in at 720p, and there are Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Audio and dual studio microphones onboard.

Microsoft appears to be targeting students and businesses with this laptop. It comes locked to Windows 10 in S-mode, but users can upgrade to Windows 10 Home through the Microsoft Store for free.

New accessories

In addition to the Surface Laptop Go and Surface Pro X, Microsoft will be launching new accessories. Among them is the Microsoft Designer Compact Keyboard. This keyboard is slim and narrow and is optimized for productivity, with Bluetooth seamless switching between three devices. It sports two-year battery life, comes in two colors, and is priced at $70.

Alongside it will be the Microsoft Number Pad, a number pad to be used with keyboards or laptops that ship without one. It is priced at $25.

Then there’s the $70 Microsoft 4K Wireless Display Adapter, which lets you project Windows PCs to a big screen. Finally, there’s the Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic Mouse, with two customizable buttons for $50, and the Microsoft Modern Mobile Mouse, which now comes in Sandstone to match the Surface Laptop Go.

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