Microsoft has once again ventured into the realm of affordable, lightweight laptops with the Surface Go 3. This latest iteration appears to address many of the issues that plagued its predecessors. While the device maintains its familiar design and a slightly sub-1080p touchscreen, it has received a significant boost under the hood, featuring a 12th-generation Intel CPU. In this hands-on review, we’ll delve into the key improvements and features of the Surface Laptop Go 3 and explore whether Microsoft has managed to create an enticing budget-friendly laptop.
Design and Display
At first glance, the Surface Laptop Go 3 closely resembles its predecessors. It sports a 12.4-inch touchscreen and retains the signature Surface design aesthetics. While the display falls slightly short of full 1080p resolution, the overall package feels more compelling. The most notable enhancement is the inclusion of a 12th-generation Intel CPU, which promises significantly improved performance compared to previous iterations. This upgrade is especially welcome, considering the underwhelming performance of the original Surface Go.
Performance and User Experience
During the hands-on experience, the Surface Laptop Go 3 showcased its capabilities. Browsing the web, navigating Windows, and performing various tasks felt smooth and responsive. While it may not match the high refresh rate screens of devices like the Surface Pro or Surface Laptop Studio, it’s important to note that the Surface Laptop Go 3 comes at a lower price point, starting at $799.
The keyboard and touchpad, which have received praise in earlier models, remain consistent. The keyboard retains its comfortable typing experience, a standout feature in the budget laptop category, and the touchpad offers smooth and responsive input.
One surprising aspect of the Surface Laptop Go 3’s performance was its ability to handle game streaming via the Xbox app. Even in a crowded event space with high wireless interference, the laptop provided responsive frame rates and performance while playing a demanding game like Need for Speed. This improved performance can be attributed to the 12th-generation Intel chip and the enhancements it brings to graphics capabilities.
Graphics and Gaming
While the Surface Laptop Go 3 isn’t designed for hardcore gaming, the inclusion of 12th gen Intel chips with improved Intel Xe Graphics is a noteworthy upgrade. It may not handle graphically demanding titles locally, but it’s impressive to witness the potential of Xbox Cloud streaming on a lower-priced device. This feature could be a game-changer for users looking to enjoy gaming on a budget.
Surface Go 3 Target Audience
The Surface Laptop Go 3 seems to cater to a specific audience. It’s an ideal choice for high school students or individuals who don’t require high-performance computing. In an era where ultra-portables can easily cost over a thousand dollars, the sub-$1000 starting price of the Surface Laptop Go 3 makes it an attractive option for those seeking decent performance without breaking the bank.
Connectivity and Ports
One area where the Surface Laptop Go 3 could have improved is connectivity. With only one USB Type-A port, one USB-C port, and a Surface Laptop Connector for charging, it lacks the versatility of more robust laptops. However, it’s evident that Microsoft’s aim with this device was to minimize costs, and sacrifices in connectivity were made to achieve this goal.
In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 represents a significant step forward in the realm of affordable laptops. Microsoft has addressed many of the shortcomings of its predecessors by introducing a 12th-generation Intel CPU, delivering a noticeable boost in performance. While it may not match the premium feel of its more expensive Surface siblings, the Surface Laptop Go 3 manages to strike a balance between affordability and functionality.
For users in need of a capable yet budget-friendly laptop, the Surface Laptop Go 3 presents a compelling option. Its smooth performance, comfortable keyboard, and responsive touchpad make it a viable choice for students and those who don’t require intensive computing tasks. With a starting price of $799 and availability slated for October 3rd, Microsoft seems to be on track to realizing its vision of a high-quality, low-cost computer.
In the ever-evolving landscape of portable computing, the Surface Laptop Go 3 is a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to offering accessible solutions without compromising too much on performance and design. As technology continues to advance, devices like the Surface Laptop Go 3 provide a glimpse into a future where budget-friendly laptops can deliver a premium user experience.