Remember the netbook? I loved netbooks. They were great low-budget, tinkerer-friendly machines. I would not call Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Go a netbook as the term was once used, but the company is targeting the same market and using similar tricks to keep the price down to $550.
That includes sticking on a low-resolution screen and limiting performance. Still, this is one of the nicest laptops I’ve tested in 2020, with a lightweight build and solid battery life to boot. It’s a joy to use—as long as you’re not trying to edit video or otherwise tax its capabilities.
The Go Treatment
Microsoft’s Surface line started as laptops focused on high-end features at premium prices. This changed with the Surface Go, which took key elements of the flagships and wrapped them in less powerful hardware. The result doesn’t top any benchmark tests, but it’s highly portable, has a decent battery, and won’t break the bank. But the Surface Go’s form factor—a tablet with a keyboard that’s sold separately—isn’t for everyone.
That’s where the Surface Laptop Go comes in. Add the word “Go” to a Surface and you’re left with a stripped-down, less powerful machine that still retains some of the