Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2: Is it worth it?

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's Surface Event 2023 featured several announcements, including the Surface Laptop Go 3, which we've been expecting but not anticipating. 

But now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag, how does the Surface Laptop 3 compare to its predecessor? The Surface Laptop Go 2 didn't make as big of a splash as it could have. (Our face-off is more of a sneak peak until we get can benchmarks.)

Let's see how the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 compares to the Surface Laptop Go 2.

Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2: Price

The Surface Laptop Go 2 started at $599 and offered 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD (pitiful, really). Now the Surface Laptop Go 3 starts at $799 and offers 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

This is a bigger bump in price than we were expecting. As Managing Editor Sean Riley pointed out, the Surface Laptop Go 3 sounds like one of the best affordable laptops of 2021. Yeah, you're two years late, Microsoft.

Winner: Draw (is none an option?)

Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2: Design

With the Surface Laptop Go 2, we got a minimalist chassis that was impossibly thin and light at 0.62 inches and 2.5 pounds, respectively. The interior supported metal deck unlike the soft material that Microsoft has been known to include in Surface products.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop Go 3 returns with a similar anodized deck. The only notable change is the Fingerprint Power Button. It does come in multiple colors, similar to the previous model, including green, pink, blue, and gray. It even retained the same size and weight, at 0.62 inches and 2.5 pounds.

Winner: Draw

Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2: Display

The Surface Laptop Go 2 featured a 12.4-inch, 3:2 display with a 1536 x 1024 resolution. And guess what? Absolutely nothing has changed with the Surface Laptop Go 3.

Catch me in the middle of this face-off wondering why the heck I'm even writing it. Microsoft had over a year to work on this and it pushes out the most underwhelming product in its line-up. Come on, man. Why am I even here?

Anyway, moving on.

Winner: Draw

Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2: Specs

When the Surface Laptop Go 2 launched, it was disappointing to see that it started with a measly 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. However, the Surface Laptop Go 3 rectified that by coming in with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It's not an impressive upgrade, just a practical one.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)

However, the Surface Laptop Go 3 can only get as high as 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which, again, isn't impressive. But what's even more disappointing is its 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U processor. We're at 13th Gen right now, and in a few months, we'll get 14th Gen. What an oversight. 

The same thing happened with the Surface Laptop Go 2, except it launched in June, which bought you at least three additional months.

Winner: Surface Laptop Go 3 (but I'm not happy about it)

Surface Laptop Go 3 vs. Surface Laptop Go 2: Battery life

The Verge reported that the Surface Laptop Go 2 average five hours of battery life, which is dismal. However, Microsoft claims that the Surface Laptop Go 3 can get up to 15 hours of battery life.

That's an incredibly impressive jump, if Microsoft's claim is accurate. If Microsoft can get battery life right, that's going a long way in terms of the Surface Laptop Go 3's future.

Winner: Surface Laptop 3 (assuming Microsoft is right)

Outlook

The Surface Laptop Go 3 is the better product, but I can't say if it's a good product, not until we get our hands on it and run those critical benchmarks. If you are really stuck between which to get, the Surface Laptop Go 3 is a better choice over its predecessor.

However, if you're willing to wait, our review and benchmarks of the Surface Laptop Go 3 will be in sooner than later. The Surface Laptop Go 3 is disappointing, but if anything could save it, it's the battery life.

We'll see. For now, follow along with Laptop Mag on TwitterFacebook, and Flipboard for the latest word as it arrives.

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Rami Tabari
Editor

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.