In further proof of just how expensive new mobile phones have become, Microsoft has launched a new laptop for under $1000 — less than half what some flagship smart phones will set you back.
The Surface Laptop Go is the cheapest laptop Microsoft’s Surface devices division has created, but that doesn’t mean the Windows-maker has had to compromise too much.
The cut-price laptop still packs a 12.4-inch touchscreen powered by quad-core 10th gen Intel i5 processors, and promises up to 13 hours of battery life.
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The Surface Laptop Go also won’t weigh down your bag, starting at 1.11kg and with a thickness of only 1.57cm, making it thinner and lighter than Apple’s popular MacBook Air (which starts at $1599, though has similar specs as the most expensive version of the Surface Laptop Go, which still comes in $50 cheaper but doesn’t offer much of a boost over lower priced models).
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Being 2020 there’s also attention focused on the videoconferencing capabilities of the laptop, which is handled by a 720p camera and what Microsoft call “studio mics”.
The laptops are secured by a fingerprint reader in the power button and offer one touch sign-in with Windows Hello.
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One area that might cause concern is the relatively low storage and memory of the entry-level device, which comes with only 4GB RAM and 64GB storage (around a quarter of which is eaten up by the approximately 15GB Windows operating system).
This is less than you get with most new phones (though differences in the software they run mean this is not necessarily equivalent though).
If you want a little more performance it’s probably worth spending the extra $250 and upgrading to the next model up, which has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (which is also comes on a superior solid-state drive rather than an embedded flash card).
You can spend a further $300 on the $1549 model with 256GB storage but with the price of cloud and external storage you’d have to wonder why you would.
Paying $99 a year for Microsoft’s Office365 subscription service will give you the widely used Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook applications while also giving you 1TB of cloud storage on the OneDrive cloud service.
You’ll get an additional three months of access if you buy Office365 with a new laptop too.
If you don’t like cloud storage a 1TB external hard drive will only set you back around $70 these days (unlike new Mac laptops, Microsoft’s laptops still include the old USB-A port for you to plug these into as well).
The more expensive devices also come in more colours, including “sandstone” and “ice blue”.
The $999 model is only available in the platinum colourway which you can also get on the more expensive models.
Pre-orders have now opened via Microsoft’s online store and the company has said those orders will ship before October 13.