Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 2 is the same, but better

Microsoft is updating its cheaper Surface Laptop Go line with an "improved" HD webcam, 11th Gen Intel chips, and nice new green color.

The Surface Laptop Go 2

Microsoft is introducing the Surface Laptop Go 2 today, a minor, but hopefully meaningful update to the company’s line of affordable Chromebook competitors.

The Surface Laptop Go 2 starts at $599 and seemingly won’t mess up anything that worked about the previous version. The Windows 11 laptop continues Microsoft’s use of colorful aluminum enclosures, this time coming in Sandstone, Ice Blue, Platinum, and a new green-ish Sage color.

The new “sage” color option.Microsoft

The Laptop Go 2 also has the same dual-material setup, with the top of the laptop made entirely from aluminum and the bottom portion made from a “polycarbonate composite resin system with glass fiber and 30 percent post-consumer recycled content.”

Ice blue.Microsoft

Insides — At 2.48 pounds, with a 12.4-inch 1,536 x 1,024 touchscreen, and a power button with a built-in fingerprint reader, the Laptop Go 2 might not look too dramatically different from the first Surface Laptop Go (unless you get it in “Sage”), but Microsoft is making three important internal improvements that could make all the difference.

The first is moving from 10th to 11th Generation Intel chips, meaning that even with the only option of an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, the Laptop Go 2 should be noticeably faster and more power-efficient than the first Surface Laptop Go.

11th Gen Intel chips and integrated graphics don’t make the Surface Laptop Go 2 a gaming powerhouse, but it is at least better than before.Microsoft

The second is the inclusion of an “improved HD webcam.” According to the specs Microsoft shared, the Windows Hello-compatible webcam is 720p just like the previous version, but it’s possible the company is doing some software magic to make things look a little better this go-around.

The final change is going all-in on SSD storage. The entry-level Surface Laptop Go used to be stuck with slower eMMC storage for the base price of $549, but now, even the cheapest Surface Laptop Go 2 starts with a 128GB SSD and 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM.

Repairability — Microsoft is taking special care to note that the Surface Laptop Go 2 is also slightly easier to repair. Now the “consumer replaceable units” on the laptop include the display, the keyset and trackpad, the laptop’s feet, the SSD, and the surflink cable.

That’s not quite as impressive as what a company like Framework offers on its laptops, but every little bit helps. And it adds even more value to what Input already considered the “college laptop” to beat.

The Surface Laptop Go 2 is available today starting at $599 from Microsoft’s website and Best Buy. The laptop should start shipping on June 7.