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Microsoft unveils more powerful Surface Laptop Go 3 – but there’s a catch

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3

Microsoft has announced a new Surface Laptop Go 3 model, but it isn’t as cheap as it once was

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 has been announced by Microsoft at its September event in New York. The new portable, which arrives alongside the new Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 and the Surface Go 4, isn’t a radical redesign, only upgrading the internals this time around. Microsoft has, however, hugely hiked the price.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Specifications, price, release date

  • 12.4in 60Hz PixelSense touchscreen, 1,536 x 1,024
  • Intel Core i5-1235U CPU; integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • 8GB or 16GB of RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Dimensions: 278 x 206 x 15.7mm (WDH)
  • Weight: 1.13kg
  • Price: From £799
  • Availability: Pre-order from Microsoft today, shipping from 3 October, 2023

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Design and key new features

The biggest upgrade here is that Microsoft has upgraded the Surface Laptop Go 3 from 11th gen Intel chips to 12th gen this time around – the Intel Core i5-1235U, specifically – which is backed up by either 8GB or 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

According to Microsoft’s claims, this new chip makes the Go 3 “88% faster” than the previous model but it isn’t the CPU that’s the most interesting thing here, it’s the RAM.

There used to be a model with 4GB of RAM, which was great for budget-conscious buyers, but Microsoft has dumped that option this time around.

The result is that the base price has jumped from £529 to a whopping £799, with the 16GB model going for a frankly bonkers £999.

For such a large apparent price increase, Microsoft doesn’t appear to have changed much about its smallest, lightest Surface Laptop. The internals may be faster but it’s physically very similar. It still has a 12.4in PixelSense touchscreen that’s topped with Gorilla Glass 3.

It’s a sharp display, with a resolution of 1,536 x 1,024. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2 and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and, if it’s as good as the previous model, it will be a joy to use.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 colourways

And this is housed in a compact, well-made chassis that weighs a mere 1.1kg and measures 278 x 206 x 15.7mm (WDH). With a decent selection of ports around the edges, it’s a practical little machine, with USB-A and USB-C catered for, alongside a 3.5mm headset jack and a Microsoft Connect port for charging.

Microsoft’s hardware department smashed it out of the park with the Surface Laptop Go when it first launched, so although little has changed, that’s not too much of an issue. The Surface Go 3 is available in four colours: blue, green (“Sage”), beige (“Sandstone”) and silver (“Platinum”).

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3: Early verdict

The biggest attraction of the Surface Laptop Go range has always been its relatively low price. We always loved the fact that you could get a laptop with such premium build quality for less than £550 and we have been happy to recommend it as a result.

The decision to remove the 4GB option from the lineup and start with a much pricier 8GB version, however, is going to make the Surface Laptop Go 3 far more difficult to recommend.

The new Microsoft Surface Go is available to pre-order from today and will ship from 3 October. Keep your eyes peeled for our full review.

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