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Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Review: Surface Charm, Specs, and Battery Life



Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review: Surface Charm, Specs, and Battery Life

If you need a quality laptops that will suits a;; needs, then the Surface Laptop Go 2 is Microsoft’s MacBook Air. But not the MacBook Air of today. It’s like the Air we had years ago that mid-range buyers could actually afford to buy. 

This is a portable laptop you can imagine in the hands of students and those who don’t consider tech to be a hobby. The Surface Laptop Go 2 offers fantastic portability, enough gloss to make it seem like an expensive style laptop, with a starting price of £529 instead of, well, a lot more. 

The fancy version of this laptop is the Surface Laptop 4, which starts at £1269 with the same class of CPU seen here. 


Microsoft mostly makes high-end laptops. When a cheaper model like the Surface Laptop Go 2 comes out, the first question is: where are the cuts?

From a quick look they are not obvious. The Surface Laptop Go 2 has a lovely anodised aluminium keyboard surround and lid. Microsoft usually favours magnesium, but aluminium actually feels more metallic to our fingers.

Just don’t look underneath as it looks much like a super-pricey non-Go Surface Laptop. But the base is plastic, just like the original Surface Laptop Go

Microsoft hasn’t tried to make this plastic bottom fit in with the metal. It instead matches the sort of milky coffee beige of the touchpad and keyboard keys. The base has a lovely soft touch finish too. 

A combo of aluminium and plastic helps keep the Surface Laptop Go 2’s weight low. It weighs just 1.129kg according to our scales. It’s portability perfection. 

Now, you don’t get everything you’ll find in some other style-driven mid-range laptops. The hinge doesn’t let the screen tilt back all that far. It’s no hybrid or fold-flat design. And the connectivity is limited. You get one fat USB-A port, one USB-C and a headphone socket. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 photo 3

Thankfully the charger has its own port, the same magnetic style seen in pricier Surface laptops that falls out if you accidentally snag the cable. The USB-C can also be used to charge – a huge convenience bonus if your phone has a fast charging USB-PD adapter.

The tech nerds out there will probably be mad the USB-C port doesn’t support Thunderbolt. It has just a quarter the bandwidth, 10Gbps. However, it’s enough to power a 4K monitor at 60fps. If you want to hook dual 4K monitors up to this thing, are you sure it’s the right laptop for you?


The Surface Laptop Go 2 has a 12.4-inch 3:2 aspect display. This tall shape is one of the classic Surface characteristics, and it makes the display seem particularly spacious, per screen inch, when you run productivity apps. 

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It’s less good for games, some of which freak out at the resolution, and movies. But this is Microsoft, the folks behind Office. It makes sense work is largely the focus. 

Brightness is the highlight here. At 400 nits it’s a good 10-20% brighter than what we consider decent for a mid-range laptop, and double the brightness of the dreck you’ll find when you really go cheap. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 photo 2

The Surface Laptop Go 2 has a glossy touchscreen, one that reflects your face right back at you when out in the sun. But we used it to write much of this review outdoors, and the Go held up well enough.

Other aspects aren’t quite on the same level as the top-tier Surface Laptops. Colour is slightly undersaturated. It’s not so bad that you can notice it at a glance, like the Acer Vero, but take it on board if you’ll be doing a lot of image or video editing work. 

The weird-sounding resolution of 1536 x 1024 pixels is a bit like hemmed-in 1080p, and it’s enough to make small text appear a bit scraggly. Still, for this money you’re likely to end up with 1080p elsewhere anyway. 

Contrast is a bit below the bog-standard 1000:1, which will make blacks look a bit greyish in a dim room. All that said, you’ll have a tough time finding a traditional laptop with a dramatically better screen for £529, short of an end-of-line sale. Nice touches like the rounded corners of the display are unusual in such a conspicuously affordable model too. 

Keyboard and touchpad

There are also some compromises in the keyboard and touchpad. However, the keys themselves feel fairly good.  

Like other Surface laptops, the Surface Laptop Go 2’s key action is a little shallow. Key feel is also more mellow than a MacBook’s, but within a day or so you bed into the style. It’s a quality keyboard with no hint of a “budget” feel, although Microsoft has had to use a slightly crammed layout to suit the frame. 

While it’s only a few millimetres less wide than a standard keyboard from the Q button to the P along that top line of keys, those sensitive to shrunken keys may not like it. 

The Surface Laptop Go 2 does not have a keyboard backlight either. Almost every other good £729 laptop with a Core i5 CPU and 256GB RAM has one of these, and it makes typing in dim lighting easier. No backlight may make sense in a £500 laptop, but not a £700-plus one like our review model. 

The touchpad is also a significant downgrade from the non-Go Surface laptops. They use a textured glass panel, this one is soft-touch plastic that emulates glass. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 photo 7

Several comparable Lenovo laptops at the price have glass pads, like the Lenovo Yoga 7 Slim

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Still, this is one of the best plastic pads you’ll find in any laptop. The clicker feel is excellent, and Microsoft has clearly put a lot of effort into making it seem like glass. It’s a far less squeaky, less high-friction surface than most. Would we prefer glass? Absolutely.


The various prices of the Surface Laptop Go 2 models all hinge around the core specs. Microsoft uses the cheapo model as a lure. Around £500 for a metal laptop – sounds good, right?

However, we have significant reservations about all models bar the £729 one reviewed here. At the bottom end you only get 4GB RAM. Most other manufacturers wouldn’t even make a 4GB version of a laptop like this. 

Windows 11 may run like a dog once you open up a few too many browser tabs. You’ve been warned.  

The middle-rung version has 8GB RAM. Great. But it also only has 128GB storage. We have games in our Steam library bigger than that, and even if you have no interest in gaming or data-sapping video editing, bear in mind you don’t actually get 128GB to play with. Windows 11 eats up a chunk. 

After just a couple of days we only has 160GB left on our 256GB version, for example. We’d only recommend the 128GB model to folks who aren’t going to install anything data-heavy. 

Then we get to the “just right” spec, with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Except it’s also just wrong because we end up paying £200 for 4GB RAM and an extra 128GB of space. Other manufacturers would charge (relative) peanuts for these upgrades. Most wouldn’t offer them at all, as the baseline for most design-led models laptops is 8GB/256GB, a measure that saves money-saving buyers from themselves. 

Rant over, the Surface Laptop Go 2 we have runs Windows 11 beautifully. All versions of the Surface Laptop Go 2 have Intel’s Core i5-1135G7 processor, a punchy CPU designed to use relatively little power. You’ll find it in loads of laptops from 2021 and 2022.

As is often the case, Microsoft’s timing is a bit off here, mind. Many laptops with 12th Generation Intel chipsets have recently started arriving, and they’ll have far more CPU power than the Surface Laptop Go 2.

They don’t gain as much for gaming, though, as both 11th and 12th Gen chipsets at this level use Intel’s Xe chipset. It’s a nimble little thing that lets you play most games from the Xbox One and PS4 era pretty well. We took in a few laps of the Nurburgring in Project Cars, and while the Surface Laptop Go 2 didn’t make it clip along at 60fps with most settings maxed, it was entirely playable.

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The Surface Laptop Go 2 isn’t really made to be a true performance machine. It’s here for “everyday” performance, and this plays out in the laptop’s cooling.

There are no air vents on the bottom, no exhausts on the side or back. Everything happens through the little gap in the screen hinge. Simply write documents and the Surface Laptop Go 2 will usually be totally silent. 

However, a few large file downloads can be enough to get the fan running. If you took out a sound meter while this thing is maxed-out, the Surface Laptop Go 2 wouldn’t move the dial much. But the character of the fan noise is exactly what we don’t want to hear, a high-pitch whine more noticeable than a lower tone that might technically be louder. 

Battery life

The Surface Laptop Go 2 has a fairly small 41Wh battery, but Microsoft claims it can still last up to 13.5 hours. 

This is a way off what we saw. It lasted 7.5 hours of YouTube streaming at 62% brightness, the sort of level you might use indoors. A stint outdoors suggested it will last around 5 hours when the display is maxed-out, and the Surface Laptop Go 2 is used to charge your phone at the same time. 

Switch on Battery Saver and use the laptop for no more than writing docs and it will last around  11 hours, much closer to Microsoft’s claims. You’ll have to use this mode to get close to all-day use, making remembering to do so the main hurdle. 

The laptop’s speakers are decent for a low-price laptop, with a fairly even tone. However, they don’t have anything like the bass or volume of the more capable arrays available in the big names that cost a lot more. 

Unusually, the Surface Laptop Go 2’s speakers also appear to use the gaps in the keyboard to let sound out, rather than vents on the sides. This leads to a narrower sound, but it makes sense when you think about it. Such speakers often rely on bouncing sound off a hard surface to reach your ears as intended, where the Go 2’s will sound the same whether the laptop is on your knees or a desk. 


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How To Reset Your Nintendo Switch



How To Reset Your Nintendo Switch

If your Nintendo Switch is playing up and having glitches, or if you’re about to sell it or give it to someone, you might want to reset it.

There are a few different ways to reset your Switch with slightly different results, and we’ll run you through each in turn, down below.

Since all of Nintendo’s Switch models run the same software, these steps should work on original Switches, Switch Lites and Switch OLED models in the same way.

How to hard reset your Switch

If you want to keep all your data but perform a total reboot of your Switch (for example, if it’s not turning on), the steps are quite simple.

  1. When the system is powered off, hold the power button for 15 seconds
  2. Release the power button then press it to power on
  3. If your console boots, the reset has been completed
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How to factory reset your Switch

If you’re instead looking to wipe your Switch completely clean, ready for a new user to set themselves up on it without access to any of your data, you’ll want to factory reset the console. Do that by following these steps:

  1. From the console’s home menu, select Settings
  2. Scroll down to System on the left menu bar
  3. Scroll to the bottom of these options and select Formatting Options
  4. Select Initialize Console then hit OK
  5. Wait for the process to erase your data
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Once this is over, your console will be like new and all data will be gone. Back up anything you want to keep, first!

If you can’t do the steps above you can go a more in-depth route, with the steps below.

  1. With the console powered off, hold down the volume up and volume down keys, then hold the power button
  2. Hold these buttons down until Maintenance Mode starts
  3. From here, select Initialize Console to erase your data (an option is there to keep your saves instead)
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Either of those routes should let you factory reset your console, as desired.


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How To Activate Samsung Easy Mode



How To Activate Samsung Easy Mode

Samsung’s smartphones are some of the very best on the market, and rightly have a reputation for pushing the boundaries of what a phone can do.

That means they can be a little complicated to get your head around if you’re not an experienced smartphone user, though. Thankfully, there’s a very useful mode that you can toggle to make things simpler – easy mode. Here’s how it works and how to turn it on.

What is Samsung easy mode?

What Samsung calls easy mode is effectively a setting on its smartphones that makes its display significantly easier to read.

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It works by making your app icons a bunch bigger, as well as all buttons and fonts, to make it easier to read what’s on your phone’s display.

This is perfect for those with visual impairments but also for those newer to smartphones, like older people.

It also simplifies your home screen and adds an “Apps” button to make it obvious where to find your apps list.

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How to turn on Samsung easy mode

Turning on easy mode is relatively straightforward – follow these steps to activate it.

  1. Swipe down from the top of your display and tap the gear icon at the top right corner
  2. Select Display in your settings
  3. Scroll down until you see Easy mode and tap on it
  4. Toggle the setting on using the switch

Underneath the toggle when it’s on you’ll see some extra settings to customise, including the tap-and-hold delay and high contrast keyboard colour settings.

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Now when you go to your home screen it’ll have larger icons and new shortcuts to add contacts straight to your home screen, too.


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This Right Deal Here Is The Samsung Galaxy A14



This Right Deal Here Is The Samsung Galaxy A14

Samsung’s unannounced Galaxy A14 has appeared in leaked press shots and it looks pretty good for a budget handset, too.

The phone, which is expected to come with a large 6.8-inch Full HD+ display, has been shared by leaker Evan Blass. He says that these images are the real deal and will be used by Samsung for press purposes, rather than the unofficial renders that had been shared before now.

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These images show the front, back, and side of the phone including a trio of cameras around the back alongside an LED flash. The main camera is expected to be a 50-megapixel shooter, with a 13-megapixel camera handling selfie duties around the front.

On the inside, we’ve been told to look forward to an as-yet-unknown Exynos chip and a 5,000mAh battery.

The phone itself is expected to be “quite aggressively priced” while Blass also expects that carriers will offer “numerous ways to take it home for free”.

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As for when Samsung is expected to finally take the wraps off the Galaxy A14, we still don’t have any concrete information. However, the report by Blass appears to suggest that it isn’t too far out, saying that Samsung will announce it after “people have already done their holiday shopping” as part of the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday festivities.

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