Microsoft has announced their Surface Laptop Go as a budget machine in a small form factor starting at $550. Budget laptops have been flying off the shelves during this pandemic and the new Surface Laptop is likely to do the same. It comes with a 12.4-inch touchscreen with a good enough 1536 x 1024 resolution and is (in our opinion) the best looking and most stylist laptop in this price range. We are excited to meet this new laptop due its size making it a great travel companion as it is smaller than many 11.6" laptops with a much more premium feel, but we are not excited about the price points.
At $550, the entry level Surface Laptop Go enters the market of "high end budget" laptops and with 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, but we advise looking elsewhere for a Windows machine as it simply will not perform well during the needs of most users (like installing any sizable programs or multitasking). The next level up, at $700 and offering 8GB of ram with 128GB of storage, to make it one of the best options for a small form factor laptop, but we would no longer consider this "budget" priced and better preforming alternatives are starting to stack up fast. At $900, you can grab a model with 256GB of storage, but with just an i5 and 8GB of ram we simply cannot recommend this price level. All models do come with an i5 CPU.
In short, we love that there are smaller laptops coming back to the market and the mid-range $700 Surface Laptop Go is a great choice for a small, travel friendly device to get some light work completed on. However, the $900 version only has the surface style going for it as the price is just too high for its specs and while the $550 might still be able to call itself a budget device, the specs are going to leave many users frustrated and feeling like it was very overpriced.