Microsoft Prepares for Launch of New MacBook Air by Updating Low-Cost Surface Laptop
As Apple prepares for a rumored launch of its completely redesigned MacBook Air, Microsoft is preparing for competition by beefing up its own entry-level Surface Laptop Go with a new processor, updated thermals, and an improved webcam.
The Surface Laptop Go, launched in 2020, has served as the entry-level Surface laptop in Microsoft's lineup. The laptop, which previously started at $549 (now $599), features a 12.4-inch touchscreen display, a full-sized keyboard, and trackpad, and runs Windows 11.
Microsoft today announced the Surface Laptop Go 2 with Intel's new 11th generation Core i5 processor and a new base storage of 128GB, up from the prior 64GB. In its press release, Microsoft directly draws a comparison between the Surface Laptop Go 2 and Apple's MacBook Air by saying the Surface offers "30% more key travel than a MacBook Air.”
Powered by Intel's 11th generation i5 processor, Microsoft has improved the thermals inside the Surface Laptop Go 2 to be “quieter” and make it easier for users to focus. Microsoft also says that it's updated the webcam, however, as The Verge notes, the webcam is still stuck at 720p, so the improvements are likely in image processing. Apple's current MacBook Air similarly features a 720p webcam, while the MacBook Pro has been updated to 1080p.
Now starting at $599, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is considerably cheaper than Apple's MacBook Air which starts at $999. For the added $399, however, users benefit from the performance and energy efficiency of Apple silicon and a base storage of 256GB.
The latest MacBook Air was released in November 2020 with the M1 chip, but a new, completely redesigned model could be announced as soon as next week. The new model will benefit from a new or existing Apple silicon chip, alongside an entirely redesigned body that comes in several colors.