Forget about the new Surface Laptop Go - these are the laptops you should consider

Surface Laptop Go
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Surface Laptop Go will probably wow customers at first, but when the dust settles, we'll all come to realize it's both unbalanced and overpriced.

Sure, some will be ecstatic to see a 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor powering a laptop with a touchscreen display. But look elsewhere and cracks start to appear.

First, there’s the amount of system memory, which is vital to getting Windows and other memory-hungry applications to run smoothly. 4GB RAM is simply not enough (even if it is LPDDR4x), especially as the integrated graphics will occupy up to a quarter of that.

Ditto for the onboard storage; 64GB eMMC won’t cut it. Not only is it the slowest storage tier outside of hard disk drives, but the capacity is also criminally low.

Install Windows 10 and the relevant updates and you'll probably be looking at 25GB already ring fenced. Add in the fact that solid state memory performance worsens as free storage shrinks and you've got a recipe for frustration.

Microsoft's other surprising choice is the inclusion of a screen with less than two megapixels. The 12.4-inch PixelSense display has a resolution of 1536 x 1024 pixels, which equates to 1.57 million pixels in all - a third less than full HD displays usually found on business laptops.

And perhaps an even bigger kick in the teeth for potential buyers - other than the $550 price tag - is that it doesn’t offer a fingerprint power button like the rest of the range.

So, what are the alternatives?

Lenovo 14-ARE - $549.99 at TigerDirect

Lenovo 14-ARE - <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$549.99 at TigerDirect (roughly £425.64)
The Lenovo V14-ARE is far more balanced, with a more powerful processor, twice the memory and four times the onboard storage. The display has a higher resolution, it features more ports and also runs on Windows 10 Pro (rather than Windows 10 S). Admittedly, it is heavier, has a worse battery life and doesn’t have a touchscreen display.

Chuwi GemiBook - $319.00 direct

Chuwi GemiBook - <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$319.00 direct (roughly £250)
If you don’t mind a more obscure brand, the absence of a touchscreen and a slower processor, then consider the <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chuwi GemiBook. It embraces the same 3:2 display aspect ratio, but with a resolution that's three times greater, it has three times more system memory, four times the system storage and costs almost half the price.

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Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.