Microsoft's "special event" on September 21 in New York City is rumored to be a new hardware-heavy event, with many speculating the launch of new devices like the Surface Go 4, Surface Laptop Studio 2, and possibly even the Surface Laptop Go 3.
If the rumors are true, this could prove to be an exciting event, considering that the Go, Laptop Studio, and the Laptop Go lines haven't seen much movement in the recent year or so.
The Surface Laptop Go, in particular, hasn't really gotten the attention it deserves since the release of the Surface Laptop Go 2 back in June 2022 – a huge shame since it's an exemplary notebook that proves that a budget laptop can have premium features. But June 2023 came and went without a peep from Microsoft about the line, leaving many to ask if it's decided to discontinue it.
With many still trying to recover from the cost of living crisis, now's the best time for Microsoft to resurrect one of the best budget laptops we've seen – and reinvent it in a manner that keeps all the ways that made it great in the first place. That means we'd like to see this alleged Surface Laptop Go 3 touting excellent build quality and stylish design but with an improved webcam, and an even better and higher resolution display so that the line can reclaim its best touchscreen laptop status.
So, the question isn't just whether or not the Surface Laptop Go 3 is going to make its much-deserved comeback in 2023. It's also, will Microsoft reinvent it enough to compete with all the best laptop offerings out there?
Here's what we think.
Surface Laptop Go 3: cut to the chase
What is it? The next Surface Laptop Go installment
When is it out? Possibly Q3 2023
What will it cost? Likely slightly more than the Laptop Go 2
Surface Laptop Go 3: Price and release date
The original Surface Laptop Go, which hit the shelves back in October 1, 2020, started at a nice and affordable $549 / £549 / AU$999, which offered an i5, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, which was certainly good enough for people who didn't need a powerful notebook and wanted a budget option. It also capped at $899 / £899 / AU$1,549 for a RAM and storage bump of 8GB and 256GB.
Its successor, the Laptop Go 2, did get a small price rise, starting at $600 / £600 / AU$1,199, which was disappointing as, outside of swapping out that base eMMC storage for a proper SSD, it didn't really come with improvements that would warrant a price bump.
If the Laptop Go 3 does see the light of day, however, a slightly higher price of entry is expected – as long as Microsoft delivers the necessary improvements in its display, webcam, and specs. Still, if the line were to stay as great as it was, it's imperative that it keeps that price tag down closer to the ground, maintaining its budget laptop status.
As far as when we'll see it rear its stylish head, swirling rumors point to a September 21 launch (at the Microsoft Surface event) and a September or October 2023 release. Obviously, until Microsoft itself confirms it, there's no definitive release date at this point.
Surface Laptop Go 3: Design
Right now, there isn't much in the way of leaks to know how the Surface Laptop Go 3 is going to look and what improvements it's going to bring in. Windows Central reports that Microsoft might introduce "some AI capabilities such as enhancing microphone quality with Voice Clarity and Voice Focus." However, for the time being, we can really only speculate.
Much-lauded for its premium build quality and stylish design despite its lower price of entry, the Surface Laptop Go line did had a lot going for it when it first hit the streets.
However, there's always that danger of Microsoft doing the same thing it always has, which is to leave its lower-end laptops to their own devices once they're out in the world, making them miss out on obvious improvements even when there are opportunities for growth. The Laptop Go 2, for example, was cursed with having zero design and feature updates, making it close to being a disappointment.
So, we might not even get the improvements the Surface Laptop Go 3 would need to keep up with the competition.
Obviously, because it is one of the best things about the line, we'd like it to keep its portable nature. At only 10.95 x 8.12 x 0.62 and with a 12.4-inch screen, this is one of the most compact laptops in the world, and we'd like to keep it that way. And hopefully, the Sage, Ice Blue, Sandstone, and Platinum colorways stay as well.
But, if the Surface Laptop Go 3 were to have a fighting chance, there are a few things that need to change – that 1536 x 1024 touchscreen display and the 720p webcam, specifically, are in dire need of an update. We want to see a higher resolution display and a 1080p webcam.
And while the keyboard on the Laptop Go 2 was a comfortable and satisfying one, we'd love to be able to also comfortably use it in the dark. Backlighting, therefore, would be a nice addition to the Surface Laptop Go 3 as well.
Surface Laptop Go 3: Specs and performance
Also according to Windows Central, the Surface Laptop Go 3 will be sporting last year's Intel chips, which tracks. The Laptop Go line, as is expected of budget laptops, has always been fitted with previous-generation processors so it isn't surprising to hear that this rumored installment will have a 12th-Gen Intel Core i5 powering it.
That's not necessarily a bad thing either. Even the 11th-Gen chips are still capable of seeing most people through their daily workflows and casual laptop use. And on the plus side, 12th-Gen chips are known for their power efficiency, which means you might see a vastly improved battery life over the Laptop Go 2's 13.5-hour one.
The same article asserts that Microsoft is do away with the 4GB RAM model, as it should. In this day and age, there's really no excuse to have a laptop with a memory lower than 8GB, unless it's a budget Chromebook. The Surface Laptop Go 3 is rumored to have 8GB and 16GB RAM offerings, as well as storage starting at 256GB SSD, the highest configuration sporting an i5, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage.
We'll update this article as soon as more information, leaks, and speculations land on our desks. But, for now, this is everything we know so far about the rumored Surface Laptop Go 3.