Best Microsoft Surface: Which Models to Buy or Avoid (2023)

Still, if you like the portability of the Surface Go hybrid but want the more traditional clamshell design, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is an excellent option. It’s also a great alternative to consider if, like us, you’re not impressed by the upgrades on the Laptop 5 but are looking to get a clamshell Surface device. You’ll also save some money, too. There are three configurations available, all using the same Intel Core i5 chip, but varying in RAM and SSD size. The middle option is the best value, offering 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 128-gigabyte SSD.

Since the Surface Laptop Go 3 is now available (our thoughts on that, below), the 8-gigabytes of RAM and 128-gigabyte SSD are out of stock on Microsoft’s site. But the 16-gigabyte/256-gigabyte configuration is still available. You can still find both versions on Amazon, where they’re on sale often.

Specs to look for: Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD

The all-in-one PC for graphic designers, the Studio 2+ doesn’t differ all that much from its predecessor, which launched four years ago. It packs a 28-inch touchscreen display (4500 x 3000 pixel resolution) with a flexible hinge and stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos. You’ll also get three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, a 3.5-mm headphone jack, and a 1-gigabit Ethernet connector. With external display support, you can also connect the Surface Studio 2+ to three 4K UHD monitors with up to a 60-Hz refresh rate.

Under the hood is the 11th-gen Intel Core i7 11370H processor running Windows 11. It’s not the latest chipset on the market, but Microsoft says it offers 50 percent faster CPU performance than the Surface Studio 2. There’s also a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, which the company claims offers double the graphics performance. Of course, we’ll have to put it through its paces to see whether these numbers hold up. And while it’s a pricey machine, it does also come with a Surface Pen, Surface Keyboard, and Surface Mouse. We’ll share our thoughts on the Studio 2+ soon.

We had high hopes for the Surface Laptop Go 3 (5/10, WIRED Review), whose predecessors received positive reviews. As with the first- and second-generation versions, the Laptop Go 3 features the same top-tier design, complete with an aluminum and lightweight chassis, and has a super satisfying full-size keyboard. The only difference is the updated 12th-generation Intel chip with a Core i5 processor. But that’s it in terms of upgrades.

Typically, that’d be fine! But because Microsoft got rid of the 4-GB RAM and 128-SSD option, you’ll only have the choice between 8 GB of RAM for $800 and 16 GB for $1,000—both of which come with a 256-GB SSD. That makes the new starting price $100 more than previous versions. But with no new incentives for the extra cost, the latest version falls short.

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