In 2012, Microsoft launched its first Surface 2-in-1 laptop, as the creator of the Windows OS entered into the PC hardware industry for the first time. Many doubted Microsoft would have much of an impact, but the company slowly gained traction for its Surface products. By October 2018, sales of Microsoft’s Surface computers helped it to enter the top five makers of all PC hardware companies in the U.S. for the first time.
While the company also sells its Microsoft Studio line up of all-in-one PCs, most of its Surface sales come from its tablet 2-in-1 products, convertible laptops, and its standard notebook products. Here are the best Microsoft laptops currently available – and honestly a list of all available models period.
Microsoft Surface Go
The current direct successor to the original Surface 2-in-1 from 2012 is the Surface Go. Launched in August 2018, this is the cheapest of the Surface laptop products you can buy. Without the optional Type Cover keyboard, the Surface Go weighs just 1.15 pounds, with a 10-inch, 1,800 x 1,200 touchscreen display. Like all other Surface tablets, the Surface Go comes with its own built-in kickstand for watching videos hands-free, or working when you attach the Type Cover. It also comes with a Surface Connector for charging, a USB Type-C port for data transfer, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. Inside you will find an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, and a battery that should last for up to nine hours.
The Surface Go comes pre-installed with Windows 10 in S Mode. That means you can access the tablet with the operating system’s touchscreen section, with apps from the Windows Store, but not the more traditional PC desktop. You can switch to a full Windows 10 OS at no cost from within the Surface Go, which adds additional access to the desktop and traditional Windows apps. Once the switch is made, you cannot go back to S mode unless you factory reset the tablet.
The starting price for the Surface Go is $399, and you can get it with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage and Wi-Fi wireless support. You can spend more to increase the RAM to 8GB or the storage to 128GB. In addition, you can purchase a model with LTE wireless support in addition to Wi-Fi hardware. The Surface Go Type Cover, which adds a detachable hardware keyboard, costs an additional $99.99.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is the latest addition to the Surface PC family. It’s a traditional laptop — the display does not detach from the keyboard, nor does it rotate on a hinge like many other convertible notebooks. However, it’s still a very thin and light notebook, weighing just 2.76 pounds thanks to its all-aluminum casing. The Surface Laptop 2 has a 13.5-inch display with a 2,256 x 1,504 resolution. It comes with either 8GB or 16Gb of RAM, and you can also choose to put either an eighth generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor in the laptop. It also comes with the full Windows 10 OS.
You have plenty of storage options on the Surface Laptop 2, ranging from 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD drives. It also comes in a variety of colors, including burgundy, platinum, cobalt blue, and black. Ports include a Surface Connect port, a Mini Display Port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB 3.0 port. Sadly, there is no USB Type-C port on the Surface Laptop 2. The battery life is supposed to last up to 14.5 hours on a single charge. Pricing for the Surface Laptop 2 begins at $999.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
If you want to get a tablet that also works like a PC, the Surface Pro tablets from Microsoft have always been the best bet. The newest model is the Surface Pro 6. It weighs about 1.7 pounds without the optional Type Cover, and comes with a big 12.3-inch display with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824. The full Windows 10 device can have either 8GB or 16GB of RAM. SSDs in the tablet range from 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. You can get either an 8th generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor.
Ports include the Surface Connect port for power, a microSD card slot, a Mini Display Port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB 3.0 port. Once again, there’s no USB Type-C port here. The good news is the battery life will last up to 13.5 hours on a single charge. You can get it in either black or platinum colors, starting at $899. You can also get the optional Type Cover for the Surface Pro 6, which adds a keyboard to the tablet, for around $95.
Microsoft Surface Book 2
The Microsoft Surface Book blew people away when the first version was revealed. It was a full notebook, but you could detach the large screen from its keyboard (no Type Cover here) and use it like a massive tablet. The Surface Book 2 is the latest version of this high-end laptop, launched in October 2017. The Surface Book 2 is the only Surface PC with two screen size options. You can get one with a 13.5-inch 3,000 x 2,000 resolution display, or one with a larger 15-inch 3,240 x 2,160 display. Both come with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB SDD options for storage and the battery life should last up to 17 hours.
If you choose the 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 2, you can get it with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM and either a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 chip or an 8th Gen Core i7 processor. You also get the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU if you pick the i7 model. The i5 version of the notebook weighs 3.38 pounds while the i7 model weighs 3.62 pounds.
The 15-inch version only comes with 16GB of RAM and the 8th Gen Core i7 chip, along with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It weighs 4.20 pounds. Both the 13.5-inch and the 15-inch versions come with two USB ports, a USB Type-C port, two Surface Connect power ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a full SD card slot. You also get an 8MP rear camera, an 8MP front-facing camera, dual microphones, and front-facing stereo speakers.
As you might expect, all of this high-end hardware and features come at a high cost. The 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 has a starting price of $1,499, while the 15-inch version begins at $2,499.