Microsoft released two new computers for 2020 recently, the Surface Laptop Go and Surface Pro X.
The Surface Laptop Go is a very affordable spin on Microsoft’s line of laptops that starts at $550 with lower-end specs, including a 12.4-inch touchscreen 3:2 aspect ratio display at a 1536×1024 resolution. The base model comes with a 10th gen i5 processor, 4GB memory and 64GB storage. You can pay more to upgrade but this setup is more interesting at that price point, especially with the more premium build and colours. This option provides amazing value for students – think Chromebook but with the full Windows experience, compatible with pretty well any software you throw at it.
The Surface Pro X (2020) is equally interesting but for different reasons. It is the sequel of Microsoft’s Arm-based Windows tablet. In a nutshell, Arm processors are designed by Arm Holdings, Ltd., and then the designs of the components of those processors are sold to others to build. These designs are created to be mixed and matched in various configurations, depending on the needs of its buyers. For example, the Apple A12Z “Bionic” produced by Apple used a design licensed by Arm Holdings. Most Android devices running Qualcomm’s latest processors are using some component of Arm. In Microsoft’s case, the new Surface Pro X is powered by two custom chipsets, the Microsoft SQ 1 from last year and the new SQ 2, made by Qualcomm. This allows it to be the thinnest Surface Pro ever made with its distinctive kickstand, while also having very respectable computing power.
Other specs also rival most laptops today and the best bang for your buck is the $1500 256GB version that comes with the Microsoft SQ 2 for the extra processing power. It has 16GB of LPDDR4x memory, a 5MP 1080p front camera, 10MP back camera capable of 4K60 video recording and stereo speakers with Dolby Audio.
These are two very interesting options from Microsoft but at the same time, other companies like Dell, Asus, Razer and of course Apple, are all stacked with top-of-the-line specs and features. Competition is always welcome from a consumer’s perspective! Stay tuned for the latest information on other great laptops by following us on social!
A week after the announcement of the newest MacBook Pros, I’ve decided to review my daily laptop, the new Dell Inpiron 2-in-1. At Computex 2016 back in June, Dell announced this laptop and I must say that they have finally caught up to the competition. Aside from welcome hardware upgrades, I was very excited about the addition of a USB-C port. So I picked one up shortly after Dell Canada put a nice $200 discount on them and here is my review after using it for a couple months!
New USB Type-C port for power and connectivity
New aluminum casing is very nice, feels more premium than older versions with a more solid feel
New Intel Realsense cameras are fun but I haven’t found much practical use for it other than facial recognition to log in.
They stopped including a stylus in the box and a convenient storage in the casing of the laptop for the stylus
The trackpad is what you expect at the price point. It’s not very big and the clicking gets annoying although you can just tap
My thoughts so far…
Although I was cheesed that the laptop did not come with a stylus out of the box like the older models, I must say, it doesn’t bother me. I prefer to draw designs by hand anyway so I have used the touchscreen very little and would not miss it. If you do not need to draw on your laptop, then forget about the stylus… you don’t need it and it wouldn’t be a digitizer like the Microsoft Surface laptops anyway!
I have yet to use the new USB-C port. I think this feature was more to make it future-proof but I think USB-C still has a long way to go before it becomes the new norm. Regardless, it’s there and I’m sure it would be useful to those who need it (I also haven’t needed to buy an adapter because my laptop has an HDMI port and 2 USB3 ports unlike some other laptops previously mentioned!)
Speaking of features I haven’t used, I also haven’t used the multi-mode hinge since I bought the laptop and was playing around with it. I feel like I still use a laptop like it was used when they were first invented. The touchscreen and 2-in-1 features seem more like gimmicks to me. I just use it for writing and design on the go and I’m happy having a keyboard with a nice screen that I can carry around without breaking my back.
Now, where it counts… I have felt slight drops in performance when doing heavy design work. This laptop comes with a 6th gen Intel Core i7 6500U processor which is great. I think the drop in performance was due to the 8GB of ram. It has been rare so I don’t think the work that I do warrants an upgrade to 16GB of ram but that would be necessary for power users.
Finally, my biggest pain throughout these months was getting the screen to work well with Windows 10. I don’t know if its the laptop or the software but text just doesn’t seem crisp on the screen. This may be in part due to Windows recommending that I zoom text and apps by 150% (which I have to do because if I change it to 100% some text and UI elements get very small). There is also a new feature called ClearType which is supposed to help customize text to look more crisp to an individuals preference. I played around with it but have since turned it off because I gave up tweaking it.
This laptop is definitely something to consider. Dell has come a long way and if you can get the laptop on sale (which happens quite often), the specs and build quality are very high for its price point and compared to what else is out there. If you want a better screen and even better build quality, I would opt to spend more and get yourself the Dell XPS 13 but this is a great cheaper alternative. Keep in mind that the hardware on these computers doesn’t quite integrate with Windows 10 as well as something like the MacBook’s internals integrate with MacOS but it is an easy compromise to save money and still have a very capable computer. Good luck on your next laptop purchase!