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Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 (Model 2013) review

Priced at $1729.

CHOICE Expert Rating

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CHOICE Expert Rating

This is the product's overall performance score, based on key tests conducted by our industry experts in the CHOICE labs.

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The product's best features and benefits

Bad points

Drawbacks or issues you need to know about
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Ultraportable View more details.

Ultraportable is a loosely-defined class of thin and light laptops designed for high mobility

Yes
Ultrabook View more details.

Ultrabook is an Intel-defined class of thin and light laptops designed for high mobility that meet strict criteria for size, weight, battery life and other hardware factors including on-chip security features anti-theft and identify protection. Ultrabook computers will carry a compliance sticker.

No
Tablet mode View more details.

The device can be used in laptop mode (with keyboard) or tablet mode (touchscreen only) with or without a stylus.

No
Operating system View more details.

The operating system (OS) that came with the computer (updated/patched to latest version before testing).

Windows 11 Home
Recommended View more details.

We recommended currently available laptops with a CHOICE Expert Rating or Tablet use score of at least 75%. Note that the recommended score is for laptop use only and doesn't take into account tablet use (where applicable). The separate Tablet use score takes into account tablet features for tablets with a keyboard or laptops that can be used in tablet mode. To see and compare the tablet use scores alongside laptop use scores, sort by 'Tablet use score' using the 'Sorted by' dropdown menu. To see which tablets and 2-in-1s we recommend as tablets, tick the 'Recommended for tablet use' box in the left-hand side column.

Recommended for tablet use View more details.

Recommended for tablet use includes 2-in-1 laptops, and tablets (with keyboard) which have a Tablet use score of at least 75%.

CHOICE Expert Rating View more details.

The CHOICE Expert Rating, our overall score, is made up of ease of use (35%), battery life (20%), performance (20%), display (20%) and audio (5%). Note that the 'Tablet use score' does not contribute to the CHOICE Expert Rating.

Tablet use score View more details.

Indicates how the device performs as a tablet (without keyboard) rather than as a laptop, for applicable models.

In addition to the same CPU, graphics, storage, and Wi-Fi tests used for laptops we also consider form factor (45%), display screen (40%), and battery life (15%) from a tablet-user point of view. This score does not contribute to the Overall score (as non-convertible laptops are not included). Note that some devices may score better as tablets than laptops and vice-versa.

 To compare the Tablet Use Scores with Laptop Use Scores, sort by 'Tablet use score' using the 'Sorted by': dropdown menu at top-right, next to the Compare all products button.

Performance score View more details.

Performance score is based on analysis of the results of several benchmarking tools taking in CPU, storage, and Wi-Fi performance. Note that there may be some score changes for older models as we've recently updated the scaling of performance scores across all models due to performance improvements of faster, latest generation processors. The performance scores of models which are discontinued are based on older benchmarks, so for discontinued models the performance score and the CHOICE Expert Rating cannot be compared with current models.

Ease of use score View more details.

The ease of use score takes into account the comfort of the keyboard and touchpad, as well as build quality, balance on lap, sturdiness on desk, noise, heat, and ports and slots. All ease of use evaluation was conducted under the laptop's native operating system.


Battery life score View more details.

Battery life score is based on a heavy usage scenario with screen set to 100% brightness and Wi-Fi enabled with continuous high-definition video playback. 

Note that the maximum screen brightness capability of laptops and tablets can vary markedly, so our battery life score takes into account calculations to allow more accurate comparison between models.

Display score View more details.

Display score is based on a quality assessment that takes into account the screen's reflections, angles of view, colour rendering, brightness and contrast, and video playback.

Audio score View more details.

Audio score is based on assessment of the laptop's speakers.

Wi-Fi score View more details.

Wi-Fi score is part of the overall performance score, shown so the difference in the Wi-Fi performance can be seen at a glance.

Storage write-speed (MBps) View more details.

The rate at which data can be written to the storage media, in megabytes per second (MBps).

Storage read-speed (MBps) View more details.

The rate at which data can be read from the storage media, in megabytes per second (MBps).

Wi-Fi speed (MBps) View more details.

The data transfer rate using wireless networking (802.11ac Wi-Fi) in megabytes per second (MBps).

Average battery life – heavy usage (hours) View more details.

Our battery life heavy usage test has the screen set to 100% brightness and Wi-Fi enabled with continuous HD video playback.

Charging time to 80% full (h:min) View more details.

How long it took to charge the laptop to 80% of capacity, with the laptop switched on.

Charging time to 100% full (h:min) View more details.

How long it took to charge the laptop to 100% capacity, with the laptop switched on.

Tester comments
Shop Ethical rating View more details.

Shop Ethical rates the environmental and social impact of the company (not the product) using independent sources. This rating is not included in our total score. N/A means there is no rating for that company.

C
Warranty (years) View more details.

Stated warranty of the laptop or tablet. You're still covered by the Australian Consumer Law regardless of the manufacturer warranty.

1
Country of origin View more details.

The model has a claimed origin somewhere on the model itself. This should be taken with a grain of salt, as it's rare that all the materials for a product came from the one country. In most cases this is the country from which the product is assembled and shipped.

China
Availability View more details.

'Tested model' refers to laptops and tablets that are currently available in shops and online. 'Discontinued model' refers to laptops and tablets that are generally no longer available in shops, but may be available in second-hand stores. In some cases, newer versions may be available with slightly different specs, like a faster processor. Some laptops and tablets may still be available in shops as refurbished models.

Tested model
Price View more details.

Purchase price at time of testing. Note that prices may change quickly in this category and can vary significantly between vendors, so shop around. Prices may also be lower than as tested vary if a model has been available for some time or is available as refurbished. Where a tablet has a keyboard (even if optional) the price shown includes the cost of the tablet and keyboard, and stylus/pen/pencil if optional.

$1729
Screen size (inches) View more details.

Measured diagonally, in inches.

12.4
Native screen resolution (pixels) View more details.

The native resolution that the screen can provide, measured in pixels (horizontal x vertical). A full HD (high-definition) video screen uses 1080p, which is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels deep.

1536 x 1024
Processor (CPU) type View more details.

The make and model of the central processing unit (CPU).

Intel Core i5-1235U
CPU frequency (GHz) View more details.

The chip frequency of the CPU, in gigahertz (GHz). This will indicate the speed of the CPU but is only directly comparable with CPUs of the same make and model. 'ns' means not stated.

1.3
RAM (GB) View more details.

RAM (random access memory) is the main memory used by the CPU and is measured in gigabytes (GB). These days 4GB of RAM is considered a starting point for most laptop or desktop PCs, while 8GB is common. Generallly speaking, more RAM is better.

16
Video graphics type View more details.

The type of video graphics processor included. This may be either an on-board (built-in to the motherboard) processor or a discrete video graphics card.

Intel Iris Xe
Storage capacity (GB) View more details.

The nominal storage capacity of the built-in storage drive, which may be either a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD).

256
Available user space (GB) View more details.

The storage space available to the user after drive formatting and installation of the standard operating system (OS) and supplied software.

195
Storage type View more details.

This may be either a solid-state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs are now more common. An SSD has no moving parts and stores information on solid-state flash memory (chips). SSDs are more expensive per gigabyte (GB) than HDDs and offer less capacity, but they are much faster, work silently, generate less heat and use less power. An HDD uses a magnetic spinning disc.

SSD
Wi-Fi type View more details.

The Wi-Fi type and protocol used. Wi-Fi 6 (based on the 802.11ax standard) is the latest emerging standard. Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) is more common. Wi-Fi 6 is backwards compatible with Wi-Fi 5. Dual-band Wi-Fi includes 2.4GHz plus 5GHz bands and tri-band includes 2.4GHz plus two 5GHz bands.

ax
Weight of laptop (kg) View more details.

Weight of laptop (kg) without power supply/plug/cord.

1.1
Weight of power supply (kg) View more details.

Weight of the power supply/plug/cord.

0.22
Size (mm, H x D x W) View more details.

Overall size of the laptop, closed, in mm. Height (thickness) x depth x width.

16 x 206 x 278
Screen finish View more details.

Screens have either glossy or matte finish. Matte finish is usually the most non-reflective, though glossy screens can also have a non-reflective coating to minimise reflections and glare. The quality of the non-reflective finish will vary depending on make and model.

Glossy
Touchscreen View more details.

If the laptop has a touchscreen. Note that not all touchscreen laptops are convertible (2-in-1) models that can be used as tablets.

Yes
USB 2.0 ports View more details.

The number of USB 2.0 ports (USB Type-A). USB 2.0 can transfer at a theoretical 480 megabits per second (Mbps). 

0
USB 3.0 ports View more details.

The number of USB 3.0 ports (USB Type-A). USB 3.0 can transfer at a theoretical speed of 5 gigabits per second (Gbps).

1
USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 1 or 2, not Thunderbolt 3 or 4) ports View more details.

The number of USB-C ports using the USB 3.2 protocol (formerly called USB 3.1). Gen 1 has a nominal transfer rate of 5Gbps (gigabits per second) and Gen 2 has nominal rate of 10Gbps. Note that Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 uses a USB-C type connector but is rated at 40Gbps.

1
Thunderbolt 3 or 4 (as USB-C) ports View more details.

Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 port (same size as USB-C) offers connectivity speed of up to 40 gigabits per second (Gbps).

0
Thunderbolt 2 port View more details.

Thunderbolt 2 port (same size as Mini DisplayPort) offers connectivity speed of up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps).

0
SD card slot (full-size) View more details.

A slot for a full-size removable SD type memory card.

No
SD card slot (micro) View more details.

A slot for a micro size SD type removable memory card.

No
HDMI port View more details.

Standard HDMI port for video and power connectivity via one cable.

No
Mini HDMI port View more details.

Mini size HDMI port for video and power connectivity via one cable.

No
Micro HDMI port View more details.

Micro size HDMI port for video and power connectivity via one cable.

No
Gigabit ethernet port View more details.

Wired gigabit ethernet port. Also known as GbE or 1 GigE, this can transmit at a rate of a gigabit per second (Gbps) over copper wiring (1000BASE-T) using CAT5e and CAT6 cabling.

No
Rear camera View more details.

Whether the laptop has a rear-facing camera (common on tablet-convertible models).

No
Windows Hello available View more details.

Whether the laptop supports Windows Hello biometric (facial/fingerprint) recognition for secure automatic login. 'na' means not applicable.

Yes
Backlit keyboard levels of brightness View more details.

The number of brightness levels of the keyboard backlighting, where applicable.

0
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