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Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Which “Affordable” Laptop Is Best?

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We are always eager to cover our flagship laptops. The XPS 13, MacBook Pro, and Specter x360 have a crew of over $ 1,000 that demonstrates the industry’s most advanced features. Does anyone need to buy one of these expensive notebooks? Absolutely not. Google has proven that Chromebooks are a cheap and fast alternative to completing most everyday tasks without any problems. But what about Windows 10? For some time, finding a good Windows laptop for less than $ 1,000 has never been so easy. But with the debut of the HP Envy x360 and Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, things have changed in recent months.

HP’s Envy x360 13 became our favorite “affordable” laptop when it debuted earlier this year. It offers users about the same experience as the more expensive and premium Specter x360 brothers, but at an affordable $ 800 price. The design is beautiful, the screen is nice, the keyboard is comfortable, and the AMD chip is speedy.

Jumping a few months later, Microsoft will move away from its rival Apple’s premium-only strategy with the 12.4-inch notebook Surface Laptop Go for a starting price of $ 549. The base model is not recommended. Instead, a better option costs $ 699 or $ 899 and directs competitors directly to the Envy x360 13.

If the Surface Laptop Go dramatically improves the Envy x360 13, it will be the recommended laptop for college students, kids, or anyone who wants to save money but has a premium device. Has Laptop Go achieved that goal? Please read to find out.

Surface Laptop Go and Envy x360 13: Value and Composition

Forgetting spectacular spending, these two midrange machines show that you can get more at less cost. It’s important to choose the right configuration for this laptop, so start with the Surface Laptop Go.

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The base Surface Laptop Go starts at $ 549 and comes with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage. With the exception of the processor, these are not our recommended specifications. Instead, try raising $ 699 on the mid-tier model. This will upgrade to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD. Do I need to use a little extra? The $ 899 review unit doubles the storage to a 256GB SSD.

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The starting price for the Envy x360 13 is $ 649 if it consists of an AMD Ryzen 3 4300U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. Our review unit raises the price of models with a Ryzen 5 4500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB to $ 799. If you can grow your budget, you can get a Ryzen 7 4700U CPU and 16GB of RAM for an additional $ 150.

Winner: Envy x360 13.

Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Specifications Surface Laptop GoEnvy x360 13 Starting price (reviewed) $ 549 ($ 899) $ 649 ($ 799) Display 12.4 inch, 1536 x 1024 pixel 13.3 inch, 1080p CPUIntel Core i5- 1035G1AMD Ryzen 5 4500UGraphicsUHD graphicsAMD Radeon GraphicsRAM8GB8GBSSD256GB256GBPortsUSB-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, Surface Connect, headphone2 USB 3.1 Type-A, USB-C, microSD, headphoneBattery7: 4210: 45Size11 x 8.1 x 0.6 inch 12.1x 7.7 x 0.7 inch Weight 2.5 lbs 2.9 lbs Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Design

This is a battle between two (more) affordable laptops and feels as premium as the more expensive laptops.

Let’s start with the similarities. Both have a thin display bezel. This is a feature usually found only on flagship models. Also, the bottom panel of the Surface Laptop Go is polycarbonate resin (flashy soft touch plastic), but the Envy x360 chassis is all aluminum.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The design languages ​​for these two laptops are very different. Surface Laptop Go is all about minimalism. The sleek notebook lid features a centralized chrome Microsoft logo, surrounded by a clean, uninterrupted space. When you open the lid, you’ll find the same simplicity inside. Instead of breaking the aluminum deck, the fingerprint sensor is seamlessly integrated into the keyboard. The gray-blue keys match the color of the ice-blue metal and reflect the rubber-like material used in the bottom panel.

Whereas the Surface Laptop Go seeks sophistication, the Envy x360 13 seeks glitz and charm. The beautiful Nightfall Black finish is a more interesting shade than black and a cleaner touch than brown. Combining the design are some gorgeous accents such as the sleek HP logo on the lid, the stylish speaker grille below, the “envy stamp” on the hinges, and the aggressive vents on the spine.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Another big difference between these laptops is that the Envy x360 13 is 2-in-1. In other words, you can transform it into a tablet by rotating the screen backwards. As a traditional clamshell laptop, the Surface Laptop Go isn’t that flexible.

The 11 x 8.1 x 0.6 inch and 2.45 lb Surface Laptop Go is lighter than the HP Envy x360 13 (12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inch, 2.9 lbs).

Winner: Draw.

Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Port

Unless you’re a fan of Surface Connect ports, the Envy x360 13 has a better selection of connections.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

On the right side of the Envy x360 13 is a USB 3.1 Type-A input and a microSD card next to the power connector. On the left side is a second USB 3.1 input, a USB-C port, and a headphone / microphone jack.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The Surface Laptop Go matches the Envy x360 13’s USB-C input and headphone / mic jack, but has only one USB 3.1 Type-A port. There is no microSD card slot and the Laptop Go charges via a magnetic Surface Connect port.

Winner: Envy x360 13.

Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Display

Which of these displays to choose depends on the aspect ratio. If you prefer the traditional widescreen 16: 9, use the Envy x360 13. If you need a taller, narrower panel, the Surface Laptop Go’s 3: 2 aspect ratio is for you.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Another factor to consider is size. The Envy x360 13 panel is 13.3 inches and 1080p, while the Surface Laptop Go has a 12.4 inches and 1536 x 1024 pixel display. The latter may sound small, but thanks to the 3: 2 aspect ratio, the 12-inch size didn’t bother me for most tasks (web surfing, writing articles, etc.).

Both laptops have a responsive touch screen, but the flexible design of the laptop makes Envy’s more convenient.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

According to the colorimeter, the Envy x360 13 and Surface Laptop Go displays have about the same color vividness, covering 76% and 77% of the DCI-P3’s color gamut, respectively. Both panels are more colorful than the average mainstream laptop (67%).

Envy comes first in maximum brightness. Reaching 364 knits, the Envy x360 13 is a bit brighter than the Surface Laptop Go, which peaked at 319 knits. Both exceeded the category average (301 knits).

Winner: Draw.

Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Keyboard and Touchpad

The Surface Laptop Go and Envy x360 13 both win the keyboard and touchpad category.

If you need to choose one, I’d like to write a review on the Surface Laptop Go. The gorgeous key travels 1.3mm, giving you a tactile click that no other laptop of this size has. The ticklet-style keys are so elastic that my fingers easily jumped from one letter to the next.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

As part of that, the Envy x360 13’s ticklet-style keyboard has well-spaced keys that are clicky and responsive. The keys span the length of the deck and are large enough for people with big hands. However, the Surface Go keys are a little more elastic.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The Surface Laptop Go’s 3.9 x 2.6 inch touchpad is a bit smaller than the Envy x 360 13’s 4.4 x 2.5 inch touchpad. However, the glass surface of the Laptop Go felt more comfortable at the fingertips than the textured mylar used in. Envy x360. We hope HP will add a glass touchpad to the next model.

Winner: Surface Laptop Go.

Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Performance

This is another battle between AMD and Intel, but this time the points go to Team Red. The Envy x360 13 has a Ryzen 5 4500U CPU and 8GB of RAM, and each benchmark test dismantled the Surface Laptop Go with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU and 8GB of RAM.

In the overall performance test of the Geekbench 5, the Envy x360 13 scored 4,617, annihilating the Surface Laptop Go and its few 3,117. This is below the mainstream average (3,495).

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The rich are enriched with a video transcoding test where the Envy x360 13 converted 4K video to 1080p at a blazing speed of 13 minutes and 44 seconds using the Handbrake app. Surface Laptop Go took 25 minutes 55 seconds to complete the same task, a few minutes behind the category average (20:29).

To make matters worse, Microsoft now uses slower hard drives on its Surface Laptop Go. Our review unit’s 256GB SSD took 1 minute 39 seconds to convert a 25GB multimedia file. This corresponds to a low transfer rate of 266.3 megabytes per second. The Envyx360’s 256GB SSD wasn’t very good at 318.1 MBps, but at least exceeded the 300 mark. By the way, the category average is 423.7MBps.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When it comes to graphics, I can’t say anything about Surface Laptop Go’s UHD graphics. In fact, this is the weakest graphic format found on modern U-series chips. How can I find out? Well, Surface Laptop Go ran (or tried) SidMeier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm at 9 frames per second. Running the same game at 27 frames per second, the Envy x360 13 was much closer to the 30fps playability threshold.

Winner: Envy x360 13.

Surface Laptop Go vs. Envy x360 13: Battery Life

The biggest disappointment with Surface Laptop Go is how short the charge is. With just 7 hours and 42 minutes of execution time, the Laptop Go’s battery life is well below the 10 hours and 45 minutes of the Envy x36013.

Winner: Envy x360 13.

Overall victory: HP Envy x360 13

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

I thought this would be a closer match than it really is. Examining each category, the Envy x360 13 proved why it’s the best laptop you can buy for less than $ 1,000. Much of the success of the Envy x360 13 lies in the Ryzen CPU. It offers outstanding performance while allowing for nearly 11 hours of battery life.

Surface Laptop GoEnvy x360 13 Design (10) 9 9 Ports (10) 78 Display (15) 1212 Keyboard / Touchpad (15) 1413 Performance (20) 1518 Battery Life (20) 13 18 Value (10) 8 9 Overall (100) ) 7887

HP also makes the Envy x360 $ 100 cheaper than the Surface Laptop Go with the same 256GB of storage, but the Laptop Go is priced as low as $ 549 (specs not recommended). Oh, and envy has a better choice of ports, offering a second USB Type-A input and a microSD card slot.

So what about Surface Laptop Go? If you can afford that Ho-Hum battery life, Go is a rugged notebook with a premium design at an affordable price. More portable than the Envy x360, the keyboard and touchpad experience is unmatched in this category. That said, most users would recommend the Envy x360 13 over the Surface Laptop Go.

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