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Microsoft has launched a cheaper version of its popular notebook Windows 10 PC, the Surface Laptop Go, alongside a faster Surface Pro X tablet.

Announced via blogpost rather than a press event because of the pandemic, the Surface Laptop Go is a smaller, lighter and lower-cost version of the excellent Surface Laptop 3 and seeks to offer the same premium Windows 10 experience but starting at just over half the cost at £549.99 in the UK or $549.99 in the US.

The Laptop Go has a smaller 12.4in touchscreen but otherwise looks like the Laptop 3 including a blue, sandstone or platinum-coloured metal finish. It has the same full-size keyboard and large, precision trackpad. The Laptop Go also has a 720p HD webcam and a pair of studio-quality mics for better video calling, which Microsoft says is rare for a machine of this class.

It has Intel’s 10-generation Core i5 processor with either 4 or 8GB of RAM and a choice of storage options, as well as a 13-hour battery and fast charging. It has the same port selection as its larger sibling, including one USB-C port, one traditional USB-A port, headphones socket and a Surface Connect socket for power and connectivity. The Laptop Go also supports the latest wifi 6 standard and Bluetooth 5.

The one thing the Laptop Go lacks is the Laptop 3’s Windows Hello face recognition camera, instead it has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button in certain models.

Faster Surface Pro X tablet

Alongside the Laptop Go, Microsoft also unveiled an update to its ARM-based Surface Pro X tablet from 2019. The updated convertible PC gains a new, faster Microsoft SQ2 custom processor and comes in a new platinum colour costing £1,549 in the UK or $1499.99 in the US.

Microsoft also said it was fixing one of the shortcomings of the new ARM-based system, rather than those based on traditional Intel PC chips, by supporting a much wider range of traditional Windows apps through x64 emulation.

The Surface Laptop Go and updated Surface Pro X will ship on 13 October in the US and 27 October in the UK.