When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010 the mobile computing world went into a state of panic. They had seen first hand the impact the iPhone – with its revolutionary touch-screen power – had foisted upon the likes of Nokia and Blackberry.

Thankfully in the years that have passed, the likes of HP, Lenovo and Microsoft have massively upped their laptop game and now make some very powerful and portable PCs available today. We’ve been using the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go for a few weeks now and its impressive usability has come very much at the expense of a tablet.

A classic 13-inch laptop with touch-capability blurs the line between laptop and tablet. The full-size keyboard and track-pad consequently lift the usability of the Surface Laptop Go well beyond the reach of the tablet – no matter how many accessories you affix to it.

Where the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go really excels is in its price-point of $999, storage capacity and battery life. With a super-fast 256GB SSD, the Surface Laptop Go is ready for anything with a super-quick start-up thanks to the latest version of Windows. Once you’re underway, the battery will give you up to 12 hours of life and thanks to the USB-C port, it’s very easy to grab some charge wherever you are.

Speaking of ports, there aren’t a whole lot of them on the Surface Laptop Go. There are regular USB-A and USB-C ports as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the opposite side of the chassis, there is a Surface Connect port for additional peripherals such as LAN cables, screens, and printers.

Other really neat features of the Surface Laptop Go include a fingerprint scanner on the power button, a 12.4-inch touch-screen with 1536×1024 pixels at 148 PPI.

There are however a couple of niggles. The keyboard is not backlit which makes working in the dark little challenging and the screen whilst bright and easy to read, is actually quite difficult to view with any form of direct light. 

Overall the thing I found most appealing about the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is that it’s just a lovely, simple form factor with clean design lines. The slightly rugged feel is exactly what you need if you want an everyday go anywhere laptop, or you’re a student running about with a laptop in your backpack that’s going to get bashed around a bit.

Speaking of students, the standby battery life on the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is extraordinary with more than a week’s worth of standby time and up to 13 hours of working time on a single charge.

In conclusion, on a side-by-side comparison with the comparable laptop from Apple, the Microsoft Surface laptop go is half the price, lighter, with better battery life, and a touchscreen. It’s very hard to beat.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is available now from $999 in Ice Blue, Sandstone, or Platinum.