Trending November 2023 # Electrifying Gives Jailbreakers An Upgraded Low Power Alert & Charging Ui # Suggested December 2023 # Top 18 Popular

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If you’re harder on your iPhone than most, then you might be somewhat familiar with the low power alert that appears when your battery level drops to a certain percentage. For what it’s worth, Apple is a large company with vast resources, and so it’s somewhat thought-provoking to think that this alert hasn’t received much of a redesign over the years.

Fortunately, jailbreakers won’t need to wait for Apple to take action. Electrifying a newly released jailbreak tweak by iOS developer SouthernGirlWhoCode that brings a redesigned low power alert to the iOS platform, complete with user-configurable features to personalize the interface however you might see fit.

In the screenshot examples above, you’ll see just how much better the low power alert on the iPhone looks with Electrifying installed. The pop up looks eerily similar to the AirPods and Beats pairing interface, and it provides useful information about the current state of your battery in addition to a shortcut for toggling Low Power Mode to save battery. For what it’s worth, the user has full control over what battery percentage triggers this alert.

In addition to a redesigned low power alert, Electrifying also brings Apple’s famed MagSafe charging interface to jailbroken iOS 13 devices. This charging interface appears wherever you might be after connecting to a power source, be it the Lock Screen or somewhere in SpringBoard. Users can also customize the MagSafe interface however they want with custom colors and more.

Once installed, users can configure the tweak via a dedicated preference pane in the Settings app:

Options here include:

Toggle Electrifying on or off on demand

Customize the aesthetics of the first and second low battery alerts

Customize the Lock Screen aesthetics

Customize the Home Screen aesthetics

Customize vibration options

And more…

As always, we’ll dig deeper and show you what you can do in each pane below:

Alert One & Two

The options for the Alert One and Alert Two are identical, but can be configured independently of one another for obvious reasons. Here’s what you can do here:

Toggle the alerts on or off on demand

Choose the battery percentage that invokes the alert

Enter a title for the alert

Enter body text for the alert

Toggle system color on or off

Configure a title color

Configure a message color

Configure an accent color

Configure a low battery bar color

Configure a default battery bar color

Configure a Low Power Mode battery bar color

Configure a bar base color

Lock Screen

Here, you can configure options pertaining to the MagSafe UI on the Lock Screen. Options include:

Toggle Lock Screen support on or off on demand

Choose a color for the interface when charging

Choose a color for the circular progress bar

Choose a color for the charging bolt glyph

Home Screen

Here, you can configure options pertaining to the MagSafe UI on the Home Screen and throughout SpringBoard. Options include:

Toggle Home Screen support on or off

Choose a color for the interface when charging

Choose a color for the circular progress bar

Choose a color for the charging bolt glyph

Vibration

Here, you can configure haptic feedback. Options include:

Enable haptic feedback for when the first alert appears

Enable haptic feedback for when the second alert appears

From what we can gather, the developer plans to add support for custom sounds in the next update, which might be something to look forward to.

Those interested in trying Electrifying can purchase the tweak for free from the Twickd repository or the TitanD3v repository via their favorite package manager. The tweak supports jailbroken iOS 13 & 14 devices.

If you’re not already using the TitanD3v repository, then you can add it to your package manager app of choice by using the URL provided below:

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How To Use Low Power Mode On Apple Watch To Preserve Battery

Low Power Mode is one of several cool new features in watchOS 9. While many will head straight into exploring the new watch faces (can’t blame them), Low Power Mode is one of the features I have been waiting for. It is great for times when you can’t charge your watch often enough, like when you are camping or traveling. Before watchOS 9, the only thing your watch offered was something called Power Reserve, which severely limited your ability to use your watch. iPhone has offered a Low Power Mode for a long time, and it definitely felt like a feature that was lacking in the Apple Watch before watchOS 9. This article will explain how to turn on Low Power Mode and how it affects the way your Apple Watch functions.

We created a video version of this article:

Low Power Mode: Preserve Apple Watch battery life

When Low Power Mode is on, you will see a small yellow circle at the top of your watch face. Also, when you charge your Apple Watch, the charging image and the time are yellow when it is in Low Power Mode.

If your Apple Watch’s charge gets down to 10%, you will see a message asking if you want to turn on Low Power Mode. If you do turn it on, it will automatically turn off again once your watch reaches 80% charge.

How to turn on Low Power Mode

You can turn on Low Power Mode from Control Center or from Apple Watch Settings.

From Control Center

Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch screen (while on the watch face) to open Control Center.

Tap on the button which shows your battery percentage.

Tap to toggle the Low Power Mode switch.

Scroll down and tap on either Turn On or Turn On For…

From Apple Watch Settings

Open Settings on your Apple Watch. Press the Digital Crown, then tap the Settings icon.

Scroll down to find and tap on Battery.

Scroll down a bit and tap to toggle the Low Power Mode switch.

Scroll down and tap on either Turn On or Turn On For…

Turn off Low Power Mode

Tap on the Battery Percentage button (which should now be yellow).

Tap on the Low Power Mode switch to toggle it off.

Tap Done.

The features that won’t work in Low Power Mode

Your Apple Watch preserves power in Low Power Mode by turning off some features. The biggest one for most people is the Always On display. The features that are always turned off in Low Power Mode are:

Always On display

Irregular rhythm, high and low heart rate notifications

Background heart rate and blood oxygen measurements

Reminders to start a workout

When your iPhone isn’t close by

There are other features that turn off (although not completely) when your Apple Watch is not close enough to your iPhone. These are:

Wi-Fi and cellular

If you open an app that needs a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to work, but your iPhone isn’t nearby, your Apple Watch can still make the connection, but it will need to use a lot of battery power to make that connection, thus draining your battery.

Incoming phone calls and notifications

Your watch will still occasionally fetch info about missed calls and notifications.

Other features are not completely turned off, but they have reduced function:

Making phone calls and using Siri might be slower

Apps refresh and complications update less often

Workouts still work in Low Power Mode

You can still use the Workout app in Low Power Mode, and it will still measure your heart rate and your pace.

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Http Request In Power Automate – An Introduction

Despite having a variety of connectors that we can choose from, Power Automate also has its limitations. It can’t cover everything we might need in order to build our workflows. There might be an instance when we want to integrate or trigger our flow using an application that’s not available in Power Automate.

The HTTP and Request connectors allow our flow to interact with third party APIs.

We’ve used Request to trigger a workflow in one of our previous tutorials. In that example, we had a third party application that triggered a Power Automate flow with approvals and conditional logic.

And that’s how we can basically connect a third party application to our flows. 

On the other hand, the HTTP connector allows us to ping any third party API that we have. So it’s not necessarily used as a trigger. It’s mostly used as an action.

Let’s say we have a flow where we have to get some information from an API. We send the customer’s ID via that API and we get back the customer’s name or passport number. Then we need that information in our Power Automate logic.

But we don’t want to keep that sensitive information within Power Automate. Therefore, we need to create an API in our third party system that can take in HTTP requests. And that’s what we’re going to do as an example.

I currently don’t have a third party API. So for this particular example, we’ll be using a website called chúng tôi It has a third party API endpoint that we can use in order to test if our flow is working or not. For example, they have a function called LIST USERS that contains a corresponding request. And if we request it, the items within the Response column is everything that we can get back.

Then, copy the URL. This serves as the API endpoint.

Then paste the URL that we have previously copied.

We can also enter headers, queries, and cookies if we want to. However, we’ll be skipping that for now.

Search and select the Slack connector.

Let’s post the contents to the random channel.

For the Message text, let’s choose the Body and see what we find.

Let’s rename our flow to HTTP Example.

Add a new step and choose the Data Operation connector.

Then choose Parse JSON.

Move the Parse JSON step in between the HTTP request and the Post message action.

Copy the codes from the request link.

As we noticed, it automatically created the schema that we can easily understand.

For the Content field, we need to put in whatever we want to parse. In this example, we want to parse the Body that we get from the HTTP request.

And why is this important? Well, we don’t have to post the whole body of the message anymore. Now, we have access to more dynamic contents such as email, first name, last name, avatar, company, URL, and many more.

Parse JSON allows us to take any JSON output we get, parse it into different dynamic content that we can then use later on in our subsequent flow steps. We used this action so that our flow won’t Slack the whole JSON content, and only displays the relevant information that we actually need.

Now, instead of Body, let’s change this to first_name.

Then, we’ll see that it changed our action into Apply to each.

This is because our flow receives multiple first names from the request.

As we can see, it only displays the first names now.

All things considered, we’re able to create an HTTP request that integrates our flow to a third party application. From there, we parsed the JSON content using Data Operation connector in Power Automate. It automatically generated a schema using a sample JSON payload. By parsing the JSON, we transformed a typical response from an HTTP request into a more relevant and understandable piece of information.

We can definitely do tons of different things with the HTTP request and Parse JSON actions. Hopefully, you were able to understand their importance and how they work. 

All the best,

Henry

Become An Evernote Power User: 10 Must

You can already bend Evernote’s notes, notebooks, and stacks to your will. And maybe you’ve directed your team to use Evernote Business. Evernote is friendly when you’re getting started with it, but the more you use it, the more your notes can pile up, threatening your productivity.

Now that you’ve excelled at the basics, it’s time to dig into Evernote’s arsenal and charge ahead like a true note-taking, to-do-list-tackling warrior. Checkboxes

One of the more popular uses for Evernote is to create lists, such as to-do lists, shopping lists, enemies lists, and the like. A simple text list is fine, but you can enhance the utility of your list by adding checkboxes to the items on it.

Save frequently used searches

Save

Instructions for saving searches on mobile devices are similar. Look for the magnifying-glass icon any time you’ve completed a successful search (that is, a search with at least one result) to save it.

Clip Web pages with Evernote Mobile

Because of the vagaries of smartphone Web browsers, Evernote’s mobile app can’t clip Web pages by default, dulling its utility. There’s no easy workaround for the iPhone, but Android users have a couple of options to make Web clipping possible. Dolphin: Evernote is a free add-on that lets you grab Web pages and pull them into Evernote, although it can only grab entire pages, not partial selections. EverWebClipper ($2.88) gives you more flexibility in what you can snag, if you’re willing to pay for the privilege. The offline option on an iPhone

If you’re an Evernote Premium user, you can configure individual notebooks to be accessible offline, whether you have an Internet connection or not. In your device’s Evernote Settings panel under the Offline Notebooks option, just select the notebooks you want to keep stored on your phone or tablet.

One important caveat: Evernote does not save a copy of every version of every note, but rather makes a backup of your notes on a schedule that runs every few hours. If you make multiple changes to a note over a short amount of time, only the most recent version is likely to be saved. Don’t rely on note history to save you if you accidentally erase your entire document 10 minutes after you create it. Web Clipper

Emailing a webpage or its URL to yourself for later retrieval never seems to work right. This task is especially difficult if you’re trying to save a password-protected webpage or a news story that may simply vanish at a later date.

Evernote’s Web Clipper lets you copy webpages in full to Evernote, but power users know that you don’t have to grab the entire screen. When you use Web Clipper, it will automatically attempt to determine where the “meat” of a webpage is, encircling it in a yellow border and graying out the detritus. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to grab more of the page (Up Arrow) or less of the page (Down Arrow), or to pick a different selection on the page (Left or Right Arrow). When you’re done, press Enter to finalize your clipping and save it.

Master Evernote’s search tool

Evernote has search tags and much more to help you unearth your best notes.

As your Evernote database begins to fill up, you’ll have to rely more and more on searches to find what you’re looking for. You can search for simple keywords, but this tactic will start to turn up a larger number of results, especially if you tend to use Evernote to save lots of information about a narrow set of topics.

To search only within your tags, type tag:tagname or tag:"multiple-word tagname" into Evernote’s search field. To find an exact phrase that comprises multiple words, use quotation marks just as you would in a Web search.

You can use a structure similar to the tag search above to search only for notes within notebooks that contain specified terms in their names. Type notebook:notebookname or notebook:"multiple-word notebookname" into the field.

If you want to find notes that contain your term in the note’s title, try either intitle:term or intitle:"multiple-word term" in your search.

To return notes that contain any of the specified terms inside, type any:term1 term2 term3 in the field. (A standard search for term1 term2 term3 would return only notes containing all three terms.)

If you’d rather get results based on the last time a note was revised, type updated:yyyymmdd into the search field.

Visit Account Info in the desktop app for your Evernote email address.

A quick and easy way to get something into Evernote is simply to email it to your Evernote address. The problem: If you don’t specify where the email should go, it will create a note in your default notebook, with no tags.

When sending an email to Evernote, you can manipulate the subject line to determine where it should end up. Here’s an example of a subject line that covers all the bases:

The Hobbit @Movies #review #4stars #dwarves

This creates a note called “The Hobbit” in your Movies notebook, with tags of “review,” “4stars,” and “dwarves.” Note that you must put the notebook (@) and tags (#) identifiers in the above order. Also, the notebook and tags must already exist before you attempt to use them in an email to Evernote.

Transcribe voice notes

Although Evernote can now convert voice recordings directly to text on Android devices, it can’t do that trick on iOS devices or via recordings made on your PC. You can get around this and make audio notes searchable through a couple of methods. First, you can use a smartphone app like Dragon Dictation to record a voice memo, and then copy the text into Evernote.

Alternatively, you can use a third-party add-in called Voice2Note to do the translation for you directly from Evernote. Just register for Voice2Note online, and record voice notes within the Evernote app normally. They’ll be transcribed and saved behind the scenes. You can also call a special Voice2Note number to create new notes via a simple phone call—something that you can’t do without an add-in on any platform. (Voice2Note is free for five transcriptions per month, or $3 per month if you need more.)

Only a rube uses the mouse to get around desktop apps. The following keyboard shortcuts help you use Evernote even more efficiently on a PC. (The commands are similar on a Mac. And you’ll find even more shortcuts on Evernote’s site.)

Ctrl-Alt-N: Start a new note. (In Windows, this is a global shortcut, meaning that it works from any application as long as Evernote is open.)

Windows-A: Pastes selected text into a new or open note. (Global shortcut.)

F9: Synchronize.

Ctrl-N: New note.

Ctrl-Shift-N: New notebook.

Ctrl-Shift-T: New tag.

Ctrl-Shift-E: Send a note or notes by email.

Ctrl-Shift-C: Insert a checkbox.

Alt-Shift-D: Insert the current time and date.

Ransomware Alert: Microsoft Office Files Are Running Rampant

Ransomware Alert: Microsoft Office files are Running Rampant

Also Read: Biggest Ransomware Attacks To Know About in 2023

Recent Malware Trend:

Security Analysts have estimated an increase of about 67% in the use of Microsoft Office’s Malicious Files as the means to transport malware around the world, especially Rampant Ransomware. Yes, it came at the expense of reduced usage of PDFs as Malicious Malware Files by about 22% in the same period.

How Fatal is it?

Using Microsoft Office files as a larger means of Transporting Rampant Ransomware is very fatal because as the statistics suggest, users are highly ignorant about what files they open, what does it contain, etc. Also, Rampant Ransomware isn’t like any malware. All your data is compromised and held hostage by the hackers the minute you open the file. The best thing you can do to get your data back is by paying the ransom.

To put it in your perspective, let me show you some real numbers:

Also Read: Ramnit Malware: How it Works and How to Remove it

Prevention:

Rampant Ransomware, like any other malware, is transmitted through the most common of sources. When they are being transmitted through the Doc files, there are a few simple ways that hackers use to transmit these malicious files to your PC. You can prevent such attacks from happening to you in the following way:

2. Avoid Downloading Docs from Unknown Websites: While we are searching for information on the web, we rarely care about the websites we visit. Also, we don’t stop ourselves from downloading any Document that promises to contain the information we want. This is an excellent opportunity for hackers to exploit your ignorance.

3. Employ an Antivirus: There are various other sources too through which you may receive a malicious Document containing Rampant Ransomware. So, the only solid method to ignore being hacked, use good Antivirus software on your machine for better peace of mind. Though there are various Antivirus Solutions available in the market, we suggest using Systweak Antivirus if you are using a Windows machine.

Also Read: Bitdefender vs Kaspersky vs Systweak Antivirus

Systweak Antivirus:

Systweak Antivirus is one of the best virus protection solutions available in the market. It is known for its best in Industry Malware Protection. Let’s discuss some of its most highlighted features in detail:

Unrivaled Malware Protection: Systweak Antivirus provides the best in class protection even from the most dangerous of malware, including Ransomware, Viruses, etc.

Real-Time Protection: Systweak Antivirus offers Real-time protection to protect your data from attacks like Ransomware which takes your PC hostage as soon as they get on your PC. Systweak Antivirus detects and eliminates these threats before they can do any harm to your PC.

24*7 Technical Support: In times of crisis, a person with expertise is what we need. Systweak Antivirus offers 24*7 Customer support to help you in your time of need.

With these amazing features and more, Systweak Antivirus can protect your PC from a lot of threats, including Rampant.

Recommended Readings:

Best Antivirus For Mac

Android Cleaner Apps & Optimizers

Best Free Driver Updater Software For Windows 10

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Sagar Kapoor

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Review: A Low

Pros

Budget-ish price

Fingerprint reader works well

Cons

Performance just doesn’t quite hold up to the competition

Rivals offer more value

Other laptops offer a better screen for the price

Our Verdict

While the original Surface Laptop Go survived among a sea of budget laptops, there are a number of comparably priced laptops that simply offer more value than the Surface Laptop Go 2. Just keep an eye out for price drops that could make a difference.

Best Prices Today: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 2 laptop tries to convince you that a processor upgrade is enough to sway you over the competition while tweaking the price configurations and adding a new color. And you know what? The jump to an 11th-gen Core chip does matter, especially when you adjust the Windows 11 performance settings.

We’ll introduce you to the best of what the Surface Laptop Go 2 has to offer (an excellent fingerprint reader), but also point out some comparably-priced laptops that may offer more of what you’re looking for. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the real-time pricing. In this market, an expected price cut of just $100 below the list price can make a real difference.

Surface Laptop Go 2: Specs and features

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 2 remains relatively unchanged from its earlier iteration, the original Surface Laptop Go, with all but two major specifications receiving upgrades. The Go 2 now uses Intel’s 11th-gen Core processor inside, though with a single option: the Core i5-1135G7. That’s a generation behind most laptops, which use Intel’s 12th-gen Core chips or rival Ryzen processors from AMD. Microsoft also made a major change in the OS. It now uses Windows 11 Home, which eliminates all of the earlier app configuration issues surrounding the inclusion of Windows 10 in S Mode.

Overall, your Surface Laptop Go 2 options range from between $599 to $799 versus the $549 to $899 range of the earlier model. This doesn’t quite hit the budget price point of competing laptops, but arguably represents something of a price cut, too.

Otherwise, Microsoft has added a new color configuration, Sage. This is in addition to the existing Platinum, Ice Blue, and Sandstone color options. Businesses also have the choice of buying the Surface Laptop Go 2 for Business, which comes pre-loaded with Windows 11 Pro rather than the Windows 11 Home OS that accompanies the consumer models. The Business version can be configured with Windows 10 Pro as well.

Display: 12.45-inch (1536×1024, 148 PPI) 10-point multitouch PixelSense display

Processor: Core i5-1135G7

Graphics: Xe Graphics

Memory:  4GB-8GB LPDDR4x (8GB as tested)

Storage: 128GB-256GB SSD (256GB as tested)

Ports: 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, Surface Connect, 3.5mm audio jack

Camera: 720p f2.0 (user-facing)

Battery: 39.7Wh (design capacity), 40.7Wh (measured full charge capacity)

Wireless: WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1

Operating system: Windows 11 Home (consumer); Windows 11 Pro/Windows 10 Pro (business)

Dimensions (inches): 10.95 x 8.12 x 0.62 inches

Weight: 2.48 pounds

Chassis: Aluminum, with polycarbonate resin (30 percent post-consumer recycled content)

Colors: Ice Blue, Sandstone, Platinum, Sage

Price: Beginning at $599 ($799 as tested)

Mark Hachman / IDG

Surface Laptop Go 2: Build quality and ports

The Surface Laptop Go 2 is essentially a refresh of the original Surface Laptop Go and we’d encourage you to re-read our original Surface Laptop Go review for additional detail. We’ll recap the important points here, but the most significant differences are in performance, which we summarize in the sections below.

Microsoft designed the Surface Laptop Go 2 as its answer to a Chromebook, a (relatively) inexpensive, compact clamshell laptop. In the past, the Surface Laptop Go was a showcase for Windows 11 in S Mode, a restricted version of the operating system that limited users to downloading pre-approved apps from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft hasn’t said why it made the change, but it offers the freedom to download whatever app you’d like without the need to switch out from Windows 11 in S Mode, as the laptop ships with Windows 11 Home instead.

Physically, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is a compact, lightweight laptop whose display folds back to about 45 degrees. Inside the box, Microsoft includes a 39W charger that powers the laptop via the Surface Connect connector on the right-hand side of the display. Alternatively, you’ll be able to charge the laptop via the USB-C port, provided you have a third-party USB charger that supplies enough power. Typing on the Surface Laptop Go 2 may look like it may be a bit cramped, given the smaller keyboard deck. However, Microsoft shaves off just half an inch of keyboard space compared to, say, the Surface Laptop Studio. It’s just fine.

A trio of a USB-A port, a 10Gbps USB-C port and a headphone jack adorn the left side of the Surface Laptop Go 2.

Mark Hachman / IDG

As we noted in our review of the Surface Laptop Go, the smaller dimensions also benefit the display. Though the 12.45-inch (148 PPI) display doesn’t quite reach the pixel density of a 1080p screen, the smaller display doesn’t negatively impact the smaller pixel count by that much. Images will still look a little grainy in places, and you’ll notice some text that isn’t as sharp as you’d expect on the laptop’s screen. But there’s also nothing stopping you from connecting it to an external, higher-resolution display as well. The purist in us wanted to reject its 1024p display from the get-go, but practically it really doesn’t matter. On the other hand, it’s a little weird that it has far less screen resolution than Microsoft’s $629.99 Surface Go 3 tablet.

On the left-hand side of the laptop you’ll find a conventional USB-A port, a USB-C port, and headphone jack, suitable for connecting both modern and legacy devices. On the right-hand side Microsoft includes the Surface Connect port, which has begun phasing out in its more expensive Surface devices. The Surface Connect allows you to expand the Surface Laptop Go 2’s I/O capabilities via the Surface Dock, including displays. In any event, the Surface Laptop Go 2 will support up to one additional 4K display and one 1080p display (or two 1080p displays), both at 60Hz. That’s probably perfectly fine for a budget laptop.

On the right-hand side of the Surface Laptop Go 2 is the Surface Connect port, which by default is used for charging.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The Surface Laptop Go 2 is not fanless. It appears to vent air in and out via the hinge. The default Windows 11 setting for power/performance is its lowest setting, when the fan will occasionally kick under a load. This usually doesn’t happen during Web browsing or office work, however. You can turn up the performance via the Windows 11 settings, where it will make a small difference (more on that in our performance section). While you’re almost sure to experience fan noise, it shouldn’t be an annoyance.

We’ll refer you to our original Surface Laptop Go review for more details on the sub-1080p display. The short answer is that no, the lower pixel density doesn’t seem to matter, though it is noticeable in certain cases. While that display was rated at about 330 nits of luminance, we measured the Surface Laptop Go 2’s display producing 358 nits of luminance. While it’s not really bright enough to work outside in direct sunlight, it should be fine for even well-lit rooms. The color gamut, however, is pretty poor. It’s 96 percent of the sRGB color gamut, but only 71 percent of AdobeRGB. This is not a creator’s laptop.

The new Sage color is subtle, and a little hard to capture via a camera. Otherwise, this Surface Laptop Go 2 keyboard doesn’t hold any surprises. The combination power button/fingerprint reader illuminates when the laptop is on but you haven’t logged in.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Surface keyboards have traditionally been among the best in the industry, though they’ve declined a bit in recent years. The Surface Laptop Go 2 keyboard remains, as far as we can tell, unchanged from the Surface Laptop Go keyboard, with 1.3mm of key travel. That’s pretty comfortable in my book, with a keyboard deck that fills almost all of the width of the keyboard. Unfortunately, Microsoft chose to exclude keyboard backlighting on both generations of the Surface Laptop Go.

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s fingerprint reader is both dependable and convenient, but you’ll need to spend some time training it. It’s worth occasionally swiping it with a cloth to keep it free from gunk, too.

Mark Hachman / IDG

You’ll probably like the fingerprint reader that’s nestled under the power button. Windows asks you to extensively train it, resting and removing your finger many times before it’s satisfied, at various angles. This pays off; the Surface Laptop Go 2’s fingerprint reader was quick and responsive, and can log you in and power up the PC in one tap. And yes, a fingerprint reader doesn’t care whether you’re wearing a protective mask in a public place, either.

The Surface Laptop Go 2 contains a pair of upward-facing Omnisonic speakers, enhanced with Dolby Atmos. The audio is fairly middling. It’s nothing to complain about (where flat laptop audio is concerned), but nothing to write home about either. There are still better laptops where audio is concerned. HP’s use of its B&O speakers can provide decent sound on their budget laptops and Dell’s Latitude 9510 and recent XPS notebooks provide undeniably richer, fuller sound.

Microsoft chose a standard 720p user-facing camera instead of a 1080p webcam for the Surface Laptop Go 2, which is in line with the competition, both budget laptops as well as more expensive competitors. Like its predecessor, the resulting image is somewhat soft, though with good color balance and exposure. A pair of far-field mics will help with Zoom and Teams calls, though they didn’t sound any worse or better than other devices when checked with Windows’ Voice Recorder app.

The Surface Laptop Go 2’s camera doesn’t go above 720p, producing camera/video that’s soft but with good color balance.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The Surface Laptop Go 2 doesn’t seem to ship with bloatware, although this is somewhat configurable: during the setup process, Windows 11 will ask whether you want your laptop set up for gaming, productivity, a family environment, or some combination of the various choices. In general, it’s a relatively optimized machine.

Surface Laptop Go 2 performance

The processor upgrade adds a bit to the overall performance of the Surface Laptop Go 2, though it’s important to note that Microsoft released the Surface Laptop Go 2 (with an 11th-gen Core chip inside) during the period in which more and more laptops are shipping with a 12th-gen “Alder Lake” Core chip or AMD’s Ryzen equivalent. On the other hand, performance shouldn’t be your first priority with the Surface Laptop Go 2.

Real-world tests with the Surface Laptop Go 2 reinforced our impressions of its predecessor. Opt for 8GB of RAM and you should be fine. The laptop surfed the web using Microsoft Edge acceptably, and played back 4K video using streaming services just fine. That’s a bit of a misnomer, of course, since a 4K60 YouTube video was actually delivered to the laptop using sub-1080p resolution after the laptop’s capabilities were detected. With that said, it still performed nearly perfectly, dropping just 3 frames in a 10,000-frame test loop.

Naturally, this isn’t a gaming laptop, though you can certainly try out Game Pass Ultimate’s cloud gaming feature. We used an older Xbox 360 controller, connected via USB, and received what we would expect of a streamed cloud game. Our 3DMark benchmark below indicates that the Surface Laptop Go 2 really isn’t a gaming PC, otherwise.

We’ve compared the $799 Surface Laptop Go 2 to other budget PCs we’ve recently tested: the $860 Acer Swift 3 (SF316-51), the $849 Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1, the $499 Acer Aspire 5, and the $1,000 Acer Swift X, which adds a discrete GPU for extra gaming oomph. We’ve also included the comparably priced $750 HP Pavilion Aero 13, the $799-$899 Acer Aspire Vero, and two Microsoft Surface devices, the Surface Laptop 4 (Ryzen) and the original Surface Laptop Go.

We use four standard tests: UL’s PCMark 10 and 3DMark to measure general office usage and 3D gameplay plus Cinebench R15 and the Handbrake video conversion tool.

PCMark 10 provides a bloc of tests, from Web browsing to office work, as well as light gaming and even some CAD work. It’s a good overall tool to test performance and the Surface Laptop Go 2 performs fairly well. This is a good test to determine simply how well the Surface Laptop Go 2 will perform on average.

In general, an 11th-gen Core i5 doesn’t really hold up to higher-end Core i7 processors and especially the latest Ryzen processors from AMD.

Mark Hachman / IDG

For a more prolonged test, we use Handbrake, a video conversion tool that transcodes video into other formats. Here, we take a Hollywood-quality video and transcode it into a length and format suitable for a tablet. While it simulates a real-world task, it also measures how well the laptop keeps itself cool under a heavy load. A thermally well-managed laptop can perform at higher clock speeds for a longer period of time, completing the task quickly.

In most cases, rival laptops would complete this task in half the time of the Surface Laptop Go 2.

Mark Hachman / IDG

We use 3DMark to assess how well the GPU performs. With the move to a “G7” graphics chip, we expect a bump in graphics performance, though nothing close to what a discrete GPU would deliver. The Surface Laptop Go 2 performs adequately for a laptop in its class.

Here we find an interesting result: dialing up the performance in Windows 11 boosts 3D graphics capabilities substantially. Is the Surface Laptop Go 2 a gaming PC? No, though you may be able to play some older, less complex games.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Finally, we loop a 4K video over and over until the battery expires. The Surface Laptop Go 2 has a battery with identical capacity as its predecessor, so we’d expect about the same battery life, with some variation allowed for the new Windows 11 operating system and processor. The Go 2 falls a minute short of nine hours of battery life.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Conclusion

Part of the appeal of the Surface Laptop Go 2 is its price. But a smart buyer should start looking at the tradeoffs. Would paying $200 more for a laptop like the (currently unavailable) Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon and its gorgeous 2.8K OLED screen make more sense? For about $950 (at press time), you can buy the Acer Swift X, a full-fledged ultraportable gaming machine. What about the Acer Swift 3 (SF316-51), a perennial contender at the $800-ish range? Even the comparably priced HP Pavilion Aero 13 offers a lot more for the dollar. The competition is intense.

Certain Microsoft Surface devices are simply best in class, justifying their price premium: the Surface Pro 8 tablet, for example. The Surface Laptop Go 2 simply isn’t and budget buyers have to ask harder questions when it comes to paying more. While the Surface Laptop Go 2 is okay for what it offers, its problem is all too common. The competition can offer as much for less.

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