Henry T. Casey / CNN

On Sept. 21, Microsoft revealed the Surface Laptop Go 3, its newest touchscreen laptop, as well as the convertible Surface Laptop Studio 2. Microsoft also opened up preorders for both, which appeal to vastly different shoppers.

Microsoft's latest Surface Laptop Go is rated for up to 15 hours of battery life and features an elegant design.

This premium easel-hinged laptop got updated with brawnier chips, and looks to compete with the MacBook Pro's M2 processors.

At a private press event in New York City, we got our hands on both of the new laptops, and they appear to live up to Microsoft’s sterling reputation for quality hardware, and have a chance to get a spot in our best laptops and top Windows laptops rankings.

Let’s start with the $800 Surface Laptop Go 3 (slated for an Oct. 3 release date), which starts at $200 more than its predecessor. Fortunately, Microsoft’s also upped the starting specs to 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), which match the $800 Laptop Go 2 configuration.

Henry T. Casey / CNN

As for speed, the Surface Laptop Go 3 seemed speedy enough and responsive during our time on the show floor. It features a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which is an upgrade over the 11th Gen CPU in the Laptop Go 2 (though Intel just revealed its 14th Gen chips). Still, it should provide enough kick for common everyday use.

One of the most exciting facets of the Surface Laptop Go 3 is its design, as we loved the spiffy gold hue that Microsoft calls Sandstone. Microsoft also sells it in Ice Blue, Sage and Platinum. Its lid and keyboard deck both provide a nice feel, and both surfaces give off a great glimmer when the light hits them just right. Also, the recycled plastic materials used for the underside create a pretty good tactile experience.

Henry T. Casey / CNN

Looking at the other specs, there’s good news, predictable news and bad news. Microsoft rates the Laptop Go 3 for “up to 15 hours” of battery life under “typical device usage,” a boost of one and a half hours above what it claimed for its predecessor. Ports stay the same with USB-A, USB-C, a headphone jack and the Surface Connect port. And the part we wish weren’t true? This $800 laptop ships with a 1536 × 1024 touchscreen display, even though you should be able to get Full HD 1080p resolution in 2023, especially at this price.

If this doesn’t seem like a drastic update over the Surface Laptop Go 2, you might not be surprised to learn that Microsoft used the majority of its presentation time to talk about the CoPilot AI tech it’s adding to Windows 11, in an update coming on Sept. 26.

Microsoft also upgrades the Surface Laptop Studio 2

Henry T. Casey / CNN

Then, Microsoft trotted out the elegant Surface Laptop Studio 2, which starts at $2,000 (also slated for Oct. 3) and is rated to be twice as fast as its predecessor. Its 14.4-inch, 2400 x 1600 touchscreen display doesn’t just move forward and backward, but it has an extra hinge so you can pull the screen forward for use with the Surface Slim Pen 2. It’s for the folks who want a tablet and a laptop but don’t need to detach the panel to be a stand-alone slate.

This pen snaps magnetically under the front side of the laptop, in a little groove that keeps it easy to find but hard to knock out. Unfortunately, it comes extra, with an MSRP of $130 that’s knocked down to $104 when bundling with the Surface Laptop Studio 2.

Henry T. Casey / CNN

Your two grand (or more) also gets you the computing power of Intel’s 13th Gen chips (i7 H-class), with graphics options ranging from entry-level Intel Iris Xe Graphics to the Nvidia RTX 4050, RTX 4060 and RTX 2000 Ada GPUs. Memory starts at 16GB of RAM and maxes out at 64GB, while internal SSD storage goes from 512GB to 2TB. For ports, it’s packing dual Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 USB-C ports, a USB-A port, a MicroSDXC memory card reader, a Surface Connect port and a headphone jack.

In a presentation demo, Microsoft showed the Surface Laptop Studio 2 beating an M2 Max-equipped MacBook Pro (with a 38-core GPU) at rendering an animated image in Blender Studio; the Studio 2 posted a time of 37.4 seconds compared to the MacBook Pro’s one minute and 12.9 seconds.

Stay tuned for our reviews of Microsoft’s latest hardware.