This week, Microsoft announced the latest member of the Surface family, the Surface Go. The Surface Go is an entry-level 2-in-1 that packs many of the Surface line’s features but in a smaller footprint and a matching smaller price tag. If you’ve long considered the Surface Pro but found the price a bit too steep, the Surface Go hopes to be the gateway drug for those afraid to bite the bullet. Here’s our take.
Tech Specs from Microsoft
- 10-inch PixelSense Display – 1800×1200 max. resolution
- 3:2 aspect ratio
- 10-point multi-touch display
- Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y
- Storage Options: 64GB or 128GB SSD
- RAM: 4GB (on 64GB model) or 8GB (on 128GB model)
- 9-hour battery life
- Connections: 1 USB-C
- 5mm headphone jack
- 1 Surface Connect port
- Type Cover Port
- Micro SDXC reader
- Cameras: Windows Hello face authentication camera
- 0MP front-facing camera –with 1080P Skype HD video
- 0MP rear camera
What to expect
The Surface Go comes in a svelte 1.5-lbs while only trimming 2-inches from the 12-inch Surface Pro. It’s a lightweight, jack-of-all-trades convertible that will meet the needs of most users today with a major caveat: it ships with Windows 10 S. While Win10 S is built for tablets, this does open up the possibility that many users may not realize that this isn’t full-fledged Windows 10. S mode restricts the types of applications you can use to those found in the Microsoft Store only. Thankfully, there is the option for a one-time upgrade to Windows 10 Home, but again, the hassle or degree of difficulty may be off-putting to some.
Still, the Surface Go has plenty to offer those looking for more than a tablet. It’s fully compatible with the entire Surface line of peripherals, including a mouse, so you’re getting a bonafide laptop experience when you want it. The processor might be a bit on the anemic side if you’re planning on doing more than content consumption and text-based work, but the higher-end model should be enough to hold you down should you need some light graphics processing muscle. The 9-hour battery life (based on video playback) is also an excellent reason to consider the Surface Go over other $400 PCs.
G Style Hot Take
At a starting price of $399, the Microsoft Surface Go is tempting enough where it can make for an attractive second/backup laptop or something for shared family use. It’s just inexpensive enough where dropping a few C-notes doesn’t sound like a hard decision, but beware, adding a Type Cover, Surface Pen, and a full version of MS Office Home brings the starting price over $700 (more for the 128 GB model). Still, we can appreciate this stylish alternative to the plasticky Chromebooks around this price range.
Microsoft is currently taking preorders for both the 64GB (MSRP: $399) and 128GB (MSRP: $549) models as well as the matching accessories with an expected LTE version in the coming weeks.