Microsoft Surface Go review
Microsoft Surface Go review

The Surface Go, Microsoft's most up-to-date tablet that plans to become a smaller -- and more viable -- Surface Pro has arrived. The Surface Go does not bring any significant surprises, but perhaps that's a good thing.

Together with the Surface Go, Microsoft is showing everybody that the finest Windows tablets may be cheap -- what that you love about the Surface Pro 6, only smaller and more affordable. No half baked operating systems -- however Windows 10 S Mode is enabled out of the box and no odd app compatibility problems. The Surface Go works in the word"go", which explains the reason why we adore the Microsoft Surface manufacturer.

When you decide on a device as small as the Microsoft Surface Go, you are going to need to make a few compromises, particularly in regards to power -- although the rumored brand new Surface keyboards can help in the long run. However, the Microsoft Surface Go is exactly what the Surface 3 must happen to be way back then -- but thankfully, the wait is over.

Based on what your workload looks like, the Surface Go may be the right for everything from work to swallowing your favourite media. In the race to the greatest miniature tablet for taskers, Microsoft knocked it out of the park using the Surface Go.

Microsoft Surface Go review

Price and availability

The Surface Go setup we reviewed will put you back $549 (£509, AU$839, AED 2,399), also it is the highest-end version of the tablet offered by Microsoft. You can get the Surface Pro for as little as $399 (£379, AU$599, AED 1,699), together with 64GB of eMMC storage along with 4GB of memory, with the remainder of the specs remain the same.

Annoyingly, Microsoft continues to market the tablet's all-but-essential accessories individually. The Surface Pen goes for $99 (£99, AU$139), although the brand new Alcantara fabric Type Covers designed for Surface Go request $129 (£124.99, AU$199, AED 399). These include in burgundy, cobalt and platinum colours.

At length, a conventional black nylon Type Cover can be obtained for a more palatable $99 (£99, AU$149), attracting all of the very same features in a marginally less superior texture and look.

The Surface Go's greatest competition, Apple's iPad 2018, starts at $329 (£319, AU$469, AED 1,349) to start, that gets you 32GB of flash memory and 2GB of memory -- half as far as the starter Surface Go in either case, but with a sharper display. If you'd like the iPad to fit the Surface Go in storage, then the 64GB model will set you back $429 (£409, AU$599), though memory remains in 2GB in most configurations.

If you are following a Windows 10 device, there's the Asus Transformer Mini, which is very similar to the Surface Go in that it offers a 10.1-inch Windows tablet using a kickstand. Plus, both the stylus and keyboard cover are included for only $399 (about £300, AU$534) to get the model with 128GB of storage. However, the display is not quite as good as either choice, and it is restricted to 4GB of RAM because its only settings.

Microsoft Surface Go review


At first glance, the 1.15-pound (0.52kg) Surface Go appears just to be the Surface Pro shrunken down by 2.3 inches on the diagonal, and that's mostly true -- excellent kickstand and all. But, Microsoft clearly place some design effort within this version, starting it up to a greater audience, specifically pupils.

The first key hint supporting the Surface Go's intended audience would be the rather prominent rounding of the edges and angles that Microsoft has applied to the device. Gone will be the crude, removable edges of the Surface Pro at lieu of rounder, softer advantages that help provide this version of the Surface its own individuality.

Beyond that, this device is mainly the exact same in design as its forebears, except smaller. The excellent hinge yields and can bend almost 180 degrees just like before, which makes this device an perfect canvas for electronic drawing and note taking.

Microsoft managed to cram a USB-C port and microSD card reader in the smaller Surface Go, neither of the hottest iPad has. It follows that not only does this tablet's storage have been enlarged, but it's two strategies to hard-wire a dock and enlarge displays compared to the iPad's only method, as a result of the mainstay Surface Connect port.

In terms of the brand new, of course smaller, Type Cover, Microsoft manages to deliver full-sized keys (currently with more pronounced curves) inside a smaller quantity of space, also has comprised a glass trackpad that's bigger in thickness than that of the Surface Pro. All told, the Type Cover feels as snappy as it's before -- we'd say'merely smaller,' but it does not feel that a lot more cramped when typing.

That said, you'll want to get used to a marginally tighter typing experience, particularly when the device is in your lap. The keys are spaced closer together than normal keyboards, which changes precisely where your fingers naturally rest, in order to maintain your index fingers on the F and J keys.

Otherwise, typing on the Surface Go is considerably more comfy compared to other 10-inch devices, that needs to be lauded. For what it is worth, the iPad Smart Keyboard uses odd, totally around, keys and does not even feature a touchpad -- because iOS does not support mouse input.

Microsoft Surface Go review

Display and audio

Microsoft's display game is still top notch on the Surface Go. In 1,800 x 1,200 pixels, it is not the only real 10-inch tablet display by a very long shot, together with the most recent iPad coming in at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels.

However, however, the Microsoft Surface Go's display is amazing in everyday use. The display is very color true, and pictures and photos look great on it. Of course, that 3:2 aspect ratio is very good for work and web surfing, but provides full-screen 16:9 videos a wasted space with black bars.

Like many tablets, the bezels across the screen are fairly big, but that only enables users to grip the device out of any side without unintentionally tripping anything on the screen. Additionally, it allows for the Type Cover to connect into the base bezel via magnet at a better typing angle.

Seeing the comparatively thick bezels, the Surface Go's speakers live within them on each side of the screen. For such miniature drivers, these speakers sound amazingly strong, profound and nuanced at the quantity of channel separation they could deliver. This produces the Surface Go equally as good of a multimedia tablet since it does a light productivity device.

Microsoft Surface Go review


Before getting too deep into specifics just yet, let us make it very clear that you generally should not purchase a tablet computer or laptop for this cost and expect that a powerhouse. But you ought to get something capable enough to handle fundamental workloads and casual games, along with the Surface Go does precisely that -- but not a lot more.

The Surface Go, with its Intel Pentium Gold processor, can handle fundamental browser-based workloads, such as word processing and content management, in addition to the package of Office 365 apps, effortlessly. Together with 8GB of RAM at the higher end model, you might even run many tabs-worth of projects and websites and media players.

But don't expect this processor to handle high-resolution picture or video editing and producing in the exact same manner that a proper laptop will. That's not that tablet's forte.

That said, the CPU inside utilizes Intel's HD Graphics 615, which is not far off by the integrated graphics inside the Intel processors used in gaming laptops. This allows for some amazingly strong 3D rendering on the Surface Go, to the stage that Minecraft runs like a dream about the tablet. Furthermore, schooling apps that use 3D modeling -- especially from the science discipline -- run without difficulty here, as does Microsoft's own Paint 3D tools.

Microsoft Surface Go review

Now, the Intel processor here is not all that akin to the most recent iPad's A10 processor, as both have been created with completely different architectures and on different chipsets. Additionally, Apple actually designs its own chips to work the absolute very best they could with iOS -- even Microsoft can't do so to the exact same level. So, yes, the iPad processor is more successful compared to the Surface Go's, however it is an apples to apples comparison.

The iPad ousts the Surface Go in pure rate evaluations, such as Geekbench 4, but the Surface Go is a far more flexible device -- in Windows 10 S Mode. Speaking of that, unless you want to maintain your device on lockdown for safety or ease reasons, simply update to Windows 10 Home for free as soon as you get this device.

The performance hit to the machine together with the overhead of full Windows 10 Home ranges everywhere from minimal to non existent. At that stage, all that Windows 10 S Mode is providing you is peace of mind, which will be readily found in Windows Defender and smarter web browsing habits.

Battery life

Microsoft promises around 9 hours of continuous use from the Surface Go. Shocking nobody, these are not the numbers we can reproduce in our testing, but they're not awful. What is stranger is the way we have found the device to really survive longer in Windows 10 Home than in S Mode.

The gap in our evaluations is under one hour, and at any speed, anticipate the Surface Go to last around half an hour on a charge, and possibly a little longer when the Battery Saver feature can be used.

For individuals in areas that are mild on hardware demands and heavy on traveling, this device might be a go-to for you. Stay tuned as we examine the battery further in the two modes of Windows 10.

Microsoft Surface Go review

Apps and features

The Surface Go ships with Windows 10 in S Mode. Because this device uses an Intel processor, but this is mostly fine for day-to-day use. While the app choice on the Microsoft Store is paltry compared with all the software available to download in the internet, at the device can run each app designed for Windows 10 natively without difficulty.

Windows 10 devices with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor installed can not convey the same, as their processor architectures are not compatible with the number of Windows 10 apps were built. Windows 10 S may bring with it more safety, but if you are careful online (and also have Windows Defender installed) you must be alright.

The Surface Go does not have lots of other standout features to speak of, however we particularly appreciate facial recognition login through Windows Hello. While it does not function in the exact same manner, Microsoft has basically beat Apple to bringing hands on, protected login to its tablet.

Microsoft's execution here works fantastically, which can be buoyed by a really good 5MP webcam along with 8MP camera to the back. The webcam shoots 1080p video that's crisp and detail-rich, which makes Surface Go also well suited for video meetings. For comparison's sake, the iPad uses only a 720p FaceTime camera.

Microsoft Surface Go review

General assessment

The Surface Go can quite well be a market device, but it is a market that's only rising. With each significant hardware vendor focused on smaller productivity tablets, Microsoft has finally pinpointed the concept of the smaller Surface device, once more showing the world how it's done.

At the same time that you might reduce the Surface Go to being only a smaller Surface Pro, the accuracy of the matter is that the industry is trending toward smaller and smaller computing devices. Now, the Surface Go is there to match them using a full-blown, 10-inch computer.

Of course, we can complain about how there are still no accessories included, that it is technically less powerful compared to the brand new iPad and that the screen could be sharper, and they're all legal complaints. But if you are looking at the brand new iPad or another 10-inch tablet computer to function as next main computing device beside the Surface Go, or maybe a leading gadget, it is hard to overcome this gorgeous device that's quite a computer in every sense of the word.