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Microsoft Surface Go review: This affordable small Windows 10 S inscription is a PC when we need it

Microsoft’s 10-inch, $399 Surface Go inscription is a depart from a company’s Surface tradition, that put onward expensive, desirous designs to mangle route for a rest of a PC industry. Now, a Surface Go’s decidedly mainstream cost should interest to businesspeople on a go as good as consumers deliberation an Apple iPad or Android tablet.

Caveats like a handling system—Windows 10 in S Mode—and a low-end processor might give we pause. And a discretionary nonetheless close Type Cover rather offsets a Surface Go’s convenience. But our Surface Go examination will transport we by a Surface Go hardware, theType Cover, and a new Mobile Mouse—then tell we how it all works in practice, both as a pristine tablet and as a capability device. Finally, we’ll speak about a Surface Go’s performance, and how it compares to PCs and other tablets.

Microsoft Surface Go Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft offers a choice of 4 opposite colors of Type Cover keyboards for a Surface Go. The new Mobile Mouse is color-coordinated as well.

Surface Go: Basic specs

  • Display: 10-inch (1800×1200) IPS technology, 217 PPI, 3:2 ratio, 10-point touch
  • Processor: Intel 1.6GHz Pentium 4415Y (Kaby Lake)
  • Graphics: Intel HD 615 (integrated)
  • Memory: 4GB/8GB (8GB as tested)
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC/128GB SSD (128GB as tested). A blurb indication with 256GB SSD is planned.
  • Ports: 1 USB-C, 1 Surface Connector, microSD, headphone jack
  • Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, LTE after in 2018
  • Cameras: 5MP front (Windows Hello-capable), 8MP back (with autofocus)
  • Battery: 27Wh
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home in S Mode (Windows 10 Pro for blurb model)
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches
  • Weights: 1.14 pounds (tablet), 1.68 pounds (tablet and keyboard), 1.98 pounds (tablet, keyboard and charger), as measured
  • Optional Accessories: Type Cover keyboard: $99 (black) or $129 (burgundy, cobalt, platinum); Surface Mobile Mouse: $39; Surface Pen: $99
  • Price: 4GB RAM/64GB storage: $399Remove non-product link; 8GB RAM/128GB: $549(via a Microsoft Store). Costco offers a possess bundle with 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, and a Type Cover for $550.
Microsoft Surface Go Mark Hachman / IDG

The Surface Go is a tiny cousin of a Surface Pro (2017),

Surface Go, out of a box

Out of a box, a Surface Go feels light and sturdy, if a little bit chunky. Microsoft’s hardware gurus crafted a Surface Go out of a same magnesium devalue of before iterations, with Gorilla Glass 3 safeguarding the 10-inch PixelSense display. 

Microsoft Surface Go Mark Hachman / IDG

What routinely would be a USB-A container on a side of a Surface has been transposed by a USB-C connector.

It’s a bit tough to trust that a Surface Go is indeed a ninth Surface tablet, with 3 Surface and Surface Pro predecessors, respectively, and a Surface RT and a “reimagined” Surface Pro (2017). The Go retains many informed elements: the energy and volume rocker on a top, the microSD container underneath a kickstand, and a MagSafe-like Surface Connector on a right side. There, you’ll also find a headphone jack, and I/O port—which has migrated from USB-A to USB-C with a Go. The Surface Connector still works with a Surface Dock, as good as a flourishing series of USB-C hubs. 

Microsoft Surface Go Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft designed a Surface Go to be means to work absolutely on a go. Here’s a Surface Go in movement on a Bay Area’s Capitol Corridor commuter train.

You can appreciate a low-end Pentium chip for dual other features: The sum miss of fan vents and a low-power charger. Unless feverishness somehow leaks out of a I/O ports—which, to my finger, it does not—the Surface Go is wholly passively cooled. Under load, a top third of a Go warmed up, nonetheless not unpleasantly. The 1.6-amp horse is modestly included compared to a a 3-amp to 4-amp quick phone chargers we see these days, so we can substantially assign your Surface Go regulating your phone’s USB-C charger.

We contend “probably” since Microsoft didn’t yield sum on a USB-C port’s capabilities, so we attempted it out. While a pier clearly doesn’t underline Thunderbolt, it slow-charged a connected phone. We weren’t means to assign a inscription with a OnePlus quick horse (5V, 4A), nonetheless a 5V/2A outmost battery horse did a trick.

The Surface Go typing experience

As we speak about a Surface Go knowledge after in a review, you’ll note we make a box for regulating a Go nonetheless a Signature Type Cover. In part, that’s since a Type Cover knowledge is a step down from generations past.

Microsoft Surface Go Mark Hachman / IDG

Functionally, a Surface Go keyboard stays matching to generations past…

Aesthetically, these new Signature Type Covers exaggerate a same, somewhat plush Alcantara fabric that’s lived on a outward of a final few generations, that give approach to a somewhat smoother, plasticky feel along a inside. The Type Cover grips a Go inscription regulating a same double hinge of past Surfaces, and what appears to be an even stronger captivating tie during a edge. You unequivocally have to give a Type Cover a wrench to apart it from a tablet, that helps concrete a place on your lap.