Microsoft has added a new addition to its Surface tablet range in the form of a Surface Go. Smaller and lighter than its popular Pro counterpart, it’s set to offer all the best features of the Microsoft operating system in one compact, portable and affordable device.
Here’s an insight into the Microsoft Surface Go, and why it’s attracting widespread praise.
A smaller, more portable Pro
Since Microsoft first launched the Pro in 2013, it’s been one of the top contenders in the all-things-to-all-people tablet range.
Featuring access to the Microsoft Office suite and nifty little extras like a keyboard and pen, it heralded a new generation of tablets that allowed people to work and play on the run and effectively offered a full laptop experience in tablet form.
That made it a solid alternative to the perennially popular Apple iPad, with the added benefit of access to Microsoft Office.
But with a screen of 12.3-inches and a weight of 770g (1.7lb), the Pro wasn’t exactly the smallest device. And with a price tag starting at US$899 and AU$1349, it wasn’t the cheapest option either. As a result, Microsoft fans have long called on the tech giant to offer a more compact, more budget friendly option.
Enter the Microsoft Go – a tinier, lightweight cousin to the Go, that offers everything everyone loves about the Pro in a smaller, cheaper form.
So, what is the Microsoft Go?
Hello, Surface Go
The Microsoft Surface Go is a 10-inch tablet with most of the features everyone loves about the Pro. It comes complete with Windows 10, caters to the Office 365 Suite, features a touchscreen and is compatible with a type cover and the Surface Pen.
Weighing just 0.5kg (1.15lb), it’s a bit lighter than the Pro and a lot more compact, but that weight reduction does come at a cost in terms of processing power, battery life and storage.
Microsoft spruiks the Go as having nine hours battery life, compared to the Pro’s 13.5. Reviewers note in real-world usage the Go battery life is a little more like six.
Storage-wise, the Go comes with two standard options, kicking off with a 64GB eMMC drive or a 128GB solid state drive (SSD). The Pro has a whole lot more options starting from a 128GB SSD and working up to 1TB.
Meanwhile, RAM in the Go is available in 4GB or 8GB. Again, the Pro is a heftier option here with either 8GB or 16GB available.
In terms of grunt, the Go comes with an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, while the Pro kicks in with the Intel 8th generation Core i5, but also offers a Core i7 option for some serious processing power.
There are some features, however that happily span both devices, including the 5MP front-facing camera that comes with face authentication, and the 8MP rear-facing camera.
The Go also offers a host of ports, which is one of the reasons the Pro achieved such popularity.
In the Go, these include a USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, a Surface Connect port, Surface Type Cover port and Microsoft SDXC card reader.
That means it’s only shortchanged the full-size USB 3.0 port and mini display port that come standard in the Surface Pro.
The price and what’s in the box
Like the Pro, the Go comes as a tablet complete with kickstand, charger, and Microsoft 10 pre-installed, with a starting price tag of US$399 or AUD$599.
The key element that is likely to make the Go popular is its access to MS Office, but if you’re looking to use Office to full effect, a keyboard will be required, and this doesn’t come as part of the starting package.
Instead it’s an optional extra that retails from USD$129.99 or AUD$199.95 for the purpose-built Go Signature Type Cover.
Likewise, the Surface Pen, mouse, Bluetooth headphones and Surface Dial are all compatible but come at an additional price.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking to put the Go to use in business or retail as an information kiosk or Point of Sale, a custom-made Fusion case will soon be available to handle its smaller specs.
And make no mistake, the Go is likely to be used in this capacity, with its small size and affordability offering business the chance to embrace all the attributes of the familiar Microsoft operating system, in a compact, cost efficient form.
The Fusion case will enable Go’s to be mounted to walls or countertops, or used in a secure, freestanding display.
The final word
If the popularity of the Surface Pro is anything to go by, the smaller, lighter, more affordable option that is the Go will likely attract a huge following.
After all, it offers everything, everyone loves about the Pro, with a couple of small concessions, at fraction of the cost.