Microsoft Surface Go was unveiled earlier today, and has just started taking pre-orders from Microsoft Store. The Surface Go release date is August 2, so it’s time to look at how Microsoft’s new entry level Surface compares to other tablets in this category: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/surface/
We will be looking at comparisons and benchmark scores, and the details. Microsoft Surface Go is the successor to the Surface 3, but on a comparative basis, it is now a more powerful and capable tablet compared to its rivals in most ways. But it also sets some new standards and creates a new form factor, with the Surface Go being a straight 10-inch tablet with 1800 x 1200 resolution. Nobody has done that before.
Surface Chief Product Officer Panos Panay explained the idea behind the 3:2 screen ratio as being an emulation of the textbook scale when used in portrait mode, and a paperback book when used in landscape mode. This is similar to a design principle Microsoft have applied to the Surface Pro and Surface Book too, by imitating a well established form factor already in use in the offline world, like the A4 paper format. So the form factor of Surface Go is very specific for an intelligent reason.
The actual display is the same kind of individually calibrated PixelSense Display used in the other Surface tablets, so that means the colors will be accurate. The screen also has support for the optional Surface Pen digitizer, with a very high 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. The Surface Pen has low latency, is accurate, and the nib of the pen can be swapped with other types of nib, from thick to thin with different levels of resistance and friction. The screen is also protected by Gorilla Glass 3, just like a good smartphone, so that protects the screen from scratches and damages well.
With Surface Go being the first tablet or any computer released with the dual-core 2.3 GHz Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y processor, the processor just like the screen means that Surface Go is in something of a category of itself, which makes it more difficult to compare. So I’ll compare to the most relevant Windows tablets.
For starters, the Surface Go has between 80%-90% more computing power now than on the predecessor Surface 3, so that says something in itself. Using Geekbench 4 scores, the single-core score for Surface 3 with the Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor which was the fastest processor in that CPU series, Surface 3 scored an average of 1120. Surface Go on the other hand scores 2040 on average, which makes it over 82% faster and more powerful on average.
But being a more modern processor that handles modern tasks much better, in real world use it will be more than 82% faster, such as browsing, running apps, editing files and documents, and multitasking.
RAM options are between 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and 64GB of eMMC or 128GB of SSD storage. It also has a microSD card slot for microSD card expansion and file transfer. The GPU is a Intel HD Graphics 615 on all models of Surface Go.
Benchmark compared to other Windows 10 2-in-1 tablets in the 10-inch category with Intel Core m3 and Intel Celeron N3450 processors, here is how Microsoft Surface Go compares. With benchmark scores, the higher the better when we view both the single-core and multi-core scores.
|Windows Tablet||Screen||Display||Single Core||Multi Core||Price w/ Keyboard|
|Microsoft Surface Go||10||1800×1200||2040||3965||$529|
|Samsung Galaxy Book||10.6||1920×1280||3200||6000||$625|
|Chuwi SurBook Mini||10.8||1920×1280||1200||3200||$340|
It’s a pretty light tablet at 522 grams or 1.15 lbs made with a magnesium casing, and considering that it has a built-in kickstand on the back, the 8.3mm thickness is acceptable too.
The Surface Go speakers are surprisingly powerful, with this tablet featuring 2 watt stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium. This means that this tablet has one of the top 3 most powerful speakers among all tablets in production today. So this tablet isn’t just for productivity. It will be a great tablet for watching videos and playing music too.
The tablet has a frontal IR camera for signing in using face recognition, but also a normal 5MP front camera with Full HD 1080p Skype HD video support, and a larger 8MP rear camera with Full HD video recording.
As for all the other specs, Surface Go has complete dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi cover, Bluetooth 4.1, and later in 2018 an optional 4G LTE model will be added to the selection too.
The Surface Go battery life is 9 hours long and will charge fully in 2 hours. The sensors includes ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer, while ports on this 2-in-1 tablet are a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a Surface Connect port for charging it and docking it, and it has a 3.5mm audio combo jack.
The preinstalled OS on Surface Go is the Windows appstore geared Windows 10 S operating system, but as on all Windows 10 S computers, it’s possible to switch over to a traditional Windows 10 version for free.
The Surface Go keyboard is optional, but these costs $129, come in the colors of red, green, grey, and black, and are called Surface Go Signature Type Cover. These are backlit keyboards so you can type in the dark and still see the keys, and the touchpad on the keyboard is a certified Windows Precision Trackpad with gesture support.
This keyboard is new because it has to fit the 10-inch tablet, but the optional Surface Pen is the same as before and it attaches magnetically to the side of the Surface Go. The tablet is also compatible with the Surface Dial and the new Surface Mobile Mouse.
Microsoft Surface Go can do a lot of things well, and it’s in a new tablet category by itself. For those who need more computing power, there’s the 10.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Book, but they will then have to pay more. So considering the price, the features, and the quality and warranty it’s under, this new thought through tablet should do well.
– Tom Bowen