Read why we’re loving Microsoft’s budget tablet offering.
I sit here comfortably typing the review of the Microsoft Surface Go on the device itself. I initially thought that the less-expensive version of the Microsoft Surface Pro would show a disappointing performance, but it turns out to be the opposite. My time with the Surface Go has been fantastic so far, and unless you prefer an iOS device like the iPad, the Surface Go ranks up there as one of Microsoft’s best Windows tablets.
The Surface Go is smaller, lighter and cost way lesser than the Surface Pro. That’s about the main differences you’d see on this budget tablet. But budget usually equates to a slower performance, which is technically not the case with the Surface Go. Yes, it has slower hardware and runs on Windows 10 S (the low-cost version of Windows designed for less-extensive hardware), but everything’s been optimized and streamlined properly that I hardly noticed any slowdowns using it my primary PC for the days that I have it.
Let’s look at what’s inside: the Surface Go we received for review runs on an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y dual-core CPU with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD drive. There’s a microSDXC card slot for expanding the memory along with a 3.5 audio jack, the Surface Connect port for connecting external keyboards and a single USB-C port. The inclusion of a USB-C port means you literally use it connect any device or output video to a compatible display. This means though that connecting standard USB drives would require to get a dongle. In my case though, most of my files are saved on the cloud which means I’ve barely used the port for connecting peripherals.
From the outside, you’re treated to a 10-inch PixelSense touch display with a 1,800-by-1,200 pixel resolution. It’s sharp and bright, perfect for reading emails, browsing the web or simply enjoying a movie on Netflix. Even if it’s a budget tablet the screen still delivers the same color accuracy that I’ve seen on more expensive Surface devices, evident by the bright whites, dark blacks and the brilliant colors that I saw on it. The kickstand at the back is still present, which lets you put the Surface Go on a standing position when watching or showing content.
There’s also dual speakers placed on either side of the Surface Go, and for a budget device, the sound is surprisingly great. The tablet also supports a 5-megapixel front camera plus an 8-megapixel rear camera. The front camera also supports Windows Hello that lets you log in using your face.
As with previous Surface devices, the accessories like the Type Cover and the Surface Pen are still sold separately, and unfortunately, this is one of the few accessories that actually make using the Surface Go even better. The Type Cover is my favorite, and aside from adding a keyboard it also acts as a cover for the Surface Go.
As mentioned the Surface Go runs on Windows 10 S so all my existing apps and programs are automatically compatible. What I’ve noticed is that I tend to be more productive using a Windows tablet, mostly because I view it as a gadget meant for work. When I use the iPad for example, I tend to always get distracted and always end up watching YouTube or playing a game once in a while.
I’ll say this for sure: the Surface Go is a really great tablet, in a sense where it can actually replace your everyday computer. Of course, it will not run high-end games and applications, but for a lightweight device where you can carry on doing your work, the Surface Go does the job.
Battery life hovers around six hours on normal usages, though Microsoft said it was supposed to last longer. It’s a slight disappointment but definitely not a deal breaker.
The Microsoft Surface Go succeeds on what a budget tablet should do: offer a decent computing experience without breaking your wallet. With a starting price of 1,699 AED, the Surface Go ranks up there as one of the best tablets we’ve tested.
+ Great display
+ Excellent performance
– Accessories need to be purchased separately
Final Rating: 4.5/5