Lightweight, compact and powerful, the 10-inch Microsoft’s Surface Go is aimed at busy professionals. After plenty of rumours and speculation, Microsoft’s launch of the Surface Go entrenches its Surface line into a new product category, one between the popular iPad Pro and its own line of 2-in-1 Surface Pro devices.
Officially unveiled today, the Surface Go doesn’t stray far from the aesthetics those familiar with Microsoft’s Surface line are used to. With an integrated kick-stand and detachable keyboard, the Go’s small size is its main differentiator. Retailing at launch at an MSRP of USD399 (SGD540), the Surface Go is a strong competitor to the 9.7-inch iPad.
Apart from its size and price, nothing much has changed from Microsoft’s other current Surface Pro models. It keeps the full functionality of the kick-stand, webcam with integrated Windows Hello facial recognition unlock, and similar I/O – with the same magnetic Surface Connector for charging and docking.
The Surface Go even has the volume and wake buttons on the same spot, along with the magnetic portion that allows the convenient attachment of the Surface Pen.
Powered on, however, the Surface Go begins to tell itself apart. It comes preinstalled with Windows 10S, the diminutive device is limited to Microsoft’s Edge browser and applications found on the Microsoft Store. This possibly is in a move to encourage users to stick to the lighter operating system that squeezes the most out of its diminished specifications. With Intel’s 7th generation dual-core Pentium Gold 4415Y processor on board, and starting at 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, it is not difficult to see why these concerns persist.
Microsoft claims nine hours of battery life resulting from the prudent use of components that allow for a thin and fanless design.
Despite this limitation, the Microsoft Surface Go is upgradable to the full version of Windows 10 for free. It is also able to support up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. Wi-Fi models will be initially released before LTE-equipped versions arrive on the market next year.
At this form factor, the Microsoft Surface Go is evidently attempting to challenge the iPad’s virtually-unopposed dominance of the market for compact productivity devices, especially with its attractive price tag, inking ability, and built-in keyboard support with the kickstand. However, with its limited Chromebook-esque specifications, and a large iOS App Store to compete with, the Surface Go has a ways to go to stand a real chance against it.
The base model of the Surface Go will retail at USD399 (SGD540). Local pricing and availability in Singapore will be announced later this year.