We’ve reviewed the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. Now comes the Surface Go. Read on.

What is the Microsoft Surface Go?

The Microsoft Surface Go is the smallest yet of Microsoft’s line of tablets. Measuring at a mere 10-inch, the Surface Go is marketed to be “perfect for all your daily needs, giving you a laptop performance with tablet portability.’

The Microsoft Surface comes in two versions; one with a 64GB memory and 4GB RAM which costs S$618 and another with 128GB memory with 8GB RAM which costs S$828.

Take a look of the Surface Go specs taken from Microsoft’s website itself:

Processor

Intel® Pentium® Gold Processor 4415Y

RAM / Storage

4GB or 8GB RAM. 64GB (eMMC drive) or 128GB SSD

Display

Screen: 10″ PixelSense Display Resolution: 1800 x 1200 (217 PPI) resolution Aspect ratio: 3:2 Contrast ratio: 1500:1
Touch: 10-point multi-touch

Dimensions and Weight

9.65″ x 6.90″ x 0.33″ (245 mm x 175 mm x 8.30 mm) ,
Wi-Fi: Starting at 1.15 lbs (522 g)

The Surface Go that we were given to review is the 128GB, price point S$828.

First Impressions.

When I first took out the Surface Go from its box, my immediate thought was that the tablet feels incredibly sturdy. Starting at about 522g, the Surface Go isn’t yanking your chain with the claim that it was going to be light. Despite its weight, not once did I feel like the tablet was flimsy or cheaply made.

Just to keep the weight in perspective, I brought the Surface Go out in my bag when I went to cover Feed the City event. From leaving the house at 8.30am and going down from the west to Farrer Park, standing around at the event and then going out with my fiance the whole day until 9pm, my shoulders did not feel aching or tired at the end of the night from carrying it.

While the Surface Type cover isn’t included with a purchase of the Surface Go, Microsoft’s kindly loaned us one for the review.

My first impression? The magnets on these things are really strong. There was a definite satisfying click sound when they were connected. You definitely won’t be worried that it might disconnect on its own. Or worse, drop off suddenly when you’re carrying it. Sadly, the Type Cover is a separate purchase.

If only Microsoft would start bundling the accessories (while still keeping the price), the Surface Go (and the Surface line) would be the de facto pick for everybody!

Display wise, the colors on the screen were sharp and clear. The Windows 10 Home in S mode was easy to use and user-friendly. There’s no need for you to try and figure out which app is for what. It’s really straightforward.

While watching Dreadout gameplay, in preparation for the movie.

The keyboard is a bit small but still comfortable. You might need time to get used to it but it’s still usable so I’m not going to cross it out and the kickstand is a plus as it helps to keep the Surface Go up without the need to buy a separate cover.

At first try, there was no lag time between the trackpad / touch and the screen. I like how responsive the machine is, whether you’re using the touchscreen to input your commands or using the Type Cover, response time is almost instantenous.

Just to be perfectly clear before proceeding, the Pet Sematary article was written purely on the Surface Go. The introduction and first impression of this article too, so I’ve had a ton of experience using the machine for work.

What happens when I want to use the Microsoft Surface Go for work?

Seeing that the Surface Go is marketed as having laptop performance, I was definitely eager to try it out. Especially since both my laptops have gone kaput and I’m in the market for a new one.

The ports on the Surface Go

First of all, the fact that it only has the USB-C port makes it hard for me to transfer files from my phone to the tablet. A USB 3.1 port would’ve been a perfect complement to the Type-C port, covering all bases, not just those with Type-C port devices.

I enjoyed watching videos on the Surface Go.

For one, the 10-inch screen makes it easy on the eyes when watching for long periods of time. The colours are also sharp even when viewed from the sides, with barely any distortion or issues.

See, sharp

The Surface Go is actually quite comfortable to use on its own. With the large screen and the fact that the keys on the screen are evenly spaced out, typing on it is pretty fast. Whether in landscape mode or in portrait mode, you’ll find it easy to find a position that you’ll be happy with.

To be honest, I’m finding it easier to type out this review using solely the onscreen keyboard. There’s no lag-time and the screen response to two finger touching it at the same time is pretty impressive.

To be honest, if you don’t need the Type Cover, I’d say the onscreen keyboard is good enough on its own. Better, in fact since the Surface Go isn’t as big as the others in the Surface line.

The Numbers

We benchmarked the Surface Go using PCMark 10 and 3DMark. On 3DMark, we tested it on Time Spy, at the program’s recommendation. The Surface Go’s score of 315 wasn’t unexpected at all; after all it doesn’t have any discreet graphics card and it’s clearly not a gaming product.

For PCMark10, we got a score an overall score of 1724, which is a decent result. For a more complete picture, we can take a look at the different categories; the machine scored 4,031 on Essentials, 2,619 on Productivity and 1,318 on Digital Content Creation. Battery life clocked in at 6 hours 37 mins, with us looping a Youtube video and everything on default settings.

As you can see, the Surface Go works well for the essentials (boot-up, web browsing, video stream) but a pretty average score for productivity (word processing and spreadsheets). The Digital Content Creation is also quite low.

The results are actually on par with what we’ve expected with the hardware in the Surface Go. Compared to the scores we got on the Surface Pro 6, the ones we got for the Surface Go are lower, though not massively so.

The Surface Go also scored quite low on the 3DMark so if you want to get it for heavy gaming, you might want to think twice. You might enjoy games such as the ones offered in their store though.

The bottom line

The Microsoft Surface Go is great for daily use. If you’re looking for a simple tablet to use for social media/reading of books/watching videos, I would highly recommend as the video streaming and the colors makes it particularly enjoyable.

However, if you want a tablet for work, keep in mind that this might not be for heavy work usage. Especially for the price point.

The Surface Type cover costs S$188 and the Surface Pen costs S$148. However, if you feel the need to have more docks, the Surface Dock comes at a whopping price of S$314! That’s almost half the price of the Surface Go!

TLDR:

It’s a little expensive and you might need to top up extra for the accessories that you might need. But if you’re looking for something to use everyday without the need for laptop, then it might be worth your money if you like what the Surface Go brings to the table.

The Good.
– Decent performance
– Great display
– Decent battery

The Bad.
– Performance could be better.
– Accessories (like the Type Cover) cost extra.

Occasional Writer for The Technovore. Usually go by Ms Siti in my daily life.

Occasional Writer for The Technovore. Usually go by Ms Siti in my daily life.