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Microsoft Surface Go for work and play (Australian review)
4.3Overall Score

Price (RRP): $599 to 839
Manufacturer: Microsoft

The Microsoft Surface Go is back to its roots. A smaller, lighter version of the Surface 3 circa 2015. Its a 10″ hybrid that was missing from the range.

I have an original Surface 3. Rather I had one, but my wife pinched it as her travel companion. You see at 633g it fits into the Tardis-like handbags women are wont to travel with. It is an excellent Kindle reader and plays FHD movies and has Bluetooth for headphones.

But not knowing the limits of its Atom x7 SoC she even uses it as a work-horse device on-site at conferences. Plug in an external screen via its mini-DisplayPort, a USB dongle with Ethernet and dual USB ports, a portable Canon printer and even a data projector. It runs Office 365, remote desktop, Events software, and more with ease.

I have offered her the later Surface Pro with a 12.3” screen, but it is just a little bigger and heavier. Enter Surface Go. It is even smaller and lighter (522g) than the original so I fear we may have to update!

Surface Go (as tested – 8/128GB Model 1824)

Australian Website here

What is it?

A 10” Windows 10 touch screen tablet with integrated kickstand, optional magnetic attached keyboard and pen.

It is for those on the go offering a full-fat Windows 10 experience in a smaller Surface-like device. By that we mean it runs Office 365, Outlook, browsers, connects to networks, printers and a vast array of USB devices.

At $599 for the 4/64GB model and $839 for the 8/128GB (both sans keyboard) it has the features and build quality for the education market too. There is a 5% discount for eligible students, parents and teachers

Its prime competitor, at least in some vertical markets, is the 9.7” iPad, also at $599 for the 128GB model. These also have an optional pen and keyboard. But as iOS serves one market Windows serves another. Around 85% of the world’s desktops/laptops use Windows 10.

Surface Go

Other products in the Surface Range

Surface is a family of devices. Go is now the entry level at 10”.

  • Laptop has a 13.5” screen.
  • Pro 2017 has a 12.3” screen
  • Book 2 has a 13.5 or a 15” screen
  • Studio has a 28” screen in an innovative all-in-one desktop format.

Surface Go

These have Surface design cues – magnesium alloy chassis; Windows Ink/pen support (N-trig digitiser); Windows Hello log-in; Wi-Fi AC/Bluetooth; and use a proprietary ribbon power connector (except Studio).

First impressions

Smaller than I expected at 245 mm x 175 mm x 8.3 mm x 522g (without type cover). A baby Surface. It uses the same mag-alloy chassis, has similar largish bezels, the characteristic stereo speakers etc.