Microsoft’s $399 Surface Go is here to nuke Apple’s iPad


The Surface Go could blow Apple's iPad right out of the water.
The Surface Go could blow Apple’s iPad right out of the water.

Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. Microsoft’s new Surface Go really is a shrunken version of its popular Surface Pro.

The 10-inch Surface Go is Microsoft’s smallest, thinnest, and lightest Surface tablet to date. And with a starting price of $399, the Go is also the cheapest Surface as well.

A Surface RT (remember that disastrous tablet?) the Go is not. This mini Surface runs Windows 10 in its entirety and all x86 apps.

My first thought after a Microsoft executive pulled the Go out of her purse wasn’t, “Oh, that’s really small” but “Why?” Why would anyone need a mini Surface Pro? And it really is a smaller version of the 2-in-1 — hinge, keyboard cover, stylus, and all.

Microsoft didn’t really answer my question. I was told many Surface device users (Pro, Laptop, Book, etc.) used their devices primarily for work and they wanted something personal that would still work with all of their existing Surface work accessories, (i.e. dock and magnetic charger) and could easily be carried around.

I was also told there was a huge price range to fulfill — the $500-and-under premium tablet category, which is dominated by the iPad. This makes a lot more sense. Apple’s increasingly adding more productivity-friendly features to the iPad (the $329 iPad got Apple Pencil support this year), and the iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard, running iOS 11, has made doing work on the machine more realistic.

With the iPads encroaching on Surface Pro territory, it’s only logical to fight them head-on with the similarly-priced Surface Go, which arguably does more with Windows 10.

It’s a baby Surface

Much like how new iPads are unmistakably iPads, the Surface Go is unmistakably a Surface. It’s smaller — only 8.3mm (0.33 inch) thick and 1.15 pounds — and the corners and edges are rounder and softer, but the build quality is still top-notch.

Look at how small the Surface Go (center) is compared to the Surface Pro (left) and Surface Laptop (right).

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Look at how small the Surface Go (center) is compared to the Surface Pro (left) and Surface Laptop (right).

The body’s still the same smooth and sturdy magnesium alloy as the Surface Pro. The screen is the same 3:2 aspect ratio as well. The 10-inch PixelSense Display’s got fewer pixels (1,800 x 1,200) than the Pro, but it still looks sharp and supports multi-touch with up to 10 fingers. The bezels are a little thick for a modern tablet, but on the plus side, there are two front-firing speakers built into them.

The 10-inch screen is small, but it can still open two apps side-by-side.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

The 10-inch screen is small, but it can still open two apps side-by-side.

Like the Surface Pro, the Go has an excellent kickstand. It doesn’t click into place at certain angles, though. Instead, it’s just one smooth tilt as far back as 165 degrees. From what I could tell, it’s very well-built.

The Go’s port selection is a bit limited, though. There are just three on the right side: the magnetic Surface port, one USB-C 3.1 port, and a headphone jack. A microSD card slot is hidden underneath the hinge.

You get a Surface port, one USB-C, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot (behind hinge).

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Peter Bordes

Exec Chairman & Founder at oneQube
Exec Chairman & Founder of oneQube the leading audience development automation platfrom. Entrepreneur, top 100 most influential angel investors in social media who loves digital innovation, social media marketing. Adventure travel and fishing junkie.
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