Microsoft Surface Go Review: Portable, Purposeful, Not Powerful

inanition02

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People complain about the prices on the Surfaces devices all the time (oh the keyboard should come with it, oh the pen is expensive..) - but the Surface Pen is the same price as the Apple Pencil ($99) and the Surface Go Type Cover is actually $60 cheaper than the Smart Keyboard ($99 vs $159 - provided you compare the Black Surface Go Cover to the Black Smart Keyboard).

So that gives you an out the door price of...

Microsoft - Surface Go (128GB), Type Cover, Pen - $748.98
Apple - iPad Pro (64GB), Smart Keyboard, Pencil - $961.42

So the Surface Go is then $212.44 cheaper, has double the storage, double the RAM (iPad Pro is 4GB) and a back lit keyboard. The iPad Pro does have a half inch bigger screen, so there's that, and a slightly more standard aspect ratio.

What will always bite Microsoft on the Surface Go? People compare the Surface Go to laptops and - because it's Windows and supports Windows applications, external monitors, the full range of hardware peripherals, a mouse, etc. - use it like such. Including things like running laptop designed battery tests and benchmarks on it. No one runs those things on an iPad Pro...because it's iOS and those things won't run. They compare the iPad Pro to a nice tablet - which it is - without a mouse and running tablet apps.

And maybe that's the answer - if you're an Apple person or you want a supercharged tablet that can sometimes do light productivity stuff, get the iPad Pro. If you're a Windows person or you want a (non-gaming) laptop replacement that can also be a supercharged tablet, get the Surface Go.
 
Aug 6, 2018
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People complaint about the price aren’t comparing it to the iPad. They are comparing it to dozens of other Windows 10 devices with equivalent or better specs that cost less money.
For example, the Surface Go with a keyboard is almost as expensive as a Surface Pro 5 i5/8GB/128GB current available at a national retailer in a bundle with platinum keyboard cover for under $700.
 

inanition02

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Huh, the cheapest I've seen it (and various engines can currently find it) at a national retailer is $799 - I do admit the Go overlaps with a number of other Windows 10 devices, generally lower tier laptops. But those mostly aren't 2 in 1s / don't have a tablet form factor. In today's computing world there are a ton of odd price overlaps. You can find phones more expensive than "gaming PCs", tablets pricier than laptops and even a Chromebook that costs more than a Macbook (Pro!)...
 

DavidC1

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160 peak Cinebench, 120 sustained.

Seriously, MS, why not Pentium Silver? The N5000 gets nearly double the sustained score.
 

pacmusicman

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The Surface Go is normally shipped with Windows 10S Home preloaded. It can easily be upgraded to Windows 10 Home if needed.

The device can be special ordered to have Windows 10S Pro preloaded. I will be ordering a 10S Pro rather than going with the Home version.


*Update*


I was unable to order a Surface Go with Windows 10 Pro as Microsoft is requiring they be purchased by commercial users. The Windows 10 Pro variant is not being made available to the general public at this time.

Curiously...I had no problems getting Windows 10 Pro when purchasing my old Surface Pro 3 (I have since donated it to an organization, but I still maintain it) and the Surface Laptop that replaced it. :/
 

Long term Surface Pro user here.

I think the price of the Go is pretty reasonable, but I do agree with @AndrewFreedman that advertising the price without the keyboard is pretty misleading. Love or hate iOS and the iPad Pro, but it's a thoroughly usable device and OS without a keyboard. My wife has spent hundreds of hours on her iPad pro creating designs for her small business and hasn't once wished she bought the keyboard.

I love my Surface Pro and do far, far more on it than I could ever do on an iPad. But I can't imagine anyone buying it, or the Surface Go without the cover and being satisfied. Microsoft still have some settings and features that can only be adjusted in the old control panel format, which is pretty rough with touch. Even something basic like File Explorer isn't a great experience with touch.

The headline price should be the device + TypeCover IMHO, because that's what almost everyone actually needs to use the device properly.
 

pacmusicman

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I can use my Go with and without the keyboard. I used to own an Insignia NS-P08W8100 8" Windows tablet. The device did not have a keyboard, so, I ran it in computer mode in conjunction with the onscreen keyboard. I do prefer using an actual keyboard though.
 

inanition02

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It sort of depends on what you intend to do with the device. I have a Surface Pro and love it - generally I don't go anywhere without the type cover because I'm using it as a laptop. I have had occasions though where I was going to use it as either a media consumption device or a notepad (using the pen to write notes at a conference in OneNote) where I left the keyboard behind and it was perfect usable. I could type emails on the onscreen keyboard and do other things just fine.

So I think it comes down to usage paradigm - if you want to draw (or design), take handwritten notes, consume media or browse the web and write emails, you don't really need the keyboard. Heavy office use, or general laptop replacement though would find the keyboard to be advantageous.

And I'd say the same about the iPad Pro...
 
Aug 28, 2018
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Enhance battery life by changing your show — The screen can without much of a stretch deplete your battery and on the off chance that you are attempting to press each moment out of it, we exceptionally recommend you diminish the splendor. Go to the 'Control Panel' > 'Power Options' > and afterward select 'Change plan.'

Bolt the screen turn of the gadget — You can without much of a stretch bolt the screen revolution to your own inclination. Basically swipe from the privilege to raise the Charms menu. Tap on 'Settings,' at that point select the Screen symbol on the base right. This will enable you to flip your screen introduction.

Take a screen capture — Simply hold down the press the volume down catch and the Windows catch in the meantime to take a screen capture of whatever is running on your gadget. You can take a screen capture of a running system, your work area, or whatever you have a craving for sharing.

Show more applications on the Start screen — If you need more space on your Start Screen, you can really change a setting to enable you to indicate more applications. You should simply swipe from the correct side of the screen to get to the Charms bar, select 'Settings.' Then select 'Tiles' and modify the 'Show more tiles on the Start screen' choice.

I abhor the Charms bar, how would I turn it off? — Easy, essentially go to 'Settings', select 'Change PC Settings', at that point select 'PC and gadgets' > 'Mouse and touchpad' and kill 'Empower swiping in from left or right edge.' You have seconds ago impaired the Charms bar.

Utilize your Surface Pen to take screen captures — Double-tap the best catch on your Surface Pen. Select what you need to catch in the screen capture by hauling the tip of the pen from one corner of the component on your screen to the contrary corner. When you lift the pen tip, your choice shows up in another page in OneNote.

Programmed reinforcement to OneDrive — Go to Settings > Change PC Settings > OneDrive. From that point you can empower 'Spare archives to OneDrive' of course, enabling you to spare your diligent work to the cloud consequently.

The fast access menu — You can right tap on the begin catch to get to a speedy access menu, or just hit the Win key + X to bring it up. This menu gives you snappy access to different framework undertakings.

Access the errand supervisor without a console — If your console quits working oddly enough, you can in any case get to the assignment chief. You should simply hold down the Windows catch and press the power catch. This will raise a menu that enables you to bolt your gadget, switch clients, sign out, or dispatch the trusty assignment administrator.

Totally close down a cutting edge application — If you are having issues with an application and you need to close it down totally, you should simply drag an advanced application from the highest point of the screen to the base of the screen, hold for three seconds and watch the thumbnail of the application flip. When you see it flip, let go and the application will exit from memory.
 
Aug 28, 2018
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Here are some tricks
Enhance battery life by changing your show — The screen can without much of a stretch deplete your battery and on the off chance that you are attempting to press each moment out of it, we exceptionally recommend you diminish the splendor. Go to the 'Control Panel' > 'Power Options' > and afterward select 'Change plan.'

Bolt the screen turn of the gadget — You can without much of a stretch bolt the screen revolution to your own inclination. Basically swipe from the privilege to raise the Charms menu. Tap on 'Settings,' at that point select the Screen symbol on the base right. This will enable you to flip your screen introduction.

Take a screen capture — Simply hold down the press the volume down catch and the Windows catch in the meantime to take a screen capture of whatever is running on your gadget. You can take a screen capture of a running system, your work area, or whatever you have a craving for sharing.

Show more applications on the Start screen — If you need more space on your Start Screen, you can really change a setting to enable you to indicate more applications. You should simply swipe from the correct side of the screen to get to the Charms bar, select 'Settings.' Then select 'Tiles' and modify the 'Show more tiles on the Start screen' choice.

I abhor the Charms bar, how would I turn it off? — Easy, essentially go to 'Settings', select 'Change PC Settings', at that point select 'PC and gadgets' > 'Mouse and touchpad' and kill 'Empower swiping in from left or right edge.' You have seconds ago impaired the Charms bar.

Utilize your Surface Pen to take screen captures — Double-tap the best catch on your Surface Pen. Select what you need to catch in the screen capture by hauling the tip of the pen from one corner of the component on your screen to the contrary corner. When you lift the pen tip, your choice shows up in another page in OneNote.

Programmed reinforcement to OneDrive — Go to Settings > Change PC Settings > OneDrive. From that point you can empower 'Spare archives to OneDrive' of course, enabling you to spare your diligent work to the cloud consequently.

The fast access menu — You can right tap on the begin catch to get to a speedy access menu, or just hit the Win key + X to bring it up. This menu gives you snappy access to different framework undertakings.

Access the errand supervisor without a console — If your console quits working oddly enough, you can in any case get to the assignment chief. You should simply hold down the Windows catch and press the power catch. This will raise a menu that enables you to bolt your gadget, switch clients, sign out, or dispatch the trusty assignment administrator.

Totally close down a cutting edge application — If you are having issues with an application and you need to close it down totally, you should simply drag an advanced application from the highest point of the screen to the base of the screen, hold for three seconds and watch the thumbnail of the application flip. When you see it flip, let go and the application will exit from memory.