The Microsoft Surface Go is the company’s latest addition to its Surface line. It starts at $399 and is essentially a cheaper, smaller and less powerful version of the Microsoft Surface Pro. Both have a 2-in-1 design (with a kickstand) and are compatible with various accessories that can be purchased separately, such as a stylus, keyboard cover and Bluetooth mouse. Both have a front-facing camera that can recognize your face to login in. Both require Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connector port to charge.
At $400 less than the Surface Pro (which starts at $799), the Surface Go makes some compromises that you’d probably expect. It has a 10-inch display (1,800 x 1,200-pixel resolution) compared to the Surface Pro’s 12.3-inch display (2,736 x 1,824-pixel resolution), and it also has a significantly less powerful processor. The Surface Go gets four hours less battery life, too, but it also weighs just 1.15 pounds, where the larger Surface Pro is nearly double that.
The new Surface Go is, in many respects, a competitor to Apple’s new entry-level line of iPads. Or even a competitor to the multitude of Chromebooks out there. Most have a 2-in-1 form factor and are fairly inexpensive. The difference, however, is that the Surface Go isn’t really being positioned as an education tool. And unlike the new iPad, the Surface Go won’t support nearly as many apps (as pointed out by The Verge‘s Tom Warren), so it won’t be as versatile of a tablet.
The Surface Go is probably the most capable laptop out of the three. However, it’s really designed for those comfortable in the Surface ecosystem or for those who don’t need (or want to pay for) the Surface Pro. That said, it’s going to be interesting where the Surface Go really fits in. Right now, you can buy a Surface Pro that’s bundled with a keyboard for $799 (here), which is a pretty decent deal for a more powerful and more capable computer. I guess the question for most people will be, “how much do you value extra portability?”
The Surface Go is available for pre-order today and will arrive everywhere on August 2. If you’re looking for an LTE model, Microsoft says those will come later this year.
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