The Surface lineup has been instrumental in getting Windows devices to think different. New laptops by the big manufacturers are designed to look and feel just as premium and desirable as possible, while offering tiers of performance and price. At the budget end, there hasn’t been much of an answer from Microsoft, though a rumoured Surface Mini was about to launch some years ago. Yesterday, Microsoft finally made good on the promise of a cheaper Surface by launching the Surface Go.
The Surface Pro, Surface Book and the Surface Studio are all great products in their own right. But they’re targeted at professionals and productivity on the go. They even have commensurate price tags. The hardware side of things has pretty much stagnated with Intel’s inability to move to better manufacturing, there’s little to change about the lineup. Moving to AMD would change little, though the promise of better integrated graphics could be a lure.
Enter the Surface Go. It’s a 10 inch version of the Surface Pro (1800×1200 pixels), targeted at the educational market where iPads and Chromebooks dominate. It’s a little thinner than the Surface Pro (8.3mm, not that you’d notice) but because of the smaller screen, weighs only 521 grams. That’s about a third less than the Pro.
Unlike the Surface Pro, the Surface Go only has an Intel Pentium 4415Y (Kaby Lake series) processor, which has two cores with Hyperthreading, running at 1.6GHz. The integrated graphics is an Intel HD615 with 850MHz maximum frequency. To further reduce on costs, the device runs 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 memory. There’s also the choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage. Microsoft claims up to nine hours of battery life, and it comes with the typical front and rear cameras compatible with Windows Hello.
It looks like an interesting branch of the Surface family. It will also have its own smaller versions of the Type Cover, with Alcantara and boring plastic options. The Surface Go starts at US$399 (AU$599), Windows 10 Pro will cost US$50 on top, and the version with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage retails for US$549 (AU$839). More options, including LTE will arrive later. Pre-orders start now for a 27 August 2018 delivery date.