Microsoft entry-level Surface Go launched to take on iPad, Chromebooks

Donna Miller
July 10, 2018

Its performance wasn't wonderful, but it was good enough for most common productivity tasks. However, it's possible to convert to the full version of Windows 10 for free if the user wishes. Now its time for Microsoft to bring a Windows 10 alternative to the $399 Apple iPad.

Meet the Microsoft Surface Go, a teeny-tiny new 1.15-pound laptop/tablet hybrid with a 10-inch screen that can fit in a handbag, fanny pack, or maybe even a particularly deep pocket. Users can also purchase an optional Surface Pen ($99) for easy markup capability.

If you were expecting a Microsoft Surface with an ARM processor inside, this does not seem to be in the cards yet. The Type Cover's keys, similar in size to shrunken HP Mini netbooks of a decade ago, were comfortable and could be typed on with big adult fingers.

The new models will be around 20 per cent lighter than the current Surface Pro, although that will come at the expense of the battery, with the new Surface tablets expected to offer 30 per cent less juice than Microsoft's higher-end models.

The Surface Go's display supports Microsoft's Surface Pen stylus and can identify 4096 different levels of pressure. With the capability, the Surface Go will also be able to track RFID tags, allowing for warehousing and other business-related applications.

The Surface is bundled with their signature built-in kickstand with unlimited positions, a front-facing camera with facial recognition login, and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connector port for charging and connecting to a desktop dock.

As we previously reported, the base $400 system will likely be equipped with the Pentium Silver N5000 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

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The Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter.

Microsoft officials said learnings from the company's Surface 3 device were inspirational in devising the Surface Go. It does have a headphone jack, though.

The tablet runs on Windows 10 Home (S) which means it is only capable of installing and running apps from the Windows store.

Microsoft also promised an LTE-enabled version later in 2018.

If you remember the long-discontinued Surface 3-Microsoft's last attempt at a cheap (er) tablet-Surface Go is what a Surface 4 probably would have been if the company was still using that branding. The Surface Go will be pitted against Apple's $329 iPad.

The Surface line has always been focused on creative professionals, which has made most of the entries a bit too steep for casual tablet usage.

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