Microsoft Surface Go

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING



7.8/10
Informr score
The Microsoft Surface Go currently has an Informr score of 7.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 35 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

 If you’re looking for a well-designed productivity or media consumption device for both work and play, the Surface Go is a great pick -- just be sure to consider the added price of the Type Cover keyboard.

What's good

  • Bright, crisp display
  • Sturdy design
  • Compatible with Windows Software
  • Ultra portable
  • microSD support

What's bad

  • Keyboard case not included
  • Only one USB port (and it’s USB Type-C, not Type-A)

Manufacturers have made the promise of a 2-in-1 device that provided all the perks of a tablet and a laptop in a single handy device plenty of times in the past. While Microsoft’s Surface Pro 5 and Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9 offer a compelling experience, they’re far from budget-friendly. With the release of the Microsoft Surface Go, they’re trying to bring a refined 2-in-1 experience at an affordable price.

The Go features the same solid magnesium body with an integrated kickstand as it’s larger, pricier siblings. Weighing 522g (1.15lbs), reviewers had no problem tossing it in their bags or holding it in one hand during extended work, reading, or streaming sessions. The new design features more rounding on the corners, but otherwise just scales the Surface experience down to an ultra-portable size.

Around front, you’re greeted by a 10-inch 1800-by-1200 pixel LCD panel. While reviewers loved the color, brightness, and crispness, they were not as fond of the large bezels surrounding the screen. But many noted that once you slot the Surface Go into a Type Cover keyboard, the bezels make a little more sense.

To help reduce the price, Microsoft powered the tablet with a 1.6Ghz Intel Pentium Gold processor. Depending on the model you choose, you’ll find either 4GB to 8GB of RAM. While many reviewers found the 4GB model acceptable, they all agreed that the 8GB model offers greater flexibility in terms of multitasking and using the Go as a PC.

Regardless of the choice, this isn’t a setup for high-end gaming or video editing. But for streaming video, checking email, using Office 365, playing casual games, and just general daily tasks, it’s more than capable of keeping things clipping along at a respectable pace. CNet notes, “In our benchmark testing, this system hits the middle ground in budget PCs -- a bit faster than comparable budget Pentium laptops, but not as fast as a basic Intel Core i3 laptop.”

The Go ships with either 64GB of eMMC storage or 128GB of solid-state drive storage. The upgrade to the 128GB model does not just bring more space, but the storage itself is faster. Both choices offer microSD support for cards up to 1TB though. So, there’s plenty of room for files and media.

Out of the box, the tablet runs Windows 10 in S Mode. Essentially, this is a stripped down mode that only allows apps from the Microsoft Store. And for casual users, this might be everything needed. 

If you’d like to install Chrome, or the Kindle app, or test out a game on Steam, you must disable S mode. This is an easy switch you can make in the Microsoft Store for free. But you cannot re-enable S mode again. Reviewers note there’s little downside to turning off S mode in terms of battery life or performance though. 

The tablet includes an 8MP rear camera with 5MP front-facing lens. Apart from mentioning that Microsoft Hello face recognition and video chat worked fine, reviewers had little to say about the cameras. But based on the specs, they’ll be fine for communications or productivity use -- just don’t expect them to keep up with a standalone camera or flagship phone.

The Go offers a good audio experience. There are front-facing stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack to provide plenty of volume and flexibility. While the speakers lack bass, reviewers found them loud and well-balanced overall.

If you’re looking to get the most out the Go, reviewers recommend the Type Cover keyboard case. But it’ll set you back a fair sum. Despite the price, reviewers loved the keyboard's design and found it enjoyable to use despite its smaller size.

The Surface Pen received good reviews as well. Most reviewers recommended it for drawing or writing and praised the pressure sensitivity and minimal lag.

The tablet includes USB Type-C charging and an undisclosed battery capacity. But reviews found it good for just over 6 hours of video streaming and 4 to 5 hours for mixed or productivity use. So you’ll want to keep an external battery pack or power outlet nearby for extended sessions. But for quick use out and about, it offers plenty of power.

The biggest complaint about the Surface Go was the price of the Type Cover case. Many considered it essential and thought it should be included with the tablet. Otherwise, reviewers found the tablet a joy to use.

The Guardian says, “You won’t be playing any graphically intensive games on it, or fancy trying to edit a movie on it, but browsing, using web apps in a desktop-class browser, Office duties and even photo manipulation in a proper image editor such as Affinity Photo are workable with a little patience…  You can get a lot more power for your money, but you’ll struggle to get as good an experience.”

Windows Central says, “If you're on the fence when it comes to a Surface Go, I'd suggest taking some time to go actually use one in a store. I wouldn't fuss with spec sheets, just go use one. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of this machine.”


Operating system
Windows
Processor
1.6 GHz
Screen Size
10"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Ausdroid

As a tablet the Surface Go is fully functional although Microsoft needs to work on having Windows 10 much more tablet/touch friendly. Navigating a standard Chrome browser by hand is not as easy as you would think. For reading books etc the tablet was just fine — there are many third party apps avail...

- Scott Plowman, Ausdroid
TrustedReviews

With the middling performance and not-cheap cost when you factor in the Type Cover, the Surface Go can’t quite reach the heights of the 9.7-inch iPad, but the relative versatility that Windows 10 offers means the ultraportable Surface Go is still a solid alternative.

- Ryan Jones, TrustedReviews
Reckoner

When all’s said and done the Surface Go is so close to being the perfect machine for my sofa cum road-warrior machine. I kind of love it but at the same time I kind of hate it for how frustratingly close it is but isn’t. If that makes sense?

- Raj Deut, Reckoner
Good Gear Guide

Even if it’s not too powerful and lacks legacy ports, the Surface Go is portable enough to draw attention and cheap enough to open wallets.

- Fergus Halliday, Good Gear Guide
IT Pro

Although a poor man’s Surface Pro on paper, in practice this petite 2-in-1 is highly versatile, intensely portable and thoroughly charming. If it wasn’t for a handful of flaws like its disappointing battery life, it’d almost be a better option than its more powerful cousin.

- Adam Shepherd, IT Pro


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Quick view

Screen Size
10"

The Microsoft Surface Go's screen size is 10 inches with 1800 x 1200 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.6 GHz

There is a Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y 1.6 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Windows 10 in S mode operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
64/128 GB

Internal memory is 64/128 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 1000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
Unknown

The tablet is powered by a battery.

Surface Go Specs

Overview
Release date August 2, 2018
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom, India
Networks
No cellular data
variations
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 10 in S mode

Compare Windows Tablets

Processor Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y 1.6 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 64/128 GB
RAM 4/8 GB
ROM No
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Capacity Unknown
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Video Playback Time Up to: 9 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 cm (3.8 x 2.7 x 0.1 in)
Weight 522 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1800 x 1200 pixels
Pixel density 217 pixels
Size 10 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Unknown
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Unknown
Screen Reader Unknown
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features
Messaging IM
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Unknown
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Unknown
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Unknown
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Unknown
Apps
To-Do / Task List Unknown
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Unknown
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, JPG, GIF, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, HTML, BMP
Weather Yes
Stocks Unknown
Maps Unknown
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments
Related Links Microsoft Surface Go Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Surface Go
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Critic Reviews


Ausdroid

A tablet with the functionality of a desktop PC on the go

from Ausdroid

As a tablet the Surface Go is fully functional although Microsoft needs to work on having Windows 10 much more tablet/touch friendly. Navigating a standard Chrome browser by hand is not as easy as you would think. For reading books etc the tablet was just fine — there are many third party apps...More

As a tablet the Surface Go is fully functional although Microsoft needs to work on having Windows 10 much more tablet/touch friendly. Navigating a standard Chrome browser by hand is not as easy as you would think. For reading books etc the tablet was just fine — there are many third party apps available for Windows 10 via their app store but I feel that Microsoft need to push more tablet friendly additions to the store.

Read full review

Less

TrustedReviews

One for Windows enthusiasts

from TrustedReviews

With the middling performance and not-cheap cost when you factor in the Type Cover, the Surface Go can’t quite reach the heights of the 9.7-inch iPad, but the relative versatility that Windows 10 offers means the ultraportable Surface Go is still a solid alternative.

Read full review

With the middling performance and not-cheap cost when you factor in the Type Cover, the Surface Go can’t quite reach the heights of the 9.7-inch iPad, but the relative versatility that Windows 10 offers means the ultraportable Surface Go is still a solid alternative.

Read full review

Less

Reckoner

Beautiful display, long battery life

from Reckoner

When all’s said and done the Surface Go is so close to being the perfect machine for my sofa cum road-warrior machine. I kind of love it but at the same time I kind of hate it for how frustratingly close it is but isn’t. If that makes sense?

Read full review

When all’s said and done the Surface Go is so close to being the perfect machine for my sofa cum road-warrior machine. I kind of love it but at the same time I kind of hate it for how frustratingly close it is but isn’t. If that makes sense?

Read full review

Less

Good Gear Guide

The goldilocks of convertibles

from Good Gear Guide

Even if it’s not too powerful and lacks legacy ports, the Surface Go is portable enough to draw attention and cheap enough to open wallets.

Read full review

Even if it’s not too powerful and lacks legacy ports, the Surface Go is portable enough to draw attention and cheap enough to open wallets.

Read full review

Less

IT Pro

Going for gold

from IT Pro

Although a poor man’s Surface Pro on paper, in practice this petite 2-in-1 is highly versatile, intensely portable and thoroughly charming. If it wasn’t for a handful of flaws like its disappointing battery life, it’d almost be a better option than its more powerful cousin.

Read full review

Although a poor man’s Surface Pro on paper, in practice this petite 2-in-1 is highly versatile, intensely portable and thoroughly charming. If it wasn’t for a handful of flaws like its disappointing battery life, it’d almost be a better option than its more powerful cousin.

Read full review

Less

The Inquirer

A cheaper yet surprisingly impressive Surface device

from The Inquirer

The Surface Go is an interesting gadget. It's a better work device than the iPad Pro but can't beat it as pure tablet experience. Still, the quality and flexibility of the Surface Go makes is a very appealing machine and much like its larger siblings, it sets the standard to what more affordable...More

The Surface Go is an interesting gadget. It's a better work device than the iPad Pro but can't beat it as pure tablet experience. Still, the quality and flexibility of the Surface Go makes is a very appealing machine and much like its larger siblings, it sets the standard to what more affordable Windows 10 hybrids should aspire to; well done Microsoft.

Read full review

Less

T3

A very good pro tablet

from T3

The Microsoft Surface Go is a pro-level tablet computer that successfully breaks into the market traditionally dominated by the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab ranges. It doesn't quite match the slickness of its rivals, but then again its rivals don't have the flexibility of Windows.

Read full review

The Microsoft Surface Go is a pro-level tablet computer that successfully breaks into the market traditionally dominated by the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab ranges. It doesn't quite match the slickness of its rivals, but then again its rivals don't have the flexibility of Windows.

Read full review

Less

Notebookcheck

An exceptionally well-built Windows tablet at a comparatively low price

from Notebookcheck

Microsoft’s Surface Go is a high-quality compact tablet available at a low price. However, do not be fooled by its price if you intend to use the tablet as a full-fledged laptop. In this case, the additional accessories will quickly add up.

Read full review

Microsoft’s Surface Go is a high-quality compact tablet available at a low price. However, do not be fooled by its price if you intend to use the tablet as a full-fledged laptop. In this case, the additional accessories will quickly add up.

Read full review

Less

Pocket-lint

The ultraportable laptop alternative

from Pocket-lint

The Surface Go is a super portable 2-in-1 that's great as a second go-anywhere machine. Unfortunately, battery life isn't great and once you've added the accessories it's not cheap. But for a portable machine there's little else to take it on.

Read full review

The Surface Go is a super portable 2-in-1 that's great as a second go-anywhere machine. Unfortunately, battery life isn't great and once you've added the accessories it's not cheap. But for a portable machine there's little else to take it on.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

Succeeds at further miniaturising the Windows 10 experience

from Tech Advisor

The Surface Go is a quiet triumph for Microsoft. The company has successfully distilled what is best about the Surface Pro (portability, usability, great design) into a smaller, cheaper computer than doesn’t suffer performance issues as a result.

Read full review

The Surface Go is a quiet triumph for Microsoft. The company has successfully distilled what is best about the Surface Pro (portability, usability, great design) into a smaller, cheaper computer than doesn’t suffer performance issues as a result.

Read full review

Less



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