When Microsoft announced the original Surface Pro Tablet, it seemed to signal the beginning of the end for the traditional laptop. It offered the best of both laptops and tablets, with the power of the former and the portability and battery life of the latter. The touchscreen’s 3:2 aspect ratio mimicked the dimensions of a sheet of paper—great for taking notes in class—and was better suited to productivity tasks than a 16:9 screen. It became a favorite of mobile professionals and students alike. Still, there were a few quibbles. Competitors like the Apple iPad offered smaller-sized alternatives, and for casual users like students, the Surface Pro was unnecessarily overpowered—and expensive. After a few refinements to the lineup, Microsoft today announced an all-new entry into the Surface tablet family. Meet the Microsoft Surface Go, a more portable, affordable Surface.
At first glance, the Surface Go looks just like any other models in the Surface family. But it’s a new model that’s been created from the ground up with a set of special features that make it a contender for the title of “best new laptop for students.” First, and most significant, is the new size. The Microsoft Surface Go sports a 10-inch PixelSense screen with 1800×1200 resolution and that familiar 3:2 aspect ratio. The compact form factor puts the Surface Go at the lightest model in the family—starting at an easy-to-carry-all-day 1.15 lbs—without shrinking it so much that writing on-screen or using the keyboard cover would be compromised. The new screen size means there’s a new, smaller Surface Go Signature Type Cover, a folio cover and Bluetooth keyboard that features mechanical, backlit keys and a large glass trackpad. Around the back of the Surface Go, you’ll find the same infinitely-adjustable kickstand of its older sibling, letting you quickly tweak the angle of your Go.
On the technical side, the Microsoft Surface Go has been spec’d with features that give it enough oomph to tackle typical productivity tasks, while still keeping the price down. Powering things is Intel’s new Pentium Gold 4415Y processor which might not be able to handle intensive multi-media editing, but will easily run Office Suite and should handle typical web-browsing or Netflix bingeing with aplomb. Plus, the fanless, low-power CPU design means you can get up to 9 hours of battery life out of the Surface Go. Windows 10 in mode provides the full Windows experience in a safer, simpler operating system. And the integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas, plus a USB-C port, headphone jack, and Surface Connect port mean you’ll have no problems connecting to all of your other favorite peripherals.
The Microsoft Surface Go is now available for pre-order in two different configurations, with the base model priced at just $399, and will hit shelves in time for the upcoming school year.