Microsoft Surface Go review: Truly portable Windows 10 tablet with impressive performance | tech

Brand: Microsoft
Surface Go
Key specs:
10-inch PixelSense display, Pentium Gold processor 4415Y with up to 8GB of RAM, 5-megapixel front camera, 8MP rear camera, 2W speakers, Windows 10S, 128GB SSD, USB Type-C
Rs 38,599 (starting)

Microsoft may have been stuck with a service provider stereotype but the company has always brought its A-game for the Surface hardware. Over the years, Microsoft’s Surface-series has set high benchmarks for Windows devices, making it difficult for OEMs to replicate the same premium experience.

The latest hardware offering from Microsoft is Surface Go. Touted as the Windows alternative to Apple’s iPad Pro, Surface Go is available in India at a starting price of Rs 38,599.

Unlike previous iterations of Surface devices, the latest Go variant focuses on delivering a balance between premium design and above par performance. And of course, there’s Windows on-board to cover the software bit.

Microsoft bills Surface Go has its lightest and smallest tablet ever. Compared to previous Surface models, the Go model is indeed quite compact with a 10-inch display in magnesium casing that is 8.30 mm thick and weighs slightly more than 500 grams.

Surface Go comes with the familiar kickstand. The hinge is surprisingly good and quite flexible. Coupled with a large detachable keyboard, Surface Go is truly portable. Whether you’re using it in your office, restaurant or travelling it in a metro, the sturdy kickstand doesn’t wobble at all.

If you’re a student or a professional, you’ll like the detachable keyboard which surprisingly has large keys and highly responsive trackpad. The large keyboard makes it easier for people with bigger hands, such as me, to use the device, rather carrying the traditional laptops, just for the real-estate.

Microsoft Surface Go features a 10-inch display with 1800 x 1200 (217 PPI) resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio and 10-point multi-touch. Clearly the aspect ratio is quite unique and it does take a bit of time to get accustomed to. But the display doesn’t disappoint when it comes to streaming high resolution content, whether you’re indoors or out in sun. The display does cut some corners. Large bezels around the screen give it a dated look and feel. Look at the latest laptops launched at CES 2019, screens getting brighter and more edge-to-edge than ever. It’s a minor trade off which Surface Go customers will have to make.

Surface Go comes with microSDXC card reader, USB Type-C port, and 3.5 mm headphone jack

Powered by Intel’s new Pentium Gold processor 4415Y with up to 8GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 615, Surface Go comes with up to 128GB of SSD. Performance wise, Surface Go handles daily tasks such as browsing, using multimedia streaming applications and a bit of gaming with ease. Windows 10S, the Security-focused software, needs to have a wider catalogue of compatible applications to get mainstream love. We really like the improved stylus which is more responsive and functional. There are a few software-level optimisations for the stylus to make it more useful for you.

Microsoft promises up to 9 hours of battery backup on Surface Go. During our brief usage, we found the claim to be a bit of stretch. With medium to heavy usage, we could draw roughly 6 hours of juice. But if you’re a light user, you may get more battery life.

Microsoft Surface Go is a smart and compact Windows 10 device. It’s affordable as well. But don’t expect the Surface Go to compete with your high-end laptops in terms of performance or screen quality. It’s a premium Windows tablet PC rather than a laptop alternative.

First Published: Jan 13, 2019 13:37 IST

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