After being rumored for multiple weeks at this point, Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off its cheaper Surface-branded tablet known as the Surface Go. Starting at $399, the tablet serves as the company’s “smallest, lightest, and most affordable Surface yet.” It follows a history of cheaper Surface models like the Surface RT and, most recently, the standard Surface 3, all of which weren’t as popular as their Pro-branded counterparts. Obviously, Microsoft hopes to dodge this metric with the Go and provide something that better competes with other cheap tablets like Apple’s $329 iPad.
The Surface Go comes with a magnesium build much like the regular Surface Pro but with much rounder corners and a weight of 1.15 pounds. It’s also 8.3mm thin which is pretty impressive. There’s a kickstand on the back for prompting the tablet up alongside a standard Surface Connector, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. What’s more, the tablet even comes with USB-C connectivity on the side for charging and data transfer, something accessible on the regular Surface Pro only by an external dongle.
As far as specs go, on the front sits a 10-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, 1800×1200 resolution, and pretty large bezels. Under the hood, Microsoft includes a seventh-generation Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, 4 or 8GB of RAM, 64 or 128GB of storage, and available LTE connectivity. The tablet also includes up to nine hours of battery life. Obviously, this is by no means the most powerful Surface to date, but Microsoft chose the specs for the best balance of power and efficiency so it should be interesting to see how well they perform, especially since there aren’t any fans in this machine.
Surface Go is small and mighty, giving you the performance you need to be productive. A device powered by the 7th Generation Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, in a fanless design, offering up to nine hours of battery. Our team worked closely with Intel to optimize power, performance, and battery for the most critical tasks people perform every day.
For software, the Surface Go obviously runs Windows 10, but out of the box, it comes with S mode enabled. This means you’ll only be able to run apps from the Microsoft Store and only use Microsoft Edge, but you do have the option of turning the mode off for free whenever you want (thankfully).
In addition, the Surface Go also comes with a front-facing camera capable of secure sign-in using facial recognition with Windows Hello.
Of course, since this is a Surface, Microsoft has plenty of accessories to accommodate it. There’s a new Signature Type Cover that costs either $99 or $129 (depending on which variant you purchase) and comes with what Microsoft calls “laptop-class” typing. It also comes with a relatively large trackpad. You can also pick up a new Surface Mobile Mouse for $35 that comes with a couple of buttons for assigning different actions and a physical scroll wheel. Lastly, there’s the standard Surface Pen that still costs $99 for some reason.
The Surface Go is available now for pre-order, while the device will start hitting store shelves on August 2nd. For $399, you get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, while $549 will get you 128GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM. The LTE model of the tablet will land later this year.