Microsoft Surface Go review

The Surface Move, Microsoft’s most up-to-date tablet that plans to become a smaller — and more viable — Surface Guru has finally came. The Surface Go doesn’t bring any significant surprises, but perhaps that is a fantastic thing.

Microsoft is showing everyone what the best Windows pills can do with the Surface Go — what you love about the Surface Move, just smaller and less expensive. No half-baked operating systems — though it does utilize Windows 10 S Mode out of the box for customers (commercial clients get Windows 10 Pro) — and no odd app compatibility issues. The Surface Move only works, right when you pull it from the package, which explains the reason we love the Microsoft Surface lineup up to now.

Based on what you have to do, the Microsoft Surface Move might be perfect for everything from job to consuming your favourite media. In the race to get the greatest tiny pill for taskers, Microsoft hauled it out of the park.

Price and availability
You can find the Surface Guru for as little as $399 (#379, AU$599, AED 1,699), with 64GB of eMMC storage along with 4GB of memory, with the rest of the specs remain the same.

The Surface Move’s biggest competition, Apple’s iPad 2018, starts at $329 (Number 319, AU$469, AED 1,349) to start, which makes you 32GB of flash memory and 2GB of memory — half as far as starter Surface Move in either scenario, but with a sharper display. If you want the iPad to match the Surface Go in storage, the 64GB version will set you back $429 (#409, AU$599), though memory stays at 2GB in all configurations.

If you’re after a Windows 10 device, there is the Asus Transformer Mini, which is extremely similar to the Surface Move in that it supplies a 10.1-inch Windows tablet using a kickstand. But, the screen isn’t quite as good as alternative, and it is limited to 4GB of RAM because its only settings.

Design

However, Microsoft clearly put some design effort into this version, opening it up to a larger audience, specifically students.

Gone will be the crude, angled edges of the Surface Guru at lieu of rounder, softer edges which help give this type of the Surface its own distinct identity.

Beyond that, this device is mainly the same in layout as its forebears, except smaller. The superb hinge yields and can bend almost 180 degrees like previously, which makes this device an ideal canvas for electronic drawing and note taking.

Microsoft managed to cram a USB-C port and microSD card reader into the more compact Surface Move, neither of which the latest iPad has. This means that not only does this tablet’s storage have been enlarged, but it’s two ways to hard-wire a dock and expand screens in comparison with the iPad’s single method, thanks to its mainstay Surface Connect interface.

Otherwise, typing on the Surface Move is considerably more comfortable than on other 10-inch apparatus, that needs to be lauded. For what it is worth, the iPad Smart Keyboard uses strange, completely round, keys and doesn’t even feature a touchpad — since iOS does not support mouse input.

Display and sound
Microsoft’s display game is still top notch on the Surface Move. In 1,800 x 1,200 pixels, it is not the only real 10-inch tablet screen by a very long shot, with the latest iPad coming in at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels.

Still, however, that the Microsoft Surface Go’s screen is beautiful in everyday use. The screen is very color accurate, and movies and photos look amazing on it. Obviously, that 3:2 aspect ratio is great for work and web browsing, but gives full-screen 16:9 videos a wasted space with black bars.

Like many tablets, the bezels around the screen are fairly large, but that just allows users to grip the device from any side without unintentionally triggering anything on the screen. It also allows for the Form Cover to attach into the bottom bezel via magnet for a better typing angle.

Regarding the relatively thick bezels, the Surface Go’s speakers reside within them on both sides of the screen. For such tiny drivers, these speakers seem surprisingly powerful, deep and nuanced in the quantity of channel separation they can deliver. This makes the Surface Go just as great of a multimedia tablet as it does a mild productivity device.

Before getting too deep into specifics just yet, let’s make it very clear that you generally should not buy a tablet computer or notebook for this cost and expect a powerhouse. However, you ought to get something capable enough to manage fundamental workloads and casual games, along with the Surface Move does exactly that — but not much more.

The Surface Go, with its Intel Pentium Gold chip, can handle fundamental browser-based workloads, like word processing and material management, in addition to the suite of Office 365 programs, with ease. With 8GB of RAM in the higher end model, you might even run several tabs-worth of projects and sites and media players.

However, don’t expect this processor to handle high-resolution image or video editing and rendering in precisely the exact same way a proper laptop does. That is not this tablet’s forte.

The iPad ousts the Surface Move in pure speed evaluations, such as Geekbench 4, but the Surface Go is a far more versatile device — even in Windows 10 S Mode. Speaking of that, unless you want to maintain your device on lockdown for safety or simplicity reasons, just upgrade to Windows 10 Home for free once you get this device.

The performance hit to the system with the overhead of complete Windows 10 Home ranges anywhere from negligible to nonexistent. At that stage, all Windows 10 S Mode is giving you is reassurance, which is easily seen in Windows Defender and smarter internet browsing habits.

Battery existence

Microsoft promises up to 9 hours of continuous use from the Surface Go. Shocking nobody, those aren’t the numbers we could replicate in our testing, but they are not awful. What is stranger is how we have discovered the device to actually last longer in Windows 10 Home than in S Mode.

The difference in our tests is less than an hour, and at any speed, expect the Surface Go to last around six hours on a charge, and perhaps somewhat longer if the Battery Saver attribute is used.

For individuals in areas that are mild on hardware demands and heavy on travel, this device might be a go-to for you. Stay tuned as we test the battery even farther in both manners of Windows 10.

Software and features

The Surface Go ships with Windows 10 in S Mode. Because this system employs an Intel chip, however, this is largely fine for day-to-day usage. While the app choice on the Microsoft Store is paltry in comparison to this applications available to download from the internet, at least the device can operate every program designed for Windows 10 natively without issue.

Windows 10 devices with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip installed can’t say the same, as their processor architectures are not compatible with just how many Windows 10 programs were built. Windows 10 S might bring with it more safety, but if you’re careful online (and have Windows Defender installed) you should be alright.

The Surface Go does not have lots of other standout qualities to speak of, however we particularly enjoy facial recognition login via Windows Hello. While it doesn’t operate in the same way, Microsoft has basically beat Apple to bringing hands on, protected login to its tablet.

Microsoft’s execution here works superbly, which is buoyed by a really good 5MP webcam along with 8MP camera on the rear. The webcam shoots 1080p video that’s crisp and detail-rich, making Surface Move also well suited for video meetings.

The Surface Go can quite well be a niche device, but it is a niche that’s only growing. With each significant hardware vendor concentrated on smaller productivity tablets, Microsoft has finally nailed the idea of the smaller nano apparatus, once more showing the world how it’s done.

At the same time that you could lessen the Surface Move to being only a more compact Surface Guru, the truth of the matter is that the industry is trending toward smaller and smaller computing devices. Now, the Surface Move is there to meet them with a full-blown, 10-inch computer.

Obviously, we could complain about the way you are still no accessories included, that it’s technically less powerful than the new iPad and that the display could be sharper, and they’re all valid complaints. However, if you are looking at the new iPad or a different 10-inch tablet to function as next primary computing device next to the Surface Move, or even a secondary gadget, it’s hard to beat this magnificent machine that’s truly a computer in every sense of the word.

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