Surface Go: How Microsoft's 10-inch Tablet Takes On the iPad

The tablet offers up a strong alternative.

Microsoft is getting into the miniature tablet business. The Surface Go, a 10-inch computer unveiled on Tuesday, gives Apple’s iPad a run for its money by offering a full Windows 10 operating system in a device weighing 1.15 pounds, measuring 0.33 inches thick thick and starting at $399. The device was previously rumored under the codename “Libra,” alongside two other as-yet-unannounced devices.

The Surface Go offers many of the same features found in the Surface Pro but in a smaller package. It supports the Surface Pen stylus with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, as well as a specially-designed keyboard cover with trackpad. It has a webcam with face recognition sign-in, a kickstand with 165 degrees maximum extension, and a custom calibrated display with 3:2 aspect ratio with 1,800 by 1,200 pixels. There’s a USB-C port for charging, data and video output, but it seems Thunderbolt 3 is still missing as with the other Surface products. There’s a Surface Dock charging connector that works similar to Apple’s MagSafe. The machine is powered by a seventh-generation dual-core fanless Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, with nine hours of battery.

Microsoft Surface Go in hand.


Perhaps the closest comparable iPad model is the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which supports the keyboard connector and Apple Pencil accessories. The device is lighter at 1.03 pounds and thinner at 0.24 inches, while the 2,224 by 1,668 resolution display far surpasses the Surface Go and the A10X chip is still setting impressive benchmarks. It’s also a lot more expensive, though, starting at $649 for the 64GB version, and it runs iOS. The Surface Go ships with the pared-down Windows 10 S that only runs apps from Microsoft’s store, but users can switch to regular Windows 10 for free.

The Verge notes that pricing for the Surface Go comes in two tiers. The $399 edition offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, while the $549 version offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage. The type cover costs $99, with versions other than black costing $129, while the mobile mouse of $34.99 and the stylus is $99.

The Surface Go is available for pre-orders from Tuesday with products hitting shelves from August 2. While the first version uses Wi-Fi, future versions later this year will offer LTE cellular connectivity.

With the Surface Book 2 impressing with the sleek design, Microsoft could be onto another winner.

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