The Surface Pro may be one of the most desirable 2-in-1s around but Microsoft’s convertible isn’t exactly cheap. So if you’re a bit on the skin side then why not check out Microsoft’s Surface Go instead. It is basically the same sort of setup but is a bit more compact, just as flexible as the surface pro and it will not break your bank. So without further ado let’s take a look at whether this convertible is worth your money.
First up one of the Surface Go’s main strengths is its compact design, it is just a shade of a half a kilo plus on top of that for the keyboard dock. In other words even spindly bicep exercise Dodgers like myself won’t get tired on when holding it for an hour or so in tablet mode.
Also, no worries when it’s time to bugger off outside either this thing will fit into an average sized handbag without a struggle. If you spend up some extra cash for optional keyboard attachment it will keep your screen nice and protected when you’re on the go.
The magnesium chassis is suitably rugged and scratch resistant so you don’t have to worries about just carelessly shoving the Surface Go into a backpack. You’re not too worried about it looking a bit naff and scuffed up and like all two-in-ones it offers impressive flexibility. The kickstand is reassuringly rigid and allows you to prop up the display at pretty much any angle.
Moving on to the display, the Surface Go features 10-inch PixelSense display. It might be quite dinky and not quite as sharp as we’d have liked, it packs 217 pixels per inch but visuals are still poppy, contrast levels are strong and on top brightness it will punch right through your retinas and singe your brain. I found the panel works a charm for enjoying movies on the move as well as scribbling and playing around with creative apps.
The only weird little issue that I noticed is to do with touchscreen responsiveness and that was scrolling through the likes of YouTube with the pen is absolutely nice and smooth experience and ditto with the touchpad and the mouse as well but as soon as you try using your finger all of a sudden it goes a little bit more stuttering not really sure what that is all about.
Taking a look at the performance and specs you get Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor that does a bang-up job for all of your everyday shenanigans. It is worth pointing out that the Surface Go comes in two flavors; you get the 4 Gigabytes of RAM version with 64 Gigs of storage or the one with 8 Gigabytes of RAM along with 128 Gigs of storage.
The performance has been absolutely fine with this more premium device for everyday stuff. Web browsing, photo editing and media streaming is decent with it. I rarely saw any kind of stutter even when I was running quite a few apps at once and nothing crashed on me either which is always nice.
You can even get some gaming on the go with that integrated graphics as long as you’re not trying anything too serious and of course all the games like Serious Sam 3 and Overwatch works like a charm with a dependable frame rate and more simple titles can even run at max settings.
The port selection is of course rather limited as it is a compact 2-in-1 so all you really get here is a bit of Type-C USB action, a headphone jack and of course that proprietary charging jack. It also features Windows hello face recognition using that five megapixel front-facing camera that works a charm even in dim light recognizing your face and unlocking the Surface Go in no time at all with no more need for passwords or pins. You even get 8 megapixel rear mounted camera which is handy if you like taking photos with a large rectangular device.
The keyboard accessory is an absolutely essential purchase if you plan on smashing your essays or even doing lots of email and on the move it’s much more comfortable and quicker to use than that touchscreen.It has a surprising amount of key travel when you strike the keys and even though it’s quite compact I had no problem typing at speed.
The keys are well sized and spaced completely filling the board with very little compromise and even better it’s fully backlit so you can hammer out all night long. Even the built-in touchpad is impressively responsive and support all the latest Window 10 gestures.
You can also rip off the keyboard entirely and use the device to browse the web or watch videos or get sketching with that brilliant stylus pen which is ideal for scribbling and annotating your bits.
Near the top of the surface go you’ll find a pair of front firing speakers which proved absolutely fine quality audio for watching some YouTube or Netflix even in quite a noisy environment. Music does sound rather flat and lifeless so you definitely need to pair it up with some good quality speakers but other then that it gets the job done for day to day media streaming.
Now the Surface Go comes with Windows 10S pre-installed which to be perfectly blunt might well stand for Windows 10 Shit. This is the restrictive version of Windows 10 which only allows you to install pre-approved apps from the Microsoft Store.
The good news is you can upgrade to the full red-blooded version of Windows 10 free of charge or with absolutely no bother whatsoever. With that done you’re free to install whatever you like great stuff and you get all of the best windows features thrown on there too included.
As for battery life well I like to work on the Chrome browser which isn’t exactly known for its power efficiency and also like to stream a bit Spotify in the background while working and I still found that I got between 6 and 8 hours of play time from a single charge even with a bit of Netflix streaming thrown in here and there.