In Depth

Microsoft Surface Go: a rival to Apple’s iPad?

New all-in-one device is the smallest - and cheapest - product in the company’s range

Microsoft has unveiled a smaller and cheaper version of its Surface tablet that looks set to go head to head with Apple’s latest iPad. 

The new Surface Go is a 10in tablet that runs the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating software. The device can also be paired with a physical keyboard and mouse, effectively turning it into a conventional laptop. 

The Surface Go will sit below the more powerful Surface Pro in the company’s tablet range and arrives next month. Until then, here’s everything we know about it.  

When do pre-orders open?

The Surface Go is available to pre-order now, with prices starting at “a very tempting £380”, says Alphr. That gets buyers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. 

A range-topping version will offer 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, but prices for this model have yet to be announced. 

How does it compare with the Surface Pro?

Although the two tablets look almost identical, there are a number of differences.

The Surface Go comes with a seventh-generation version of Intel’s Pentium Gold processor, which is slightly less powerful than the Pro’s Intel Core M3 chip, The Guardian reports.

The Pentium Gold processor balances power with battery consumption to offer roughly nine hours of charge. That’s still four hours shy of the Pro’s battery life but more than matches most laptops on the market. 

The Surface Go sports a 10in PixelSense Display with a resolution of 1800 x 1200, says the Daily Express. The Pro, meanwhile, offers a slightly higher resolution at 2736 x 1824, and its screen is 2.3in larger. 

Both the Go and Pro support Microsoft’s Surface Pen stylus, as well as the company’s various wireless keyboard and mouse options.

The Go also gets a USB-C port, the latest physical connectivity standard, which is not available on any other Surface tablet. 

And crucially, the Surface Go’s £380 price tag makes it nearly £370 cheaper than its range-topping sibling. 

Is the Surface Go a match for the iPad?

It certainly is, says Gizmodo. The entry-level 9.7in iPad may be cheaper at £319, but the Surface Go will offer buyers a better all-round experience.

That’s mainly down to the iPad’s Bluetooth keyboard, which is not “nearly as sleek or elegant as Microsoft’s solution”, the tech blog adds.

The Verge disagrees with that verdict, however, arguing that the Surface Go “isn’t really a direct iPad competitor” as the sole purpose of Apple’s device is to serve as a tablet, while the Go is closer to a full computer system.

Instead, the Surface Go is a niche product that should be labelled as a “hybrid” device, combining elements of laptops and tablets, the site says.

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