Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface line of products has been a continuous bright spot for the company ever since it transitioned from Windows 8 to Windows 10. The Surface 3 and Surface Pro were fantastic tablet-laptop hybrids, and the Surface Laptop is a sleek notebook. Meanwhile, the Surface Book is an impressive powerhouse of a PC.
But Microsoft’s offerings weren’t inexpensive. Until now, that is. Meet the Surface Go, a $399, 10-inch version of the Surface tablet that’s meant to be your, well, on-the-go machine. Commuting to work? Taking a flight? Heading to class? This is the hybrid Microsoft believes can take on Apple’s (AAPL) iPad Pro and Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) various Chromebooks.
And it does so admirably. The Surface Go can run a full desktop version of Windows 10 and offers the kind of fit and finish you’d expect from a Surface device. But the Surface Go isn’t perfect. Its keyboard is a bit too cramped for my liking, and if you want to do anything that requires serious performance, you’re out of luck.
The mini Surface
Microsoft’s Surface division makes some of the best products ever to sport the company’s logo. The brand’s trademark austere design, Alcantara soft-touch keyboards and, of course, the built-in kickstand for its 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrids, make for some attractive and useful devices. And all of that is present in the Surface Go.
It’s as if Microsoft’s head of hardware Panos Panay somehow got a hold of the shrink ray from “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and decided to skip the kids part and just shrink the 12.3-inch Surface Pro.
There are a handful of notable differences. The edges of the Go are just a touch more rounded than those found on the Surface Pro. There’s also, mercifully, a USB C port. The Surface Pro still comes with a full-size USB port, which, at this point, is blasphemous. Especially, when you’re buying a device that starts at $799.
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