Microsoft Surface Go Review Roundup: Impressive but Not an iPad Replacement

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 2 Aug 2018

Microsoft Go

As Microsoft’s Surface Go goes on sale today, the first batch of reviews of the tablet are out as well. While Microsoft does seem to have launched an impressive product, a few issues hold it back.

Long time Surface Pro users who’d wanted something smaller are definitely going to be happy with the Surface Go since it offers largely the same experience as its bigger brother in a compact form factor.

With the Surface Go, Microsoft is trying to capture the lucrative education sector where Chromebooks and to a certain extent iPads are the hot deal. Let’s see what the reviews have to say then about Microsoft’s latest Surface product.


Microsoft Surface Go

The conclusion of the review sums up the Surface Go perfectly. It is the “first Surface than can actually take on the iPad.” But just like the iPad, the Surface Go is not without its own set of issues.

The hardware is “incredibly thin and light,” with the tablet featuring a “gorgeous display.” The only problem here is that the Surface Go continues to come with hefty bezels surrounding its 10-inch display which look a little out of place as smartphones and even tablets are now switching to a bezel-less design.

More so than any Surface before it, the Go feels like a tablet instead of a PC. Its slightly curved edges make it comfortable in your hands, and it’s light enough that I didn’t mind holding it for hours as I read comics and caught up on my Pocket queue. It easily fits into slim messenger bags, and doesn’t feel as burdensome as a typical ultraportable laptop, or even the Surface Pro (which weighs 2.4 pounds with its Type Cover). Most importantly, it does all of this while still giving me access to everything Windows 10 offers.

The Pentium CPU offers a major performance boost over the Atom CPU found inside the Surface 3 but it still falls short when pushed hard.

With our review model — the slightly souped-up $549 Surface Go with 8GB of RAM — I was able to juggle between multiple Chrome and Edge tabs, Evernote, Spotify and Slack easily. But the Pentium Gold CPU sometimes had trouble keeping up when I tried to load a complex web page with embedded video, or when Onedrive decided it needed re-synchronize all of my files. Basically, any task that’s the least bit demanding would rocket my CPU usage up to 100 percent.

Ultimately, the Surface Go is aimed at a niche set of customers who want to carry something light and portable while still being able to access their Windows apps.

I’ll admit, the Surface Go is full of compromises. It’s slow, and it’s limited by Windows 10’s slim tablet app selection. But it also has a keyboard that blows away any other tablet, and it can run normal Windows software if necessary. It’s not meant for everyone, but if you’re in the niche it’s targeted at, it could the Windows tablet you’ve been waiting for.


Windows Central

The publication calls the Surface Go as a mini Surface Pro which perhaps is the correct way to describe the product. While the Go is almost as thin and light as an iPad, it also comes with an adjustable kickstand at the rear which makes it easy to prop up anywhere for content consumption. Even the 10-inch display is pretty impressive with a 99 percent sRGB coverage, though it does fall short of the iPad Pro’s display in many aspects.

Everything from the buttons to the materials used on the Surface Go is first-class. Microsoft could have cut corners with Surface Go’s execution, it instead stands out as another outstanding and quality design.

Aesthetically, the Surface Go’s display is outstanding. Colors are punchy, blacks look good, light bleed is minimal (if at all), and it just looks good with a 216ppi resolution.



Suface Go

The publication’s review of the Surface Go is pretty negative. It makes it pretty clear that the Surface Go is for those students who prefer using Windows due to the OS or the apps available for it.

In the realm of education, the Surface Go represents a kind of middle-ground. It’s somewhere between a Chromebook and full-fledged tablet. Like the vast majority of convertibles, it doesn’t get the balance exactly right. But, then, no device is going to be everything to everyone. The price point will certainly make it too costly for a lot of classrooms, however.


It is important to note that there are quite a few drawbacks with the Surface Go. Firstly, while its base price tag might start from $399, it is highly recommended that one goes with the 8GB RAM variant with a faster SSD storage. This makes the Surface Go significantly more expensive, with the Alcantara keyboard coming in at an extra $129.

Then there’s also the fact that the Surface Go runs on Windows 10 S which limits the device to installing apps from only the Microsoft Store.

What do you think about the Surface Go? Do you plan on buying one?