Microsoft is said to be planning updates to two of its Surface devices this spring. According to a report from Petri.com, the next-gen Microsoft Surface Book will be a 2-in-1 tablet with a 10th-gen Intel Core processor, NVIDIA GeForce 16xx series graphics, and optional support for NVIDIA Quadro workstation-class graphics on a top-of-the-line model.

Meanwhile Microsoft’s cheapest tablet is also getting a spec bump: the Surface Go 2 is said to have “low-end Intel chips,” but it could have a more powerful Intel Pentium Gold processor than the first-gen model, or even an Intel Core M chip.

Microsoft Surface Book 2
Microsoft Surface Book 2 (released in 2017)

None of these changes feel quite as dramatic as the updates Microsoft made to its Surface Laptop and Surface Pro tablet lineup late last year (adding AMD-powered versions of the former, and an ARM-based version of the latter).  But if Petri’s Brad Sams is correct, the Surface Book 3 would be the first Microsoft Surface device with an option for NVIDIA Quadro graphics, which could make it a better option for folks looking for a mobile computer for graphic design, video editing, or other professional purposes.

It’s also noteworthy that the next-gen Surface Go would stick with Intel chips… not because Microsoft had ever said anything different, but because the company has been working hard to make Windows on ARM a viable platform and a small Surface tablet designed for portability and long battery life would seem like an obvious candidate for an ARM chip.

Anyway, everything is still firmly in the rumor category for now, but Sams has a reasonably good track record with leaks. Here are a few more details from his article:

  • Surface Book 3 could support up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage
  • Only the 15 inch model is expected to support Quadro graphcis
  • The Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 will probably look a lot like their predecessors
  • Starting prices will likely be similar as well (meaning around $1400 and up for the Surface Book 3 and $399 and up for the Surface Go 2)

Both the Surface Book and Surface Go lineup are due for a refresh — Microsoft released the current-gen Surface Book 2 in late 2017, and the Surface Go first hit the streets in August, 2018.

Microsoft hasn’t yet announced a date for a spring hardware event, but ZDNet notes that Microsoft typically holds an event in New York a few weeks before its Build developer conference — which is scheduled for May 19 – 21 this year.

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23 Comments

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  1. Since the Surface Go is the smallest LTE equipped mobile PC I know of, I’m looking forward to the Go 2 reviews.

  2. From the source article on the Go 2:

    Expect to see low-end Intel chips, likely Pentium Gold but there is also going to be an option for a Core M device as well.

    If there are 2 CPU configurations, I wonder how much the performance and battery life differ. Hoping to see more info in the future. I may get the Core M version with LTE assuming the battery life isn’t noticeably lower than the Pentium version.

  3. Looking forward to the Go 2. I hope I don’t have to wait for the LTE version like last time.

    – Posted from my Surface Go LTE

    1. I hope so too. I have the Go 1 LTE and I use it as a nice and thin netbook with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Smaller bezels would be nice since I don’t use it as a tablet. I’ll do the same with the Go 2 LTE.

      1. I’m the same. I don’t actually use my Go as a tablet. I use it more as the smallest notebook with built-in LTE I could find. If the Go 2 LTE has smaller bezels, then I’m all for it.

  4. I also like the idea of a Surface Go 2 as long as it’s a great Linux tablet and I don’t see a reason why it isn’t, although I don’t need LTE as I have Wi-Fi everywhere, most everywhere, otherwise I don’t want to develop one more addiction, LOL.

    The thing is I just can’t buy a machine with an unreplaceable battery, I just can’t. Shame on you Microsoft on gluing in the batteries across the whole Surface lineup. I have to look for the alternatives, are there any?

    1. Dell’s Latitude 2-in-1s have batteries that are fairly easily replaceable, as did their old Venue Pro line. Same with the Lenovo Tablet 10. I think those two lines are the most serviceable tablets that are widely available.

      1. The Dell Latitude 7200 2-in-1 if that’s the one you are talking about is more like the competitor of the Surface Pro line as it has the same size of screen. It’s a nice one, though. I wonder if it is fanless.

        Meanwhile I’ve also found the Lenovo Tablet 10. I find it a little too expensive for what it is tbh.

        None of these seem to be as widely available as the Surface Go though, I mean outside the Us or on Amazon.com from a reputable seller shipping outside the country. These are still niche prodcuts. Thanks for the tip, though!

        1. The Dell Latitude 7200 2-in-1 while in the US starts at USD900 on Dell’s website in Europe it translates to EUR/GBP1450. Okay. It isn’t a fanless design either. On Liliputing we all like fanless stuff, don’t we?

    2. You’re looking for a niche within a niche. If you don’t compromise, then your only option is to not buy anything. I’m not sure how’d you be able to communicate your wants to MS and other OEMs though. I guess if you had a big social media presence or a semi-popular tech blog, you could probably reach their ears.

      1. My main niches are living anywhere outside the United States and wanting replaceable (not user replaceable, replaceable at all) batteries. In 2020. B)

    3. If you need LTE, then I’d go for the HP Elite x2 1012 series. It’s easily upgradable, takes nVME drives and has thunderbolt. I’ve got one…works perfectly for my needs and runs gnome quite easily.

      1. Yeah, I actually have a few choices in 12″ tablets, thanks for recommending me yet another one. Sorry if I was not clear: I’m rather looking for a 10″ than a 12″ tablet in the comment section of the Surface Go, just like everyone else, I guess. Yeah, as @potato suggested I have tooo special needs, I’m looking for a niche within a niche. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  5. Interesting that they didn’t try experimenting with an ARM version of the Go. As someone with the Go 1 with LTE, the main non-built-in application I use is Firefox which I believe has an ARM Windows version. Not sure if Mozilla is still maintaining it though. As for other 3rd-party applications I occasionally use, I wouldn’t mind running them slower under emulation. Of course, this is all assuming an ARM version would be thinner, lighter and have more battery life than the x86 equivalent.

    1. All the graphics apps would become unusable, so a big NO from me. I use my Go to learn drawing and even now it’s just on the edge of usability because of the CPU. Any less power would degrade it to the level of Android tablets, just good for watching stuff and that’s it. I’d like to see some really modern CPU with HW acceleration for newer codecs for Netflix and GeForce Now though.

    2. I only sometimes use 3rd-party software on my Go. I wouldn’t mind them being slower if native ARM apps are as fast/faster than the Go 1 as long as it delivers on much longer battery life.

    1. Same. I plan upgrading my Surface Go LTE with the Go 2 LTE. I wonder MS is going to release the LTE version after the Wi-Fi one. Last time, the Go LTE came out about 6 months after the Wi-Fi only one.