As expected, Microsoft’s latest Surface tablet is a smaller, cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro.

The new Microsoft Surface Go is up for pre-order for $399 and up, and it’s set to ship August 2nd.

The tablet features a 10 inch, 1800 x 1200 pixel display, an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, and support for up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage.

It’s also designed to work with an optional Type Cover, but you’ll have to buy that separately. And it supports a Surface Pen (also optional) with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has offered a smaller, cheaper alternative to its Surface Pro tablets. The Surface 3 was a 10.8 inch model with an Intel Atom processor, and it was preceded by the Surface 2 and Surface RT, both of which featured ARM-based processors and Windows 8.1 RT software.

But the new Surface Go is the most powerful small Surface tablet to date. It has a 6 watt dual-core processor based on 7th-gen Intel Core “Kaby Lake” architecture and while it ships with Windows 10 Home in S Mode, you can switch to the full version of Windows 10 Home for free.

Like the entry-level Surface Pro (the one with an Intel Core M3 processor), the Surface Go features a fanless design.

It’s also the first Microsoft Surface tablet to feature a USB 3.1 Type-C connector in addition to a Surface Connect port. The charger included with the tablet plugs into the Surface Connect port, while the USB-C port can be used for storage, peripherals, or connecting an external display. You can also use it for charging the tablet, if you have a USB-C charger.

Other ports include a microSD card reader and a headphone jack. There’s no USB Type-A port.

While prices start at $399, you do have to make some sacrifices if you opt for the cheapest model. Here are the two configurations that will be available at launch:

  • 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage for $399
  • 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for $549

Both versions feature LPDDR3-1866 memory, but you get more of it with the $549 model, and faster storage.

Microsoft will also offer options for 256GB of storage and 4G LTE later this year, and the company has commercial versions of the tablet on the way, with Windows 10 Pro (or Windows 10 Pro in S Mode).

The tablet measures 9.6″ x 6.9″ x 0.3″ and weighs 1.15 pounds. The optional Type Cover adds another 0.5 pounds and has LED backlit keys and a precision touchpad. A basic black cover ($99) will be available, or you can opt for a Signature Type Cover with Alcantara fabric ($129) that will come in blue, platinum, or burgundy color options.

A Surface Pen will set you back another $99. It’s not included in the $399 starting price.

The tablet has a built-in kickstand with a hinge that supports angles up to 165 degrees, and the Surface Go has an 8MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, and an IR camera with support for Windows Hello face recognition.

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29 replies on “Microsoft Surface Go hits the streets August 2nd for $399 and up”

  1. I resent the amount of models this gets, simply because I largely need to be able to use my laptop in my lap and all these ‘stand’ models are useless for that

  2. I was excited at the prospect of an update for my surface 3, but now I’m not so sure. It looks like there is no full sized USB port and although type c is useful, having adapters required is a let down for me. It also seems that the resolution while maintaining the glorious 3 by 2 is now technically less than surface 3. PPI is mostly the same but still…

    Not a pre order type normally, but was considering up until the somewhat underwhelming update. Guess I’ll wait for what the reviewers have to say.

  3. Yeah. Well.

    I am always open to new products especially when they add some competition in the marketplace. For me personally, I am not convinced that a low cost PENTIUM windows computer, where you still have to buy the keyboard and pencil to make a really workable, is an answer to any tablet solution I need. In addition, it looks clunky and heavy, but I will to wait to see it before deciding.

    I don’t wish Microsoft any ill-will, their other Surface products are quite good.

  4. I’ll be getting the 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM model plus the basic keyboard cover. I don’t see any alternatives in this form factor.

  5. For what I need it for, the base unit and a pen will work fine. I am going to wait and see what real world battery life is. The only other option I cam considering is an iPad with pencil support.

  6. Finally, a compelling small fanless hybrid. Can’t wait to see reviews but, so far, it’s looking good.

  7. Wow, thats actually a really good value at the $399 price point. Most of the competitors in this segment (Windows tablets, with a kickstand and removable keyboard, NOT 360-degree hinge laptops), are getting rather old. Most of the offerings below $450 right now are outdated Atom X5 powered (Asus Transformer Mini, etc).

    The best value you can find right now below $450 is the Acer Switch 3 Pro at $420, which has a Pentium N4200, which benchmarks not much lower than the 4415y. The Acer has a few benefits over the $399 Surface Go, such as including an SSD (not an eMMC).

    My only concern with this Surface Go is the fact that it is only a good value because it has few competitors in an aging category. The Pentium 4415y is my biggest concern. Thats a 1 year-old CPU (7th gen Intel), and the new Gemini Lake Pentium N5000, although Intel labels it a lower “Pentium Silver” class, is actually a pretty good match for the 4415y, and it has twice as many cores. Benchmarks show that the N5000 has better Multicore performance, and similar single core performance, but the 4415y has slightly better GPU performance.

    Whether we see any N5000-powered competitors is up in the air. Microsoft tends to be the only serious player in this segment, so the Surface Go may go uncontested. But if someone made an N5000 powered competitor, with an SSD for less than $450, I think the Surface Go would have questionable value, at least Specs-wise.

    1. Don’t forget the $400 price is for the base unit. In order to really use it to its potential you need to add $150 for a reasonable amount of RAM and storage, $100 for the keyboard and $100 for the pen. $750 doesn’t seem such a deal for a device with a marginal processor. The only reason Microsoft may sell a bunch of these is as stated above, there is not much if any competition. That will change if it is proven there is a market.

      1. I agree… people see the $399 and don’t realize that it will be $500 for the base unit plus the keyboard.

    2. If size and weight aren’t issues, the Switch Alpha 12 is currently on sale for $500. It has an i5-6200U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and comes with the keyboard. It has a 12″ screen (2160 x 1440) and weighs in at about 2 pounds. It only has Win 10 Home. I bought one to replace my SP3. It’s pretty nice.

      You can also get the Chuwi SurBook Mini (10.8″ screen) for $410 including the keyboard on Amazon.

  8. I’d wait until next year’s model, which should
    hopefully have a quad core 8th gen CPU, providing
    a substantial boost in performance. Also on the
    wish list is an SSD instead of this model’s pokey

  9. Thinking about getting this. I hope to see some reviews about the battery life.

  10. Windows 10 Pro 64b only for commercial versions? If this means that I cannot buy some, I would not buy the tablet at all. Home is not enough. However, if it comes with S, free upgrading is expected to Pro – not to Home. More importantly, I await degree of reflectance and battery life in practice.

    1. Microsoft is making S a “mode” this year, which means there’s Windows 10 Home in S mode and Windows 10 Pro in S Mode. Switching off S mode gives you full Windows 10 Home or Pro, respectively. That is different from devices which shipped with the OS just called Windows 10 S, which could be switched to Pro.

    2. A business version of the Surface 3 was available that included Win 10 Pro. This should be no different,

  11. This looks like an interesting buy. I usually take my iPad Pro 10.5 with me to do work on the road, since it has LTE. Most of the apps are web based, so this should be able to handle them also. It’d also make a neat little gaming tablet and would pair with my iPega 9025 for some streaming games. Lighter than my Pixelbook and I have a Surface Book 2 15″ for any real work I need to do when traveling. Very tempting.

  12. I’ll be getting the LTE version plus the basic keyboard. Going to pass on the pen.

  13. When are the LTE versions coming out? With the Surface 3, it took about half a year to come out after the release of the non-LTE version.

  14. Looks like I’ll finally be upgrading my Surface 3. Not excited by the proprietary connector though.

  15. Looks great. Will be upgrading my Surface 3 LTE when the LTE version comes out. Would have liked more than 1 USB port though.

    Does anyone know if we can charge the device via USB Type-C?

    1. USB Charging? The linked story says yes. “Surface Go also has the ports you need, including Surface Connect for charging and docking; USB-C 3.1 for data, video, and charging; a headphone jack; and a MicroSD card reader for storage expansion”

      1. Thanks. I guess Brad should update his article. It currently says:

        USB-C port can be used for storage, peripherals, or connecting an external display.

        1. Yeah, I knew the Surface Connect port supported charging when I wrote this, but wasn’t sure about the USB port. I’ve updated the article.

  16. Looks tempting, I could definitely use an upgrade to my Surface RT eventually, it’s definitely not aging well anymore and Internet Explorer being the only available browser has its limitations on some modern websites.

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