The Surface has always been for the cream-of-the-crop-businessman, the on-the go management consultant, the CEO of a Silicon Valley business, all that stuff. And, until recently, the $799 price tag made sure of that. But that all changes today, with the new Surface Go.
Before I start, I would like to get something out of the way. I love tablets. I also love 2-in-ones. Sadly, my budget constraints make sure I never get to experience them. If John is reading this, he will want me to point out that, actually, I do get to use them; in fact, I’m typing on one now! But, allow me to explain why I don’t count this.
- It’s a hand-me-down Surface Pro 1
- The Type Cover is broken, so I have to use another keyboard
- The battery only lasts for an hour and a half
- As those of you who have used Surface Pros before the 3 will know, the charger is the stupidest thing on the planet (although it is magnetic), and the original broke so the current one is about a meter long and it sparks whenever you try to plug it in.
- It’s about an inch thick
All the above means that it almost never leaves my desk, and if it does, it goes to the dining-room table. So, I never use it as a tablet, unless I’m watching YouTube.
But finally, my budget constraints will be satisfied. Starting today (July 10th), the new Surface Go is available for preorder in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The Go will also be available in Japan, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and in China, “with more markets to follow”. And it retails for a bargain $399!!!!!!
Okay, fine, $399 isn’t exactly the world’s best bargain. But this isn’t just any computer, it’s a Surface! The specs aren’t too shabby either, with a Kaby Lake Pentium Gold CPU (4415Y, if you were wondering), 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Yeah, the storage got me too, but… still. Consider too, that the kickstand goes up to 165º, and support for the Surface Pen (admittedly a $99 accessory), which has 4096 pressure sensitivities.
The ports aren’t too shabby either. There’s a USB-C (sadly no Thunderbolt), a MicroSD, a headphone jack and a Surface Connect charging port. Thankfully, I won’t have to use this too often, because you can charge via the USB-C as well. It’s actually quite similar to the original Surface Pro, although that one had a USB-A port, as well as a MinDisplay port. The only thing I’m sad about is lack of a USB-A port, because my mouse uses that. Oh, well, I’m sure there’ll be an official adapter accessory.
The screen is a 10-inch 1800×1200 beauty, which rests upon an 8.3mm-thick body that weighs just 520 grams. The screen also houses one last goody: A Windows Hello compatible webcam. This will mean that you can get into your computer with your face, and Windows will greet you with a smile (emoticon).
Okay, so I admit that I may have sounded a little starry-eyed back there, and given the impression that this, here and now, is the perfect tablet. It isn’t. There are some small problems, which I will now relate.
- The 64GB of storage and Pentium processor may be to little for some
- The keyboard costs $99 extra (or $129 depending on the colour)
- The Go comes with Windows 10 S, so users will only be able to install apps from the Windows Store. You can turn it off if you want, though.
- The display is 3:2 (fullscreen) rather than 16:9 (widescreen).
But these definitely are balanced by the pros. Now to get my hands on 400 bucks…