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Surface Go Hands on: Meet the $399 iPad Killer

11 July 2018

It's a ten-inch tablet that costs $399 (£301), making it the new cheapest model in the Surface range by a significant degree - the next level up is around £800, far more than many parents would be willing to spend on their child's device. The tablet comes with a 10.00-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1800 pixels by 1200 pixels.

A Surface tablet equipped with a Pentium Gold 4415Y made an appearance in OpenCL benchmarks last week where it put up comparable numbers to a 2017 Apple MacBook equipped with an Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor. There's a choice of 4GB or 6GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory and either 64GB of eMMC storage or a 128GB SSD.

The Surface Go runs Windows 10 with S mode enabled as default, which means it only has access apps available in the Microsoft Store.

The includes the new Alcantara Surface Keyboard covers, which bring the soft (and hard to keep clean) material based keyboards from the Surface Laptop to the tablet line. In other words, you're looking at $500, all-in, for the Surface Go setup you really want. Microsoft says, however, that it's worked with the chipmaker to "optimize power, performance, and battery", noting that most should get nine hours of battery life from the device. "Since my two youngest daughters have started using Surface Go, I see them watching movies, reading and drawing on it every day", he said.

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It's the price tag that will make it more appealing for many people, shaving several hundred dollars off the price of the latest version of the Surface Pro, which starts at $799.

Available for pre-order starting today - although the listing isn't now live on the Microsoft Store at time of writing - the Surface Go will be available for purchase from 2 August. However, Microsoft's rounded corners and edges on the gadget give it a more informal look when compared to the Surface Pro and Surface Books.

Surface Go will be released August 2, and an LTE version will follow later this year, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer Panos Panay wrote in a blog post. You'll need to add $99 for an Apple Pencil and will have to make do with a Bluetooth keyboard.

The Surface is bundled with their signature built-in kickstand with unlimited positions, a front-facing camera with facial recognition login, and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connector port for charging and connecting to a desktop dock. For charging and docking, there's Surface Connect and USB Type-C 3.1, as well as a microSD card reader for storage expansion. The same goes for a high-end 256GB version of the tablet, too, although everything else is available for pre-order now.

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What are the Surface Go specs? One of the earliest incarnations of the Surface line, the Surface RT, fared poorly.

Below is a pricing breakdown of each version of the tablet, keep in mind the commercial SKU ships with Windows 10 Pro which is why there is a price difference.

Those who expected a rather boring summer should get ready for a big hardware launch at the end of this week, because - if at least some of those insiders on Reddit are right - Microsoft will launch an affordable Surface tablet this Friday.

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Surface Go Hands on: Meet the $399 iPad Killer