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Microsoft announces Surface Go: Pre-orders start from £380

10 July 2018

Why did Microsoft build this 10-inch, Pentium-based device, given that the company's mission with its Surface products has been to go somewhere its OEM partners have not gone before - in other words, to create new and previously untapped markets/categories for Windows devices.

Apple's iPad Mini 4 is slightly smaller than the new Surface, with a 7.9-inch screen, and carries a $399 price tag for 128 GB of storage.

This will be the first of Microsoft's Surface tablets with USB Type-C. The Surface Go also has a microSD card slot, a headphone socket and Microsoft's Windows Hello facial recognition camera for unlocking the device.

The Surface Go runs Windows 10 S, a version of Windows that will only support apps that are available in the Windows app store. But it's cheaper. A lot cheaper: the base model costs just $399, compared to $799 for the base Surface Pro.

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Prices for the Surface Go start at £379.99, but no upper limit has now been stated. However, it will also come in a model with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.

For the first time on Microsoft hardware, the Go will use the USB-C charging standard. The Surface Go clocks off after nine - and that's the always-optimistic claim in the marketing blurb.

The new lightweight Surface Go - about twice as big as many smartphones - is created to be portable.

Unlike the iPad, the Surface keyboard attachment features a built-in trackpad that allows it to work just like a laptop. Yes, the Surface Go pretty much takes away some of the dilemma schools and users have over the portability of mobile devices and the variety of Windows software.

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The processor is an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, which is a rather meager Kaby Lake chip. Pre-orders for the Surface Go starts July 10, with shipments set to begin from August 2 in the US. The Go weighs 1.15 lbs, a little heavier than the iPad, but also about half a pound lighter than the beefier Surface Pro.

That will get you the tablet alone, with a separate Surface Go Signature Type Cover and Surface Pen each costing £99/$99. Specs of the device popped up years later, showing a tablet less powerful than the Go announced today. In case you wish to though, you can upgrade to the regular version of Windows for free.

So who is the Surface Go for? The Type Cover's keys, similar in size to shrunken HP Mini netbooks of a decade ago, were comfortable and could be typed on with big adult fingers. There is no indication if this will simply be a preorder phase for the tablet or if they will actually start shipping on 7/13.

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Microsoft announces Surface Go: Pre-orders start from £380