Microsoft announces Surface Go: Preorders start from £380
Microsoft has just announced the Surface Go, a budget Microsoft Surface tablet aimed at students and those who want some versatility from their 10in tablet.
Rumours around a budget Microsoft Surface device have been floating around for a little while now, with the latest rumour suggesting a Friday 13 July announcement. Perhaps because this information leaked out to the public, Microsoft has now officially announced its new tablet as the Microsoft Surface Go and priced it at a very tempting £380.
Available for preorder starting today on the Microsoft Store, the Surface Go will be available for purchase from 2 August.
But just what is the Surface Go? We’ve poured over every detail Microsoft has given us about its new, affordable hybrid tablet and distilled it down into its core parts for you below.
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Microsoft Surface Go release date: What you need to know
Rumours had previously stated that a new, cheaper Surface tablet would be coming to market around the second half of 2018. We now know that to be the Surface Go and it’ll land on 2 August 2018. It’s currently available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store in most European countries and will expand to others within the coming weeks. An LTE-enabled model will then follow later in the year.
The new line is aimed at students and light users, rather than power-hungry people who want a high-end laptop in a 2-in-1 form-factor. Because of this, its August release window is an incredibly smart one as it picks up right when people are looking to purchase “back to school” goods.[gallery:2]
Microsoft Surface Go price: How much will a budget Surface cost?
Prices for the Surface Go start at £379.99 for the 4GB RAM, 64GB storage option, or £509.99 for an 8GB RAM, 128GB storage variant. There don’t appear to be any more than two variants on the Microsoft Store‘s preorder page, but that may change when LTE models drop later this year.
Seeing as the entry-level Surface Pro will set you back £749, it’s not too surprising to see the high-end Surface Go still undercutting it by quite a margin. Even though the Surface Pro is ageing, it’s mostly Microsoft making smart moves to differentiate the two devices clearly in the marketplace.
The Microsoft Store listing also highlights that the Surface Go doesn’t come with a Type Cover or Surface Pen, meaning you’ll have to splash out for those separately. It’s currently not known if the Surface Pen for the Surface Go is the standard Surface Pen or a unique to Surface Go device. No prices have, yet, been announced for either peripheral but expect to be paying at least another £100 – £150 for the Type Cover alone.
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Microsoft Surface Go specs: What features does the new budget Surface have?
Microsoft has made no official announcement confirming spec rundowns of the Surface Go but, thanks to the Microsoft Store listing we do know that there are two configurations of the Surface Go available for preorder. In due time, two more devices will arrive with support for LTE connectivity, it’s not known what they’ll contain but chances are they won’t be wildly different from the initial two Surface Go tablets available now.
Surface Go is being offered up in either a 4GB RAM, 64GB storage option or an 8GB RAM, 128GB storage configuration. Both variants are powered by Intel’s 7th Gen Pentium Gold 4415Y processor which is slated to be battery optimised and efficient so that when performing “the most critical tasks” you’ll still get up to 9 hours of battery life.[gallery:5]
The Surface Go also comes with a Surface Connect port for charging and docking, alongside a USB Type-C connector “for data, video and charging”. There’s also a headphone jack and Microsoft has opted for a microSD card reader instead of a full-fat SD card slot. You’ll get Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity and 802.11ac Wi-Fi as standard on all models of the Surface Go.
Windows Hello also works for quick opening and activation of your Surface Go thanks to a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for 1080p Skype HD video. On the rear you’ll find an autofocusing 8-megapixel camera for 1080p video recording too. There’s also a microphone for calls and recording and a pair of Dolby Audio Premium stereo speakers.[gallery:7]
In terms of actual dimensions and design, the Surface Go sports a 10in PixelSense display with 1,800 x 1,200-pixel resolution and 217ppi. It also weighs 522g without Type Cover and sports the same friction kickstand first found on the Surface Pro 3. Details around the Type Cover are still rather vague, but it’s believed to have all the features of the Surface Pro’s Type Cover and sport a sturdier design for its smaller form factor.
Those hoping that this would be a full-fat version of Windows 10 may be disappointed to hear that the Surface Go will be running Windows 10 in S mode instead of Home or Pro. To help soften the blow, and make the Surface Go more appealing to small businesses and students, Microsoft has included a 30-day trial of Office 365.