Microsoft Surface Go first impressions: A handy on the go solution

Microsoft might have a compact computing device for productivity seekers in store.

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Microsoft has announced its most affordable Surface device in the form of Surface Go that runs on Windows 10. The device was already launched for the US market, but now Indian consumers will be able to pre-order the device.

Microsoft Surface Go first impressions

 

The device will be sold exclusively through the e-commerce website Flipkart from the December 27. The 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage variant is priced for Rs 37,999, while the high-end 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant retails for 49,999. So we got a chance to play around with the device and here's what we feel about the Microsoft Surface Go.

Specifications

 

  • 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y (dual-core, 2MB cache)
  • Intel HD Graphics 615
  • 8GB LPDDR3 (1,866MHz)
  • 10-inch PixelSense touch display
  • 128GB SSD storage
  • MicroSDXC card reader 
  • Surface Connect port
  • headset jack
  • 5MP (1080p video) front-facing webcam (Windows Hello face login) 
  • 8MP (1080p video) rear-facing autofocus camera
  • 1.15 pounds (0.52kg) weight

 

Design
 

Design

At first glance, the Surface Go looks like a shrunken Surface Pro, and that's true. It is 2.3 inches smaller compared to the latter. But, the company surely made a few good alterations to the new version aiming a bigger audience, especially the youth.

The new Surface comes with softer edges giving it a distinct identity in the lineup. The previous Surface devices came with angled edges, which the company seems to change with the new addition.

The hinge on the Surface Go is excellent as it can bend up to 180 degrees, making the device ideal for creative purposes like sketching or note-taking. The company has still managed to house a USB-C port along with a microSD card reader on the small version, something that the latest iPad lacks.

So you will not only be able to add extra storage on this laptop, but you also have two ways to hard-wire a dock and expand displays thanks to the mainstay Surface Connect port. Overall, the Surface Go is a compact, handy device with an attractive design that can be carried around with ease.

Display

Microsoft Surface Go comes with a 10-inch PixelSense touch display with a resolution of 1800 x 1200 pixels. This is definitely not the sharpest display around, as its rival iPad comes with 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution.

But, it still makes for a good viewing experience with the colors looking vibrant and vivid. It is color accurate and we played a video to test its quality and were satisfied with the results. The 3:2 aspect ratio works in its favor when it comes to web browsing and work, however playing 16:9 videos might not be that great as it shows two black bars. The Surface lineup has always comprised of a great display, and it's good to see the company hasn't cut corners here.

Type Cover and Surface Pen

The keyboard on the Surface Go feels as good as it appears. The travel in the keys is good and the cover can also be placed inclined thanks to the magnetic mechanism, making the typing experience really good.

However, due to the small size o the device, the layout of the keyboard is cramped. You might find yourself typing wrong words initially, but once you get the hang of it, your typing sessions would be smooth. We found the placement of the top row and the middle row a bit off. Speaking of the touchpad, it uses Windows Precision drivers and feels smooth and responsive.

The Surface Pen is something we've seen before, and it still amazes us. It is intuitive and smooth and makes for a great utility helping users with simple tasks and creative work. The only issue here is that why would Microsoft power the Pen using a disposable AAAA battery and not be a rechargeable unit.

Under the hood

On the inside, the Surface Go is powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y paired with Intel HD Graphics 615. The company claims that Surface products would work like any other laptop out there, but due to the weak components, their performance has been affected.

The Surface Go is meant to fix this with an Intel processor inside based on Core architecture. If the device manages to churn out good performance it could prove to be the primary choice for people seeking productivity on the go.

One thing is certain that the Surface Go isn't meant for gaming. The device might be able to handle low-end games but, firing up graphics-intensive games might not be a good idea.

Initial impressions

Overall, the Surface Go seems like a well-balanced device which caters to a larger audience. With a lot of major firms focusing on smaller sized tablets for productivity seekers, Microsoft might a found a solution in the form of its latest launch.

Well, the package doesn't include any accessories which are definitely a letdown. Also, it is less powerful than the iPad and has a less sharp screen. However, it will be really hard to recommend an iPad or any other compact laptop over the Surface Go when it comes to replacing a computing device.

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