Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 delivers the efficiency of a pill you’d get pleasure from utilizing…just a few years in the past. The authentic Surface Go debuted in 2018 because the smallest, least costly member of Microsoft’s pill household. The second era affords as much as an Eighth-gen Intel Core m3 beneath the hood, making it about as quick because the 2014 Surface Pro 3.
That’s not essentially a foul factor. Think of the Surface Go 2 as a reliable, although dear, ultramobile pill. It might not win over many iPad customers (regardless that it’s higher in some methods), however as a result of it is fanless and compact, enterprise vacationers might admire it as a secondary Windows machine, particularly with its LTE possibility. We simply would not suggest the $400 lowest-end model, because it has skimpy reminiscence and storage.
This evaluation is a part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for data on competing merchandise and the way we examined them.
Surface Go 2 costs, specs and options
Like lots of its different Surface tablets, Microsoft will promote the Surface Go 2 in each client and industrial editions. The client model ships with Windows 10 Home in S Mode, from which you will switch to Windows 10 Home if you want. Microsoft sells the Surface Go 2 Signature Type Cover and Surface Pen individually, although the previous, at the least, is important.
As we reviewed one of many client versons, we’ll reiterate that pricing beneath. For the complete checklist of costs for all fashions, see our authentic Surface Go 2 news story.
Surface Go 2 client costs
- Pentium Gold 4425Y, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC: $400
- Pentium Gold 4425Y, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD: $550
- Core m3-8100Y, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD: $630
- Core m3-8100Y, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, LTE: $730 (our take a look at unit)
While the $400 value of the entry-level mannequin is tempting, resist. No one must be utilizing a pill with a measly 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. The minimal configuration ought to be the $550 (8GB RAM/128GB SSD) mannequin.
Surface Go 2 specs
- Display: 10.5-inch (1920×1280, 220 ppi), 3:2 facet ratio PixelSense show with 10-point contact; Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y or Core m3-8100Y (Amber Lake Y)
- Graphics: UHD 615
- Memory: 4GB or 8GB RAM
- Storage: 64GB eMMC or 128GB SSD
- Ports: USB-C, Surface Connect, microSD, 3.5mm jack
- Camera: 5MP (1080p) user-facing, Windows Hello; 8MP (1080p) rear-facing, with autofocus
- Battery: 26.8Wh (reported by Windows)
- Wireless: 802.11 ax (Wi-Fi 6); Qualcomm LTE Advanced X16 modem
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home in S mode (client); Windows 10 Pro (industrial channels)
- Dimensions (inches): 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches (8.3mm)
- Weights (per Microsoft): 1.2 kilos with Wi-Fi, 1.22 with LTE (not counting Type Cover)
- Color: Silver
- Optional equipment: Surface Go 2 Signature Type Cover in Platinum ($130), Black ($100), Poppy Red ($130), and Ice Blue ($130); Surface Pen ($100 for Ice Blue or Poppy Red), Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub ($100)
- Price: $730 (Microsoft Store) as examined
Surface Go 2: Solid construct, good show
For this second-gen Surface Go, Microsoft maintains the magnesium chassis and fanless design of its predecessor. A small part on the rear of the pill warmed as we ran numerous assessments, however by no means approached scorching.
You want a little bit of bezel for gripping a pill, however Microsoft slimmed them down sufficient to squeeze in a bigger 10.5-inch PixelSense show and extra pixels (1920×1280, 220 ppi). Save for the extra pixels, the show stays just about unchanged from the prior era’s. The colours are vivid, and the show brightness is a excessive 493 nits.
A bodily kickstand—nonetheless a rarity within the pill world—folds down from the rear. It can recline to about fifteen levels off of the horizontal, making it simpler to be used with a Surface Pen (which we tried—it labored high quality) or Surface Dial (which we didn’t strive). The kickstand offers a bit when in full recline, however the friction hinge retains the Surface Go 2 regular.
Pogo pins safe the pill to the keyboard. But the secondary hinge that angles the keyboard up simply weakly holds it in place. And, after all, the kickstand is slender sufficient to dig into your thighs. Just typing with the Surface Go 2 perched on my lap in a set workplace chair was not particularly sturdy or nice.
The Surface Go 2 can energy its personal display, one 4K show, and a 1080p show, all at 60Hz, by means of the first-generation Surface Dock. The Dock didn’t at all times hook up with each shows (even after updating its firmware), nevertheless it’s been flaky sometimes with different Surfaces.
Don’t overlook in regards to the microSD (technically, a microSDXC slot) beneath the kickstand. Many USB-C hubs have already got that slot, however Microsoft’s personal USB-C Travel Hub doesn’t.
The Surface Go 2’s twin 2W audio system aren’t particularly loud, however tonally they’re fairly correct. Low-end bass is missing, as you may anticipate. Dolby Audio is listed as a part of the machine’s specs, however I couldn’t discover both Dolby or Realtek audio controls on the pill, nor within the Store.
Surface Go 2’s webcam: A particular promoting level
The Surface units supply the best integrated, user-facing cameras I’ve ever used, interval. The 5MP user-facing digicam matches neatly inside the high bezel, and it captures 1080p video with out a hitch. Its HDR capabilities are good, too. A pair of far-field mics seize your voice effectively with out the necessity for a headset.
The 8MP rear digicam might not surpass your smartphone’s, nevertheless it’s nonetheless relatively good. (The picture flickered sometimes, however our inquiry about that to Microsoft has but to obtain a response.) It’s primarily there to seize the contents of paperwork and whiteboards utilizing the built-in Office Lens operate, which acknowledges and auto-orients the content material into one thing like a standard Office doc for straightforward sharing.
The Camera app’s “pro mode” hides the power to swap between 6MP (16:9) or 8MP(4:3) images, implement digital video stabilization, or zoom manually. There’s no HDR.
Surface Go 2 typing expertise: Still disagreeable
The Surface Go’s compact type issue merely doesn’t depart room for a spacious keyboard, and the Surface Go 2 is not any totally different. The keyboard measures 9.4 inches throughout from key to key, versus 10.75 inches for the Surface Pro 7. That’s nearly two keys’ price of distinction.
My opinion of the Surface Go Type Cover hasn’t modified. Microsoft has engineered the keys to be supportive and agency, optimizing the quick 1mm journey distance. To be honest, my fingers adjusted to the slender keys, and my accuracy didn’t undergo enormously. Still, the keys are a bit stiff, and are spaced too shut collectively to be comfy over longer intervals. Perhaps slipping in two new mouse-and-keyboard combos on the tail end of its Surface launch was a deliberate transfer?
Our Surface Go Signature Type Cover was coated with Alcantara material (the Black model is microfiber). The Type Cover nonetheless options three ranges of backlighting.
The Surface Go’s Precision touchpad is common, clean and tappable throughout the complete vary of the sensor. Its clickiness stopped at in regards to the high third of the touchpad.
Surface Go 2’s LTE efficiency
Our evaluation unit included the LTE possibility, which you’ll activate both by inserting your personal microSIM into the side-mounted slot, or else enabling the eSIM performance included within the machine.
For testing, I used a bodily T-Mobile SIM and drove across the metropolis, attempting out the connection at numerous factors on each the Surface Go 2 and my smartphone. Both my telephone and the Surface Go 2 achieved related outcomes utilizing Bing’s pace take a look at. However, my Surface Go 2 unit appeared to have bother holding a sustained connection, or at the least buffering sufficient information to stream a 1080p video repeatedly over YouTube. (The streams have been manually set to 1080p, because the default setting was a decrease decision.)
This habits continued at a number of areas. [I was unable to double-check this against other LTE-equipped laptops because my carrier, T-Mobile, wouldn’t authorize the connection for some reason.] We notified Microsoft of this challenge, and haven’t but acquired a response.
Keep studying for efficiency, battery life and extra.