Microsoft unveiled the Surface Go 2 device yesterday. The ultra-portable Windows 10 device is the successor of the Surface Go, a laptop that I bought some time ago.
Since I own and use a Surface Go, I thought I provide you with a different take on the Surface Go 2 based on my experience with the first device.
Let us take a look at the hard facts first though. The Surface Go 2 features a bigger display (10.5" at 1920x1280 and 220 PPI compared to 10" at 1800x1200 and 217 PPI of the Surface Go) while dimensions stayed the same.
Surface 2 Go users get an option to select an 8th generation Intel Core m3 processor instead of the default Intel Pentium Gold processor 4425Y that has been the only processor of the Surface Go. Microsoft states that the processor may increase performance by up to 66%; battery life has also improved by one hour when on Wi-Fi (from 9 to 10), and by 1.5 hours (8.5 to 10) when using LTE Advanced. Mileage may vary depending on activity and other factors.
The Surface Go 2 comes with dual studio mics instead of the single microphone of the Surface Go. Internal graphics, memory and storage remain the same.
The Surface Go 2 starts at $399 in the base configuration but that is just for the device without keyboard, 4 Gigabytes of RAM, 64 Gigabytes of eMMC storage, and the Intel Pentium 4425Y processor.
A better configuration with the Intel Core M3, 8 Gigabytes of RAM and 128 Gigabytes of SSD storage starts at $629.99. Note that a keyboard is not included in the prices and that you need to add another $139 for it if you want to purchase a Surface Go keyboard from Microsoft.
The Surface Go 2 is a specialized device, not an all-rounder. I bought the Surface Go as a device to take on travels. I had a 15" laptop before that and the weight and size was not really that practicable when it came to traveling. The Surface Go is a tiny device that fits perfectly even in smaller bags.
I use the Surface Go for work only and that means writing and doing research for the most part. Yes, I watch the occasional video on the device but for the most part, it is a writing machine and that works really well in combination with a Surface keyboard.
Not everything is perfect, of course. I paid less than €500 for the device including the keyboard and mouse, and you cannot expect workstation-like performance on the device. For light tasks such as writing, it is a good device in my opinion.
The device has a few issues. The somewhat odd resolution of 1800x1200 means that I cannot place two web browser windows side-by-side without having to scroll. Another thing that I dislike is that the power cable connector on the device is on the right and that always clashes with mouse and keyboard use. It comes with Windows S by default but you can upgrade that to Windows 10 Home to add support for legacy programs (which you should in my opinion). Unfortunately, all you can upgrade to is Windows 10 Home and not Pro (unless you are a business customer).
Microsoft addressed the screen size issue in the Surface Go 2 by making the display slightly bigger and increasing the resolution to 1920x1080. The size remains the same which means that it is equally portable.
As far as price is concerned, it is definitely a bit on the pricey side. Not Apple-pricey, but still pricey when compared to other devices in the same price range. I'd recommend to wait a few months, maybe until Black Friday, to purchase the device at a discount if you are interested in acquiring one. I plan to buy a Surface 2 Go in the future when discounts justify the expense, and hand over my trusted Surface Go device to a family member. The better display is what excites me the most about the device.
The Surface Go 2 is not the right device if you need lots of performance, e.g. to play modern computer games or to edit 4K videos, and there are better devices out there for the price (and even cheaper).
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.