Microsoft Surface Go

Last updated date: March 11, 2019

DWYM Score
8.1

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We looked at the top 1 Microsoft Surface Tablets and dug through the reviews from 14 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, Digital Trends, Trusted Reviews, The Guardian, Laptop Magazine, T3, CNET, PC Magazine, Tom's Hardware, Pocket-lint, Tech Spot, Anand Tech, Creative Bloq, The Inquirer and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Microsoft Surface Tablet you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 97 expert reviews, the Microsoft Microsoft Surface Go placed 5th when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Microsoft Surface Tablet for a detailed review of all the top microsoft surface tablets.

Expert Summarized Score
7.9
14 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
848 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Microsoft’s display game continues to be top notch on the Surface Go.
- Tech Radar
The Surface Go has a wonderful display. It’s not as high-resolution as the iPad, but on a 10-inch screen, its 1,800 x 1,200 resolution is a high enough pixel density to keep text sharp. The Surface Go was bright, maxing out at 420 nits in our tests.
- Digital Trends
One of the biggest boons of the Surface Go is that it runs on Windows 10 in S Mode. This means users are allowed more freedom than they’d have with Android and iOS tablets. Not only do you have access to all of your favourite apps, but you can also download and install various programmes that would be blocked by an iPad.
- Trusted Reviews
January 21, 2019 | Full review
Within 10 minutes I was touch typing at full speed, with a satisfying amount of key travel and the option to have the keyboard either flat on the desk or propped up at an angle. It’s one of the best typing experiences I’ve used on any compact laptop, let alone a tablet.
- The Guardian
The optional keyboard for the Surface Pro is surprisingly comfy, and I like that it's backlit.
- Laptop Magazine
August 3, 2018 | Full review
We are in love with the stand Microsoft has put on the back on the Surface Go. It’s useful to have there in any case, but it’s especially well-executed. It folds open almost 180 degrees, which means you can lay the tablet almost flat (a good angle for drawing or typing on-screen), but the flexibility also makes it good for laps and trains, both of which tend to need awkward angles very different to what you might need on a desk.
- T3
November 14, 2018 | Full review
The Surface Go delivers Microsoft's great Surface design and accessories at a lower price and in a smaller size.
- CNET
At the preview event I went to before we received a review unit, Microsoft showed me some examples of educational applications that may be employed in the classroom. These ranged from Mandarin-teaching tools (students would trace the characters with the Surface Pen) to apps with detailed 3D models of the human head. I can see scenarios where these would be useful for a classroom of students—or just for an individual child
- PC Magazine
The design is SO. CUTE. The Surface GO takes all of the minimalist trappings of the Surface Pro before it, with a gray magnesium design.
- Tom's Hardware
August 6, 2018 | Full review
The back of the Surface Go is attractive in that familiar Surface way with its integrated kickstand.
- Pocket-lint
September 22, 2018 | Full review
Best-in-class typing experience for the size.
- Tech Spot
The Surface Go also offers USB Type-C, which is a huge advantage for the Surface Go compared to the Surface Pro, since you can use any Type-C charger while on the road with the Surface Go.
- Anand Tech
January 17, 2019 | Full review
But on the bright side, it charges quickly, and you get a full battery in around two hours, which trounces the 4 hours that it takes to charge a 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
- Creative Bloq
December 17, 2018 | Full review
Well built hardware, gorgeous display, flexible hybrid use.
- The Inquirer
October 5, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Annoyingly, Microsoft continues to sell the tablet’s all-but-essential accessories separately.
- Tech Radar
Performance was one of the biggest issues with the original line of Surface tablets. Microsoft promised these products would work like any other laptop, yet they were hampered by the weak components and a limited operating system. The Surface Go was supposed to fix that problem by running with an Intel chip based on the Core architecture that would prove capable as a productivity machine. Unfortunately, that’s not how it feels.
- Digital Trends
It's pricey considering Type Cover isn’t bundled in.
- Trusted Reviews
January 21, 2019 | Full review
The biggest issue is Edge, which still isn’t capable of fully replacing Google Chrome or Firefox. It stutters, hangs and crashes frequently, and not being able to change the default search engine is deeply irritating – Bing just isn’t good enough to replace Google.
- The Guardian
The biggest weakness of the Surface Go hands-down is the battery life.
- Laptop Magazine
August 3, 2018 | Full review
Windows’ performance here in general is a bit up and down. Apps feel slow to launch compared to the slickness of other tablets, though most are totally smooth to use once they’re open.
- T3
November 14, 2018 | Full review
The Pentium processor isn't suited for all tasks. A keyboard cover is a must-have add-on but still sold separately. And you'll probably want to pay extra for more storage and RAM, too.
- CNET
The keyboard is cramped and costs extra.
- PC Magazine
Unfortunately, the Surface Go’s battery life doesn’t stack up to its competitors. It lasted 6 hours and 21 minutes on our battery test, which continuously browses the web, runs OpenGL tests and streams videos at 150 nits of brightness.
- Tom's Hardware
August 6, 2018 | Full review
Unfortunately, battery life isn't great and once you've added the accessories it's not cheap.
- Pocket-lint
September 22, 2018 | Full review
Some lag outputting to external display.
- Tech Spot
If there’s a chink in the Surface Go’s armour, it’s the battery-life. Despite an advertised nine hours of juice, we struggled to stretch it past seven, and this was with relatively lightweight tasks such as web-browsing and word processing. So that sucks.
- Creative Bloq
December 17, 2018 | Full review
The USB-C port lacks Thunderbolt 3.
- The Inquirer
October 5, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

New 10” Surface Go is perfect for all your daily tasks, giving you laptop performance with tablet portability, a stunning touchscreen, and the Windows and Office experience you know. From email, browsing, and home projects to unwinding with a favorite TV show, Surface Lingo is by your side wherever you are — with up to 9 hours1 of battery life, built-in HD cameras, hassle-free connectivity, and all the ports you need, including multi-tasking USB-C.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 18
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 6
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
4. Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 11
5. Microsoft Surface Go
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 14
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Microsoft Surface RT
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 8
8. Microsoft Surface 2
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Microsoft Surface Tablets

It’s been just over six years since Microsoft introduced the original Surface tablet. Flash forward to today, and Microsoft has a full range of Surface PCs that appeal to all kinds of buyers and budgets.

If you’re in the market for a versatile, portable Windows 10 machine, then there’s sure to be a Microsoft Surface device to fit your needs. While there have been plenty of upgrades, the Surface tablets launched in the last few years are each useful and versatile machines in their own right.

If having the latest and greatest model is a high priority for you, then look no further than the Surface Pro 6. It is ultra-light and faster than ever. It features the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor as well as the full Windows 10 Home experience. It also happens to be the top value pick of the Microsoft Surface collection as well.

Similarly, the Surface Pro 5 is another excellent choice. It not only offers full PC performance in a thin and light design, but also boasts a high-resolution, oversized screen. Plus, it’s compatible with a variety of accessories, including a dock. One surprising downside is the thin, lightweight design makes it prone to bending if you’re not careful while handling or transporting this tablet.

Earlier variations, including the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3, still remain solid machines today.  Both can easily convert into laptops with the proper accessories and can handle a full day’s work. Plus, the Surface 3 has a 10.8-inch display with the uncommon resolution of 1920 x 1280p, which is 200 pixels taller than the standard 1080p.  As a result, on-screen images appear colorful and sharp.

Keep an open mind, and consider laptops in addition to versatile tablets like the Microsoft Surface models. While laptops may be a bit pricier, they offer the convenience of a built-in keyboard for getting work done. In addition to the Microsoft Surface tablets, there are many tablet variations from manufacturers like Google, Apple, Amazon and more that offer unique options worth considering.

DYWM Fun Fact

Microsoft Surface Tablets had a bit of a rocky beginning. When they first debuted in 2012, people loved the hardware design but were baffled by the software. Since then, Microsoft has launched new software to better match the spot-on hardware.

The hybrid-PC style hardware was truly innovative and many other companies have copied its smart design. The built-in kickstand and add-on keyboard, still part of the newest Surface models, are industry standards now.

What started as one tablet has morphed into a full Microsoft Surface family of computers. The range includes tablets, standard laptops and oversized desktops. Quite frankly, the Microsoft Surface options have never been as diverse as they are today.

The Microsoft Surface Tablet Buying Guide

  • Check what comes with each tablet standard carefully before clicking purchase. Not all come with the accessories needed to make the most of the tablet, like the Surface Pen and keyboard cover.
  • Understand what ports and connections are compatible with your Microsoft Surface tablets. Microsoft continues to use USB-A and its magnetic Surface Connect charger. Unlike other manufacturers, it has not transitioned to the USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.
  • There are budget-friendly financing options available directly through Microsoft. If you come in to a physical retail location, you can buy a new Surface on an installment plan, for as little as $25 per month. The payment plan also includes Office 365 for the two-year duration of the installments.
  • The Microsoft Complete extended warranty is a smart add-on to any device. The plan starts at $149 and features additional warranty coverage and accidental damage protection. It includes a total of two accidental damage claims, with a $49 deductible.