Is the $400 Surface Go Worth It?

– Hey guys, this is Austin This is the brand new, smaller, and cheaper Surface Go

But at $400 the question is, is it worth it? So Microsoft just sent this over Today is the launch of the Surface Go, so you can pre-order it and all that kind of stuff But the general idea here is that this feels much more like a competitor to the iPad than a lot of the higher end Surface models So there are only going to be a couple models of the Surface Go So this is the higher end config with the Pentium Gold, which is standard across the board

But with the upgrade, eight gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of storage And this one is going to cost $550 Alright, so inside we get the actual tablet itself That feels like an iPad That is much, much smaller than any of the normal Surfaces, but we're still going to be getting a lot of the nice features including, when I get the plastic wrap off, we've got the nice, fully adjustable kickstand

Dude, this is really light, wow It's funny, I mean the normal Surfaces are hardly heavy or huge, but this just feels so much more portable I mean, that is nothing While phones are going completely away from bezels, I actually don't mind the slightly larger bezels on the Surface Go It gives you a nice sort of place to set your fingers and use it without accidentally touching the screen all the time

So we've got a power cable, so this one's going to be, oh I have to do math 23 watts, right? 24 watts, damn I was close My math skills, super sharp But we've got the standard Surface charger And this is going to be using the Surface connector

So something that's going to be a little bit different with this, as opposed to something like the actual bigger Surface Pro, is the port situation So we still do have the Surface connector, but this guy's also going to have a full USB-C port Beyond that, it looks like we're just going to be getting a little bit of paperwork in the box So, like its bigger brothers, you can pick it up with the keyboard, as well as a stylus, but both of those are going to cost extra So this is the Alcantara type cover

Now that's going to actually run you a full $130 You can pick up the non-Alcantara version for 100 But don't be fooled by that $400 price tag on the Surface Go It can get much more expensive very quickly The Surface Go is in an interesting position

So it slots right in between the $330 base iPad, as well as the $650 iPad Pro Now it is going to be both thicker, as well as have a smaller screen than the Pro But you're also going to be getting some much more PC-focused features Like, you know, an actual USB-C port, and the ability to use a trackpad, which is kinda helpful for the thing that tries to replace your laptop Now the keyboards are actually going to be a pretty similar size

So both on the iPad as well as the Surface, they're going to be about 85% of a standard laptop keyboard But the Surface definitely does have the advantage with not only that touchpad, but it also has a much nicer chiclet design with some full backlighting Then there's the kickstand So this is a bit of a Surface signature at this point And the good thing is the Go does have a fully flexible kickstand that's going to be just like its bigger brothers

You can adjust it up, down, and pretty much stop at anywhere along the way Now it isn't out yet, but there will be a little bit later this year, a version of the Surface Go available with LTE Maybe not the most important thing in the world, but just like an iPad, it can be very helpful to have built into the device The iPad has made some major strides recently to be much closer to a full laptop replacement device However, if you take one look at the Surface Go, you're going to find a lot here that's going to make your life a lot easier if you actually do want to use it as a laptop

And if you do want to take advantage of it as an actual laptop, you're probably going to want to use the microSD card slot With only 64 or 128 gigs of storage, it's going to run out quick as soon as you start doing anything more intensive And at least being able to throw in a 64 or 128 gig card can make a big difference for only a few bucks Beyond just the difference in capacity, there's also going to be a big difference in speed So while the 64 gigabyte version of the Surface Go has slower eMMC flash, this guy, with the 128 gigs of storage, has a full SSD

While it's not going to be crazy fast, it's really right on par with a lot of lower end laptops, and especially pretty impressive for less than $600 Where the Surface Go is kind of far off is in pure performance Inside that Pentium Gold processor, well, it's just not going to be that fast Now don't get me wrong It's still going to be faster than the Atom-based cores inside the Surface 3, but what you're getting here is a pair of Skylake-based cores, which do at least have hyperthreading, but they're going to be kinda similar to a last-gen core i3, except clocked much, much slower

Mind you, we are looking at a fanless 10-inch tablet with a 6 watt TDP, and a max clock speed of only 16 gigahertz Now without any kind of boost, it does mean it's going to suffer in the benchmarks But in real world use, the Surface Go actually isn't too bad With 8 gigs of RAM, and that pretty speedy SSD, it does hold up pretty well in normal use

Now of course you have to temper your expectations, you're probably not going to want to edit 4K video on this guy, but that Skylake-based core processor does make a big difference to day-to-day use You're also getting decent graphics performance The Intel HD 615 inside is going to be fine for some very light gaming, although you really shouldn't turn this into a gaming PC, but importantly it is going to allow you to, say, run a couple of 1080p monitors, or even a 4K display off of it Even without the keyboard, you're also getting some other nice features So this is going to be full Windows Hello support, so all you need to do is turn it on, and very quickly it will recognize you and log in

This is something that will be coming to iPad soon with Face ID, but Microsoft already has a great implementation, and it's here on a $400 tablet today The screen isn't too bad So you're getting a 10-inch, 1800 by 1200 display, which of course does support touch And while it's not going to be the highest quality panel in the world, it gets pretty bright, but the color accuracy is going to be a little bit off, and it's not going to be the most contrasty thing in the world But generally speaking, for a $400 tablet, I'm definitely not complaining

So you are going to be getting front-firing speakers, but they just don't really sound all that impressive They're a little bit on the tinny side, and while they do get pretty loud, the issue is there's no real bass and they just kinda sound whatever I guess it's a $400 laptop, tablet, thing (Hit That Jive Jack by Gramatik plays) Yeah, that's so much better So with the iPad, what you're getting is something that is going to have not only quad speakers, there's going to be one on all four corners, but just sounds much richer, much deeper

To be fair, the iPad Pro is also going to be a fair bit more expensive, but no-brainer It's way, way better The cameras on the Surface Go are surprisingly good Not only is the webcam nicely detailed and very rich, but even the rear-facing camera doesn't look too bad So, is the Surface Go worth it? Well they've hit a good price point, and a lot of the compromises from the bigger Surface Pro are very understandable

Now for most people, especially if you just want it for basic use, I think the standard $400 version is going to be fine However, if you want to actually use this as a laptop replacement, I would really say that you should upgrade to the higher-end model and pick up a keyboard It is going to make a big difference Now all that being said, I'm curious Would you want to pick up a Surface Go, or would you rather prefer to use something like an iPad? Let me know in the comments below, and I will catch you in the next one

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