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Think of it as a gateway into the Surface ecosystem.

How does the Microsoft Surface Go compare to the Microsoft Surface Pro?

The tablet's lower price also means — whether Microsoft likes it or not — its main competitor is the iPad: both the 9. I applaud Microsoft for lowering the Surface entry fee, but the Surface Go's too underpowered and the full Windows 10 experience isn't optimized well for such a small screen. Even though it's definitely more powerful, the parallels between the Surface Go and netbooks remember those?

It's so cute! The Surface Go is indeed an adorable little tablet, especially when you pair it with a Type Cover keyboard and Surface Pen.

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It's roughly the size of a You'll barely notice it in your backpack or purse. The Surface Go sports a inch aspect display with 1, x 1, resolution and some really thick bezels surrounding it. It's a solid screen that's bright and has wide viewing angles, but the bezels really make it look terribly dated. Every tablet's moving towards slimmer bezels and I can't help but wish Microsoft had fit a larger screen into the durable magnesium body.

The built-in kickstand extends up to degrees and is as satisfying as ever to open up. At no point during my daily use did the kickstand feel like it'd snap. Push the kickstand back, and you'll find a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Surface Go vs. Surface Pro

Cut into the Surface Go's left and right bezels are a pair of front-facing stereo speakers with support for Dolby Audio Premium. They are not the clearest or loudest-sounding speakers on a tablet — the iPad Pro's quad speakers are better in my opinion — but they are front-firing, which makes it almost impossible to muffle them with your hands.

There's a 5-megapixel HD camera on the front and then 8-megapixel camera on the back. The cameras work well in a pinch for video calls and I love that that the front camera supports Windows Hello sign-in with your face it sure beats entering a password or PIN code. Having toured Microsoft's durability labs where Surface devices are designed and stress-tested, I expected nothing but the best and Microsoft really delivered with top-notch hardware for the Go.

I wish it wasn't so, but the Surface Go's biggest weakness is performance. It's too slow and sluggish for getting any real work done. This Pentium chip is significantly slower than the Intel Core m3 chip inside of the entry-level Surface Pro. Microsoft touts 33 percent faster graphics than a Intel Core i5-powered Surface Pro 3 and 20 percent faster graphics performance than Core i7-powered Surface Pro 3, but honestly, none of these figures really matter because the Surface Go chokes up fast under even light usage.


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Google Chrome, an app that pretty much everyone uses, couldn't handle more than a couple of open tabs. Loading websites was unusually slow on both my fast work and home WiFi. At least that has always been the theory behind pro tablets. In reality, whether because of hardware or software or some combination of the two, these devices still tend to be better at either laptop things or tablet things instead of being great at both.

Most companies that make these tablets make stylus accessories that have been developed to work well with that specific tablet.

The research

And the hardware is more than fast enough to handle Photoshop and all kinds of other performance-intensive drawing programs. Although you can find some inexpensive options, budget tablets come with underpowered processors, smaller screens, less memory, and less storage. You will often spend less buying a good tablet for tablet things and a good laptop for laptop things than you will buying a pro tablet with high-end specs and features. In addition to our battery test, which works in Windows and ChromeOS but not iOS, we used each tablet for at least a few days of normal work, including heavy use of Web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, as well as productivity and audio apps like Slack, Spotify, and Audacity.

It has a huge library of finger-friendly tablet apps, including lots of options for drawing; writing; or editing photos, audio, and video. Either iPad Pro also works great with Macs and iPhones in an Apple-centric workplace, and iOS is easy to use and simple to update, backup, and restore. The iPads have large, bright, sharp screens with accurate color and support for the DCI-P3 color gamut , making them ideal for photographers or designers. The tablets have screens that refresh at times per second, double that of typical computer, tablet, and phone screens—this feature is hardly necessary for most people but it makes animations and scrolling smooth and pleasant to look at.

Photo: Sarah Kobos. Because iOS has no trackpad or mouse pointer support, you will need to use your hands to interact with the screen more frequently than you would with the Surface, though learning keyboard shortcuts can make typing and switching between apps more efficient. Both iPads have thin bezels—the black borders around the screen—and are exceptionally thin and light relative to other similarly sized tablets.

The This makes the iPad Pro models easy to carry around and ideal for holding in one or both hands, though the Both iPads perform exceptionally well. And unlike some of the Intel-powered Windows tablets we tested, neither iPad needs a fan. Most people will have no problem getting them to last a full workday, and you can go multiple days between charges with light to medium use.

You can double-tap the side of the second-gen Pencil to toggle between drawing tools, which can be faster than flipping the stylus over to use the eraser tool as you do with the Surface Pen. The iPad lacks mouse or trackpad support and you can generally only run two apps on the screen at the same time and those running in the background may be suspended if the tablet needs to free up memory.

Even when external accessories like SD card readers are supported, only the Apple Photos app can actually access that data; third-party apps like Adobe Lightroom can import from the Photos app, but not directly from the card. The lack of a wrist rest made typing less comfortable on a hard surface like a desk or table.

Some owners have found the most recent iPad Pro models to be more fragile than past models, bending or breaking under pressure. A good case can help provide additional protection; we can also recommend never trying to snap your tablet in half on purpose. The Microsoft Type Cover and its excellent trackpad make the Surface more comfortable to write on than the iPad, and Windows is better at handling external accessories.

Battery Life

Windows is more complicated to use and maintain, and the Surface tablet itself is heavier than even the Photo: Andrew Cunningham. The cover folds slightly to rest against the bottom edge of the tablet, giving it extra stability and angling the keys toward you. The Surface Pro 6 weighs around 1. It also magnetically attaches to the side of the tablet for storage when not in use.

Windows and its apps were designed to run on a normal PC first, so using the Surface like a normal PC—one with a keyboard and trackpad and a wide range of external accessories—is easy once you get past the small number of ports. But the keys are sized and spaced comfortably, and the Smart Keyboard is easy to balance on your lap.

A more budget-friendly albeit harder-to-balance solution is to use our cheap iPad case pick along with an external Bluetooth keyboard like the Logitech K, our pick for the best Bluetooth keyboard. While the fifth generation Surface Pro is the more expensive device in almost all configurations, that gets you a more powerful system and one that can do far more than the basic, general-computing tasks of most Surface Go configurations.

What the Surface Go lacks in power, it makes up for in portability. The Go may struggle to last as long as the Pro on a single charge though. The Surface Go only makes to eight hours on video — closer in heavier productivity work.

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The Surface Pro is rated for up to In our testing , it managed more than hours of constant video looping, so it will easily make it through a full workday and then some. While its price tag is higher, its hardware configuration far outstrips the Surface Go. They might look roughly the same, but the higher-resolution display, more powerful processor and lengthier battery life make the Surface Pro an all-around better convertible table than its cheaper, newer counterpart. If you can afford it, buy the Pro.

life on the surface coming up higher Manual

Share on Facebook Tweet this Share. Don't Miss. Computing The Surface Centaurus might run Android apps, but is that a good idea? A new leak hints that Microsoft's rumored Project Centaurus is a dual-screen device that will run Android apps. Is this what Microsoft needs to save its desperately-ignored Windows tablet mode? Posted 1 day ago — By Luke Larsen.

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Computing A dual-screen device from Microsoft is in the works.