Microsoft Surface Go 2 is A bite of the original model with more screen space. While not super powerful, it’s super portable and offers everything you should in a sleek little package. A great contender for iPad Pro or Chromebook in the Windows space.
– Bezels smaller than the original model
– Excellent (optional) cover keyboard makes it a mini laptop alternative
– Solid battery life for streaming
|– Accessories greatly raise the price|
– Total battery life is not the best
– Windows 10 S mode has its limitations
– Only one USB-C port
The original Microsoft Surface Go, released in 2018, was a super-portable machine designed to get parts and pieces on the go: sending emails, taking notes in a meeting, watching a bit of Netflix on the ride back home, instead of trying to be an almighty surface product. It was this portability that made this 2-in-1 attractive.
Called the Microsoft Surface Go 2, the sequel takes the exact footprint of the original, with the same ports and everything, but cuts and hides its design to offer even more appeal. The display bezel has shrunk, giving more screen space this time. There’s more speed thanks to updated processors, and even the option to spend more for an Intel Core M3 model if you want. But that’s pretty much it, since this isn’t a great review
The other obvious attraction for Surface Go 2 is the seemingly small price to match the device’s small scale. But realistically, by the time you’ve added the Type Cover keyboard accessory and any additions (Enhanced Internal Components, Surface Pen, Mobile Mouse) to transform it into a true laptop alternative, it’s about the same price as one. So does this little tablet and laptop alternative present real value?
Design and display
- 10.5-inch PixelSense display, 3: 2 aspect ratio, 1920 x 1280 resolution
- Dimensions: 245 x 175 x 8.3 mm / Weights: 544 g (without type cover)
- 1x USB-C, 1 x microSD, 1x Surface Connect port, 1x 3.5mm jack
- Front and rear cameras: 8MP rear and 5MP front for Windows Hello
- Surface Pen Keyboard and Stylus Pen Sold Separately
Visually, the Go 2 has all the popular features of the Surface design, and while the added expense of the keyboard and stylus may be irritating to your bank’s bench, it’s an important part of how you can think about using this tool. Since it is very flexible in its shapes: use it as a tablet (the built-in stand is excellent) with touch screen control; use it as a mini laptop (Type Cover keyboard is quite amazing for typing quality); or go to town with Surface Pen (draw your life away!).
We’ve always been a fan of surface mount, but like other 2-in-1s, Microsoft Surface Go 2 has usability issues with its optional Type Cover keyboard attached. Put it on a train or plane table and, well, there isn’t really enough room to use it (unless it’s first-class maybe). It’s also not good to use it in a lap, as the keyboard is shaking and flexing too much. What can make you lean towards a laptop?
That said, there is very little in Windows space that’s as light as the Microsoft Surface Go 2. Sure, the second-generation device is 20g or heavier than the original. But the total weight (the main unit is 544g, the type cover is 245g, the pen just 20g) is well below a kilogram in total. You could balance almost the entire little finger and hardly notice it. Hardly any laptop weighs less than a pound, and those that do will probably cost roughly double the price anyway.
The original Microsoft Surface Go received a good stick for having amazing bezels surrounding its screen. Microsoft Surface Go 2 seeks to rectify that to some extent, squeezing a 10.5-inch screen in the same space as the original, which means there is a half-inch diagonal that measures the bezel-less than before, pushing the black material a bit. No, it’s still not close to the Dell XPS 13’s ultra-slim frame, but it’s a step forward anyway.
That makes the 10.5-inch PixelSense display, named for its 1920 x 1280 resolution, better than most in this class this time around, and it looks more updated than ever. It has all the pixels, color, and brightness you could ever need at this scale, while the LCD panel adjusts well to viewing angles, despite some annoying reflections from the screen’s glossy finish.
In terms of ports, we expected some progress to be made in this department. There’s a microSD card slot (useful for expanding file storage if you’re purchasing a base 64 GB model), a headphone jack (useful if you’re still using wired headphones), a single USB-C port, and, sadly, Microsoft is stuck with the proprietary Surface connector for charging, when we’d rather have a secondary USB-C to accommodate for this (as we said in our review of the original product, then maybe next).
Specifications and performance
- Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y processor (entry model)
- 8th generation Intel Core M3 processor (progressive model)
- Dual studio microphones, 2-watt stereo speakers
- 64GB EMMC or 128GB SSD
- Intel HD Graphics 615
- 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM
The second-generation Surface Go comes in several configurations: the input offers the Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y processor and 4GB of RAM; there is a model that doubles RAM to 8GB and storage to 128GB (this is the model under review); Thereafter, it is an 8th generation Intel Core M3 processor, which is available only on Wi-Fi or as a mobile LTE option.
You ‘re going to need to keep a close eye on what you want in terms of cost. The entry model costs £399/$399/€459, which makes it a relative bargain. The model we have in review is £529/$549/€629 for additional RAM and storage. It’s fair, but if I had to add the Type Cover or opt for the LTE model, that price would go up pretty fast, making the price seem like less theft.
Whichever model you choose, this is not a super powerful device in any way. The processor inside is a sufficient clue to that: Pentium Gold (unrelated to its predecessors and part of the Kaby Lake series of chips introduced in early 2017) between the super-basic Celeron slots and the Core M3. That’s the whole lower end of the spectrum, even before you hit Core i, which you’ll find on most laptops these days and not available on the Surface Go series.
However, for basic tasks on the go, you do not need a lot of resources. The Windows Store is usually unable to download mega-apps. Therefore you won’t find any real obstacles if your primary objective is to browse, write and send e-mails.
We’ve done well in everyday use, including photo editing, promptly delivering sketches, and running numerous apps simultaneously.
However, since we are used to using a more powerful device in general, there are slight delays that are noticeable, such as when selecting, for example, a playback resolution on YouTube or when trying to exit the full screen and have to wait for the microsecond more than another more responsive machine. All this serves to show the relative position of the Microsoft Surface Go 2 in the hierarchical order of Surface.
One complaint with the original Surface Go was the poor battery life. We hope that the Go 2 will improve in this area, especially with the hardware running, and based on our tests we think it has quite a bit. For daily use, you will likely get a spot in the region of seven hours of use.
However, in a streaming test, we watched a 1080p video with a medium volume and brightness playback stream from YouTube for a full 10 hours before there was any indication that the battery was working. That’s not bad at all from a device of this size. It depends on what you do.
Windows 10 in S mode
- Windows 10 Home in S Mode, can be configured in Windows 10 (irreversibly)
Like the original, Surface Go 2 is running Windows 10, but here it is in what is called S-Mode. This is a special Windows mode that does not allow you to install desktop apps. You can only get your apps from the Windows Store instead. Microsoft claims to have increased security in Mode S because unreliable applications can not be installed.
Now, it’s easy to get out of Mode S to install desktop applications; There is a special application in the Windows Store to make the change, but from then on it is irreversible.
However, if you consider yourself a relatively sensitive user in terms of the applications you install, we recommend that you switch it from S mode immediately. Mainly that is because the Windows Store is limited in terms of applications, since all applications must be approved by Microsoft. In many cases, this is not a problem because most of what you want for informal work and play is there. But having the ability to drill down further, if you need to, we prefer the OS version other than S
Second, because in Mode S, it’s limited to Microsoft Edge as a browser and Bing as a search engine. Instead, we ‘re going to take Chrome and Google, thanks to something that Mode S won’t allow, because other browsers, like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, don’t exist in the Microsoft Store.
Elsewhere, the Go has front and rear cameras, which is a welcome addition to Windows Hello. This allows you to log in with your face and it works in a near moment.
Surface Go 2 is a bite from the original model. We prefer the more impressive display (although the bezels are not small yet). The battery life was also quite reasonable in our tests. And the overall construction and support design make it versatile.
However, according to the original, the Go 2 must be balanced. This is not a device for doing anything like Surface Book 3, and you shouldn’t expect it to be either. Instead, the Go 2 is a super portable machine for making parts on the go, especially if you invest in the Type Cover keyboard to make this a viable little laptop alternative, making it a viable alternative to an iPad Pro or Chromebook.
All in all, while not super powerful, the Surface Go 2 is super portable and offers everything it should in a sleek little package. kindly leave a comment if you have any question regarding the Microsoft Surface Go 2 review