Microsoft Surface Go review: surprisingly good


(upbeat music) – The Surface Go isn’t
what you would expect. I was expecting a relatively
low end Windows computer to go with it’s relatively
low end processor. I was expecting to be unimpressed
with the tiny keyboard and I was expecting to be
unimpressed with it’s speed. What I wasn’t expecting is how much of a joy this thing is to use. Surface Go is a 10 inch
Windows hybrid device. It’s basically like a
really small Surface Pro. The base model costs 399, but the model everybody
should probably get starts at 550 but you
have to get a keyboard to go with it and you really should and that’s either a $100 or $130 if you want the very soft
and nice Alcantara fabric. To get the Surface Go down to size, Microsoft had to do a bunch
of engineering, obviously, but it also had to make a few compromises compared to what you might be used to on a larger Windows laptop. Those laptops tend to run
Intel Core i5 processors which are pretty speedy but this has an Intel Pentium Gold processor and what that means is
it’s a little bit slower, but it’s still better than what you get in the cheapest Windows or Chrome laptops that are out there. As long as you adjust your
expectations accordingly, you can do just fine with this thing. I was able to run a bunch of apps and although they were simple, it still felt relatively responsive. For this review, what I wanna do is answer
a bunch of the questions that have come in from the community. Now, I can’t answer them all but I really think we’re gonna hit on all the major themes here. So the first round of
questions that we’ve got are about how powerful this machine is and a lot of people
wanted us to compare it to the cheaper model. So jclardy asked if we’d be
able to compare the models and he specifically brought up the EMMC storage on the base model. So, let’s talk about that a little bit. The model again starts at 399 and it has only four gigs of ram which maybe isn’t enough to run what you want on Windows, but it also has this
thing called EMMC storage or 64 gigs of it and that type of storage is a little bit slower than a proper SSD. Unfortunately, I haven’t
been able to test it. I’m sorry, but my very strong suspicion is you’ll wanna get this model which starts at 550 and
for that extra price, you get a proper 128 SSD and you get eight gigs of ram which is plenty for
running a bunch of apps as long as a relatively
easy to use simple apps. Another way to get at this question of how powerful this machine
is to talk about gaming. So, here’s the real story with gaming. We installed some Windows Store games. Cuphead crashed on launch, I don’t know what the deal is there. Ori and the Blind Forest which doesn’t seem that intense of a game to me, it ran but it was just
a little bit sluggish. As far as Steam goes, I’ll be honest, I didn’t do anything crazy. I didn’t install PUBG. I don’t even think this
would be great for Fortnite, but I did install a game called Transistor which is really fun and
relatively light weight and it ran just fine. So you can game on this thing, but you’re not gonna
be frightening anybody in a first person shooters on this thing. It’s just not that powerful. Jeffry Remick on Twitter what’s to know if the screen quality is
enough for light photo editing. I wanna talk about that
and power at the same time. So, we went ahead and
installed Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Lightroom CC Classic and it does better than you expect. You can edit a couple
of photos in a pinch. There’s a little bit of lag, but you can pinch and zoom,
things are pretty good. But if you’re doing anything super intense in terms of batch photo editing or stitching panoramas together,
this is not your machine. The bigger deal when it
comes to photo editing is that this 10 inch screen just feels a little bit cramped if you’re doing really
intense photo editing. There’s just not enough real estate here and you end up really zooming
in on it really closely and speaking of things being small, a lot of people asked about
the keyboard in the trackpad because they’re not full size, but you get used to both right away. The keys are really easy to type on. The trackpad is glass
and it’s precision two and so it’s very, very accurate. Haven’t had a problem at all. All right, let’s get through some other build quality
stuff really quick. Steven Harris wants to
know about battery life. I’ve been getting about six hours of active use which is pretty solid. Microsoft rates it for nine
hours of video play back, but you should never expect that. The good news is that you can charge it either via the surface
connector that comes with it or USB C and depending on
how high your USB C thing is, you can charge it relatively fast. I’ve been impressed with how
quickly this thing charges. Nathan Norris wants to know if that USB C port we just talked about is also Thunderbolt 3. Didn’t work when I plugged
the Thunderbolt 3 into it, but it did work with my
dongles to power my monitor and get other USB stuff going on it. Samar Anand asked about the speakers. They are front facing stereo speakers. They’re on the left and
the right of the screen and they sound really good, especially for a device
of this price class. They’re much better than I expected. They’re great for watching video. Boven Kamptim on Twitter wants to know about the pin, I’m not
a huge Surface pin user, but I haven’t seen much lag which a bunch of other
people have asked about so that’s impressive and the
build quality here is solid. You’re not gonna feel any give
or whatever on the screen. It’s really, really good. Probably the most questions
that we’ve received have been about S mode and so
it’s time to talk about S mode and I have feelings. Here’s the deal with S mode. It ships on by default on the Surface Go and that means you can
only use the Edge browser and apps from the Microsoft Windows Store, and in theory, that could be great because you know that you’re getting a bunch of lightweight apps and they’ll run really
well on the Surface Go. In practice, the apps just aren’t there. My personal favorite example is I need one password,
not on the Windows Store, but the browser extension is and so I got air messages, whatever. You’re gonna end up turning S mode off and that’s fine and fast and easy. You don’t even have to reboot, but it’s gonna mean
you’re gonna install apps are gonna bog this
thing down a little bit. Like I don’t know, Chrome kinda bogs this
thing down a little bit. It’s all emotional for
me because Microsoft has the right idea, taking mobile apps and making them for larger screens. They did it before Chrome
did it with Android. They did it before Apple did it with Marzipan apps on the Mac. They’ve got the right idea but the execution is still broken. They don’t have the apps yet. We got a lot of questions asking me to compare the Surface Go to Chromebook or to an iPad or to a
bigger Windows laptop or even, I don’t know, to the Mac. Well, not so much to the Mac. There are so many variables
especially in this mid range that making a comprehensive comparison is basically impossible. Compared to an iPad on a basic level, you can probably be more
productive with this thing but the tablet apps, they’re worse. Compared to a Chromebook, you can get more apps, do more stuff, but it’s nowhere near as
simple as a Chromebook can be and compared to the Mac, I mean, that’s just a whole different category. The bottom line is if you like Windows, this is a really great
tiny Windows machine. All right, I think we’re
gonna cut it off there. Thank you to everybody for your questions, I’m sorry if I didn’t get to yours, but hopefully we touched
on the major themes. I wanna talk about my
take on this machine. One of my favorite things about Windows is it never really stops
you from doing anything. One of the questions we got was
can you do CAD work on this? And sure, you can do it. I just don’t think it’ll
be a very good experience. When you use a Windows machine, you kind of have to know
the limits of that machine and that applies especially
to the Surface Go. If you know what to expect and
you stay within those limits, this thing will totally impress you and when you use it there’s
just something about the design and the curves and everything that just makes you
kind of love this thing and that at the end of the
day is quite an achievement. Hey everybody, thanks for watching. Let me know, if you
were to get this thing, what would you use it for? Tell me in the comments
and then when you’re done, if you’re looking for another
gadget video to watch, we just did a this is my next of the best smartphone under $300. Jake made it, it’s really good advice and a really fun video so you
should check that out, bye.

100 thoughts on “Microsoft Surface Go review: surprisingly good”

  1. "Surprisingly good" is the new normal for the amount of money you give Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Amazon. Don't spend money with these greedy bastards until you hear "surprisingly GREAT."
    How much more software Microsoft expect to sell you once they manage to ship their "surprisingly good" tablet to your house? They are probably working on the next "surprisingly good" cell phone to distribute more Microsoft schiff.

  2. I use a 2015 mac but needed a second machine. Originally a windows user since 98. Would have loved the £399 UK model but too underpowered. Bought the 8g, 128 and keyboard bundle. Screen is decent and keyboard not too shabby. Good second laptop, the price?? Jesus….mac like tablet prices. Despite that Its best for my needs. Great review.

  3. Gotta say, if youre a student – this is the device for you.
    OneNote will amaze you of how good it is! It can solve math questions for you, and show you all the steps – even draw the graphs for you.

    My god i wish i had a surface device when i went to uni

  4. Is 10 inch on this tablet too small for a hybrid laptop? I work mainly on Word, Powerpoint, Web and some light Entertainment. Sometime I did some drawings, too.

  5. Why would you recommend the model that rips people off for just an extra 64gb of ssd, especially when ssd prices have dramatically dropped in the past few years? :/

  6. I have an older 8" Toshiba Windows tablet…2gb ram, 64gb storage, micro-sd. I mostly use a Chromebook or Android tablet. The Windows tablet is only used for Windows 10 updates.

  7. My laptop is slowly going so I bought the 128 GB model! I'm hoping it will take over for a while! I constantly have to restart my laptop!

  8. I hope windows give a back access panel for ssd to upgrade… I don't want to tear the display…
    Q> is the internet explorer available in S mode?

  9. Im looking to use the surface go as a laptop for school as well as my tablet when not in school mode. Will it work well for this. I like the idea of the size, easier to carry to class. If not a good fit any suggestions? I am looking for a touch screen.

  10. Would this be able to run programs like SPSS? I want it something mainly for research purposes (grad school work like research, data analysis, thesis papers) but also for entertainment (Netflix, amazon prime, YouTube..)

  11. If I would simply use this device for Microsoft Office and Netflix and Web browsing, would it be an ideal, affordable option? (The base model, that is)

  12. This seems like the perfect computer for staff meetings. It's tiny and you can easily hook it up to a LCD projector for Power Point or training videos.

  13. It seems like it would be good for students etc, anyone wanting to do anything a little more serious and taxing then the machine would not be for you.

  14. Hey! Im looking at an ipad or this. I work in a bilingual school and want to use the pen to create printouts or short animations. Im not good at tech but would probabsly side with apple even after the se being my only experience and a short one at that.

  15. The Verge approves but literally every reliable tech outlet disapproves? Makes sense, they are known for publishing misinformation.

  16. I’m looking into this for college.. typing essays, powerpoints, lecture notes, web browsing.. so far this seems like a good buy. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations lol Thanks for the review!

  17. question, has anyone ever tried to work with military websites? This includes been able to access them with your CAC. I have a chromebook and i and limited to NO access to any military site. I also owned a window laptop until i smashed it for always taking forever to update, and always slow. can anyone recommend something better for military uses.

  18. What’s the speed like for this in 2019? Does it keep up with the new computers. I’m looking for something windows based and already have a 2017 MacBook Pro so I know this will be a downgrade.

  19. I’m looking for a cheap touch-screen computer that runs Fortnite, video editors, and a drawing software (a lot to ask, I know).

  20. Can you do any music recording with this? Like run pro tools? If not what would be a good portable device for that? Thank you.

  21. Good vid mate, I just bought the 128 4g LTE model and I am looking forward to having it as my travel device.
    A tablet sized Windows based LTE device is what I have been looking for and I love the size factor.

  22. So basically I just want to use it as a consumption device. With the ability to use MicroSD cards for my converted MP4 movies. And I like using Flipboard, the native Weather app, the native Sports app, etc. Is this device perfect for that? Netflix and Amazon Prime Video apps work well? Thanks Bro.

  23. So I'm looking for a new laptop for school work, watching videos/streams, and overall just browsing the internet. Dont plan on playing games since I already have systems for that. Is this laptop worth it for doing that??

  24. if only theres a surface go model with 11 or 12 inch screen and faster cpu than the gold Pentium.. it would be perfect,,,

  25. I just bought one as a laptop/tablet for our home as well as my girlfriends schooling. I run apple on everything else but i don't mind having a small windows system around with decent ssd.

  26. Maybe I found the perfect portable machine to carry along when holding classes. It's heavy to lug around a full-sized laptop and a multimedia projector–maybe this is the solution.

  27. I just want to get this for media consumption (YouTube, Netflix) and for typing out essays will this device be good for that. I really like it due to the keyboard attachment because when I'm at home I just want to disconnect the keyboard and watch media.

  28. Got this for my mom for her birthday and she is loving it. Apart from her smartphone this is her first personal computer

  29. Great review. I bought one this past weekend, and was nervous about the choice at first. I'm already starting to love it. I bought this as a tablet replacement that would provide more of a laptop experience. I wanted something really small and light for travel, to use on the plane and at my destination that would offers full Windows. This will allow me to leave my much-loved laptop at home and not miss it the way I did when I only had my tablet. My primary use will be web browsing, work in Office 365 and similar, email, video and music streaming, etc. Nothing too taxing, so I think it will work for me. I have the 8GB/128GB SSD version. This was one of the best options at the price point for a small 8GB machine (got both the Surface Go and keyboard on sale).

  30. Microsoft: $100 keyboard to go with your tablet.
    Apple: $100 stylus to go with your tablet.

  31. I get 5 hours battery on my 17 inch laptop. This thing should be giving much more than 6 hours.

  32. I was expecting to see a review, but no it is not, it is a collection of questions from users, in short this is an FAQ. Thumbs down, presentation wise.

  33. In year 3000, reviewers will still be talk about how this or that device is “a bit slower” than this or that device. Siggghhhh. These devices can perform anything you wish, productivity wise. And…why these reviews are all about video/photo editing?

  34. Hi, i saw it today and like it so much. My intention of getting it, is actually to learn on microsoft office, like powerpoint..excel etc. Aswell preparing slides for presentation. With all my simple intention i mentioned, do u tink Surf Go suitable for me?

  35. I am thinking of getting a computer that isn’t too expensive for school projects. Do you think the surface go is good for that?

  36. My main uses of any computing device (mobile/tablet/computer):
    social media – Facebook, etc.
    videos – YouTube, Netflix
    web – Firefox, Chrome
    office – the usual Office suite, especially Excel
    a bit of chat and video downloads

    So I believe this Microsoft Surface Go would suffice my needs. BTW, already have an Apple Mac mini, Apple iPad Pro 10.5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (to be updated soon) which only needs a decent laptop to be complete.

  37. i have a 4th Gen iPad. it can't update to the latest OS. which means apps would update and i couldn't run them because of the older OS. so id have to connect the iPad to my computer and down grade the apps i wanted to use. was just about to buy a more modern iPad when i decided to get this. now i won't have the old OS problem. and if there was an iPad app thats not on Windows i just use the site.

  38. I would like to use it only for taking notes at meetings and for reading books, would you help me on this? I red a a comment saying that kindle doesn't run on this thing… is this true?

  39. I'm looking for something much more portable than my laptop…if I'm going to go smaller and lighter I'm thinking about a tablet. This would be for business purposes so I need it to be compatible with the software (i.e. Microsoft products) that I use on other computers (desktop and laptop). I just want to lighten the load since I am on the go a lot and even a light laptop is starting to feel cumbersome. This was an excellent review and I really appreciate that it was thorough and also personal…the specifications are helpful, but so is your opinion about its quality and real-life usage.

  40. in the talk about the gaming, i would have loved to know how good the steam streaming is. when i'm around the house i can just remote play from my main system.

  41. Here is what I need : i am a college student who wants to use onenote for class. Take notes and record lectures, be able to import PowerPoint slides and annotate them, have palm rejection , and be able to take handwritten notes. This seems like it would work for that but when you add up the keyboard and stylus price it adds up to almost 700. There has to be something cheaper and just as good for me needs , right ? Any ideas ?

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