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Review of the Microsoft Surface Go tablet, a good portable option

Surface go It is a product of Microsoft's wisdom in the field of convertible tablets. A device that, despite its name, is perhapsthe first “real” tablet of the company, where the others were PC with separate keyboard. It seems a subtle difference, but It is not at all.

Design and features

Surface go

Surface Go is a surface for all purposesWe said it right away and we repeated it. The quality of the construction was not sacrificed in any way.Surface go It's a solid block, with a great quality supportRigid enough, flexible until it almost touches the flat angle; verstil.

Being a surface also means inheriting the defects that this family carries with it. In fact, ports are scarce. Alonea USB-C(without Thunderbolt), which can at least be used to recharge or even as an audio output, although there is also aconnector on one side

Then we have the inevitableSurface connect used for the power supply, which never like in this tablet had to be replaced by another Type-C (with relative power supply). Finally, as always hidden under the stand, we found a slot micro SD.

In itself, this is not the working tablet that we imagine to connect who knows how many other devices. At the same time, Its highly portable nature makes it ideal for interacting with different devices, and having a single useful port in practice is small.

At a certain point, in short, you get used to it, and the frames on such a small device also serve not to sacrifice useful screen space when you have to hold it with both hands.

Keyboard and touchpad

Surface go

The keyboards / covers of a surface have become over time a reference point For this type of accessories. Even in this small model, he sees Microsoft's domain, but there are certain limits that remain.size of all in fact, the keyboard is small and there is nothing Microsoft can do to fix it.

Whoever has big hands and heavy writing is hardly comfortable. The keyboard is also as stiff as it can be, but certainly It is not the same as a traditional laptopAgain, the small size plays its role.

To the touch, the keyboard is really nice and the keys, despite their size, also offer an unexpected response.The backlight is also very well done, and in general there are few critics to do. Better than that, it was very difficult to do, very bad that the "physical limits" play their inevitable role.

The same can be said about the touchpad.Good at everything, but small; and it is clear that it maximizes the available space.

Hardware

Surface go

The hardware of this Surface go It's a bit like what you'll find in amini PCTherefore, it is clear that we are talking about a low-end device, but be careful not to mark it too negatively just for this. There are 3 different SKUs, of which we have tried the following.

  • screen: 10 ″ PixelSense 1,800 x 1,200 3: 2 217 ppi with Gorilla Glass 3
  • CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
  • RAM: 8 GB (1,800 MHz)
  • Internal memory: 128 GB SSD
  • Webcam: 1080p 30fps
  • Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Ports: 1x USB-C (without Thunderbolt), audio connector, microSD, connection surface
  • Weight: 524 grams (tablet) + 244 (keyboard)
  • Operating system: Windows 10 S

The other two available configurations include the addition of the optionLTE(not recommendedif you want a minimum autonomy), or change to 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC (not recommendedbecause this type of memory is too slow than the alternative SSD, in addition to the fact that 64 GB of storage are few).

Also note the1080p webcam, which is often not even found in laptops with a cost of thousands of euros. Among other things, we emphasize the presence ofWindows Hello for facial recognition and, consequently, unlock the tablet.

Test measures

MSI PS63Surface Pro 2017Minix N42c-4
3DMark303 (Time Spy)280 (Time Spy)127 (Time Spy)
PC Mark 10143620801004
Single core GeekBench212540001560
Multi-core GeekBench415078404500
GeekBench GPU16,50020,48011,400
Reading the glass disk1,050 MB / s1,635 MB / s300 MB / s
Crystal disk writing128 MB / s875 MB / s85 MB / s

It is not easy to find something comparable with Surface go. We have added theSurface Pro 2017, just to compare it with something from the same company. The latter is equipped with a CPU Inteli5-7300U, With 8 GB of RAM.

Leaving aside the value of 3D Mark, which counts very little because neither is even remotely a gamer machine, the different reference points show a certain distance, although the 2017 model we took was certainly not one of the best.

Experience

Surface go

Surface go easily play any type of video file, even4K at 60 fpsboth inH.264YH.265as alsoVP9, with various container formats. In summary, comparison with a mini PC / TV Box still makes sense.

With the basic documents ofOffice, Surface Go is still working well. The opening ofWord, Excel or Power Point It is usually fast, and whether you throw a slide or make a spreadsheet, you should not have big problems.

Excel can put it in crisis, but only by resorting to quite complex formulas / macros. In short, for basic use / read only, everything is fine.Have an SSD, although he is certainly not the first in the class, It makes a big difference.

Can be fixed to give an additional click in the opening of all applications, for better or worse, which makes this Surface Go seem less "mini". Even in navigation withChrome, which is notoriously very light, things do not go wrong.

Unlike all other surface, Surface Go can't be your only PC. Something else is needed, either a phone or a laptop; Unless your information needs were really reduced.

Given this, Surface Go is aFantastic "provisional resource" for all those situations in which the smart phone is too small and the massive 15 "is" too ", or if portability and lightness are more important than performance.

screen

Surface go

The brightness of the panel, which easily exceeds300 nits, it makes its contribution.Outside, you should pay attention to reflections, also because the bright coating does not help.Without strong sources of direct light, however, enjoy a very nice screen, both to navigate and to watch an occasional movie.

Too bad the factory calibration is quite enough and not accurate, with adeltaE7.4 average.blacks They are some of the best managed tones, since it is an intense tone and gives a boost to the image quality of the screen, which in a particular gray / blue / yellow and white is quite imprecise.

Battery

The battery of this Surface Go tablet is nothing special, unfortunately. The 27 Wh battery is fine but it could be much better.The following tests were performed with 25% brightness and energy savings in "improved battery".

  • PCMark 8 Home (browser, casual games, video chat, writing, photo editing):5 hours and 15 minutes
  • PCMark 8 Creative (browser, video editing, multimedia, games, photo editing, video chat):5 hours and 15 minutes
  • PCMark 8 Work (browser, video chat, writing, spreadsheets):6 hours and 9 minutes

Using it to browse, chat and watch some videos, not easily exceed 5 hours, in the same conditions of brightness / energy saving. Unless you keep a really, very light load, with very little intention, in most of your reading, at the level of e-book reader and little else.

Price

Surface Go is expensive. Fortunately, for some time there has been a promotion (which we hope will be permanent) that a minimum makes it more convenient.

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