After months of rumours, Microsoft has officially announced the Microsoft Surface Go, a miniature 10-inch tablet that’s set to join its existing Surface lineup.
The Surface Go will be available for pre-order in the US starting from July 10th, and will start shipping in August.
The $399 (around £300) tablet sits at the bottom of the Surface lineup, behind the larger 12.3-inch Surface Pro tablet, the Surface Book 2 2-in-1 hybrid, the Surface Laptop, and the 28-inch Surface Studio.
Of the four existing devices, the Surface Go is most similar to the Surface Pro tablet, and it appears to very much be a tablet with a removable keyboard rather than a laptop with a removable screen (you’re going to have to use the kickstand to prop up the screen rather than having it hinge off the keyboard).
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Modern specs with a compromise
Specs-wise, the tablet is packing a 1800 x 1200 resolution 10-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. There’s a USB-C 3.1 port that performs double duty as a charging port and a display output, and everything is powered by an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU.
It’s a relatively underpowered dual-core CPU, but Microsoft claims the choice was the perfect compromise between specs, size, and thermals.
The tablet will be put in Windows 10 S mode as standard (which imposes limits on the software you can use), but you can always turn it off if you want the full Windows 10 experience.
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The model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is the entry-level model, while jumping up to 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD will cost you an extra $150 (taking you to $549, which is around £415). There are a range of accessories available, including a pen for $99, and (optional) keyboard covers that start at the same price.
Both keyboard cover options also feature a trackpad that The Verge notes is bigger than the trackpad on the current models.
The first models to release will be Wi-Fi only, but Microsoft is planning to release an LTE model later in the year.
The announcement follows months of rumours about the device. Earlier this week, Microsoft asked “What’s next for Surface?” in a widely circulated tweet.
Prior to the publication of the tweet we saw many rumours about the release date and specs of the device circulating. MSpoweruser cited leaked information suggesting the ‘Microsoft Hardware Display and Type Cover set’ would arrive in Microsoft Stores on Friday July 13, and another member of the same Reddit thread also posted a purported spec sheet.
Microsoft’s Surface tablets have always seemed like a tough sell. They lack the raw power of a dedicated laptop (not to mention the form factor that makes a traditional laptop well suited to use a lap), but Windows 10 doesn’t have quite enough touch-optimised apps to make the Surface a true iPad competitor.
Maybe there are enough people out there that are prepared to make that compromised, but Microsoft will have to work hard on the software side of the equation before the Surface Go is fully released in August.
Do you think the Surface Go’s compromises are worth making? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.