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Microsoft Surface Go 4 vs Microsoft Surface Go 3: Is newer always better?

The Microsoft Surface event has brought a batch of new hardware into the limelight, including the upgraded Surface Go 4.

We’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks for the release of some brand-new Surface devices and it’s safe to say that Microsoft has finally delivered.

The Surface event brought forward the Surface Laptop Studio 2, Surface Laptop Go 3 and the Surface Go 4.

We’ve already run through how the Surface Laptop Studio 2 compares to its predecessor, and today we wanted to take a deeper look at how the Surface Go 4 stacks up against the Surface Go 3.

The Surface Go 4 takes an interesting turn in that it is now aimed at businesses, with it officially titled the “Surface Go 4 for Business”. However, anyone can buy Microsoft’s business products, so it doesn’t hugely affect regular consumers.

With all that said, keep reading to find out all the key differences between these two laptops so you can decide if the latest model is worth the upgrade.

Intel N200 processor on the Surface Go 4

Microsoft has kitted out the Surface Go 4 with an Intel N200 processor and Intel UHD Graphics. The N200 is an entry-level card that is best suited to low-level workloads, such as watching media content and browsing the web. Microsoft is pushing the Surface Go 4 as a device for healthcare and retail workers, so we wouldn’t suggest investing in it if you’re hoping to tackle intensive graphical workloads. 

The Surface Go 3 comes with either a dual-core Intel Pentium Gold P500Y processor or a dual-core Intel Core i3-10100Y processor, alongside Intel UHD Graphics 615. The higher-end chip does offer reasonable speeds, but overall, it is not a terribly powerful device. Microsoft claims that the Surface Go 4 provides up to a 4.5x performance boost compared to the first Surface Go, but it’s not clear how it will stack up against its predecessor directly. 

Microsoft Surface Go 4
Image Credit (Microsoft)

Improved battery life on the Surface Go 4 

The Surface Go 4 comes with up to a 12.5-hour battery, according to Microsoft. This should be more than long enough for most workdays, although the endurance will be impacted by different day-to-day factors. 

The Surface Go 3 came with a very disappointing battery life, lasting only 7 and a half hours in our benchmarking tests. If Microsoft’s new claims are true, then the Surface Go 4 will be a lot more reliable for workers than its predecessor. 

Boosted storage for the latest generation 

One of the biggest issues with the Surface Go 3 is the limited storage capacity; it can be found in just two configurations, 64GB and 128GB. 

The Surface Go 4 has upped the game in this area, with options including 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. The increased storage capacity will make the Surface Go 4 much more convenient for workers as it will be able to store more data and files without the need for an external hard drive. 

Surface Go 3
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

You can replace the parts of the Surface Go 4

Microsoft has highlighted that major components of the Surface Go 4 are now replaceable; the motherboard, battery, display and kickstand can be removed and restored through a network of Authorised Service Providers or through an on-site technician. This should make replacing troubled parts a lot simpler and give workers peace of mind if they happen to drop or damage their devices. 

The Surface Go 3 does not have any immediately replaceable features. Users can still take advantage of the warranty period on their devices and service devices that are no longer covered by the warranty; in the case of the latter, Microsoft will send users a refurbished device. But overall, there is no official way to replace broken or damaged parts on the Surface Go 3, which may make it less alluring for workers who are always on the go and at risk of damaging their devices. 

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