This week, Microsoft made an announcement: There is a brand new Surface product joining the lineup, and this one's designed to be a bit easier on the wallet. It's still a Surface hybrid device, so you'll get a primary tablet that, when attached to a keyboard accessory, can serve as a full laptop experience. There is a built-in kickstand, and you get the full Windows 10 experience.
Well, in this case, you get Windows 10 in S Mode, but you can at least upgrade to the full Windows 10 experience if you want.
Let's get the specs out of the way first, because despite being the most obvious reason why the Surface Go is cheaper than the other Surface devices, it's also the most obvious reason why some folks might be skeptical about buying one. Under the hood you've got slower eMMC storage in the base model, measuring in at only 64GB for your storage needs. And the processor is an Intel Pentium Gold option, which is already leading some to speculate that the experience with the Surface Go isn't going to be all that great, considering it's a full Windows 10 desktop OS on board.
It is certainly going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out. I wouldn't say that Microsoft cut corners with the Surface Go in terms of specs, simply because the company obviously as a vision for this new device and the hardware it went with was meant specifically to keep the cost of the new hybrid device down.
But, is it down enough? The base model of the Surface Go retails for $399, and if you just want a tablet that's all you will have to pay for. But obviously Microsoft is marketing the Surface Go just as it does the Surface Pro, so if you want the total experience you will need to fork over $34.99 for the Surface Mouse, $99 for the Surface Pen, and either $99 or $129 for one of the Type Covers that Microsoft offers. So even if you go with the base model to save some cash up front, you will still need to pay $630 or more.
Of course, you might need all of those accessories, so the price will change depending on what you want/need.
I'm also just going to get it out there, but if you really want just a tablet, the iPad lineup (which starts at $329) might be the better option, thanks to its focus on consuming content and its millions of available apps.
I've seen a lot of people say they're not entirely sure which market Microsoft is aiming for. Which customers Microsoft wants to capture with the Surface Go. I can understand that sentiment. It doesn't appear to be just for students, or general consumers, or even commercial users. It really does just feel like Microsoft wanted to launch a cheaper Surface hybrid device, and, well, here we are.
Will the performance of the device be a major sticking point? It's certainly possible. Future reviews will hopefully paint a clear picture of what to expect. Which is probably why it might be a good idea to wait and see how those shake out before opting to pick one up. Then again, if you've been waiting to get your hands on a Surface device at a lower price point, maybe none of that even matters.
Are you already planning on picking up a Surface Go? Let me know!