New Delhi: Microsoft’s Surface Pro devices have always had a special place when it comes to 2-in-1 PCs that can be used as stand-alone tablets with touchscreens or dependable laptops with detachable keyboards. To offer the same Surface Pro-like experience to professionals with limited requirements and smaller budgets, Microsoft has the Surface Go. It starts at ₹38,599 and is available in two variants on Flipkart.com and other retail outlets.
Design: Despite being more affordable, the Surface Go retains the premium build quality and design of the Surface Pro. It has a full metal body with a flexible metal kickstand on the back to support it, while the user can type away comfortably on a keyboard or watch a movie. It is also a lot more compact (245 mm x 175 mm) due to the smaller screen and tips the scales at just 520gm without the keyboard.
The Surface Pro weighs about 768gm. The only hitch with this type of a design is that it makes a flat table more desirable.
Accessories: The keyboard is integrated with what Microsoft calls the Signature Type cover. It is made of a fine Alcantara fabric that feels reassuring and comfortable to hold. Despite the small size, the keyboard offers a touchpad with decent amount of palm rest on both sides. Also, the keys don’t feel crammed together and have decent space between them. They are also backlit so one can type in the dark. The other accessories that work with the device include the Surface pen. It offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, which makes it faster and more accurate for drawing and note taking. The only caveat is that they are not bundled with the Surface Go and users have to pay ₹8,699 (black) for the type cover and ₹8,999 for the Surface Pen separately.
Display: The Surface Go has a 10.1 inch display with resolution of 1,800x1,200p. While it has the same aspect ratio of 3:2 as the Surface Pro, the screen size and resolution have been cut back to keep the size and price in check. So don’t expect the sharpness of the Pro, but it won’t let you down either. Colours stand out well, making it ideal for video enthusiasts. The display supports touch input, allowing users to quickly access anything with their fingers or the Surface Pen.
Performance: Powering the Surface Go is a fairly modest Intel Pentium 4415Y processor, which is cut out for basic tasks even at its best. It is a big step down from the Surface Pro 6, which runs on an 8th-gen Core i5 processor. The Pentium processor has been coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC (embedded multimedia card) storage, which uses NAND flash storage like SSDs but is not as fast as them. The other variant of the Surface Go uses SSD with 128GB capacity and 8GB RAM. Both include a micro SD card slot for users who need more space. For internet connectivity there is only Wi-Fi (a limitation, considering that the Apple iPad Pro has a cellular version) and it has a USB type C slot for file transfers. It has a proprietary charging connector, which means that if you forget it at home, you won’t be able to charge.
Software: The Surface Go runs Windows 10 Home in S mode, which looks and works exactly like Windows 10 but allows users to download apps only from the Microsoft store. This may be limiting for many but users with basic needs like sending emails, online browsing and a bit of video streaming may not mind it.
Verdict: The Surface Go is one of the best designed 2-in-1 PCs in the budget segment. Its small size also makes it perfect for professionals with limited requirements and a lot of travelling on the itinerary. For users looking for a more traditional 2-in-1 PC with a bigger screen at the same price can consider the Lenovo Yoga 520( ₹41,490)—a 2-in-1 laptop with a 360 degree hinge, slim-form factor, more powerful Intel Core i3 8th-gen processor and a 14-inch screen.