Microsoft unveiled one of its latest products, the Surface Go, that will be available for USD 399 next month on August 2nd. The pre-order form will be up July 10th and the LTE model will be released later this year. It is the smallest laptop-tablet hybrid Microsoft has released capable of interchanging between office, school and home uses. The product is focused on portability and affordability, weighing 1.15 lbs and 8.3 mm thin at 10” with a MSRP of USD 399.
The Surface Go is a smaller, less powerful version of the Surface Pro, with mostly specs changed. It has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of slower eMMC storage, and a lesser Intel Pentium Gold processor. The laptop launched at an education event with the Windows 10 S and marketed for its usability for education, regular consumers and commercial use. Compared to the iPad and Chromebrook, it doesn’t outclass either in any specific category. If you’re going to buy a tablet, the iPad still provides better value at a cost of USD 329 while optimized for 1.3 million apps. The Surface Go offers a cheaper, more portable Surface for customers put off by the price of the Surface Pro at USD 799.
The Surface is in its own niche for tablet computing as a hybrid device, advertised with Type Covers to act as keyboards that give the tablet more of a laptop feel. The Type Covers adds an additional USD 99 for the Surface Go’s price. Microsoft’s Surface are a better hybrid device between the laptop and tablet with its cursor support and leverage with Microsoft’s PC strength.
The Surface Go isn’t direct competition for Chromebooks, the USD 400 Windows laptops. With the Type Cover, the Surface Go model goes up to USD 498. For a laptop in this range, there are better alternatives with bigger screens as the Google Chromebook sells for less than USD 500. The upgraded model of the Surface Go goes for USD 549 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. With the keyboard, it’s at USD 649.
Microsoft looks to focus between the budget and premium area of the market and to attract consumers with the USD 399 base price for customers to consider purchasing the USD 549 model. We have yet to see if the risk for Microsoft will still pay off.