Surface Go 2 review: Microsoft’s smaller, cheaper Windows 10 tablet | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

The Surface Go 2 is Microsoft’s second iteration of its low-cost, smaller tablet computer and continues to prove that cheap Windows PCs don’t have to be terrible.
The Surface Go 2 starts at £399, but for that you don’t get the £100 Type Cover keyboard, which is a must-have. That places the Surface Go 2 in the low-end PC bracket and makes it Microsoft’s cheapest current PC, the Surface Pro 7, by £300.
Tested here is the £529 Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of faster SSD storage with the £125 Alcantara Type Cover.
Not a lot has changed since the original. The Surface Go 2 has a slightly larger 10.5in screen, which helps boost the real estate you have on there. Other than an extra 22g in weight, the magnesium body of the machine is identical to the original Surface Go, at 8.3mm thick, 245mm long and 175mm tall. It weighs in at 544g.
By any metric the Surface Go 2 is a tiny portable PC, that’s easy to carry or fit in a bag, much like Apple’s similarly priced and sized iPad Air.
The 10.5in LCD touchscreen is great. Crisp, bright, good looking and responsive. The kickstand on the back continues to be fantastic, while the build quality is top notch.

The kickstand on the back of Microsoft’s Surface tablets is fantastic and the Surface Go 2 is no exception. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Specifications

Screen: 10.5in LCD 1920 x 1280 (220 PPI)

Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y or 8th-gen Core m3

RAM: 4 or 8GB

Storage: 64GB eMMC or 128 SSD

Graphics: Intel UHD 615

Operating system: Windows 10 Home (in S Mode) with device encryption

Camera: 8MP rear, 5MP front-facing, Windows Hello

Connectivity: Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, USB-C, Surface Connector, TPM, microSD, headphone socket

Dimensions: 245 x 175 x 8.3 mm

Weight: 544g or 553g (without keyboard)

Gutsy performance and five-hour battery life

The headphones socket, USB-C and Surface Connect ports line the right side of the tablet. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Go 2 comes with either an Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y or an eighth-generation Core m3 processor, the latter of which Microsoft says is 64% faster than the previous version.
The new Pentium Gold 4425Y performs more or less the same as the Pentium Gold 4415Y in the original Surface Go, according to both benchmarks and real-world experience. That means it’s not exactly fast, but is capable of more than you might imagine.
Photo editing in Affinity Photo was a just little slow for complex tasks, word processing and general office duties were no bother, while the new Chromium-based Edge browser handled 10+ tabs with ease. Only a little slowdown was noticeable when you tried to do too much at once, such as updating apps, browsing and using a word processor all at the same time.
The tablet even managed to power a 4K display at 60Hz via USB-C without issue.

The microSD card reader for transferring photos or adding more storage is hidden under the kickstand. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Go 2 lasts over five hours between charges at 50% brightness and recommended battery mode, which is just under an hour longer than the original Surface Go. That’s with fairly heavy usage, including using six tabs in Edge, two tabs in Chrome, Typora, Windows Mail, Google Chat, Slack, Signal, Evernote, plus a little photo editing in Affinity Photo.
When just used for video playback the Surface Go 2 lasted closer to eight hours, streaming video via Netflix.
Fully charging the Surface Go 2 while in use with the included 24W charger took two hours 25 minutes from flat, reaching 55% in an hour. A 45W power adapter cut the full-charge time by about an hour. The tablet can also be charged via USB-C with any USB-PD charger.
Sustainability
Like the recent Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Go 2 continues Microsoft’s trend of more repairable devices, and was awarded a score of three out of 10 by repair specialists iFixit, which is two-points better than the previous generation Surface Go.
Some of the components are modular but not user-replaceable, except for the detachable keyboard, and repairs must be performed by authorised service providers. The out-of-warranty service fee for the Surface Go 2 from Microsoft is £236.40.
The company operates trade-in and recycling schemes for old machines, however.
Windows 10 Home S mode

The Surface Go 2 ships in S mode, but disabling it for full Windows 10 Home is just a few clicks enabling you to install apps from outside of the Microsoft Store. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Go 2 ships with Windows 10 Home in S mode, which restricts the installation of apps to those from the Microsoft Store for greater security. Turning off S mode is a one-time operation that cannot be reversed, but it takes just a couple of clicks.
S mode is great if you live within Microsoft’s ecosystem, or if everything you need is in the Microsoft Store, but it blocks the installation of programs such as Chrome, WhatsApp desktop and Signal, which aren’t available.
As a productivity machine the Surface Go 2 is solid. It managed everything I do as a journalist without much fuss, including simple word processing, spreadsheet-wrangling, browsing, note taking, image editing and video conferencing. It would struggle with serious video editing.
The slightly larger 10.5in screen helps with split-screen multi-tasking, such as Evernote on the right and PDFs on the left of the screen, but still requires lots of sideways scrolling in documents and websites.
As a home-entertainment machine, things are little trickier. The great screen and good speakers make the Surface Go 2 good for video, but there’s still an large app gap compared to Apple’s iPad.
The Microsoft Store sells movies and TV shows, and has a great Netflix app, including offline downloads, Virgin TV Go, Demand 5 and iTunes. But others such as Disney+, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, All4 and Sky Go have to be viewed in a browser.
BBC iPlayer and Sky Go have fairly clunky programs that allow offline downloads, but they are not in the Microsoft Store, so not accessible in S mode.
Reading apps are equally few and far between, with no Kindle, Comixology or Marvel Unlimited apps at all.
One big advantage Windows 10 has over Apple’s iPad OS is support for multiple users. This includes limited and monitored kids’ accounts, which work great with Windows Hello face recognition.
Accessories

The Type Cover is excellent, with a great keyboard and trackpad rivalling some of the very best, but isn’t included in the base price of the Surface Go 2. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Go 2’s Type Cover keyboard is the same as the previous version and is cross-compatible, costing £100 or £125, depending on the material.
The Type Cover is one of the best keyboards available on any laptop or tablet, matching those available for the larger Surface Pro 7, but with a slightly smaller layout, which took about five minutes to get used to.
The keys feel great and the trackpad is smooth, responsive and accurate. It will beat any keyboard and trackpad fitted to any Windows laptop or Chromebook under £500, and should have been included in the price of the tablet.
The Surface Go 2 also supports the Surface Pen stylus (£99.99), with magnets to stick it to the left side of the tablet, and the Surface Dial (£89.99) for off-screen interactions.
Observations

Windows Hello uses an IR face-recognition camera mounted above the screen to log you in, no password or pin required. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Windows Hello face recognition is great

The webcam and mics are pretty good, far better than you’d usually get at this price

Occasionally the Surface Go would only charge to 50% via USB-C

Price
The Surface Go 2 starts at £399 / $399 with an Intel Pentium 4425Y processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage or £529 / $529 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of faster SSD storage.
The version with the faster Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD costs £619 / $629 or £719 / $729 with 4G connectivity.
The Surface Go Type Cover costs £99.99 / $99.99 or £124.99 / $129.99 depending on colour and material.
For comparison, the Surface Pro 7 starts at £719, Apple’s iPad starts at £349 and the iPad Air starts at £479. Similarly sized Chromebooks start at around £250-300.
Verdict
The Surface Go 2 once again proves that budget Windows PCs can be good.
It won’t win any awards for speed, but it will handle most things without locking up or driving you nuts. The magnesium body and 10.5in screen are far better than what you’ll get elsewhere for under £400, while the kickstand and range of accessories are great.
As with the original, the app gap means the Surface Go 2 is a better productivity machine than media-consumption tablet. But it’s also good for sharing with the family, and is up to being your only computer or used as an ultraportable second computer.
The 64GB version will be slower as it uses eMMC storage instead of the faster SSD technology. And while £399 is an extremely attractive starting price, it doesn’t include the essential £100 Type Cover keyboard.
Other than wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5 support, only the slightly larger 10.5in screen really separates the lower-end Pentium Gold Surface Go 2 models from the equally excellent original, so look out for cut-price deals.
At the real price of £499 or more, you can certainly get a more powerful Windows laptop, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better experience. The gutsy little Surface Go 2 is simply great.

Pros: slim, light, great screen, great kickstand, good speakers, USB-C, Windows Hello, great keyboard, full Windows 10 Home, microSD card reader, wifi 6, Bluetooth 5
Cons: relatively short battery life, no USB-A ports, £100 keyboard essential but not included, relatively slow performance

The back of the Surface Go 2 is one solid piece of magnesium and feels rock-solid and nice in the hand. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Other reviews
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. More information.

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Microsoft Introduces New Surface Devices | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Microsoft has introduced its latest Surface range which includes the new Surface Go 2, Surface Book 3, Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds.
The tech goliath says that this range was designed to help users navigate the current environment which sees more people turning to Windows PCs than ever. In fact, over 4 trillion minutes are being spent on Windows 10 a month, a 75% increase year on year.
“The way we work, connect and learn continues to change right in front of us. Our devices have become our window to the world – our office, our school and our social space,” says Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer for Windows and Devices at Microsoft.
“It’s not just the pull of the larger screen and better keyboard, but the versatility of a device that runs the software we need and games and entertainment we love, with cameras and mics built in to connect us to the people who matter most. This is what we design Surface for.”

Here’s a quick look at the new Microsoft Surface devices and features:

Surface Go 2 delivers incredible value in a light, portable design, providing a great device for anyone in your company or family.
Surface Book 3 is Microsoft’s most powerful laptop ever. Designed for professionals who need desktop-level performance from anywhere.
The Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds are said to complete the Surface experience, helping you find focus wherever you are and stay connected to the people and content that matters.
The Surface Dock 2 and the multi-port Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub help you set up the ultimate workspace wherever that may be.

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Microsoft launches faster Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Microsoft is launching a revamped line of its most powerful and cheapest Windows 10 PCs, the Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2, as it adjusts to continue operations during the pandemic.
The new products, announced by blog post rather than an event, are Microsoft’s premium computers competing directly with the likes of Apple and Dell, but with more novel designs.
The Surface Book 3 is Microsoft’s next-generation high-power portable PC featuring a similar laptop with detachable tablet design as introduced in 2017. The Windows 10 machine is available in 13in or 15in versions, and ships with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, which gives it up to 50% greater performance than the Surface Book 2 from 2018.
Alongside Nvidia GeForce consumer graphics processors, Microsoft has also added the option for Nvidia’s Quadro graphics chips for the first time, which are commonly used in workstations in academia and commercial settings.
Surface Book 3 starts at $1,599 in the US and will be available from 21 May. It will cost from £1,599 in the UK available from 5 June.
Surface Go 2

The Surface Go 2 has a larger screen. Photograph: Microsoft
Microsoft has also revamped its cheapest Windows 10 machine with the Surface Go 2. The new tablet has a larger 10.5in screen in a similar sized body compared to its predecessor, with optional detachable Type Cover keyboards similar to those available for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 and Pro X.
The Surface Go 2 has Intel eighth-generation Intel Core M processors, which make it 64% faster than the previous version and give it longer battery life. Microsoft has also improved the microphones given it a five-megapixel front-facing camera designed for crisp video calls even in low light conditions, something that has suddenly become increasingly important during the pandemic.
The Surface Go 2 starts at £399 in the UK or $399 in the US and will be available from 12 May.
Surface Headphones and Earbuds

The Surface Headphones 2 are now available in black with improved sound. Photograph: Microsoft
Alongside the new Surface PCs, which join the previously revamped Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7 and Pro X, Microsoft also launched a new version of its noise cancelling Surface Headphones 2. The headphones form part of the firm’s push to dominate remote working through its Office subscriptions and Teams video chat system.
The new headphones have improved sound quality, longer battery life and can now be bought in black, alongside the more showy original platinum grey colour of their predecessors. The Surface Headphones 2 cost $249 in the US from 12 May and £239.99 in the UK from 5 June.

The Surface Earbuds originally unveiled in 2019. Photograph: Microsoft
Microsoft also announced that it’s delayed Apple AirPods competitors, the Surface Earbuds, will finally ship costing £199 in the UK and $199 in the US from 12 May. The true wireless earbuds with advanced Office integration were originally announced in October last year but were delayed in November pushed back to spring 2020.
After starting as a way to introduce new Windows PC formfactors in 2012, Microsoft’s Surface laptops, tablets, desktops and accessories have become a key part of its business accounting for just shy of $2bn in revenue, up 6% year-on-year. They have also reinvigorated Microsoft’s brand image and seen it compete directly with the likes of Apple on premium hardware and mindshare.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review: the best Windows 10 tablet PC you can buy | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

The Surface Pro 7 is an update of the excellent Surface Pro 6 with new processors and, finally, a USB-C port.
That means the design of the new Surface Pro 7 hasn’t changed since the 2017 Surface Pro 5, with Microsoft taking an “if it ain’t broke” approach. It’s competitively priced at £699 and up – but you have to pay at least £125 for the keyboard if you want one – which annoyingly is not included in the standard price.
Microsoft’s unique design language continues to stand out. Well-made computers with sharp-looking lines, lightly textured magnesium bodies with rounded corners and the company’s unrivalled kickstand on the back.

Microsoft’s kickstand design is the best on the market, giving you a large range of angles from working as a laptop all the way down to working as a drawing canvas. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The 12.3in screen is still crisp and beautiful, but the large bezels around the sides now look a little dated compared to the Surface Pro X, traditional laptops and mobile tablets. All versions are available in Microsoft’s platinum grey colour, while some are also available in black, which is definitely nicer.
At 775g without the keyboard, the Surface Pro 7 is just shy of 150g heavier than the 12.9in Apple iPad Pro with similar dimensions. With Microsoft’s excellent 310g Signature Type Cover attached that brings the tablet to 1.085kg, which is lighter than most laptops including the 1.25kg MacBook Air and 1.265kg Surface Laptop 3.
The keyboard is the same as last year too, making it one of the best on any laptop, let alone a tablet, with excellent key feel, travel and stability, while the trackpad is small, but smooth and responsive. It is disappointingly still not included in the price, costing £125 in black or £150 in red, platinum or blue Alcantara.
The £99 Surface Pen is the same, again making it one of the best styluses available – precise, with low-latency, tilt and plenty of pressure levels. It magnetically attaches to the left side of the Surface Pro 7, which is good, but not on the same level as clever the new Slim Pen tray in the keyboard for the Surface Pro X.

The keyboard is excellent, with good feel and a responsive trackpad, it’s just a shame it’s not included in the price. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Specifications

Screen: 12.3in LCD 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI)

Processor: Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 (10th generation)

RAM: 4, 8 or 16GB

Storage: 128, 256, 512GB or 1TB

Graphics: Intel UHD (i3) or Intel Iris Plus (i5/i7)

Operating system: Windows 10 Home

Camera: 8MP rear, 5MP front-facing, Windows Hello

Connectivity: Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, USB 3.0, USB-C, headphones, TPM, microSD

Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm

Weight: 775 or 790g (i7 version)

Processing and battery life

The Surface Connect port takes care of power, while the microSD card slot hidden under the kickstand is extremely useful for photographers. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Pro 7 comes with either Intel’s 10th-generation i3, i5 or i7 processors. While the i3 will be fine for light usage, most will want the Core i5 or i7 versions, which are considerably more capable.
The version tested had a Core i7, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and performed as you would expect from a high-end tablet PC or laptop. It handled general computing with no slowdown at all, even with 10 applications open with lots of tabs in Chrome and several large images open and being worked on in Affinity Photo, comparing favourably to Apple’s 13in MacBook Pro and Dell’s XPS 13.
But the fans were considerably more noticeable than the same Core i7 version of last year’s Surface Pro 6, meaning that the Surface Pro 7 likely runs hotter. With light computing they were not audible, but when connected to a 4K monitor or when running slightly more intensive applications they were noticeable in quiet rooms. The tablet never became overly hot to the touch.
Battery life was slightly disappointing, with the Core i7 version lasting around seven hours between charges, which wasn’t quite long enough to complete some work days without reaching for the charger. The Core i5 version should have longer battery life.
Charging the Surface Pro 7 wasn’t quite as quick as the Surface Pro X, but it will reach 80% from dead in about 60 minutes and fully charge in just under two hours using the included Surface Connect power adapter. Charging via a 45W USB-C charger happened at a similar rate, so you have two good options for charging the tablet.
Unlike the recent Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Pro 7 is difficult to fix and was only awarded a score of one out of 10 by repair specialists iFixit.
None of the components, including the battery are user replaceable, except for the detachable keyboard, and repairs must be performed by authorised service providers.
The company operates both trade-in and recycling schemes for old machines, however.
Ports

The USB-C port is small but mighty, allowing you to connect practically any accessory with the right cable, from displays and drives to docks and ethernet adapters. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The big new change for the Surface Pro 7 is the introduction of USB-C, finally. The modern, industry-standard port is a jack of all trades and replaces the miniDisplay Port of older Surfaces devices. USB-C allows you to charge the Surface, connect any number of accessories including displays, drives, ethernet adapters and so on. You can also connect it to a USB-C dock for power, displays and accessories all from one cable.
It is not Thunderbolt 3-compatible, but most will be fine with the standard bandwidth and functions of USB-C, it’s just a shame there’s only one of them.
A standard USB-A port takes care of older accessories, while the Surface Connect takes the included power adapter but can also be used to connect to a Surface Dock and other Microsoft accessories. A microSD card slot is also very welcome, particularly for photographers.
Observations

Microsoft’s Windows Hello face recognition continues to be the best biometric implementation on any laptop or tablet. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Price
The Surface Pro 7 comes with various different specifications starting at £669 for a Core i3 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The Core i5 with 8GB of RAM costs £789 with 128GB of storage or £1,035 with 256GB of storage, the Core i5 with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage costs £1,259.
The Core i7 versions all have 16GB of RAM and cost £1,299 with 256GB (as tested), £1,649 with 512GB and £2,024 with 1TB of storage.
All versions are available in platinum with some available in black.
Verdict
The Surface Pro 7 is arguably the best windows tablet money can buy, it’s just not that big a leap over the Surface Pro 6.
The form, design, microSD card slot, kickstand, Windows Hello and simply the way it works are still winners in 2020. The screen is still great, however the bezels around it are functional but look a little dated compared to the Surface Pro X.
The big new thing is the addition of a USB-C port, which is well overdue. It’s a shame it’s not a full Thunderbolt 3 port, but I suspect most won’t care. The battery life on the Core i7 version is not class-leading, so buy the Core i5 version if you want more like a day’s work without the charger.
The biggest downside is that the essential keyboard is not included with the tablet, which pushes the price up by at least £125.
The Surface Pro 7 is what last year’s Surface Pro 6 should have been. It’s not cheap, but the Surface Pro 7 is best Windows tablet you can buy.

Pros: great screen, good battery life, brilliant keyboard (essential additional purchase), microSD card reader, excellent kickstand, Windows Hello, solid build, easy to carry, USB-A and USB-C
Cons: no Thunderbolt 3, fairly expensive, keyboard should be included, Core i7 version fans are more audible

The Surface Pro 7 works pretty well as a touchscreen-only tablet, but it’s once you attach the keyboard that things get really good. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Other reviews
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Microsoft Surface Pro X review: not yet ready for prime time | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

The Surface Pro X is a glimpse of an ARM-powered Windows future, combining the best bits of phones and computers, but while that future is closer than ever, it isn’t quite ready yet.
The new £999 Surface Pro X might look like the rest of Microsoft’s Surface tablets on the outside, but it is fundamentally a different beast on the inside.
It has a new processor at its heart called the SQ1, which Microsoft partnered with mobile-chip maker Qualcomm to create, instead of a traditional Intel or AMD chip. It is ARM-based, just like the one inside your phone, not an x86 chip, which has been used in most computers for decades.
Switching to an ARM system has certain advantages, including potential for longer battery life, built-in 4G and a slimmer profile, but it also complicates things on the software front.
Slimline Surface

You can use the Surface Pro X hand-held, but at 774g it is not that light. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Pro X takes the Surface Pro 6’s design, maximises the screen widthways and shaves off 1.2mm of thickness. The fanless design looks and feels fantastic: solid, thin and exceedingly well-made in black magnesium and glass, the sides nicely sculpted to make them hand-friendly. At 774g it’s not light, but this is a fairly large tablet – the Surface Pro 6 weighs 770-784g, while Apple’s 4G 12.9in iPad Pro weighs 633g.
The 13in screen is sharp, gorgeous and responsive, in line with most high-end laptops. The Windows Hello face recognition camera above the screen is simply brilliant, logging you in instantly when you look at it.
The kickstand out the back is the best in the business: stable at a wide range of angles then neatly tucked away when not in use. It also hides a compartment for a nano sim and the SSD.
There are two USB-C ports and a volume button on the left side of the machine, with the power button and Surface Connect port in the right. Unfortunately there is no headphone socket or microSD card slot, which is disappointing. The front-facing speakers are tiny but surprisingly loud and good for a tablet.
Keyboards and styluses

The Slim Pen docks into a small tray hidden in the magnetic strip of the Signature keyboard for travel and charging. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Pro X also supports a new version of Microsoft’s excellent detachable keyboard and a new stylus called the Slim Pen.
The keyboard continues to be brilliant, providing excellent backlit typing with good travel and key feel, a smooth and responsive but fairly small trackpad, and the flexibility to use it flat or at an angle. It attaches to the bottom of the tablet with strong magnets and folds all the way around the back of the tablet, out the way, or closes shut on the screen when not in use.
It is an essential part of the Surface experience, but unfortunately it isn’t included in the price, costing £129.99 on its own or £259.99 with the Slim Pen. The Surface Pro X is not compatible with standard Surface Pro keyboards.
If you buy the one with the Slim Pen, it has a neat trick. The new flattened stylus, which worked as well as Microsoft’s excellent standard Surface Pen, magnetically clips into a tray at the base of the keyboard. The tray charges the stylus and hides it away when the keyboard is propped up against the tablet or when closed. It’s one of the smartest storage solutions I’ve seen for something so easy to lose.
The Slim Pen is available on its own for £129.99, and has a little charging tray, but is best bought with the keyboard.
Specifications

Screen: 13in LCD 2880×1920 (267 PPI)

Processor: Microsoft SQ1 (ARM)

RAM: 8 or 16GB

Storage: 128, 256 and 512GB

Graphics: Adreno 685

Operating system: Windows 10 Home

Camera: 10MP rear, 5MP front-facing, Windows Hello

Connectivity: Wifi ac, Bluetooth 5, 2x USB-C, Surface Connect, LTE, nano sim, esim

Dimensions: 287 x 208 x 7.3mm

Weight: 774g

Performance depends on your app

The Surface Connect port handles power, but can also be used to connect to accessories such as the Surface Dock. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
On paper, ARM chips are on a similar performance level with many traditional laptop x86 processors. But how the Surface Pro X performs is entirely dependent on the program you happen to be using, split between apps that run natively on the ARM architecture and those that don’t, which are then relegated to running in a 32-bit x86 emulation layer.
Performance is, unsurprisingly, night and day. Apps that are ARM-native absolutely fly along. Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is a prime example, performing just as well on the Surface Pro X with 30 tabs open as it does on a top-spec desktop PC with a traditional Intel processor. The same goes for most of Microsoft’s Windows apps, except Office, which is still x86.
Apps that aren’t ARM-native operate as if you have the handbrake on. Google’s Chrome browser is a great example. It uses the same underlying Chromium technology as Microsoft’s Edge browser but doesn’t have an ARM-native version, so is slow and ponderous. Evernote is equally slow, but tolerable.
Simple text editors, such as Typora, run perfectly fine as a 32-bit app, but are noticeably slower than when used on a Surface Pro 6.
The other wrinkle is that Windows can only emulate 32-bit x86, not the more performant 64-bit. While some programs have 32-bit versions, many do not, such as Signal or Google’s Gsuite Chat. One big missing area is photo editing, where none of the top photo editors have ARM or 32-bit, including Affinity Photo or any of Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
Adobe says it is working on ARM-native Creative Cloud and other apps, but at the time of writing only the cut-down Photoshop Express is available, and even that is 32-bit x86 and therefore incredibly slow.
In terms of general computing performance, the Surface Pro X handled a multi-monitor setup just fine, including a 4K 60Hz display via a Surface Dock or a USB-C-to-HDMI cable, so with the right apps it will match Microsoft’s other Surface Pro devices.
Battery life for a day of work

The two USB-C ports can be used for power or connecting to any number of accessories, but there’s no USB-A port. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Pro X lasts for about nine hours of work, mainly using Edge with 10 or so tabs, Windows Mail, Evernote, Typora, Nextgen Reader and various different messaging apps. That’s about the same as the Core i5 version of the Surface Pro 6, and therefore slightly disappointing, given ARM processors are meant to be more battery-efficient. But nine hours is good enough to comfortably finish a full work day without reaching for the charger.
Thanks to the USB-C ports you have options for charging the tablet. The included 65W Surface Connect charger works great, but a USB-C Power Delivery charger, which is now the common standard for phones, tablets and most laptops, works just fine too.
With the included charger the Surface Pro X hit 80% in an hour while being used, and reached 100% in 85 minutes.
Ports and connections

Under the kickstand is a hatch, released by a pin, which hides the SSD and a nano sim slot for mobile broadband connection. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Pro X has two USB-C ports, plus Microsoft’s Surface Connect for power or connecting to the optional Surface Dock (£189.99).
The two USB-C ports are very welcome, but note that they are not Thunderbolt 3. A USB-C dock, Ethernet adapter, HDMI cable, card reader, headphone adapter and various USB-C to USB-A adapters with flash drives all worked as expected.
Built-in mobile broadband is transformational for working on the move too, better than using a mobile hotspot, because Windows and you can see when you’re actually in range of good signal.
The Surface Pro X follows the lead of Microsoft’s recent Surface Laptop 3 in being more repairable than previous machines. Repair specialists iFixit gave the Surface Pro X a score of six out of 10 thanks to some modular, replaceable elements.
Microsoft states that the battery is not user-replaceable, and while the SSD can be replaced by a user it will not be covered by warranty; instead both can be repaired or replaced by authorised service providers.
The company also operates both trade-in and recycling schemes for old machines.
Windows 10 Home

The Windows Hello face recognition cameras can log you in as the computer boots up or resumes from standby. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Windows 10 Home runs on the Surface Pro X just like any other machine: a stable, well-featured and useful operating system. You likely won’t have an option to run Linux or any other operating system, but then you’re buying a computer from Microsoft, so there are certainly better options for non-Windows users.
Observations

You can buy the Surface Pro X without a keyboard, but it is the detachable keyboard and pen that make the tablet great. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The screen is far too dim on resuming from sleep until you hit the brightness button, at which point it returns to normal

The machine ran cool throughout, barely getting warmer than room temperature even when pushed hard

There’s no real mis-touch rejection at the edges of the screen, which means you have to be careful where you put your fingers when holding the tablet

Price
The Microsoft Surface Pro X is available in a variety of storage and memory versions, starting at £999 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage costs £1,269, 16GB of RAM and 256GB costs £1,449 and 16GB and 512GB costs £1,819.
The Surface Pro X Keyboard costs an additional £129.99, while the Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard with Slim Pen costs £259.99.
For comparison, the Surface Pro 7 starts at an RRP of £799, the Surface Go starts at £379 and the Surface Laptop 3 starts at £999.
Verdict
The Surface Pro X is Microsoft’s gamble on ARM chips as one future of Windows devices, enabling thinner, lighter, longer-lasting and always-connected machines.
But it hasn’t paid off just yet. For something promising to be a fully-fledged Windows 10 computer costing upwards of £999, there just isn’t enough ARM-native software available.
Attempt to run something that’s not designed for an ARM chip and you either straight-up can’t, if there isn’t a 32-bit version of the app, or Windows is forced to run it in an emulation layer, which is like having the handbrake on – slow and ponderous.
The Surface Pro X has a lot of potential. Use an ARM-native app such as Microsoft’s new Edge browser and it absolutely flies. But even things such as Office aren’t ARM.
The killer blow for me is a lack of photo-editing apps. Without Photoshop, Affinity Photo or something similarly powerful I simply can’t get my work done. It essentially relegates the Surface Pro X into the Chromebook camp: it’ll do most of the things you need to do most of the time, but can’t be your only computer.
The Surface Pro X is a beautiful, premium machine that has totally unrealised potential. If Microsoft can convince developers to jump on the ARM bandwagon it’ll be amazing. Until then, if you want a Microsoft tablet you’re better off with a Surface Pro 6 or 7.

Pros: slim, great 13in screen, 4G, kickstand, nine-hour battery, 2x USB-C, quick charging, Windows Hello, brilliant keyboard (essential additional purchase), smart stylus holder, Windows 10
Cons: not much ARM-native software, no good photo editors, no SD card reader, no headphone socket, no Thunderbolt 3, keyboard not included

Microsoft’s kickstand is the best in the business, allowing you to prop the tablet up at practically any angle. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
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Microsoft Likely To Miss Quarterly Projection For Windows And Surface Computers- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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With the coronavirus outbreak that had China as its epicenter has taken a heavy toll on the tech industry. As of now, in an investor update, Apple said that its projected revenue for Q2 is likely to take a hit. This is majorly beacuse the manufacturing sites slowly regain pace over time. Now, Windows, a Silicon Valley giant stated that the coronavirus outbreak might even affect the ability to meet its Q3 guidance.
Also Read:
Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak, Apple’s Q2 Revenue Forecast Likely To Take A Hit 
In a statement, Microsoft said that it doesn’t expect to meet its ‘More Personal Computing’, segment guidance revenue of $10.75 and $11.15 billion. Microsoft said that it had taken into account China’s situation that surrounded coronavirus for the projection. Also, it is noted that the supply chain is regaining pace, Windows OEM and Surface were severely affected than was expected. 
Microsoft stated that although it is seen that there has been a strong demand in line with expectations, but the supply chain is returning to normal operations at a slower pace, than has been anticipated during the time of the Q2 earnings call. 
However, only Windows and Surface has taken a hit, as Microsoft says that rest of the Q3 guidance remains unchanged. Also, Microsoft hasn’t provided a new forecast for its ‘More Personal Computing’ segment.
A lot of people have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, and it has affected the human life gravely. According to Quartz, apart from companies like Apple, HP and Microsoft, there are other companies that have come forward, to explain how corporate filings and earnings calls have been affected by COVID-19 outbreak. 

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Someone installed Windows 10X on a Surface Go and a MacBook – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: Microsoft is building Windows 10X from the ground up to adapt to various PC form factors. While the initial showing of Windows 10X was on the Surface Neo, two intrepid developers managed to install the upcoming OS on a MacBook and Surface Go. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can install Windows 10X yourself although it requires a bit of technical knowledge.
Microsoft recently released a Windows 10X SDK for developers to begin adapting their applications for dual-screen computers. However, two developers managed to install the fledgling operating system onto a Surface Go and a MacBook.
Twitter user “imbushuo” posted a video of Windows 10X running on the MacBook relatively smoothly. The OS treats the MacBook like a single screen and allows applications to run on either side of the screen or full screen.

Video pic.twitter.com/Xc4DfXAc14
— Sunshine Biscuit at scale (@imbushuo) February 13, 2020

Well-known developer Steve Troughton-Smith also managed to get Windows 10X running on a Surface Go. Unfortunately, there were some initial Wi-Fi and touch driver issues. Troughton-Smith posted a complete guide on how to install Windows 10X on different hardware, but it’s not for the faint of heart as it requires Powershell scripts, drive partitioning, and driver work.
It’s probably best to stick with the emulator if you want to play around with Windows 10X.

It worked! Surface Go successfully flashed with Windows 10X 😄 Touch driver not installed by default, nor WiFi pic.twitter.com/VftAK5bLdb
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) February 14, 2020

Microsoft introduced Windows 10X running on the upcoming Surface Neo. The operating system is meant to run on dual-screen devices and might possibly be the future of Windows in the long term.
Microsoft has stripped out all of the legacy UI elements and built it from the ground up to be speedy and more efficient. For now, seeing the new operating system running on various hardware platforms seems to confirm the adaptability of Windows 10X, even if it’s a little buggy.

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Microsoft’s dual-screen, Android-based ‘Surface Duo’ smartphone has been seen in the wild – Blog – 10 minute

Highly anticipated: Microsoft has been out of the smartphone game for quite a while. Since the final Windows Phones left the shelves, the tech giant’s focus has shifted toward the development of laptops, tablets, and, of course, software. However, in October of 2019, Microsoft surprised the world with the reveal of its upcoming Android-based smartphone: the Surface Duo. The device isn’t set to release until this year’s holiday season, but early prototypes are already being spotted in the wild.
While riding the subway, YouTube user Israel Rodriguez noticed the dual-screen device in the hands of a fellow passenger. The individual in question operated the phone for several minutes, seemingly without noticing that they were being filmed — or perhaps Rodriguez asked permission.
Either way, the clip allows us to get a brief glimpse at how the Duo might function in the real world, without the perfect-world conditions of a major tech conference or reveal event. The Duo user puts the device through its paces, testing it in multiple form factors. They open it up like a book to use it in dual-screen mode, they fold it back so that the touchscreens face away from each other (one facing the user), and they also close it fully.
Though the Duo is clearly still a prototype and runs a bit slow at some points in the video, it’s still an impressive and sleek little gadget. When used in book-like form, apps seem to be capable of displaying different information on both screens at once, and they adapt relatively quickly to horizontal or portrait orientation changes.

Here’s Microsoft’s initial Surface Duo announcement video, if you haven’t seen it yet.
The Duo is Microsoft’s take on the hybrid smartphone concept, and it seems to be just as versatile as some competing devices, like the Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X. Granted, it’s missing the true folding-display tech they boast, but we’re not so sure that’s a bad thing. From our perspective, the Surface Duo looks like a considerably more practical phone than the Fold and Mate X, and its distinct design might just let it avoid the durability problems that plague those devices.
Perhaps the Duo will even be a bit cheaper, but at this point, we simply can’t say for sure. Microsoft has not revealed the Surface Duo’s cost, its exact release date, or any of its technical specifications. However, if the company truly has decided to move forward with semi-public testing (and this video isn’t just an elaborate hoax), perhaps some answers will be revealed sooner rather than later.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review: still sleek, just no longer unique | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Microsoft’s top-quality laptop is now in its third generation, with new ports, new processors and a slight redesign, with the option to ditch the unique Alcantara for plain old aluminium.
The £999 and up Surface Laptop 3 is Microsoft’s vision of what a traditional laptop should be. For the most part that’s the same as everyone else, with traditional aluminium body, glass-covered screen and hinge that does not rotate all the way round to the back.
The biggest design difference, an Alcantara fabric deck into which the keyboard is mounted, is now optional. With the 13.5in Surface Laptop 3 you now have the choice of black or sandstone aluminium, or cobalt blue or platinum Alcantara. The larger 15in only comes in black or platinum aluminium.
The craftsmanship of the Surface Laptop 3 is top notch, as it should be for a premium machine. The aluminium lid is smooth and stylish, fitting exactly on to the deck with solid-feeling clunk, and opening up again with one hand without tipping over backwards. The screen, too, is crisp, bright and gorgeous, rivalling the best. These are the things you should expect for a laptop costing £999 or more, but is certainly not the case for all rivals.

The keyboard continues to offer arguably the best typing experience on a laptop. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The aluminium deck is smooth and well finished, but isn’t as unique or characterful as the Alcantara alternative. It’s likely it won’t mark in the same way the fabric does, but it feels somewhat generic.
The trackpad is large, smooth and responsive; arguably one of the best fitted to any Windows laptop, but it’s still not quite as fantastic as that fitted to Apple’s MacBooks.
The keyboard is a dream. There is simply not a finer typing experience to be had on any other laptop. The keys are solid, well spaced, have a nice silk-like texture to them, a satisfying amount of travel and are relatively quiet.
Specifications

Screen: 13.5in LCD 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI)

Processor: quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7 (10th generation)

RAM: 8 or 16GB

Storage: 128, 256, 512GB or 1TB

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus

Operating system: Windows 10 Home

Camera: 720P front-facing, Windows Hello

Connectivity: wifi 6 (ax), Bluetooth 5, USB-A, USB-C, headphones, Surface Connect TPM

Dimensions: 308.1 x 223.3 x 14.5mm

Weight: 1,265 or 1,288g

10th-generation Intel performance

Along with faster processors, the 10th-generation Intel chips bring with them support for the new wifi 6 standard and Bluetooth 5.0. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The 13.5in Surface Laptop 3 ships with one of Intel’s latest 10th-generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors, which are faster on paper and support improved RAM and the next generation of wifi 6.
The Surface Laptop 3 is therefore a top performer in the premium laptop market, offering a good balance of power and portability. It handled general computing with no slowdown at all and with the fans barely audible, even with 10 applications open with lots of tabs in Chrome and several large images open and being worked on in Affinity Photo.
It won’t match a workstation for computing power, such as the new 16in Apple MacBook Pro, but compares favourably to Apple’s smaller 13in MacBook Pro and Dell’s XPS 13.
Battery life is good, but not class-leading. It lasts through an eight-hour work day with the brightness set to 70%, and recommended battery settings, using Chrome, Windows Mail, Evernote, NextGen Reader, Typora and several messaging apps open, plus some image editing in Affinity Photo, finishing with under 10% battery left.
That’s about 90 minutes less than the Surface Laptop 2 under similar working conditions, but about in line with others of a similar design.
New for the Surface Laptop 3 is a fast charge feature, that will see it hit 80% from flat in about an hour, which is extremely handy for quick top-ups but only works when the machine is off.
Windows 10 Home

The Surface Connect port doubles up for power and connectivity, depending on whether you buy one of Microsoft’s dongles or docks. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Laptop 3 runs Windows 10 Home out of the box, but comes with storage encryption, which is a must for a modern portable PC. On the whole Windows 10 has matured into an excellent, well-rounded and stable operating system, despite a few issues on Microsoft’s part that mainly affected early adopters over the last year.
More and more of the programs I use are in the Windows Store too, which keeps them up to date without me having to do anything, and makes reinstalling them all easy. In the two weeks of testing, Windows 10 on the Surface Laptop 3 ran perfectly.
Ports

USB-C is a new highlight, but the laptop does not support Thunderbolt 3 and there’s only one of them. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The big new addition to the Surface Laptop 3 is (finally) USB-C, which replaces the mini DisplayPort on the previous generation. It is not, however, Thunderbolt 3, which is a shame but shows that Microsoft isn’t after professional users.
Most people will be fine with just USB-C, which can charge the laptop and connects to practically anything, including multi-adapter hubs. It’s certainly more useful than the old mini DisplayPort, but it would have been nice to have more than one USB-C port. Baby steps, then.
Alongside the solitary USB-C port you have a single USB-A port for standard peripherals, a 3.5mm headphones socket and Microsoft’s Surface Connect port, which doubles as the power socket. The Surface Connect supports a range of adapters and the pricey but effective Surface Dock, which connects multiple monitors, ethernet, headphones and USB sockets and power via one cable.
Windows Hello

Microsoft’s face recognition cameras in its laptops are fantastic, logging you in securely just by looking at the device. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Microsoft has fitted all of its recent Surface machines with an infrared-based face recognition camera, which hooks into the Windows Hello biometric authentication system to allow you to log into Windows just by looking at it.
It pre-dates Apple’s Face ID on the iPhone but works just as well, seamlessly logging you straight in the moment you open the Surface Laptop 3. It’s fast, secure and convenient.
Repairability

Microsoft has made slight progress regarding sustainability. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The Surface Laptop 3 bucks the trend by being more repairable than the previous version by some margin. Elements such as the SSD are actually modular and can be replaced – they are not soldered directly on to the motherboard – leading the repair specialists iFixit to give the Surface Laptop 3 a score of 5 out of 10.
Microsoft states that the battery is not user replaceable, and while the SSD can be replaced by a user it will not be covered by warranty; instead both can be repaired or replaced by authorised service providers.
The company also operates both trade-in and recycling schemes for old machines.
Observations

Due to the angle of the side of the machine it can be difficult to plug the magnetic power cable in without lifting the side up for more leverage.

The black paint can be scratched revealing the silver aluminium underneath.

The screen supports 10-point touch and Microsoft’s Surface Pen stylus.

Price
The 13.5in Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 starts at £999 with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The laptop as reviewed cost £1,269 with an Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
Versions with Intel Core i7 processors start at £1,549 with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and top out at £2,349 with 1TB of storage.
For comparison, Dell’s XPS 13 starts at £1,049, Apple’s MacBook Air starts at £1,099 and MacBook Pro starts at £1,299.
Verdict
Microsoft’s 13.5in Surface Laptop 3 is a refined, premium Windows 10 machine that ticks almost every box and does so often at prices undercutting rivals.
It boots fast, logs in fast with the excellent Windows Hello and runs well. The screen is beautiful. The keyboard is fantastic. The trackpad is very good. All the bits you touch or interact with are top notch.
You’re not going to be playing the latest and greatest AAA games, but it has plenty of power to handle general computing, image editing and even heavier-duty programs such as video editing suites in a pinch.
Battery life is a solid eight hours, while the quick charge feature is a useful addition. The ability to charge via either the Surface Connect or USB-C is welcome, too, as is the connectivity the new port brings. It could do with a few more USB-A and USB-C ports, while Thunderbolt 3 support would be ideal, as would an SD card reader. But at least the Surface Laptop 3 is more repairable than previous iterations.
Overall, the 13.5in Surface Laptop 3 is a class act and well worth considering if you’re looking for a premium consumer laptop next to the best in the business from Apple and Dell.

Pros: great keyboard, good trackpad, Alcantara or aluminium, sleek design, USB-A and USB-C port, great screen, good battery life, Windows Hello, powerful processor.

Cons: no SD card reader, limited configuration options, no Thunderbolt 3, only one USB-C port.

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This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. More information.

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Microsoft to combine Windows Client and Surface teams under product chief Panos Panay – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? Microsoft has put its hardware and Windows Experience teams under a new single ‘Device + Windows’ unit that’ll be led by Panos Panay, the current chief product officer. With Windows Client under his supervision, Panay will take over from Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, who’ll be moving to the company’s Office group when the restructuring goes into effect on February 25.
Panos Panay has been leading Microsoft’s hardware efforts for several years now and is best known for his work on the Surface lineup of devices, which he passionately speaks about during the company’s hardware events.
Redmond has now decided to give him the reigns of the software experience underpinning those devices as well. Initially reported by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft’s internal reorganization is set to combine the Windows Experience and Surface hardware teams into a single team, which will report to Panay.
Mary also shared an excerpt from Panay’s internal email to Microsoft employees regarding his new role.

Personally I’m very excited to lead the Windows Client for Microsoft, which will help us streamline our decision-making processes, be clear on our priorities, and deliver the best end user experiences from silicon through operating systems across all Microsoft apps and service connected devices (OEMs and Surface). We believe this will make the Windows Client experience better for the entire PC ecosystem. Designing hardware and software together will enable us to do a better job on our long term Windows bets (dual screen, silicon diversity, connectivity, app platform, etc.) and having a single point of Windows Client Experience leadership driving consistent priorities and resourcing across all of Windows client will help all of us accelerate innovation and improve execution. This is such an amazing time and opportunity to bring more energy to Windows and our customers using Windows. It won’t be easy, but extending our growth will be key for our company strategy.

It’s also rumored that Panos was considering a leave of absence from Microsoft and could have ended up joining Apple. His new role, however, is certainly more empowering and would enable him to realize his vision by controlling both the software and hardware side of things.
It remains to be seen how the user experience of Windows benefits from Panos, though let’s hope that sorting out inconsistencies with Settings/Control Panel and effective implementation of the company’s Fluent Design System are some of his priorities.

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