Microsoft Surface Go 2 review: A compact 2-in-1 for remote workers and mobile pros Review

The recent updates to Microsoft’s Surface array have targeted a lot more on the substantial-close performance presented by versions such as the Surface Notebook 3 and Surface Book 3. That would make perception for persons who will need a potent laptop computer for performing from household, but it has meant that the new 10.five-inch Surface Go two has been considerably overshadowed by its greater Surface siblings. 

Explained by Microsoft as ‘an affordable and portable two-in-one particular device’, the Surface Go two is truly a lot more of a straightforward pill, with Microsoft’s keyboard covers getting marketed independently. It can be not a important improve either, but advancements to the monitor, CPU performance and battery life ensure that it provides an interesting and light-weight system which is very well suited for web searching, e mail and video calls.

Like its predecessor, the Surface Go two is readily available in two variations. Residence and academic end users can opt for the standard edition of the Surface Go two, which runs the locked-down Home windows 10 Residence in S Mode, which only allows the use of Microsoft’s Edge browser and apps downloaded from the Microsoft Retailer. But, as with the relaxation of the Surface array, there is certainly also a individual design for business end users, reviewed below, which is equipped with the complete edition of Home windows 10 Pro.


The ‘for business’ edition of the 10.five-inch Surface Go two runs Home windows 10 Pro on either a Pentium Gold 4425Y with 4GB RAM and 64GB of SSD storage or a Core m3-8100Y with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD.

Illustrations or photos: Microsoft

Layout & attributes

The style of the Surface Go two hasn’t modified significantly, despite the fact that its monitor has developed a little, from 10 to 10.five inches, and now provides a resolution of 1,920 by 1280 pixels (220dpi). The picture high-quality is exceptional, crisp and sharp, with superior colour equilibrium, and while rivals such as Apple’s iPad give larger resolution Retina shows, the Surface Go two performs extremely very well for uncomplicated web searching, examining your e-mails or producing video calls. I continue to really don’t discover Home windows 10 significantly very well suited for use with touch-monitor controls, but the Surface Go two responds speedily and smoothly and, of training course, provides complete compatibility with Microsoft Office environment and all your other Home windows apps.

SEE: Home windows 10 Start off menu hacks (TechRepublic Quality)


The Surface Go two starts at £439 (inc. VAT) or $449.ninety nine, but you can pay more for extras like a Style Go over or a Surface Pen.

Graphic: Microsoft

Even with the greater monitor, the tablet’s general proportions are unchanged, at 245mm huge (in landscape mode), 175mm deep, and just 8.3mm thick. You can find a slight increase in excess weight, with our overview device weighing 544g, when compared to 522g for its predecessor. But it can be continue to easy to select up and use with one particular hand, while the developed-in kickstand means that you can speedily relaxation it on a desk or desk when you will need to. It can be aggravating, however, that much of Microsoft’s marketing for the Surface Go two demonstrates it getting used with one particular of Microsoft’s keyboard covers, which are not provided with the pill, and price either £99.ninety nine ($ninety nine.ninety nine) or £124.ninety nine ($129.ninety nine), based on which solution you pick.

Best ZDNET Evaluations

Microsoft has obviously built the Surface Go two with video calls in mind, and its 5MP webcam performs extremely very well, delivering obvious, thorough picture high-quality. You can find also an 8MP rear camera, and Microsoft has up-to-date the Home windows Digicam application to incorporate a doc-scanning mode. The twin microphones have been great-tuned to give better clarity for voice calls, and even the tiny 2W speakers audio incredibly sturdy, so the Surface Go two will be a superior solution for speedily becoming a member of video calls with, for instance, Zoom or Microsoft Groups (which, of training course, is bundled with the pill). Connectivity is quite minimal, with just a single USB-C port, a Micro-SDXC card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, along with Microsoft’s proprietary port for its keyboard covers. But which is par for the training course with compact tablets such as this, so it can be unlikely to deter several end users.

Pricing & alternatives

The unique Surface Go was only readily available with a twin-main Pentium Gold 4415Y processor functioning at 1.6GHz, but the Surface Go two For Business provides two CPU alternatives, beginning with a twin-main Pentium Gold 4425Y functioning at 1.7GHz. This expenditures £365.eighty three (ex. VAT £439 inc. VAT) or $449.ninety nine along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. Nonetheless, we examined the 2nd design, which utilizes a twin-main Core m3-8100Y processor functioning at 1.6GHz (up to 3.4GHz with TurboBoost). This design also features 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, which brings the cost to £549.17 (ex. VAT £659 inc. VAT) or $679.ninety nine. 

You can find also a third configuration with 4G LTE assist and 256GB of SSD storage, which expenditures £707.50 (ex. VAT £849 inc. VAT) or $879.ninety nine.


The Core m3 processor certainly won’t be able to match the performance presented by other versions in the Surface array, but it can be a superior solution for a pill such as this. We have been fascinated to be aware that its Geekbench five scores of 895 (single main), and 1650 (multi main) set it correct together with the 2018 edition of Apple’s MacBook Air (despite the fact that we have not still experienced the chance to check the recent, considerably low-profile, MacBook Air update). And, in reality, its 40fps when functioning Cinebench R15 truly beats the 36.5fps of the MacBook Air, so you’re obtaining rather respectable laptop computer concentrations of performance from this slimline pill.

Our only insignificant disappointment was battery life. Microsoft claims that the Surface Go two provides ‘up to 10 hours of battery life’, which appears to be a tiny optimistic. To be fair, the Surface Go two did final for a extremely respectable eight hours when playing video data files stored locally on the system itself. Nonetheless, switching to wi-fi streaming on the BBC iPlayer ran the battery down in just four hours and 35 minutes. A cell system such as this will certainly be typically used for wi-fi and streaming programs, so there is certainly obviously area for enhancement there.


Graphic: Microsoft


The 10.five-inch monitor sizing and modest battery life necessarily mean that the Surface Go two isn’t rather the ideal two-in-one particular workhorse that Microsoft would like it to be — especially because, as ever, the keyboard address isn’t provided as standard. Even so, its streamlined style and reliable performance ensure that it performs very well as a typical pill for web searching, examining e-mails and other regime tasks. It can be also very well suited to on line video calls, and would make a superior substitute to a greater, heavier laptop computer when you’re performing from household, or just enjoyable in the night.

New AND Similar Information

Microsoft Surface Book 3: A beast with remaining electricity and a cost to match

Microsoft Surface Notebook 3 15-inch: A Microsoft-endorsed AMD expertise

Microsoft Surface Notebook 3 (13.five-inch) overview: Skinny, light-weight and stylish

Microsoft Surface Pro X overview: Attractive but high priced hardware, get the job done-in-development software

Most effective tablets in 2020: iPad Pro, Surface Go two, Fireplace High definition 10, and a lot more

Go through a lot more testimonials