I recently wrote a “first look” review of the Surface Go 2. The unit I was reviewing had an Intel Pentium 4425Y processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. It sells for $549.99.
I was very satisfied with the mid-level version of the Surface Go 2. It was a great small machine to use for creating documents, watching movies, writing handwritten notes (with the extra $90 Surface Pen), and (sometimes) editing photos. It wasn’t powerful enough to use as a primary computer.
The $649 version of the Surface Go 2 (same specs as mid-level version but with a Core m3 processor) is really in a league of its own when it comes to low-powered laptop/tablet combos. Unless you are editing 4K videos, it can really be used as your primary machine.
I’ve been editing photos using all sorts of filters, and the Go 2 has been handling things just fine. It renders things slower than my MacBook Pro does, of course, but it does the job. I can leave the big MacBook Pro home while I go out and sit on park benches to do some work. This is the perfect machine to carry when sitting down at Starbucks, a place that will likely reopen its seating area in the next month.
I’m not sure I would want to write a whole novel using the Surface Go 2, although I could. The keyboard is a little too cramped, but that’s the payoff for having such a small device. It’s not as good as the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro, but it’s more than usable.
One of my colleagues reminded me that I could get a Surface Pro 7 for about $100 more. However, the cheapest model of the Pro 7 only has 4GB RAM. Any computer should have at least 8GB of RAM, and the average laptop now has 16GB.
The main reason to buy the Surface Go 2 over the Surface Pro 7 is portability. The Surface Pro 7 is quite portable itself, but it’s not something that you can throw into a very small bag. It’s not something that takes a very small amount of space on a table. For example, if you go to Starbucks, you can have a drink, bakery item, and the Go 2 on your table without having to worry about knocking anything over.
The Surface Go 2′s main peer, however, is the new 11-inch iPad Pro. Apple’s device has a slightly better screen, much better speakers, and a more powerful processor. But there is only so much you can do on iOS. If you want the best content consumption tablet, the iPad should be your choice. However, if you want a great content consumption and decent content creation device around the same size, the Surface Go 2 (Core m3 version) is a much better choice.