Microsoft Surface Go Budget Windows Tablet With 10-Inch Display Launched

Microsoft Surface Go Budget Windows Tablet With 10-Inch Display Launched

The new lightweight Surface Go - about twice as big as many smartphones - is created to be portable. Designed on the lines of the Surface Pro, this new, low priced variant features a 10-inch screen and works on Windows 10. Pre-orders have opened, but actual shipping starts in August.

The availability of accessories globally is yet to be confirmed, but you'll be able to get a black Surface Go Type Cover for $99 (around £75, AU$130), with red, blue or silver "Signature" Alcantara Type Covers costing $129 (around £100, AU$170).

The Type Cover, of course, is the detachable keyboard for the Surface. In other words, you're looking at $500, all-in, for the Surface Go setup you really want.

A Surface tablet equipped with a Pentium Gold 4415Y made an appearance in OpenCL benchmarks last week where it put up comparable numbers to a 2017 Apple MacBook equipped with an Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor. There's a USB-C port, so you can use your Android phone's charger to power the PC, though by default it charges using Microsoft's proprietary Surface connector. Thankfully, Microsoft today announces a new computer that puts Surface in reach of more people. Launches with its own Type Cover and mouse. Users can also purchase an optional Surface Pen ($99) for easy markup capability. The company has adopted the same design of the premium Surface Pro tablets.

Cheaper than other Surface tablets, but still a bit more expensive than Apple's entry-level $329 iPad, the Surface Go is an interesting device. The base model ships with 4GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC flash storage, while the top-end model comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB of SSD storage.

Those who have been keeping tabs on Microsoft's hardware strategy likely have one key question about the Surface Go - Why?

The Surface Go runs Windows 10 S, a version of Windows that will only run apps found in the Microsoft Store - a walled-garden approach much in the same vein as Apple. Microsoft will release the device on August 2 starting at $399, making it a rare affordable device in the Surface family. The Surface Go also features Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 LTE modem which allows for up to 1Gbps download and 160Mbps peak upload speeds.

Microsoft's Surface range has become popular in Taiwan, with sales increasing by between 10 and 20 percent every year since the product launched five years ago according to Hsueh Wei-hung, deputy head of Microsoft's Consumer Channel Group.