The most affordable, smallest member of the Surface lineup is the 10-inch Surface Go. It’s a smaller and significantly cheaper Surface tablet. If your needs are minimal, or you prefer tiny computers, this is what you should buy. Despite its slower Intel chips, we enjoyed using it, and gave it a 7/10 when we reviewed it in 2018.
Because of its excellent Surface Pen compatibility, Go is awesome for note taking, and with a Type Cover attached, it’s a surprisingly good, if tiny, laptop. It might not be able to take on the iPad Pro in terms of sheer computing power or battery life, but Surface Go is nicely priced and good enough for college students, or anyone who has the budget for a second computer.
The tantalizingly priced $399 version might not be a great pick if you need Surface Go to serve as your main computer. Its smaller, slower storage drive and limited RAM might make multitasking and demanding apps feel slower. If you can, spring for the $549 config instead. Like the Surface Pro, the Go does not include a $100 Type Cover keyboard or Surface Pen, so remember to pick those up with your tablet purchase.
Surface Go—Pentium 4415Y, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD—costs $549 at Microsoft’s Store or Amazon
The Best for Power Users
This transforming powerhouse is the only Surface device with an optional graphics chip that’ll boost core performance, speeding up everything from Adobe Premiere to SolidWorks. The screen undocks from the keyboard, so you can use the display as a tablet for brief stints when watching movies or annotating documents with the Surface Pen. When our team reviewed this laptop, we gave it our WIRED Recommends seal of approval and a score of 8/10.
Available in versions with 13.5- and 15.6-inch screens, Surface Book 2 is the closest analog to Apple’s MacBook Pro series. Thanks to standard quad-core Intel processors and an optional, discrete Nvidia 10-series graphics chip inside the keyboard dock, you’ll get amazing performance for a portable. Plus you get the expected suite of Surface goodies—Windows Hello, a gorgeous high-res screen, a luxurious backlit keyboard, and a big, silky-smooth glass trackpad.
Because the Surface Book 2 hasn’t been refreshed this year, as of October 2019, keep an eye out for deals. We’ve seen the 15-inch model (i7, Nvidia dGPU, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) going for as low as $1,800 ($700 off) on Amazon.
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