Microsoft’s Surface Pro lineup has been a design win for the company for several years now. The Surface Go was launched in July of 2018 as a lower-cost version of the Surface Pro, offering buyers a less expensive way to become a Surface customer, and by the nature of its smaller size compared to the Surface Pro, an even more portable convertible Surface tablet. When the device was initially announced, a model with LTE connectivity was also in the works, and the Surface Go LTE arrived in November 2018.

Featuring a 10-inch display, the Surface Go is quite a bit smaller than the Pro, and the obvious comparison to make would be against the Surface 3, which launched way back in 2015. In the three year gap between these models, Microsoft had seemed to abandon the idea of the smaller convertible tablet in their lineup. But thanks to the smaller price tag, it was always a popular model, and it is great to see them reintroduce the reduced size Surface again. Even though the Surface 3 launched way back in 2015, it still has a usage share higher than any Surface launched outside of the Pro models, and now the Surface Go.


Looking at numbers from AdDuplex from December 2018, it makes it clear why the Surface Go was launched. And despite it only being on the market for about five months, it’s clearly gained a lot of traction in the Surface market, with usage share outstripping that of every other non-Pro model ever launched. We never got a chance to review the original Surface Go, but Microsoft has sent us the Surface Go LTE model for a full review.

The Surface Go LTE offers the benefit of always-on connectivity – assuming you have cellular coverage of course – and this opens it up to an even wider audience of customers. Microsoft is clearly aiming the Surface Go LTE at business customers looking for a small device they can take on-site, with an even smaller footprint than the Surface Pro LTE, and a lighter form factor. As has been the case with the last couple of LTE variants for Surface, the Surface Go LTE utilizes a Qualcomm X16 modem.

The rest of the Surface Go is unchanged. It’s still powered by the dual-core Intel Pentium 4415Y processor, and has the same 10-inch 1800x1200 3:2 PixelSense display. The only real difference is that the LTE variant is only available with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD storage. The 4 GB / 64 GB eMMC model cannot be purchased with LTE.

Microsoft Surface Go
  Surface Go Specifications
CPU Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y (Kaby Lake-Y)
2 core, 4 thread, 1.6 GHz base frequency
GPU Intel HD 615
24 EUs 850 MHz boost frequency
Display 10-inch PixelSense
1800x1200 3:2 aspect
216 Pixels Per Inch
10-point Multitouch
Surface Pen support
Dimensions 245 x 175 x 8.3 mm
9.6 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches
Weight 522 grams (WiFi) / 532 grams (LTE)
1.15 lbs (WiFi) / 1.17 lbs (LTE)
RAM 4 or 8 GB LPDDR3-1866
Storage 64 GB eMMC
128 NVMe SSD optional
256 GB NVMe SSD (Commerical Option)
Wireless 802.11ac with Bluetooth 4.1
Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE Optional
Battery Up to 9 hours of video playback
24W Charger
Cameras Windows Hello IR camera
5 MP Front Camera with 1080p video
8 MP Rear Camera with 1080p video
Ports USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 with power delivery
Surface Connect
Price 4GB/64GB $399
4GB/128GB $499
8GB/128GB $549
8GB/128 GB LTE $679
Windows 10 Pro $50 extra

The Surface Go offers many of the same features as its larger siblings, including the Surface Connect port for charging and data. This is a big upgrade over the Surface 3, which only offered micro USB charging, and the Surface Go ships with a 24-Watt AC adapter. The advantage for business customers here is that the Surface Go will work with the same Surface Dock as the rest of the lineup, meaning it can easily be connected to power, displays, and Ethernet on the desk, and then with one magnetic connector, becomes instantly portable.

The Surface Go also offers USB Type-C, which is a huge advantage for the Surface Go compared to the Surface Pro, since you can use any Type-C charger while on the road with the Surface Go. It does lose the USB Type-A port that is a key feature of the Surface Pro, but on a portable device like this, that is a worthwhile trade-off. If you need Type-A, you can of course get an adapter for Type-C, or use the Surface Dock.

It's been quite remarkable to see just how popular this device is in the market, despite it only being available for a few months. Let’s dig into the Surface Go LTE.

Design and Accessories
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  • Ashinjuka - Saturday, January 19, 2019 - link

    Cats and dogs lying down together.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, January 19, 2019 - link

    Mass hysteria
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    "while being decent in legacy code" I'm not holding my breath.

    But I am serious surprised that this thing is worse than Atom based Celeron and Pentium CPUs. I guess not having any turbo really hurts it.
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    The Snapdragon 845 Windows laptops showed about a 50% loss in running x86 code fwiw
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, January 19, 2019 - link

    *on average.

    50% on average is horrible, because remember, "on average" means half are worse then that. You could have two apps, one 25% slower and one 75% slower, and hit that 50% mark. Users of the second app, however, would not be happy.

    Anything with FPU intensive code or spaghetti code dogs down to near unusability on ARM. Most of the well running apps on windows ARM are basic apps that dont need intensive processor resources, apps simple enough to port to ARM natively.
  • deathBOB - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    Ooof what a dog.

    Too bad, it’s a cool design.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    The word "flagship" is necessary for something to be cool these days. Anandtech only grants the flagship moniker to thousands of truly impressive mid-range products.
  • cknobman - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    Close but no cigar.

    Microsoft charging $100 for the stupid type cover is downright robbery.

    Maybe if it was just that in isolation I could give in but there are just too many other comprimises.

    The 64GB hdd in the base model is too small and would barely even support updating Windows 10 properly in the future.

    Intel with their price raping strategy refuses to make offer a processor with enough performance at a decent price. If this same chip just had a turbo boost capability it would be fine.

    The battery is too small. Again this in isolation would not be a big deal but combined with the other compromises it just too much.

    So by the time you add a keyboard and enough storage you are spending WAY TO MUCH $$$ to still have crippled performance and battery life.
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    Also that the 64GB base model is horribly slow eMMC.
  • Prestissimo - Saturday, January 19, 2019 - link

    $800 USD to be exact, excluding shipping and taxes. For a 10" Windows tablet PC with PENTIUM and 3 HOURS of actual battery life that is NOT REPAIRABLE.

    This is as hilarious a fiasco as that Google's Chromebook thing they've been making for some time.

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