Tech Guide

Microsoft's new $399 Surface Go seems nice but right now you should still consider the Surface Pro

Key Points
  • Microsoft's Surface Go seems compelling at $399, but it doesn't come with a keyboard.
  • The Surface Go model with keyboard that you want will cost you about $650.
  • At that price, most folks should splurge for the Surface Pro with keyboard bundle for $799.
Jeniece Pettitt

Microsoft announced its new Surface Go on Monday evening. It's a smaller 10-inch Surface with a starting price at just $399, which makes it a really compelling laptop-tablet hybrid for folks who don't want an iPad and who still want the full power of Windows. You might want to consider Microsoft's larger Surface Pro instead, though.

Consider this: the Intel Pentium Gold-powered Surface Go costs $399 but that doesn't include a keyboard, you just get the tablet. Also, that's for a very basic entry-level model with 4 GB of RAM and just 64 GB of storage. Most folks who are going to be running multiple programs at once are probably going to want to upgrade to the next model up, the Surface Go with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.

That configuration costs $549 and, again, you still don't get the keyboard, which costs an additional $100. All in, with the keyboard and the model I think most people should buy, you're looking at $649.

Microsoft's Surface Pro typically costs $799 on the low end without a keyboard, but the company is currently selling a bundle deal Surface Pro with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage with a keyboard for $799. That bundle typically costs $1,159, so it's a pretty solid deal. The Core i5 chip is much more powerful than the Intel Pentium Gold in the Surface Go, too, which means you can run more powerful software, including power-hungry apps like Adobe Photoshop.

The trade-off is portability, since the Surface Go is smaller, but even the 12.3-inch Surface Pro is a really good on-the-go computer. I've never complained about the weight or size of it in my backpack; it's much more convenient than even my work-issued Dell computer for work on the road. Plus, there's a bit more room on the Surface Pro keyboard than there is on the miniaturized Surface Go.

Right now, if I was ordering a new Surface laptop, I'd go with the $799 Surface Pro and keyboard bundle Microsoft is offering. You just get so much more for the price, and I think it's worth the extra $150 over the $649 you'd pay for midrange Surface Go. But you should order it soon if you're in the market — Microsoft's bundle deals don't last forever.

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