Surface Go (opens in new tab) is a sketchpad-sized tablet great for both quick sketches and more grandiose art pieces. While you won't be doing complex 3D modelling on this svelte PC, it's more than capable of handling high DPI pieces in Photoshop. Its small size makes it great as a portable sketchbook, with soft edges designed to feel comfortable in the hand.
If you're getting serious about Surface art, there are some accessories you should consider picking up to improve the experience. One of our favorites is the Surface Pen (opens in new tab), which allows for 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, complete with tilt support for shading. Surface Go also has magnets on the side to store your Surface Pen comfortably when not in use. Check out our full Go review for more details.
Essential for inking
Naturally, the most important tool in any digital artists arsenal is a digital stylus. The Surface Pen is the best option for pairing with your Surface Go since it supports tilt shading, 4096 levels of pressure detection, and has a magnetized strip for storing against the edge of your tablet. Surface Pen supports AAAA batteries, and lasts several weeks on a single cell.
Keys if you please
For inking at a desk, you might find yourself missing a keyboard for shortcuts or text. If you're using the Surface flat on your desk, you might prefer a Bluetooth keyboard instead of the Type Cover keyboard, so you can move it wherever is best for your work space. The Surface Keyboard is an ideal companion that matches the look and feel of Surface.
Dial up the fun
The Surface Dial is a nifty accessory for artists who favor apps like Photoshop and Sketchable. The Surface Dial can replace a keyboard for many shortcuts in supporting apps, and can be configured to easily tweak the size of brushes, the angle of a canvas, and much more, all with a flick of the dial. It's well worth a look, as long as your preferred program supports it properly.
Like a glove
Tablet art is fun, but it can be a smudge-worthy affair. As such, a digital art glove such as this product from Huion can help keep your tablet screen clean, while supporting your wrist across long inking sessions.
Spare pen tips
Microsoft produces its own Surface Pen tips, but they're a bit expensive. The Zodiac tips are just as good and can be found slightly cheaper than the official replacements. The Surface Pen's tips can wear out over time, so replacing them every now and then will keep those brush strokes feeling good.
Tablet PCs can get pretty smudged over time, so having screen cleaner on-hand is a must. This cheap and cheerful Mistify package comes with all-natural anti-bacterial screen cleaner, complete with a micro-fiber cloth for maintaining your screen's sheen.
Connect all the things
The Surface Go is missing a few ports, but thanks to USB-C, you can throw in a powerful USB hub for extra connectivity. This Anker solution adds three USB 3.0 ports for legacy accessories, a HDMI port for projectors and external monitors, slots for SD cards for cameras and other devices, and an additional USB-C port for daisy chaining other devices. It even comes with a felt carrying case to keep it tidy.
Protect and Go
TomToc makes a range of sleeves for all different types of devices, but their iPad Pro line fits Surface Go devices perfectly at 10.5 inches. The sleeve is made of strong, easy-to-clean materials and comes in a range of colors, from business-style gray to more fun, colorful styles. It also has additional pockets for accessories, and has thick felt on the interior to keep your Go safe from harm. At $17, you won't find better.
Bring the art
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Whether you're just looking for something for casual sketches or something more ambitious, Surface Go is the perfect entry-level drawing tablet for aspiring artists. As someone who spends a bit of time drawing as a hobby, you'll definitely need the Surface Pen (opens in new tab) and some spare tips (opens in new tab) to go with it. I'm also using the TomToc sleeve (opens in new tab) listed above, and can vouch for its quality and durability.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
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