I absolutely adore the new Surface Go 2 — this is why

Surface Go 2
Surface Go 2 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

I was a massive fan of the first Surface Go when it launched in the summer of 2018. A small, compact Windows PC that was both premium built and easy on the wallet. I loved the form factor and didn't find the Intel Pentium GOLD that powered everything to be much of an issue. Surface Go was remarkably close to being my all-time favorite Surface PC, and Surface Go 2 pushes it over the edge.

I've been using the Surface Go 2 since it launched, and while this isn't a review, I did want to share my thoughts on the product so far and how it has quickly become my favorite Surface PC as of late. When I say I loved the first Surface Go, that's not a lie. If I needed a PC for on-the-go work that didn't require a video card, I'd pick the Surface Go. It's small and agile enough to carry around in or out a bag.

In fact, this is precisely what I was doing at Microsoft Ignite 2019. You'd often find me in the press room writing up embargoes, editorials, and news articles all on a Surface Go. Most people couldn't believe I was using one, and Neowin's Rich Woods even snapped this hilarious photo of me working hard on the tiny Surface Go next to our Executive Editor Daniel Rubino's huge LG Gram with a 17-inch display.

What's improved?

Surface Go 2 Top Keyboard

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The common complaints most people had with the first Surface Go was that it was too small to type on, the battery life wasn't great, the bezels were massive, and the processor was too slow. Microsoft has attempted to fix three of those issues with the Surface Go, and I think it's done an excellent job addressing at least two of them.

The obvious one that Surface Go 2 improves upon are the big bezels. Microsoft has put in a larger 10.5-inch display inside the same size chassis to help slim down the bezels, and it makes a huge difference. Not just to look at, but to use as well. Windows 10 often felt incredibly cramped on a 10-inch display, and the additional half-inch with a slight bump in resolution gives Windows a little more room to breathe.

Surface Go 2 review

Microsoft has also "fixed" the slow processor issue by including an option for an Intel Core M3 processor. Now, I personally don't think the Intel Pentium GOLD inside the Surface Go, and Surface Go 2 is all that bad. I was able to do most of the work I'd normally do when out and about on a Surface Go just fine, but it is nice to have an option for a more powerful processor for those that do need it.

The other area that Microsoft has attempted to improve upon is the battery life. Microsoft says Surface Go 2 has a bigger battery, but it's only 1WHr more than what's in the Surface Go. As such, battery life remains much the same if only a little bit improved. There's not much Microsoft can do here, as the Surface Go 2 is small and doesn't have a lot of room for a bigger battery.

Because Surface Go 2 keeps the overall size and dimensions of the first Surface Go, Microsoft hasn't been able to increase the size of the Type Cover. That means if you struggled typing on the first Surface Go, you'll have the same issue with the Surface Go 2. This "issue" does depend on who you are, however. For me, the Surface Go's Type Cover is a great size and have no issues typing on it.

Why I love the Surface Go 2

Surface Go 2 Keyboard Bezel

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The bigger screen and optional Intel Core m3 processor push the Surface Go 2 into favorite territory for me. It propels the Surface Go from being a PC companion to a PC replacement for a lot of people. Students, teachers, and people who do office work will probably find the Surface Go 2 to be more than enough for their workloads. For writing reports, doing email, browsing the web, and listening to music, the Surface Go 2 is excellent.

The beauty of Surface Go is that it serves a specific purpose: being a sub 11-inch Windows PC. The Surface Go 2 isn't a device you'd buy as a strict tablet, because Windows isn't particularly good on tablets. You'd be better served buying an iPad for that. But that doesn't mean the Surface Go doesn't have reason to exist. If you need a small Windows PC, the Surface Go is the best one out there, by a wide margin.

Not everyone needs a small Windows PC, and that's fine. But for those that do, the Surface Go serves its purpose better than any other sub 11-inch PC before it. Surface Go 2 is my around-the-house, on the go PC for doing lightweight tasks. I wrote this entire article on my Surface Go 2 without issue, because luckily for me the size of the Surface Go Type Cover is fine. I just find the Surface Go 2 to be more accessible and convenient to use than my Surface Book or Surface Studio for quick tasks.

Surface Go 2 isn't for everyone, but I think it's a great PC for a lot of people. It's charming, fun, and easy on the wallet for the entry-level model. It's also premium, which I find to be understated in reviews. You're not buying a sub-standard PC with Surface Go. It's fully featured, with a premium chassis, Windows Hello IR, a high-quality display, pen support, touch, and everything else you'd expect to have on a premium PC.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads