Incipio Faraday for Surface Go review: A lean folio cover with no compromises

Do you need protection for the teeny Surface Go? It depends on how rough you are with it – like tossing it into a bag with other items or perhaps you drop or bang it often.

If you fall into that category of user, the new $50 Incipio Faraday may be right up your alley. It not only protects your Surface Go but doesn't make many compromises either.

Incipio Faraday Folio features

Incipio Faraday Folio for Surface Go

The folio is a traditional wrap-around cover for the Surface Go. The material used is a black vegan leather with soft suede-microfiber as an interior liner to protect the display.

The housing is rubber and precision molded that firmly connects around the top half of the Surface Go. That rubber surrounds all the edges of the Surface Go, but the back and front is vegan leather with a thin board layer – it's firm, but not thick.

The lower half clicks onto the Surface Go's kickstand letting it fully articulate even while having the folio cover protecting it.

The Faraday has cutouts for all the ports including USB Type-C, headphone, and the Surface Connect port for charging. The top has cutouts for the power and volume buttons which are now slightly recessed – Incipio is not using faux buttons.

There are also cutouts for the rear camera and microphone and even a spot on the left side for the LTE SIM slot whenever the Surface Go with LTE finally becomes available.

Incipio did not add a rugged physical holder for the Surface Pen, but users can still attach it magnetically to the side. The only concern is the magnet is slightly weaker – but still firm – due to the added layer of the folio cover.

It's important to note that you can use the Faraday with or without the Surface Type Cover – there are no tradeoffs. The bottom of the folio can stay latched through a simple elastic that folds over the corner of the Surface Go. It's a simple design and ensures that the there is no floppiness with the Surface Go and Faraday.

Incipio Faraday Folio usage

The Surface Go is already a clean, simple device to use so adding a cover to it can be a risk to that fluidity in usage. The Faraday though was a breeze to use. Snapping it on takes seconds and the rubber never feels risky to the Go's finish. Removing it requires a bit of effort – which is probably a good thing – but it also means you probably do not want to take it on or off regularly.

The biggest surprise as the ability to still use the kickstand. Usually, these devices incorporate their own kickstand that only has a few degrees of movement, but not the Faraday. I also like the exposed buttons, but I could also see some like faux buttons to make depressing them easier.

Incipio Faraday Folio for Surface Go

It would have been nice to have a physical pen holder on the top ridge, but at least in meetings and light travel, you can still use the magnets to hold the Surface Pen to the side.

The latch for the folio is smart and easy to use. I like the idea that the Faraday is latched like a book during travel ensuring nothing jams between the keyboard and cover to risk damage to the display.

The overall feel of the Faraday is excellent. It has stitching on the bottom, and the all-black design does not draw attention – it'd look excellent in a boardroom or any professional setting.

Should you buy?

Incipio Faraday Folio for Surface Go

I think the Faraday is an excellent choice if you want a business-focused folio for your Surface Go. The protection is moderate – so small drops, bangs, or wear in a bag when bouncing around. It's not super thick either, which is a good thing as it keeps the Surface Go's size down – you barely notice it.

The quality is quite good although I'd argue you always pay a premium tax with Incipio that is above its actual worth – still, it's a good product from a reliable company.

I enjoyed being able to use the Surface Go with the Faraday without any compromises – it's like adding a (vegan) leather glove to your Surface.

Incipio Faraday Folio for Surface Go

The only change I would suggest is to add a Surface Pen grip on top so that you can toss this in a bag and not have to worry – right now, that pen won't survive such a journey.

Whether you need that protection is your call, but if you want something that looks grownup, won't require you ever to pop off the cover, and have $50 to spare the Incipio Faraday Folio is an excellent choice for the Surface Go.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.