More Screen, More Power

Microsoft Surface Go 2

Get It On Sale

Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft has refreshed the Surface Go 2 with a larger 10.5-inch display, new Intel Core m3 processor (CPU) option, Wi-Fi 6, and an updated camera and dual Studio mics for better call audio. If you want the best, this is it, and it won't cost much more (if at all) than the original Go.

From $398 at Amazon

Pros

  • Larger 10.5-inch touch display
  • Up to an Intel Core m3 CPU
  • Better battery life
  • Wi-Fi 6 and optional LTE
  • Starts at the same price as original Go

Cons

  • Type Cover and Surface Pen sold separately
  • Still won't match up to Pro 7 performance

The original Surface Go was an impressive device, but it's now overshadowed by the Go 2. Stocks are dwindling, but if you can find the original Go on sale or bundled for a great price, it might just be worth it over the Go 2. At least if you don't need the extra performance or larger display.

From $398 at Amazon

Pros

  • Often on sale or bundled
  • 10-inch display still great
  • Optional LTE connectivity
  • Pentium CPU can still handle light work

Cons

  • Smaller display
  • No Wi-Fi 6
  • Smaller battery
  • No Intel Core m3 CPU option
  • No eSIM

Microsoft Surface Go 2 vs. Surface Go tech specs

Surface Go 2 Surface Go
OS Windows 10 Home in S Mode
Windows 10 Pro (Business)
Windows 10 Home in S Mode
Windows 10 Pro (Business)
Processor Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y
Intel Core m3-8100Y
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
RAM 4GB, 8GB 4GB, 8GB
Storage 64GB eMMC
128GB SSD
256GB SSD (Business)
64GB eMMC
128GB SSD
Display size 10.5 inches 10 inches
Display resolution 1920x1280
220 PPI
1800x1200
217 PPI
Aspect ratio 3:2 3:2
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 615 Intel HD Graphics 615
Ports USB-C 3.1
3.5mm audio
Surface Connect
microSD card reader
USB-C 3.1
3.5mm audio
Surface Connect
microSD card reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 4.1
LTE Optional
eSIM or physical
Optional
Physical SIM
Audio 2W Stereo speakers
Dolby Audio
Dual Studio Mics
2W Stereo speakers
Dolby Audio
Single mic
Camera Front-facing 5MP (1080p)
Rear-facing 10MP (1080p)
Front-facing 5MP (1080p)
Rear-facing 10MP (1080p)
Biometrics IR camera IR camera
Battery 27Wh 26Wh
Dimensions 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33
(245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm)
9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33
(245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm)
Weight From 1.2 pounds (544 grams) From 1.15 pounds (522g)
Color Silver Silver

Design and features

The new Surface Go 2 shares the same dimensions and (essentially) the same weight, making it just as easy to carry around with you as the original Surface Go. These are both 2-in-1 devices that work comfortable as a tablet or notebook with attached keyboard and touchpad. Old Type Covers will work with the Go 2, as will the Surface Pen. The hinge for the built-in kickstand has been redesigned and the antenna cover is also a bit different, but overall the Go 2 has the same stellar design. Under the stand is still a microSD card reader you can use to expand storage.

The rear- and front-facing cameras on both devices are the same, with the rear set at 8MP (1080p) and the front at 5MP (1080p). However, for better audio quality on calls, there are two far-field Studio microphones on the Go 2. Both laptops also offer a front-facing IR camera for facial recognition through Windows Hello. Along the top edge of both devices is a power button and volume rocker for quick control when in tablet mode.

The Surface Go 2 has been stepped up to Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity compared to Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1 in the original Go. You're going to see much faster wireless speeds in the newer version. Both can be had with optional LTE connectivity, and both are compatible with physical SIM. However, only the Go 2 adds the option for eSIM.

Display and inking

Surface Go vs. Surface Go 2Source: Windows Central

One of the major attractions to the refreshed Go 2 is a larger 10.5-inch display with a slimmer bezel. It holds onto the 3:2 aspect ratio for a boxy look that's slowly becoming more common. The original Go's 10-inch display has an 1800x1200 resolution, while the Go 2 has a 1920x1280 resolution with slightly higher 220 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The Go 2 looks more modern thanks to the rework, delivering more screen real estate for times when productivity is paramount.

Both displays feature 10-point multi-touch functionality and compatibility with a Surface Pen, delivering 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support for a natural inking experience. If you'd like a device that can handle note-taking and sketching, either of these excels.

Performance and price

There are several performance hardware changes with the Go 2 that will no doubt make it far more attractive than the original Go, at least for those who consider themselves more on the side of Power than Casual user.

The Go 2 has a slightly larger battery that is expected to add some life over what the Go was capable of offering (between seven and eight hours). The Go 2 also offers better Instant On so that you can get to work faster. With the Type Cover attached, all it takes is the keyboard to pull away from the screen to have the device turn on.

One downside of the original Surface Go is its relatively underpowered Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor (CPU). It has the performance to handle light productivity work and even some light gaming, but don't expect it to match up with modern Intel Core CPUs.

Surface Go Vs Surface Go 2Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

The Surface Go 2 has a similar Pentium Gold 4425Y CPU option that is close to the same performance as its predecessor. Still, it also has an 8th Gen Intel Core m3-8100Y option that significantly boosts performance. It has a lower base clock speed than the Pentium 4425Y, but the Core m3 has a boost up to 3.4GHz, whereas the Pentium is fixed at 1.7GHz. The updated Intel UHD Graphics 615 in the Go 2 is also tweaked by 50MHz for a nice little boost. We ran some benchmarks to see exactly how it stacks up to the Pentium CPU in the original Surface Go.

Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)

Device CPU Single core Multi core
Surface Go 2 Core m3 847 1,609
Surface Go Pentium 376 947
Surface Pro X SQ1 725 2,819
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 i5-1035G7 1,177 4,413
Surface Laptop 2 i5-8250U 909 3,372
Surface Pro 7 i5-1035G4 1,191 4,441
Surface Pro 6 i7-8650U 1,113 3,519
Surface Pro 6 i5-8250U 904 3,440

Geekbench 4

Geekbench 4.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)

Device CPU Single core Multi core
Surface Go 2 Core m3 4,028 6,804
Surface Go Pentium 2,078 3,934
Surface 3 Atom x7 1,078 2,777
Surface Pro X (ARM) SQ1 3,505 11,727
Surface Pro X (x86) SQ1 2,182 6,822
Samsung Galaxy Book2 (ARM) SD850 2,262 7,405
Samsung Galaxy Book2 (x86) SD850 1,345 4,164
HP Envy x2 (ARM) SD835 2,111 6,314
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 i5-1035G7 5,265 17,345
Surface Laptop 2 i5-8250U 4,203 13,233
Surface Laptop i5-7200U 3,725 7,523
Surface Pro 7 i5-1035G4 5,245 17,350
Surface Pro 6 i7-8650U 5,037 13,864
Surface Pro 6 i5-8250U 4,287 14,031
Surface Pro 5 i7-7660U 4,513 9,346
Surface Pro 5 i5-7300U 4,302 8,482
Surface Pro 4 i5-6300U 3,319 6,950

GPU

Geekbench 4.0 OpenCL (higher is better)

Laptop GPU Score
Surface Go 2 UHD 615 19,488
Surface Go HD 615 16,490
Surface 3 Intel HD 8,055
Surface Pro 4 (m3) HD 515 14,650
Surface Pro 4 HD 520 17,395
Surface Book HD 520 18,197
Surface Laptop i5 HD 620 19,256
Surface Pro 2017 HD6 20 20,688
Surface Pro 2017 Iris 640 30,678
Surface Laptop i7 Iris 640 31,010

3DMark

PCMark 10 (higher is better)

Laptop Score
Surface Go 2 2,554
Surface Go 1,808

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

Device Read Write
Surface Go 2 (SSD) 1,630 MB/s 373 MB/s
Surface Go (SSD) 1,185 MB/s 133 MB/s
Surface Go (eMMC) 260 MB/s 145 MB/s
Surface 3 149 MB/s 33 MB/s
Surface Pro X 2,023 MB/s 832 MB/s
Samsung Galaxy Book2 722 MB/s 205 MB/s
HP Envy x2 513 MB/s 197 MB/s
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 2,338 MB/s 1,583 MB/s
Surface Laptop 3 15 2,028 MB/s 806 MB/s
Surface Laptop 2 1,509 MB/s 811 MB/s
Surface Laptop 486 MB/s 244 MB/s
Surface Pro 7 2,040 MB/s 809 MB/s
Surface Pro 6 1,632 MB/s 814 MB/s
Surface Pro 5 847MB/s 801 MB/s
Surface Book 1,018 MB/s 967 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 2,400 MB/s 1,228 MB/s

Write speeds are faster in the Go 2, but otherwise not much has changed. eMMC storage in the Go 2 should be far slower than the SSD alternative. You can, however, add up to a 256GB SSD option in the Go 2 Business version.

Elect the Go 2 for a larger display, better performance

The Surface Go 2's larger display, Core m3 CPU option, Wi-Fi 6, slightly larger battery, and myriad other improvements no doubt make it an attractive option, especially with it priced to closely to the original Go.

Refreshed Ultraportable

Surface Go 2

New display, new CPU

The new Surface Go 2 packs a larger 10.5-inch higher resolution display, thinner bezels, more power, and storage for all your on-the-go computing tasks.

Look out for great deals on the original Surface Go

The original Surface Go doesn't measure up to the Go 2 in a lot of ways, but if you can find a model bundled with accessories and on sale, it might just be worth picking up. It's still a great little PC you can take anywhere, just with fewer features.

Original Ultraportable

Surface Go

Grab a discounted bundle if possible

It doesn't have all the features of the newer model, but it's still a solid ultraportable PC that's worth a buy if bundled with accessories and on sale.

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