Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs. Go 3: Which should you buy?

Surface Pro
Surface Pro (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

We ultimately feel that due to its impressive specs, battery life, and port selection, the Surface Pro 8 will be the better choice overall for most people in this matchup. Don't overlook the Surface Go 3 if you need something less expensive, though, as the third iteration of Microsoft's 10-inch mini PC is the mightiest one yet.

Surface Pro 8 vs. Go 3: Power or affordability?

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

The primary difference between the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Go 3 is the power of their specs. The Surface Pro 8 is the winner in this regard by far, as its 11th Gen Intel processors and integrated graphics are much better than the Surface Go 3's budget-friendly hardware. The Surface Pro 8 also comes with significantly more options for RAM and SSD storage capacity. Additionally, the Surface Pro 8 also comes with cutting edge Thunderbolt 4 ports and a battery that lasts five hours longer, making it the more flexible device overall.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Surface Pro 8Surface Go 3
CPUIntel i3-1115G4Intel i5-1135G7Intel i5-1145G7Intel i7-1185G7Intel Pentium Gold 6500YIntel i3-10100Y
GPUIntel Iris GraphicsIntel Xe GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 615
Display13-inch 2880x1920 (267 PPI) PixelSense Flow touch display10.5-inch 1920x1280 (220 PPI) PixelSense display
AudioDual speakers with Dolby AtmosDual speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
BiometricsWindows Hello-compatible cameraWindows Hello-compatible camera
Ports2x Thunderbolt 41x Surface Connect1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo1x USB-C1x Surface ConnectmicroSDXC card reader1x 3.5mm headphone jack
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5.0LTE (optional)Wi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5.0LTE (optional)
BatteryUp to 16 hoursUp to 11 hours
Dimensions11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches
Weight1.96 pounds1.2 pounds
PriceStarts at $1,100Starts at $400

The Surface Go 3 has a few advantages of its own, however. It's much less expensive than the Surface Pro 8 is, which makes it an excellent alternative for people on a budget. The Surface Go 3 is also significantly more capable than previous Surface Go devices, which means that its performance is expected to be quite good even though the Surface Pro 8's will be much better. The Surface Go 3 also comes with a microSDXC card reader that you can use to add additional storage.

Surface Pro 8 vs. Go 3: Which should you buy?

Surface Pro 8 Hero

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

Both the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Go 3 look fantastic, and we expect both of them to end up being some of the best Microsoft Surface PCs available. With that said, we feel that the Surface Pro 8 will be better for most people since it has significantly better performance, battery life, and ports for peripherals or accessories. It may be more expensive, but it's also more versatile — especially since the new Surface Pro Type Cover includes a slot for the Surface Slim Pen 2 for charging and storage.

The Surface Go 3 isn't a device to scoff at, however, especially since it features snazzy new Intel CPU options that significantly outperform previous Surface Go processors. They may be weaker than the Surface Pro 8's 11th Gen offerings, but they're still pretty good for general computing. And when you consider that the Surface Go 3 only costs about a third of what the Surface Pro 8 does, it's clear to see why it's an excellent budget alternative.

For other great options, check out our roundup of the best 2-in-1 laptops and best Windows laptops.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.