Best overall

Surface Pro 8

Surface Pro X

Best budget

Surface Go 3

Surface Go 2

The Surface Pro 8 will be the better choice for most people overall, as its stronger specs, battery life, and port selection make it ideal if you want a top-notch user experience. With that said, the Surface Go 3 is much more affordable and is also more capable than its predecessors, making it an excellent alternative.

From $1,100 at Microsoft

Pros

  • Better CPUs and graphics
  • More RAM and storage
  • Longer battery life
  • Better ports

Cons

  • Much more expensive
  • No microSDXC reader

The Surface Go 3 is an incredibly affordable alternative to the Surface Pro 8 that packs a solid amount of power into a small, compact package. The Surface Pro 8 will still be the better choice if you don't mind paying premium for excellent specs, a longer-lasting battery, and better ports, though.

From $400 at Microsoft

Pros

  • Much less expensive
  • Has a microSDXC reader

Cons

  • Worse CPU and graphics
  • Less RAM and storage
  • Shorter battery life
  • Worse ports

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?

Surface Go 2Source: 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.

Surface Pro 8 Surface Go 3
CPU Intel i3-1115G4
Intel i5-1135G7
Intel i5-1145G7
Intel i7-1185G7
Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y
Intel i3-10100Y
GPU Intel Iris Graphics
Intel Xe Graphics
Intel UHD Graphics 615
Memory 8GB
16GB
32GB
4GB
8GB
Storage 128GB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
64GB eMMC
128GB SSD
256GB SSD
Display 13-inch 2880x1920 (267 PPI) PixelSense Flow touch display 10.5-inch 1920x1280 (220 PPI) PixelSense display
Audio Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos Dual speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
Biometrics Windows Hello-compatible camera Windows Hello-compatible camera
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4
1x Surface Connect
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
1x USB-C
1x Surface Connect
microSDXC card reader
1x 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
LTE (optional)
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
LTE (optional)
Battery Up to 16 hours Up to 11 hours
Dimensions 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches
Weight 1.96 pounds 1.2 pounds
Price Starts at $1,100 Starts 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 HeroSource: 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.

Best overall

Surface Pro X

Surface Pro 8

Truly premium

The Surface Pro 8 will be the better choice for most people overall, as its stronger specs, battery life, and port selection make it ideal if you want a top-notch user experience. With that said, the Surface Go 3 is much more affordable and is also more capable than its predecessors, making it an excellent alternative.

Best budget

Surface Go 2

Surface Go 3

The little guy

The Surface Go 3 is an incredibly affordable alternative to the Surface Pro 8 that packs a solid amount of power into a small, compact package. The Surface Pro 8 will still be the better choice if you don't mind paying premium for excellent specs, a longer-lasting battery, and better ports, though.

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