Microsoft's budget-friendly Surface Go line of tablets is one of our favorites, being accessible to a much wider audience thanks to its low-cost of entry, in a tiny package that makes it super portable and fun to use. With pricing starting at $399, it's hard to hate the Surface Go, which is why we're excited about what could be coming with a Surface Go 3.
Surface Go 3: Release date and availability
Microsoft has announced that it will be holding a hardware event on September 22. We believe the company will announce a new Surface Pro, Surface Duo 2, and maybe a new laptop form factor as well. I've also heard that a new Surface Go is likely to show up too.
If we look at the history of Surface Go launches, the first Surface Go shipped in August 2018, and the Surface Go 2 launched in May 2020, leaving a gap of about 21 months between products. This means we're just about in the ballpark for a new Surface Go device.
Surface Go 3: What we know
So far, Geekbench results have suggested that a new Surface Go will ship with the Intel Pentium GOLD 6500Y and Intel Core i3-10100Y processors, with 4GB or 8GB RAM respectively. The Pentium GOLD 6500Y is a big jump in performance over the Pentium GOLD 4425Y found in the Surface Go 2.
I also heard that Microsoft was, at one point, testing a black Surface Go. I don't know if this will show up with the Surface Go 3, but it would be a good way to differentiate this model, as I don't expect this device to feature any significant design changes on the outside.
Surface Go 3: Specs
We already know that the Surface Go 3 will ship with more recent Intel processors. Assuming the Surface Go 3 features the same design as the Surface Go 2, here's what the spec table should look like:
|Category||Surface Go 3|
|Operating System||Windows 11|
|Display||10.5 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio
1920x1280 (220 ppi) resolution
|Processor||Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y
Intel Core i3-10100Y
|Surface Pen||4,096 levels of pressure, tilt support|
|Camera||5MP front-facing with Windows Hello
8MP rear auto-focus
|Security||Windows Hello face sign-in|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax compatible, Bluetooth Wireless 5.0
LTE Advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem
|Ports||1x USB-C, 1x Surface Connect, microSDXC card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Audio||2W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium|
|Battery||Up to 10 hours|
|Dimensions||9.65 inches x 6.9 inches x 0.33 inches (245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm)|
Surface Go 3: Price
We suspect that Microsoft will remain at the very attractive starting price of $399 for the entry-level model, and matching the same pricing as the Surface Go 2 did with its models.
Surface Go 3: What I want to see
We'd like to see Microsoft ship an ARM version of the Surface Go 3, though we know that's very unlikely. Qualcomm is now shipping its affordable Snapdragon 7c PC chip, which can already be found in budget laptops like the Samsung Galaxy Book Go. It would be great if Microsoft decided to ship a Snapdragon 7c inside the entry-level Surface Go 3 at $399, and offer the more powerful Intel chips in the higher-priced models for those that need a little extra power.
Other minor changes we'd like to see include an upgradable SSD drive, just like on the bigger Surface Pro 7+ and Surface Pro X. We'd also love to see some of Windows 11's hardware specific features, such as "tap to wake" and maybe even dynamic refresh rate, though that's unlikely given that the Surface Go is meant to be a budget device.
I don't think we'll see any major redesigns of the Surface Go line with Surface Go 3, only because the Surface Go 2 is already a very well built and great looking PC. The bezels are already thin enough, and I don't expect them to get any thinner given the budget focus of this product line.
Surface Go 3: Latest news
August 27th, 2021; Geekbench results have revealed the CPU and RAM configurations for what appears to be an upcoming Surface Go 3.