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Surface Go vs Surface Pro: Specs, prices, and features

Looking into buying a new Surface tablet? You've got two different devices to choose from now. There's the Surface Go, and the Surface Pro, which are very similar on the outside but rather different on the inside. Depending on what you're planning to use your Surface for, maybe you could save a few bucks on a Surface Go? Let's compare and contrast.

CategorySurface GoSurface Pro
OSWindows 10 Home in S modeWindows 10 Pro
Display10-inch
1800x1200
216 ppi
12.3-inch
2736x1824
267 ppi
ProcessorIntel Pentium GOLD 4415Y7th Gen Intel Core m3 7Y30
7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U
7th Gen Intel Core i7-7660U
Storage64/256GB128GB/256GB/512GB
RAM4GB or 8GB4GB/8GB/16GB
Battery Life9 hours13.5 hours
KickstandFully adjustable up to 165 degreesFully adjustable up to 165 degrees
LTEYes (coming)Yes
microSDYesYes
Front camera5MP5MP
Rear camera8MP8MP
Windows HelloFacial RecognitionFacial Recognition
Dimensions9.6 x 6.9 x 0.33 in
(245 x 175 x 8.3 mm)
11.50 x 7.9 x 0.33 in
(292 x 201 x 8.5 mm)
Weight1.15 lbs (522 g)1.69 to 1.73 lbs (768g to 784g)
Wi-FiYesYes
Bluetooth4.14.1
SpeakersDualDual
PortsUSB-C 3.1, 3.5mm headset, Surface ConnectUSB-A 3.0, Mini DP, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headset
PenYes ($99 extra)Yes ($99 extra)
KeyboardYes ($99-129 extra)Yes ($129-149 extra)
Surface Dial supportYes (off screen)Yes (on screen)
Pricefrom $399from $799

By all accounts, the Surface Pro is the more powerful machine, but you're also paying a considerable amount more for it. If you don't need all the extra horsepower, and are comfortable using a small screen, you're likely better off with the Surface Go. The Surface Pro is great if you need a bigger screen and a little extra horsepower under the hood for creative or production purposes.

If you're a casual user that only ever uses their PC for light web browsing like Facebook and Twitter, streaming videos via Netflix, listening to music on Spotify, and occasionally editing a Word document in Office, the Surface Go is a great choice. If you're planning on doing anything more than that, including things like video editing, photoshop, or software development, with more than 20 tabs open in a web browser at one time, the Surface Pro is probably a better fit for you.

The Surface Pro is also a little more versatile when it comes to choice. While the Surface Go is only available in two configurations, the Surface Pro is available with three different processors, and three different RAM and storage options. The Surface Pro offers a low-powered Intel Core M3 processor with 4GB RAM, which isn't all that powerful but starts at $699. You could save yourself a few bucks by going for the slightly less powerful Surface Go instead, unless you prefer the bigger display.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

18 Comments
  • Is the USB-C port on Surface Go Gen 1 or 2? 5 or 10Gbps? Why doesn't anyone think this is important to put on the specification sheet?
  • Planning to connect one to an SSD array? LOL.
  • So you are defending Microsoft hiding information on the specifications of their products? This kind of practice needs to be eliminated from the tech industry.
  • Not at all. I'm suggesting that it's irrelevant for the target audience of the computer. In sure if you contact Microsoft they will be happy to provide the information.
  • It say type c 3.1, that tells you everything.
  • It doesn't tell you much of anything. It doesn't tell you which generation of USB 3.1 is in use here. It doesn't tell which Alt Modes are enabled.
  • How about a Surface GoPro?
  • Misleading article. You have the SP starting at 799 when in reality it starts at 699. You also say that the keyboard is 129-149 more when in reality you can get the SP Core-M with keyboard bundle for 699 and the I5 with keyboard bundle for 799. Going with the higher end Surface Go with a keyboard brings you in a 649. The fact that that leaves only a 50 buck difference means that if the smaller size of the Go isn't a requirement, going up to a SP is something people should consider. Either way, the article is a bit inaccurate.
  • On the Microsoft website the Surface starts at $799.
  • It's $699 at bestbuy, keyboard included
  • I don't, at this pricepoint, understand why the type cover is not included in the price. It's not right. It's functionally inherently part of the design and package. A type cover as an optional extra does reflect real world use. Even if it's about choice of cover design it still should be part of a package deal, it the main market focus seems business and education overall for this tier device.
  • That would undoubtedly increased the entry price. And personally I doubt if I would get the type cover with this device, I think I would use it mostly as a tablet and for notes (pen) and buy some low weight cheap Chinese type cover (have one, it's decent enough) or bring along a bt keyboard. For the people that do want to buy it together, they will probably release bundles/package deals.
    Also keep in mind that if they force a keyboard cover with the tablet purchase, third parties cannot offer their custom keyboard covers for it anymore (well they can but no one would buy it since they already have a keyboard cover).
  • Acer gets it. All the Switch series models include the keyboard and pen. They call them detachable laptops. The Switch 3 is on special for $399 and is very close to the Surface Go in specs. The surface Go has USBC alt modes as an advantage over the Switch3, but the Sw3 has a USB3 port as well as a USBC port.
  • Slightly off-topic but does anyone roughly know the lifetime of eMMC storage? I don't mind slightly lesser speed, but it would stop working after 2 a 3 years than that would be a major downside for entry version of the Surface Go.
  • after all the windows on ARM talk they went with a Pentium?
  • It is not that bad though, it is like a m core but a bit slower but not much (wait for the reviews for the exact speed). And the gpu is quite fast (hd 615, hence why they choose for gold pentium). Arm for windows is probably not there yet and e.g. a snapdragon 835 would have pushed the price upwards I guess (not as much as a m core would but still some).
  • How much of a performance drop would the surface go with SSD be compared to a sp3 w 4gb of ram?
  • man, the prices are very high, I saw an alternative as is the Alldocube X, it has 2k screen, Hifi sound and Android 8.1, I think it is an alternative that fits more to my budget