The Surface Go, the most interesting computer Microsoft has released in recent memory, was released a year ago this month. I got mine a few days after launch and posted my review several weeks later…conveniently before the return window closed.
Look, I get that this is a $399 device and it’s not going to be the fastest machine in the world, but I personally found the performance issues to be relatively shocking for a device sold straight from Microsoft.
I liked a lot of the device at the time, but at $399 it seemed insane to me how slow it was at doing literally anything. Brad Sams has a good retrospective on his YouTube channel today and he suggests the $399 one I bought is not even worth picking up and you really should get the $499 model at minimum.
Here’s the thing: if you want a Surface Go because it runs Windows, then get one by all means, but if you want something small and easy to use and that runs reasonably well, the iPad wipes the floor with it.
In a very downvoted video, I compared the speed of the 2018 Surface Go to the 18 month old iPad from 2017. The iPad outperformed the Surface Go at every turn, and at 18 months older and over $100 less expensive, it seemed insane to me that the Go was as bad as it was.
Today, the Surface Go is still $399 for the “don’t even bother” model and $499 for the one you should actually get. Meanwhile, there is a new $329 iPad that has an A10 (one generation newer than the 2017 model I tested) and the iPad Air at $499 with an A12. Basically, iPads $70-150 less than the entry-level Go are far faster, and the comparable iPad Air at the $499 price point wipes the floor with the slightly faster Go as well.
Again, if you prefer Windows, then this comparison is moot, but if you are looking for something that has a 10” screen and lets you do basic tasks on the go, there is far more horsepower in the Apple offerings. You should really read the rest of my review if you’re interested in the Surface Go because I think it’s a really good Windows device with the exception of performance.