Let’s Examine the iPhone XS and Surface Go
First, Microsoft got us with their breathtaking announcement about their new “iPad killer,” the Surface Go. Then, Apple always ensnares us with each new iPhone model, regardless if it looks almost exactly like the last model. This year, it got us with the new iPhone XS. So off to the tech store we went, cold hard cash firmly in hand, and we came home with two of the most heralded products of the season. Here’s what we discovered when we got home.
MICROSOFT SURFACE GO
First, it should be said that we are huge fans of Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets and computers. So when we heard that Microsoft was releasing a new variant of the Surface that would be more akin to an iPad than a laptop, we immediately were intrigued. When we heard these new Surface Go tablets were going to start at a $399 price point, we didn’t think twice and bought one on the very day it was released.
So what is so novel about the Surface Go? It is the compact size that differentiates the Go from its larger and more laptop-like cousins, the Surface Pros. The Go touchscreen measures just 10 inches and, to us, actually seems even smaller probably because of the large bezel that surrounds the screen. The Go has the patented built-in kickstand found on other Surface devices, which is a big plus. However, a big minus is the absence of a keyboard for the stated price. As with the Surface Pro, we had to pay extra ($99) for the keyboard that attaches magnetically to the Go. Our small investment in a low-cost computer was beginning to grow. And, in our opinion, the keyboard leaves a lot to be desired.
The positive aspect of the Surface Go is that you are getting the full-blown Windows 10 operating system (it ships with Windows 10S that can be upgraded for free to full Windows 10). This means that unlike an iPad or a Chromebook, you can theoretically run any application that you currently run on a Windows desktop on the Surface Go. The downside is that the small keyboard and tiny screen make the Go less attractive as a "work" device.
We see the Surface Go positioned as a light and compact travel tablet that can double as a work laptop in a pinch. We really think that Microsoft is going after the school market with a device that is priced competitively against Chromebooks and iPads. For a good business computer, however, we think professionals would be better served spending a little extra for the larger and more laptop-like Surface Pro.