Lachlan Smith

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Surface Go 2 Perspective

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May 13, 2020

It's no secret to anyone that I am a massive fan of the Surface line. So when the Surface Go was announced, I waited patiently for the LTE version to be released in Australia before immediately purchasing.
The only thing like it at the time was the Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6, and sure it's Core m3 processor was more capable than the Surface Go, however the machine was worse in every other way.
Having recently got my first iPad, an iPad Pro 11" for app development, the Surface Go has almost the same footprint, and with the keyboard cover, is thinner, lighter, and more capable than the 11" iPad Pro.
However when you started looking at the Surface Go, there were a number of small changes that could be made for a big improvement.
In comes the Surface Go 2, which addresses a few of these areas. It's the perfect companion device for people in the Microsoft ecosystem.

  • Screen size
    Surface Go had massive 17 mm bezels, noticeably larger than the 14 mm bezel on the Surface Pro line
    Surface Go 2 addresses this by going from a 10" to a 10.5" screen reducing these bezels to 13.5 mm brining it inline with the larger Surface Pro.
  • More pixels
    The larger screen brought with it a 1920x1280 screen while keeping the same PPI as both Surface Go and Surface Pro
  • Speed
    While the base SKU keeps the Pentium Gold processor, there is now a higher SKU featuring a Core m3 processor that's still good enough for a companion device, or for less demanding uses such as education and industry line workers.
  • Camera
    This is the one area that doesn't seem improved. Adding a camera light would have been very welcome. Surface Go will find it's way into more industry line work if it matches the iPad by including a camera light. With none of the Surface devices have a camera light, it's clear the intended use case is taking photos of whiteboard sessions with OneNote.

Content creators will get frustrated with the low end specs, however with a 10.5" screen, the Surface Go 2 is a portable productivity machine, more than capable of web browsing, office work, and some light coding or light content creation. Compiling and rendering will take slightly longer, but this little machine is fully capable of crunching through all of it thanks to the x86 Intel CPU.

Overall the Surface Go 2 looks like a nice iterative improvement on the nicest small Windows computer you can currently buy.

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