Microsoft Surface Go 3 Review: Seen It All Before

Although there aren’t many smaller than the Surface Go, Windows is available in a wide range of form sizes. It’s positioned as a low-cost counterpart to the high-end Surface Pro, with the goal of condensing the Windows experience while maintaining full 2-in-1 capabilities.

The second-generation Surface Go expanded the screen size from 10 to 10.5 inches without increasing the device’s overall footprint. For its third edition, Microsoft has remained with these dimensions, with the only noteworthy alterations occurring beneath the hood.

Is the Surface Go 3 enough of a step forward to warrant a new device? Is it good enough to persuade users to switch from other Windows 2-in-1s? Here’s the link to the rest of my review.

Design and construct

  • Identical design to Go 2
  • Premium construct, together with nice kickstand
  • Chunky bezels and restricted ports

The Surface Go 3’s design might be acquainted to any person who has used both of its predecessors. It makes use of the similar magnesium alloy building that we’ve observed numerous occasions prior to, however I’m satisfied to look it at this extra inexpensive worth level.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 review

Despite this, the tablet is still highly portable, weighing only 544g. You’re looking at a total weight of 789g, even with the Signature Type Cover installed. This is significantly lighter than almost all traditional clamshell computers.

Another of the Go 3’s important features is its built-in kickstand, which can be found on the back. This is a solid piece of equipment that can be adjusted to a variety of settings to meet your needs. I never felt like it would slip once it was

Microsoft Surface Go 3 review

in place, which may happen with less sturdy built-in stands.
If the Go 3’s back offers the impression of a higher-end device, the same cannot be said for the front. The problem isn’t the display (which I’ll go into in depth below), but the thick bezels that surround it.

These haven’t changed since the Go 2, so it still has a disappointing 76.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does make the Go 3 look a little antiquated. It’s even more evident this year, thanks to the Surface Pro 8’s long-awaited revamp, despite the fact that the tablet normally costs more than twice as much.

The Go 3 boasts the same 5.0MP front-facing camera as its more expensive brother, which means it can record in Full HD (1080p). That’s still better than the majority of recent laptops, and when combined with the Go 3’s two mics, it makes it a great video call device.
Stills, as well as the single 8MP rear camera, are less stunning unless you have excellent illumination. The latter is adequate for document scanning and the occasional house photograph, but not much else. It does, however, support video up to 4K resolution.

Due to dual 2W stereo speakers, audio output is outstanding for a device of this size. It excels at presenting clear, crisp voices, but music is more difficult to master. It’s pleasant to listen to, but it’s lacking in bass and prone to distortion at higher settings.

Of course, connecting external audio equipment is a simple solution. The 3.5mm headphone connection is one possibility, but it’s one of the Go 3’s few ports. Only 1x USB-C (no Thunderbolt support), a microSD card slot, and Surface Connect for charging are available.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 review

I realize that all of the ports must be on the tablet, but there must be room for more. When in landscape mode, the power and volume buttons are also on the top of the screen, but I didn’t find this to be an issue.

Type Cover and different equipment

  • Great keyboard on Type Cover
  • Poor trackpad
  • Type Cover, mouse and stylus all offered one at a time

The only other notable design feature is pins on one side of the Go 3, which are used to connect the Type Cover to the Go 3. I tested the Ice Blue version, but it’s also available on the Microsoft website in Poppy Red, Platinum, or Black. The latter is £99.99/$99.99 because to its microfiber finish, whereas the other Alcantara-coated alternatives are £124.99/US$129.99.

Although the Type Cover provides a convincing typing experience, it is a significant additional investment. The keys are clicky and tactile, with a decent amount of travel for their size. The keyboard itself is smaller than you would be used to, but I quickly get accustomed to it. Backlit keys are also included, which is something that is often overlooked when purchasing keyboard accessories.

There is the strategy to tilt the Type Cover at a extra ergonomic perspective, however this resulted in many unintended display screen faucets as I used to be attempting to achieve the serve as keys.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 review

A fingerprint sensor is also missing, so if you don’t want to input a password, you’ll have to rely on face unlock. However, this is a small issue, and Windows Hello is still quite effective.

The tiny trackpad is also a letdown, making navigating difficult and annoying if you need to do a lot of it. As a result, I’d suggest hooking up the wireless Surface Mouse (£44.99/US$49.99). If you do a lot of note taking or digital artwork, the Surface Pen (£99.99/US$99.99) is a choice. As you can see, getting the complete Surface Go 3 experience might be quite costly.

Display

  • Same 10.5in LCD show as Go 2
  • Solid viewing enjoy
  • Limited to 60Hz

Microsoft has decided not to upgrade the display at the Go 3. It boasts the same 10.5-inch, 1920×1280 touchscreen as its predecessor, with the boxy 3:2 aspect ratio we’ve come to expect from Surface devices.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 review

Even though it’s LCD and no longer OLED, Microsoft refers to it as a ‘PixelSense’ display. This was not an issue for me, particularly after using the Go 3 for a couple of hours. It has a stunning element and excellent colour fidelity, making it an excellent option for content material consumption. I also observed a maximum brightness of 413 nits, which allows for outside use, though not in direct sunlight.

However, in compared to the Surface Pro 8, there is a significant reduction in refresh charge. The Go 3 retains its 60Hz panel, although the Pro 8 has switched to 120Hz. It’s a shame that there isn’t more fluidity and smooth transitions here, but that’s to be expected at this price point.

Overall, the Surface Go 3’s display provides all you’d require for everyday use.

Overall, the Surface Go 3’s show delivers the whole lot you’d need for on a regular basis utilization.

Specs and performance

  • New Intel Core i3 type
  • Solid on a regular basis efficiency
  • Limited inner garage

The Go 3 has received the most significant update behind the hood. The top-spec machine I tested now has an Intel Core i3 processor (up from Core M3), however it is a 10th-generation chip rather than one from Tiger Lake. Even with the same 8GB of RAM, the performance boost was significant – especially when compared to the Go 2’s Pentium Gold variant.

The Go 3 performs admirably in regular situations. With the exception of the occasional stutter or pause, I had no problems accessing the web, checking email, or scrolling through social media. Streaming videos was a highlight as well, as long as my internet connection was enough.

I’d recommend upgrading to something more powerful for something more demanding. It’s unsuited for jobs like video editing or gaming, as the benchmarks reveal, unless you’re willing to be incredibly patient.

Many of the 2-in-1s in the chart above are much more expensive. The i3 model of the Surface Go 3 is still competitive in terms of performance at this price point. I can’t comment on how Pentium Gold 6500Y combinations perform because I haven’t tested them.

Even though this is the most expensive setup, you can only have a 128GB SSD. After pre-installed system files are taken into account, there is approximately 90GB of free space, which may be quickly filled. You’ll almost certainly want to use the microSD card slot to boost storage.

There is no option for LTE connectivity, unlike the Surface Pro 8. It’s a shame, because 4G support would make sense on such a little device.

Software

  • Windows 11 in S mode out of the field
  • Can simply be switched for Windows 11 Home
  • Doesn’t really feel optimised for tablets

The Surface Go 3 is one of the first new Surface devices to ship with Windows 11 pre-installed. It’s Windows 11 Home in S mode here, but I’d recommend switching to the regular version in Settings so you may download software from anywhere other than the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 review

The Windows 11 experience you’ve seen Microsoft advertise hasn’t changed, as expected, even though it’s unusual to use on such a little monitor. One of Windows 11’s most prominent new features is multitasking, although utilising two or more apps in split-screen doesn’t really make sense here. Given the display’s size, which is comparable to that of many tablets, native Android app support is a plus.

However, unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 does not have a dedicated tablet mode. After removing the keyboard, the only noticeable differences I observed were greater spacing between taskbar icons and an on-screen keyboard. Unfortunately, touch input on Windows 11 is still treated as an afterthought – the software is still optimised for a cursor.

Windows 11 hasn’t changed all that much, but it has gotten a major facelift. If you’re used to Windows 10, I’d recommend trying the new OS on a different device before purchasing one with Windows 11 pre-installed. Returning to a prior version can be difficult.

Battery life

  • Approx. 28Wh battery
  • Poor battery existence in trying out and private enjoy
  • Charging nonetheless by means of Surface Connect

The Surface Go 2’s battery size hasn’t been specified by Microsoft, but it’s a different situation here. The Go 3 has a 28Wh nominal capacity. When many laptops give double that, it’s easy to be alarmed, but keep in mind that this is a considerably smaller screen with less demanding internals than most.

The battery is supposed to last up to 11 hours, according to Microsoft, however our 720p video loop test shows otherwise. The Go 3 ran out of juice in 8 hours and 42 minutes, compared to 14 hours and 3 minutes for its predecessor. The more power-hungry Intel Core i3 CPU is my only reason — the rest of the specs are nearly identical.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 review

Unfortunately, this implies the Surface Go 3 is not going to closing a complete operating day on a unmarried price. The brightness for the check used to be set at a reasonably dim 120 nits and serves merely as a measure of screen-on time. In my enjoy, shifting between a number of tabs/apps and leaving auto brightness on depleted the battery a lot more briefly. If you are making plans to be clear of an influence supply for a number of hours at a time, this almost certainly is not the tool for you.

Considering how continuously you’ll be charging the Go 3, I want it used to be much less irritating. Microsoft continues to stick with its proprietary Surface Connect port for charging, reasonably than the business same old USB-C. It attaches magnetically MagSafe-style, however is situated awkwardly at the bottom-right of the tool. This manner it incessantly turns into indifferent or will get in the way in which should you’re the usage of it on the identical time. I remember the fact that together with all of the ports at the tablet itself is hard, however there’s were given to be a greater approach.

Charging speeds are lovely first rate – I recorded 19% in quarter-hour and 32% in half-hour from off.

Price and price for cash

As same old with the Surface 2-in-1s, the headlining determine is not going to be how a lot you’ll in truth pay. The Go 3 begins at £369/US$399.99 – that’s £30 inexpensive than the Go 2 in the United Kingdom. However, that will get you an Intel Pentium 6500Y processor, along simply 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC.

There is a mid-spec configuration, however I’d counsel upgrading to the Core i3 chip within the type I examined. That’ll set you again £569/US$629, however most of the people will nonetheless want to upload a Type Cover and mouse for neatly over £200/US$200 additional – abruptly, the Go 3 doesn’t really feel so inexpensive.

Many of the entries in our very best 2-in-1 chart are in a similar way priced, together with the now-discounted Surface Pro 7. If you’re pleased with a quite larger display screen, it’s almost certainly a awesome possibility regardless of being over two years previous.

Even amongst common clamshell laptops, you’ll almost certainly in finding higher worth for cash in other places.

Verdict

The Surface Go 3 felt like a tool that wanted some consideration to fend off the contest, however Microsoft has made best minor adjustments. Moving to an Intel Core i3 processor does ship an invaluable efficiency spice up, however it sort of feels to be at the price of battery existence.

Windows 11 could also be now pre-installed, however except that it’s the similar tool we noticed in 2020. It manner the top rate construct high quality and nice video calling options are retained, however the design is starting to glance dated.

The show stays a spotlight regardless of being best 60Hz, however the Go 3 truly wishes extra ports. Charging is exasperating and the extra price of equipment can quickly mount up.

Unfortunately, it simply looks like there are too many compromises at the Surface Go 3 to counsel it. If you’re particularly in search of a small Windows tablet you most likely received’t be disillusioned, however a number of different gadgets ship a greater 2-in-1 enjoy.

Specs

Microsoft Surface Go 3: Specs

  • 10.5in 1920×1080 LCD show, 60Hz
  • Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y/Intel Core i3-10100Y processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • 4/8GB RAM
  • 64/128GB garage (eMMC/SSD)
  • Windows 11 in S mode
  • 8Mp rear digicam
  • 5Mp front-facing digicam with Windows Hello
  • Front-facing stereo audio system
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Up to 11h4 battery existence (quoted)
  • 544g (tablet best)

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