Surface Go 2 could take over the world

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We’ve had the 8 GB Surface Go in the family for a couple of weeks now and I really think the next version could dominate. It’s small and light enough that you can actually use it as a tablet (the Surface Pro is too big and heavy to use as a tablet). It’ll probably have that new chip Qualcomm announced last week, which will probably double the battery life while also improving performance. I’m sure it will have a larger screen and thinner bezels (just like they did going from Pro 3 to Pro 4). That’s pretty much it, the Surface Go is close to perfection for what it is, with a few improvements it could completely dominate, they’ve got the recipe right, just a few tweaks are needed. I could see the Surface Go 2 selling better than the Surface Pro, it’s an amazing device, I think more compelling than the Pro (and not just because of the price)

Comments (33)

33 responses to “Surface Go 2 could take over the world”

  1. robincapper

    Agree, also have the 8GB and my main reservations were performance and battery life. In reality for the sort of use the Go is intended for I have found both 'good enough'. More performance and battery would be great. Only doubt about ARM is I love being able to occasionally (but needed) run Win 32/64 apps on the Go.

  2. pathankp

    I am just taking words from your title, and I don't agree do you really expect Microsoft to build Surface Go powerful enough to compete its Surface line? The reason that Microsoft developed this device is to capture the low-end or cheap laptop/tablet market.


    Like, what you are expecting to see in next Surface Go? Core i7 Quad Core with 8 GB or 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD?


    And for $500 to $600 ?


    No that's not going to happen at least not in the next 7 to 10 years.


    Microsoft announced Surface Go as the cheapest Surface product, and it will stay that way.


    And cheaper products are not going to dominate the market :D


    No company want to sell or manufacture cheaper products; you can see Apple as an example.

    I promise you my friend you are not going to see much difference in next Surface Go except the new keyboard and little bezel screen.

  3. willr

    Bumping this because AdDuplex put out their December numbers today and the Surface Go is a big hit, even with that outdated Intel chip that almost ruins the device. Imagine what the Surface Go 2 is going to sell like? It will probably have double the battery life while still being 20%-30% faster than the Surface Go 1. I hope Microsoft is preparing for the demand!

    • robincapper

      In reply to willr:

      Looking at this page? reports.adduplex.com/#/r/2018-12

      With the caveat that I don't have much faith in AdDuplex stats, Go is up there. Even more interesting is how low the Laptop/Laptop2 are in those rankings. So much for it being the form factor 'everyone wanted'.

  4. madthinus

    The price, performance and breath of Ecosystem on Apple's iPad is hard to match. If your life is about Microsoft and legacy software, sure, the Go might be good for you. Windows on Arm is not the magic bullet, because Windows is terrible on that kind of chip and the apps that is geared for that platform is nowhere in site, Windows Phone anyone? Enough said.

  5. LuxuryTravelled

    I would absolutely trade performance for battery life on a device like this. For something that size it just needs to do all the basic things really well (things that most people do - web, email, simple apps). It needs to at least match the iPad on battery life though - 10+ hours.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to LuxuryTravelled:

      Right. The problem with the Surface Go is that it's not one compromise, it's three: Performance, battery life, and size (the lack of a full-sized keyboard). You can get all three on the iPad, and for less. Plus much, much better app/content libraries. These things are not comparable.

      • 1armedGeek

        In reply to paul-thurrott:


        I type one-handed because of a disability, so the lack of a full-sized keyboard *could* be a good thing for *me*. I "type" much faster with a virtual keyboard (Gboard from Google). On full-sized keyboards, there are often combinations of keys that I can't do one-handed. The battery life might be a bigger deal because I currently use an iPad 2 for communicating. (I am nonverbal.) That means I would need it to last through a day -- one way or another. I carry power banks with me.


        While I am not an iOS hater, I think a Windows device could service me better.


        • I am not a big gamer (due to using only one hand).
        • I bet Visual Studio Code would run fine. (I didn't say the full version of Visual Studio.)


        In my situation, I opt for the lightest device possible at the moment, just knowing that I will have to go home to do anything too serious.


      • Piras


        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Two very different devices. Paul, did you fall in the Apple potion?


      • lordbaal1

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        You cannot get a full-sized keyboard on a 10 inch iPad.

  6. rob_segal

    The most powerful chip Qualcomm could ever invent will not fix the biggest problem with Surface Go, the lack of a tablet app ecosystem (or consumer ecosystem generally speaking). The hardware could be perfect, but the software and apps just isn't there. Without a good tablet operating system with an abundant amount of apps and services, Surface Go will not compete in the consumer space. People shouldn't buy it when the iPad has a lot more apps and services.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to rob_segal:

      This is a very debatable point - the "tablet app ecosystem". Most people do not use a large amount of apps at all. In fact a majority of users have all the big names e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Outlook, Spotify, iTunes, Fitbit etc, and then games and websites or apps like Netflix, Hulu, CBS, Amazon Prime etc for Videos. And many, not all but many, provide a web access to their services.


      For most people they would be just as happy with a Surface Go as an iPad, and a Surface.


      If Microsoft maintains it's current trajectory of constant product enhancements and continues the stabilization of the PC segment or even grows it, they will start to gain pure tablet market share from Apple iOS or the Android/Chrome OS platforms.


      I am very interested to see if 2019 delivers the final pieces of a complete Windows device platform.

    • lordbaal1

      In reply to rob_segal:

      You people do know that you can use x86 apps?

      You are just just ties to the windows store apps.

      • skane2600

        In reply to lordbaal1:

        One thing that makes these discussions somewhat ambiguous is the fact that the Surface Go can run two different OS's, the 10S version it is shipped with and the full Windows OS you can upgrade to. The former for the most part can't run X86 apps (since most aren't available in the store and many can't be converted) while the latter can.


        IMO the Surface Go would be an odd choice if running X86 apps was an important capability particularly given the lack of an included keyboard.


      • rob_segal

        In reply to lordbaal1:


        Modern apps are not being built using Win32 for x86 or x64. Developers are building those for IOS and Android. I don't even have to mention how Win32 apps were not built for tablet use. The problem still exists.

  7. yaddamaster

    Just go to your local Microsoft store. I did - last night. Christmas rush going on full blast. MS store was packed. No one, and I do mean NO ONE was looking at the selection of Go's on the left. Surface laptop and Surface Pro - yup. All over those. Omen gaming pc's? Yup. XBox? Yup.


    Ok, maybe one or two people were looking at the Go but they immediately put them down and moved on to spend time with the Pro.

  8. NoFlames

    I think they have hit a sweet spot for form factor for the tablet. The fact that it has a usable keyboard is the deal closer. I'll probably pick one of these up but I'm thinking the LTE version may be what I want.

  9. Paul Thurrott

    Fixing the performance, battery life, small display, and thick bezels---not to mention the that the keyboard is too small for most people---isn't just a few tweaks. It's a different PC.


    Oh, and that PC already exists. It's called Surface Pro.

    • lordbaal1

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Just deal with the fact that the are people who likes the surface, and some people who like iPads.

    • Bdsrev

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Well, Microsoft would still be able to use the same 'chassis' , just swap out the screen and motherboard for upgraded stuff, so it would still be the same device.


      And the Surface Pro is too heavy for extended tablet use, it's not meant for extended tablet use like an iPad, the Surface Go is though

    • robincapper

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      So get Surface Pro, the Go isn't intended to replace it and, battery life aside because more is always better, is fine for what it is intended for.

    • Jeffery Commaroto

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      I think in this fantasy world Microsoft basically eats all the costs and sells a Surface Pro at a loss with more functionality and a better tablet-OS/ecosystem than it has now leading to world domination. Also Superman crosses over with the Star Wars Universe to fight Marvel or something.

    • wright_is

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      For some tasks / situations, the Surface Pro is too big, too heavy and too expensive, and the extra performance is wasted. I had a Surface Pro and a Samsung ATIV S Windows tablet. For some tasks the 10", Atom powered ATIV was better suited than the Surface Pro. It couldn't keep up with the Pro for "laptop" work on the go or for docked computing with enough power to run multiple monitors, but for some situations on the move, the ATIV was a lot more practical, and fast enough for Outlook or Word or Excel (note the word OR there), or running some specific mobile applications.

  10. Bats

    You really think it could dominate? LOL....lol....yah, right.


    The Surface Go has no future, if Windows 10 (out of the box) is it's operating system. The best and most optimal use of the Surface Go is perhaps to be a digital notebook. That notebook can consist in the use of OneNote or even Word, but for the other Office Apps? No. I can also see it's use, with regards to a company's deployment of proprietary software, on a "Locked down" Surface Go machine. However, for regular use by everyday people. LOL...no. To be honest, Apple's "What a Computer commercial" was brilliant.


    You also have to factor in Apple's response to this. If it's really true that the iPad Pro is more popular in terms of sales (especially corporate-wise), then this will tell you that the Suface Go still has a tough fight ahead. With Google flanking from the education sector with Chrome OS (and later Fuschia)...that will be tough for Surface Go, as well. Not just that, but Google is in full control of the BROWSER, which is in every single Windows and Mac in the world. Google controls computing on how it's done that way. All that, while Surface GO continues to be on a complex system that not all people (Ages 1-100) can use.


    The bottom line is this, Windows OS is a problem. Like I have said for the past several years, NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE OS. People care about the Apps. If Windows can successfully create a brand new OS, the Surface Go "could" have a shot. Granted that the response from both market leaders, Apple and Google, are tremendously slow,

  11. Greg Green

    It hasn't even taken over silicon valley, has it? Your optimism sounds like the Reagan horse manure joke. A kid assigned to shovel manure out of a stable does it enthusiastically saying With all this manure there's got to be a pony in here somewhere.

  12. Tony Barrett

    No, it won't change or dominate the world. There are plenty of compromises, especially in this device. Underpowered CPU, expensive add-ons, entry version has eMMC and not SSD, single USB C port that's not Thunderbolt ready. Surface as a brand is almost totally unknown to the average consumer, where price is everything. They've all heard of the iPad though! A growing revolt against Windows 10 could also make people think a little more about what they want. If MS switch to ARM in the next version, that will confuse people even more, especially as x86 compatibility is decidedly shaky,

    In all fairness, MS have made inroads with Surface, but while the devices may look pretty (a la MacBooks), the jury is still out on build quality/QC, reliability, and yes, the operating system. Surface will always remain niche and higher end, despite Microsoft's best efforts.

  13. locust infested orchard inc

    I agree with your synopsis that the next iteration of the Surface Go could very well be a device that succeeds in the consumer sphere, on the proviso Microsoft teases out some beautifully crafted marketing/advertising (as done in the Xmas 2018 ad comparing the Surface Go with the iFad).


    Should however the Surface Go 2 possess the recently announced next-gen Snapdragon SoC, undoubtedly it will be paraplegic in spite of having an embedded ARM, irrespective of the performance improvements over the current Snapdragon 850.


    If the Surface Go 2 makes an appearance in 2020 after the release of Intel's Cannon Lake 10nm chips scheduled for Q4 2019, the affordability of the Intel Amber Lake-Y 14++nm SoC in 2020 could see it as a viable chip for the Go 2, as recently reviewed in considerable depth by Paul Thurrott with the gorgeous leather-clad HP Spectre Folio 13 (N.B. to member Bats, when my missus dresses up for me in her kinky tight leather, she's just as gorgeous as the Spectre Folio in consumption mode – wanna take a peek ? Check her out of her voyeuristic Instagratification site, for you'll be Batshitting yourself for posterity).


    The potential benefits of the Surface Go 2 being powered by the Amber Lake-Y, as seen with the aforementioned HP Spectre Folio 13, will include significant improvements in both performance and longevity in a single battery charge.


    As reported by Brad Sams in his superbly insightful book "Beneath a Surface", the Andromeda foldable device (AKA Surface Foldable™) due for release in Q4 2019 will probably be graced with a better specification over the Surface Go 2, and it may be the foldable equivalent of the Surface Go 2 for pros.


    2019 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting year for Microsoft with significant upgrades to existing products, as well as altogether new devices.

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