Microsoft Kills Mid-Level Surface Go Configuration

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 10 Comments

Call it a mercy killing, but Microsoft has silently removed one of the more under-powered Surface Go configuration from its online store. Granted, it should never have offered that version in the first place.

As you may recall, Microsoft initially offered two configurations of Surface Go for sale: A base configuration with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC storage for $400 and a more realistic configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of fast, NVMe-based SSD storage, just enough to help offset the device’s anemic Pentium Gold processor; that version cost $550.

Later, however, we discovered a third configuration—with 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD—that was initially sold only by Costco in the U.S. and costs $500. Microsoft later started selling it as well. (There is also a fourth configuration with LTE capabilities.)

I was never a fan of the lower-end Surface Go configurations. 4 GB of RAM is simply not enough for reasonable performance Windows 10, especially when you consider how underpowered the device’s Pentium Gold processor is.

And as I noted in Tip: Skip the Entry-Level Surface Go Configuration, the base configuration was always a non-starter.

“Sure, the $400 price tag looks compelling,” I wrote at the time. “But the PC you’re getting at that price is not compelling, and it’s absolutely not future-proof. The biggest issue here is the same thing that doomed Surface 3 to poor performance: This entry-level Surface Go utilizes slow eMMC storage rather than speedy SSD storage. Combined that with just 4 GB of RAM and a low-end Pentium processor, and you have the makings of a disaster.”

So that base configuration still exists for some reason—I guess the $400 price tag will help get shoppers in the door—but the mid-level 4 GB/128 GB configuration is now gone, as was first pointed out by Neowin. Which you can see by visiting the Microsoft Store online.

Now, you can choose once again from the initial two configurations, plus the LTE version, and at the same pricing levels. But my advice is unchanged: If you can handle the tiny size and terrible battery life of Surface Go, be sure to go with the $550 configuration or LTE. Yes, they are more expensive. But they are also less of a toy than the base configuration.

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