Microsoft to Launch Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2 in the Spring

Posted on February 14, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 33 Comments

Brad has confirmed that Microsoft will launch Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 at an event sometime in the next few months.

Here’s what we know so far.

Surface Book 3 will utilize the same form factor as its predecessor, but it will be powered by more modern internals, including 10th-generation Intel Core processors and NVDIA GTX 16xx-series graphics.

Surface Go 2, meanwhile, is not making the transition to ARM as some have theorized. Instead, it will continue to be offered with a lackluster Intel Pentium Gold processor. The good news? Microsoft will make a Core M3 processor available as an option.

Up in the air, curiously, are the Surface Earbuds, which Microsoft announced in October and originally planned to ship by the end of 2019. That product has been delayed, and it’s not clear if we’ll see it launched at the Spring event. That said, Microsoft does have a few new Surface peripherals to announce soon too.

As for the timing, it’s unclear, but I’m guessing that April would be the earliest possible time. Previous Surface Spring events have occurred in May, and the original Surface Go launched in mid-2018.

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Comments (36)

36 responses to “Microsoft to Launch Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2 in the Spring”

  1. JacobTheDev

    I really wish they made a version of the Surface Book without the detachable screen. I basically want a more powerful version of the Surface Laptop, and I don't want to pay for a detachable screen I'm not going to use...

  2. Riopato

    Shame the Go 2 is sticking with intel and would like for an arm version instead with crazy battery life. I guess I will need to continue carrying my portable battery for long flights just to keep my current Go from dying too fast.

  3. simard57

    Can the new Surface Go be expected to deliver better battery performance? Otherwise - what's the point?

  4. jwpear

    Will Surface Book get TB3? Keep the Surface Dock port. Just make the USB-C port TB3. Come on, it's time!

  5. christom

    Hi Paul, can I ask what the bag is in the picture you have the surface book in?

    • Paul Thurrott

      It's a Waterfield Designs Syde Surface Book Case, but I don't think they make this exact bag anymore.
  6. MachineGunJohn

    they should also be refreshing the surface laptop 3 lineup as the refresh last fall was so weak.

  7. wolters

    I love my Surface Book 2 15"....quite a bit...the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 has been pretty solid for gaming and video rendering but I'd always take an upgrade. The battery life could be better but the overall experience has been very satisfying.

  8. sscywong

    After using Surface Pro X I think Go can move to ARM now.... When Go was released I went to a shop to try it out and it's not much faster than my Surface 3.... Much slower than my Surface Pro 3.... Really pointless to keep using Intel CPU in the Go line... Or maybe Microsoft can try to use AMD APU if they want Go to stick with x86...

    Honestly I'm more interested in a Studio 3 amid I'm not the target group of buyers of Studio

  9. lvthunder

    I wonder if Surface Book 3 is going to get a 32GB of RAM option?

  10. justme

    A Go2 with an M3 and better battery life sounds enticing. Even at the expense of a little extra weight, if they can get battery life to that of an IPad, they may have a winner. My fear, however, is that the price point would jump to a level that makes it not worth the effort.

  11. christianwilson

    I use a Surface Go as a secondary PC at the office and I love it. Having LTE is a huge benefit and, while the screen is a bit small for my aging eyes I find the size to be great to take with me to meetings or remote site visits. What I don't love is the battery life. I doubt this refresh will do much, if anything, to change that but if it did bring better battery life, I'd consider one for home to replace my aging iPad.

  12. m_p_w_84

    I still enjoy using my Surface Book 1. Works well still. But it's main issue is the form factor; the weight of the screen makes it too unbalanced. Shame they are not addressing this.

    • solomonrex

      In reply to m_p_w_84:

      I'm really surprised about this, esp given that they have so many form factors and choices now. They're clearly capable of offering many designs, but given their boutique apple-like focus, they're making it harder to market, upgrade and clear inventory. Putting this particular weird, unreliable design on autopilot (a design which virtually no one has copied, tellingly) along with keeping usb-a too long points to a lack of leadership.

      Like, you can defend keeping designs identical for 3 to 5 years like Apple, but then you can't defend having so many designs in the same spaces, because now you have debuted new designs every year without pruning any. Is the large Surface Laptop really different than Surface Book? Is the X, Pro and Go really that different? And you're supporting separate keyboard designs.

      • kjwest1969

        In reply to solomonrex:

        The Book is very different to the laptop in that it can be a tablet. Its the first true 2-in-1 in that the keyboard is welded to the screen unless you want to use it in tablet mode at which point it detaches. That plus the option for high end graphics make it a designer's device vs the Laptop which is a great laptop/MacBook competitor.

  13. christian.hvid

    I was pretty convinced that the Surface Book series was left for dead, and that we would see more high-powered versions of the Surface Laptop instead. It's difficult to see why Microsoft would want this overlap.

    • jwpear

      In reply to christian.hvid:

      We have both the SB2 (mine) and Surface Laptop v1 (my wife's) in our house. In my opinion, the quality of the SB2 is head and shoulders above the Surface Laptop. Materials are better, screen is better, keyboard is wonderful, battery life is exceptional, etc. in the SB2. Not saying Surface Laptop isn't great, it is. But I feel SB is better. Now, that said, I have not had a chance to play with the latest Surface Laptop, so it may be that it has been improved to better match the SB. My take is that the SB is still their premium of premium laptops.

      • christian.hvid

        In reply to jwpear:

        Okay, thanks - I have the SB2, but I was under the impression that the Laptop was just as premium, only without a dedicated GPU and without the rather gimmicky clipboard feature. But if there's a substantial difference in build quality and ergonomics, then the Book absolutely makes sense.

  14. jeff.bane

    Another year of the giant pen eating hinge.

  15. RobertJasiek

    The Surface Go 2 is not only a new CPU option, is it not?

    To start with the most obvious: it absolutely needs to triple its battery life.

    We are 5.5 years after the iPad Air 2, which was the first with barely acceptable reduction of reflectance. Come on, Microsoft, do you need 55 years to achieve the standard of 2014?

    Still going for an iFixit score 0? Provide a replaceable battery and define its standard form factor! Microsoft, you do know why.

  16. BigM72

    Surface Book has a clear niche.

    Surface Go choice interesting given that a) we have a premium ARM surface now and we have Neo coming. How does this fit into the picture and why did they stick with Intel? (Apparently original Go was going to be ARM until they got some pressure from Intel).

  17. OligarchyAmbulance

    The Go needs ARM and smaller bezels, the current Go is like something from 2015. m3 will be an improvement for sure, but it's still just too outdated looking.

  18. Chris_Kez

    The Go update is not surprising. It seems like it was selling okay as-is, presumably to customers who wanted a smaller, less expensive Surface that still offered full Windows compatibility. A spec bump on the Pentium chip and an option for Core M, with minimal design changes to allow all existing accessories to keep working makes a lot of sense.

    Folks, if you’re looking for this product to be an iPad Pro killer (ARM-based chip, cutting-edge design, endless battery) go ahead and recalibrate your expectations now so you’re not disappointed this spring. It will continue to seem both under-powered and over-priced, and on a price-to-performance basis it will be hard to recommend to most average users. It is not— and never will be— the volks-computer many Surface enthusiasts had hoped for.

  19. lvthunder

    That's good to hear. I'll probably get the Surface Book 3 to replace my original Surface Book.

  20. jgraebner

    I am extremely happy with my Surface Go and have actually been surprised at how extensively I use it. If they offer the Core M3 version of the SG2 with LTE, I'd be very tempted to upgrade for the better performance, assuming battery life doesn't completely bottom out.

    I have a Surface Book 2 as well (essentially my main workhorse computer), but I doubt that I'll see much need to upgrade that one. I basically maxed out the specs on the SB2 and I have a hard time imagining that it won't be sufficient for a couple more years.

  21. will

    Personally I find the point that the Surface Book 3 is not going to have any sort design update/change disappointing. The design will be 5-6 years old and not having any updates outside of a larger 15” size feels like Microsoft is just coasting. Even minor form factor updates to the design would be welcomed.

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to will:

      Agreed. I even liked the design and the gap, but it is odd that it hasn't changed. Then again, the MacBook Air was the exact same design from 2010-2018. To be clear, I'm not arguing that the SB design is as iconic or groundbreaking as the MBA, I'm just noting the precedence.

  22. Mikael Koskinen

    I've seen myself using Surface Go quite much lately. So much actually that my Surface Pro 6 is just collecting dust at the moment. The reason for this is the 10 inch form factor and the relatively light weight (520 grams + type cover). I would be willing to upgrade to Surface Go 2 if they can make it event lighter & smaller (by reducing the bezels).

    There's unfortunately quite few options available if one wants a 10 inch Windows tablet. Chuwi's Hi10 X looks promising for the price but it weights more than the current Surface Go. 10 inch Windows tablet with a M3 with an equal weight to iPad Air 2 (440 grams) is the dream.

  23. cseafous

    Given the coming of the Neo and Duo, keeping Intel chips in the Surface Go makes sense. The only major change I would want is a Surface Pro X style keyboard (assuming the new pen is not too long to fit in the keyboard slot).

  24. bleeman

    I too enjoy using my Surface GO. I had considered getting an iPad, but realized for my needs it didn't make sense. My only regret with my original purchase is I didn't wait for the LTE model. I may consider getting the GO 2 with LTE. I still have my Surface Pro 5? (2017) but it generally collects dust. It was my main "go to" system when I was still working. Now that I'm retired, I use my Surface Studio 2 the majority of the time and the GO when I want to do "Windows Things" while sitting in my recliner. The reason I prefer the GO over the iPad is I like playing the Microsoft Casual Games (Only Solitaire is available on IOS), using OneNote, Office, and a couple of other apps like my TV Series tracking favorite, TrakSeries. I can also what Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and CBS All access via their websites on it. I would like better battery life as I use mine in performance mode all the time, but I'm usually close enough to an outlet so it's not a big deal. I used my wife's iPad mini for a weekend and while it was nice, I just missed the Windows interface that I'm used to. Drives me crazy with IOS that there's no "back" button, an easy way to look at files on my system, etc. I guess growing up with DECsystem 10's, 20's, Vaxes, Alpha's (My first Windows experience) and supporting Windows systems for the last 20+ years it's "in my blood" :-) It's one of the reasons I miss my Windows Home Server, Zune, and Windows Phone. I've adapted to Android on my Galaxy Note 10+ with the help of MS Launcher and the various Microsoft offerings and my other tablet is the Galaxy S2 Nook as I've always preferred the Nook over the Kindle.

  25. codymesh

    Surface Go needs to run Windows 10 X.

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