Surface Go 2, Microsoft’s new tablet, went on sale on May 12. So what is this second-generation touchscreen tablet advertised at an affordable price? Our full Microsoft Surface Go 2 review 2020.
In 2018, the first version of this tablet from Microsoft went on sale. Two years later, the American giant returns the cover. However, is the new version sufficient to face the limits of the original which was often considered too fair? We take stock, aspect by aspect, to allow you to judge if this is the tablet you need. Let’s make it clear right away, if it has real strengths, this tablet also has weaknesses that we identified during our evaluation and that you might consider unacceptable for you.
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- Technical Specifications of the Surface Go 2020 Tablet
- Highlights of Surface Go 2
- Weaknesses of Surface Go 2
- Should you buy the new Microsoft Surface Go 2 tablet?
- What price for the Surface Go 2?
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Technical Specifications of the Surface Go 2020 Tablet
For those who are not familiar with its features, here is the basic data sheet for Surface GO 2. It runs under Windows 10 Family in Mode S, with a Pentium Gold 4425 Y chip, with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of EEMC storage. From a dimensional point of view, we are on a model similar to a classic iPad. We particularly appreciate working with the small stand which will allow you to adjust the angle up to 165 °. If you want to work after your children have played, it is better to thank this flexibility of use. For storage, there is also a slot for a microSD card, a jack port and a USB-C port.
We also don’t forget the proprietary Surface Connect port. In short, a rather complete package. In terms of dimensions, we therefore increase the size of the screen compared to the previous version of the touch pad, without adding too much weight thanks to intelligent play on the edges. As a reminder, the Surface Go was 522 grams against 544 grams for the Surface Go 2. The dimensions are the same: 245 x 175 x 83 mm. All in an aluminum case.
Highlights of Surface Go 2
A good quality and very well integrated camera
Surprisingly, we particularly appreciated the camera which is well located … that is to say at the top of your tablet when you hold it horizontally. The result turns out, having been able to compare it in recent weeks with containment, much more practical to use than on a PC. The rendering is better, more interactive and you quickly realize all its advantages.
Surface Go 2 screen: improved resolution
The screen is a little larger, with 10.5 inches diagonally, and still a 3: 2 ratio. The resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels allows a rendering to say the least pleasant. We increase the resolution a little compared to the previous model, and this allows to acquire a little comfort of use. As for cameras, they offer 5 Megapixels on the front and 8 Megapixels on the back. The quality is generally there, without making miracles either.
Careful design and a solid product
From an aesthetic and solid point of view, the Surface Go 2 plays on its assets of the first generation. The whole fits well in the hand and turns out to be solid to say the least. However, with regard to the keyboard (to be purchased separately, see below), the ergonomics are clearly not there at all times. If you do not have too many difficulties on a flat surface like a table, our experiments carried out in a more flexible use, for example the keyboard posed on the knees, while being pressed in the sofa, turns there very quickly into activity of ‘balancing act.
The audio is ok but nothing more
The audio doesn’t really stand out from a quality standpoint, with two 2W stereo headphones that will be enough for most uses you will want to have. However, do not expect to be able to manage the atmosphere at a party if you do not have an external speaker.
Weaknesses of Surface Go 2
In the end, it’s hard to talk about this tablet without talking about the elephant in the room. Certainly, Microsoft offers many small improvements compared to its previous version, but for having had both in your hands for a while, the differences prove to be rather minimal in the end. We cannot really say that the Richmond company has completely changed the market with this new product.
Dramatically weak autonomy
This is particularly the case with regard to autonomy. Two years later, we still regret not being able to push Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 a little further. However, it is possible, just see what the competition offers as you can see in our comparison of entry-level touch pads. We can’t settle for five to six hours like the Surface Go 2.
An environment limited to the Microsoft store
From the point of view of ergonomics, the problem is there on the side of the choice of Microsoft, which maintained the mode S by default. Suffice to say, you will very quickly regret not being able to install applications outside the Microsoft Store. By dint of wanting to guide and supervise us, the American company blocks us and frustrates us. Above all, the applications are not at all suitable for use in tablet mode. In 2020, we are still struggling to understand how it is possible and we are raging in front of the tablet.
Slightly poor performance
In the end, however, the aspect that probably poses the most problems for us is the speed of use of the tablet.. If you are patient and don’t open multiple apps at the same time, then that will be okay, but not a feat. And this assessment, to say the least, is delivered using one of the best versions of the tablet. It is therefore difficult to imagine what things would be if necessary.
It doesn’t mean that we want to talk about a slow tablet… it’s just not reactive. If you start to push it a little to its limits, then the lag will soon be on the menu for you. We thus tested a recurring activity, which is photo editing, and more specifically Raw files. As you use it, you will quickly realize that slowness is accumulating.
Not optimal repair & disassembly
If we didn’t need to repair or disassemble it, the iFixit site experts took care of it. Technicians rated the repairability of Microsoft’s tablet 3/10. It’s not much, but it is better than the rating of 1/10 given 2 years ago for the first version of the Surface Go 2.
The positives are now on the side of the screen that would be easier to disassemble and a battery that can now be quickly disconnected. Processor, RAM and storage are however stored on the motherboard. If you have a problem with your Surface Go 2, then it will be a small Russian roulette. It also means that very concretely you will not be able to improve it, with additional RAM or battery. This is an obvious problem when it could have compensated for the weaknesses of the touch pad.
Should you buy the new Microsoft Surface Go 2 tablet?
The answer to this question depends above all on the use that you dedicate to it. If you want to make it your main digital equipment, then in our opinion, and we are not alone in considering it, this is probably not the best possible choice. However, for a secondary device, the Surface Go 2 tablet is a choice that could then be considered interesting. The question which then arises is that of the tariff (see below) which could prove discouraging from such an angle.
Above all, the real question turns out to be another. So, what is the Surface Go 2 tablet really worth compared to others touch tablets ? If we take the comparison of the Chromebook, for a similar price you will undoubtedly have higher quality equipment, and potentially more practical to use. If you hesitate with an iPad, then you will have to agree to pay more, but your equipment will also be faster and above all more durable. The question that would tend to dominate is that of the software you want. If you want to have Windows at all costs, you have to look at Microsoft. But, in this case the Surface Pro 6 or 7 can be found at a price at least as attractive with second-hand products or by taking advantage of offers.
Microsoft had the opportunity to revolutionize the market by launching this tablet. If it will find a certain audience, we cannot really estimate that the objective is fulfilled. It’s a small step forward.
What price for the Surface Go 2?
Its selling price for Europe is 459 euros, slightly more than its launch price in the United States (399 dollars). The problem is of course that to use it effectively, you will need to add a keyboard, just over a hundred additional euros. The majority of models are sold at 129.99 euros currently on the Microsoft site. You may however be tempted to take the premium version of the tablet which offers 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of RAM instead of 4 GB and 64 GB.
The price level difference with the basic version is 629 euros. You can also opt for an Intel Core M3, which in this case grows up to 719 euros for the Wi-Fi version and 829 euros for the 4G version. Note that you could also be tempted by Microsoft 365 (Family or Personal). So remember to take all the elements into account. For purists, a stylus will also cost you 109.99 euros. Clearly, the financial question will undoubtedly be central when deciding whether to invest in the Surface Go 2.
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- Starting at just 1.2 pounds (not including Type Cover), with new 10.5” touchscreen.
- Battery life up to 10 hours. Perfect for browsing, shopping, emails, and homework
- Tablet portability, performance and laptop versatility with adjustable Kickstand and Signature Type Cover.
- Stay connected with included USB-C port and headphone jack. Full HD front- and rear-facing cameras let you make crisp, clear calls to friends and family, or take and share great photos.
- Hi-res touchscreen is perfect for browsing, playing, and binge watching.
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- (+) A complete and affordable tablet
- (+) Good cameras well located
- (+) Easy to handle
- (+) A neat, solid and well thought out design
- (-) Only works with Microsoft Store apps
- (-) Slightly limited audio
- (-) Speed is not there
- (-) A keyboard to buy separately
- (-) Disappointing autonomy