What will the Surface Go 2

The Surface Go is Microsoft’s affordable Windows 2-in-1. It’s one of the smallest and lightest devices running a full version of Windows, making it great for on-the-go productivity. 

We’ve seen two generations so far, the most of recent being 2020’s Surface Go 2. In our full review, we praised its screen and webcam but were frustrated by performance from the Intel Pentium Gold model tested. 

Nonetheless, we’re excited to see what its successor might bring, and it doesn’t look like there’ll be long to wait. Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the Surface Go 3.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 release date

On 1 September 2021, Microsoft announced that it would be holding a virtual event on 22 September. This will take place at 11am EDT/4pm BST/5pm CEST/7.30pm IST – here’s how to watch live.

Nothing specific has been revealed, but new Surface hardware looks set to be on the agenda. In a Windows Central article from before the event was announced, author Zac Bowden suggests a new Surface Go is “likely to show up this fall (autumn)”.

If we do see a new Surface Go on 22 September, expect the device to go on sale shortly after Windows 11 is released on 5 October. That would make it one of the first devices running Microsoft’s new OS out of the box.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 price

The only clues we have with regards to price come from previous generations of Surface Go. The original started at £379.99/US$399.99, while the Go 2 stepped up to £399 without increasing the US price.

However, both devices could cost over £600/US$600, especially if you wanted to add on accessories like the £99.99/US$99.99 Type Cover. 

We’d expect Microsoft to stick with roughly the same pricing structure, ensuring it costs significantly less than the flagship Surface Pro line. 

However, as we detail in our Surface Go 3 wishlist, performance on these cheaper models has to improve to make them worth buying. 

Microsoft Surface Go 3 rumours

Talking of performance, it seems like that’s an area Microsoft is prioritising. Leaked Geekbench 4 results discovered by German tech site WinFuture detail 2 devices with entry-level specs – these could be different Surface Go 3 models. 

This would mean the baseline configuration uses an Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y chip, while more expensive models step up to the Intel Core i3-10100Y. It’s not clear why the latter would be a 10th-gen chip and not something from the latest 11th-gen range.

There also looks to be options for 4 or 8GB of RAM, with more expensive models continuing to offer 4G support. We’re also hoping for more than 128GB of SSD storage on the top-spec variant.

According to Windows Central, these are the most likely specs for the Go 3:

  • 10.5in, 1920×1080 display with 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y or Intel Core i3-10100Y processor
  • 4/8GB RAM
  • 64GB (eMMC)/128GB SSD/256GB SSD storage (all expandable via microSD)
  • 5Mp front-facing camera with support for Windows Hello face unlock
  • 8Mp rear camera with auto-focus
  • Wi-Fi 802.11
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 – 4G LTE support
  • Ports – 1x USB-C, 1x Surface Connect, microSDXC card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 2W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • Up to 10 hours battery life (claimed)
  • 245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm

There are no big surprises here, so we’re expecting the Go 3 to be an iterative update. 

The only other thing we can say with confidence is that the Surface Go 3 will run Windows 11 out of the box. This will still be the case if it gets announced on 22 September, with the device unlikely to go on sale until after Windows 11’s 5 October release date.

Elsewhere, a leaker on TabletPCReview forums suggests that the Surface Go 3 may also offer AMD’s Ryzen processors:

Known only as ‘desertlap’, the leaker claims to be a Microsoft insider, but there’s no way of verifying what has been said at this stage. However, the same leaker revealed details about the Go 2 ahead of time, so it’s not something that should be dismissed. 

Read: Should I buy a 5G laptop?

Microsoft Surface Go 3 wishlist

With its potential release years away and rumours relatively thin on the ground, we’ve compiled a list of things we’d love to see come to the Surface Go 3:

  • Slimmer bezels – The Go 2 impressively shrunk the bezels to include a bigger screen within the same size body, but Microsoft could go further. The Surface Pro X has proven what is possible in this area, but it’s likely the footprint of the device would be smaller rather than the screen any bigger
  • Improved performance at entry-level – Performance on the Go 2 was solid, but only if you stepped up to Intel Core M3 versions. The entry-level Pentium Gold chips wouldn’t cut it for most people, so it would be good too see Microsoft deliver great performance regardless of how much you spend
  • Type Cover included – Microsoft is yet to include a keyboard cover on any generation of Surface 2-in-1 so far, despite it being a crucial accessory for so many people
  • Improvements to tablet mode – If Microsoft really wants people to use the Surface Go without a keyboard, using it as a tablet has to become more intuitive. Subtle tweaks, such as the ability to multitask and adjust quick settings more effectively would make a huge difference to the user experience
  • Reduce the price – The £399 entry price of the Surface Go 2 sounds great, but we’d recommend spending at least £619 for an Intel Core M3 version. At that price, the fierce laptop competition makes the Go 2 a tough sell

We’ll update this article as soon as we know more about the Surface Go 2.

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