In the past, Microsoft is struggling to marry its legacy desktop operating system with a more modern touchscreen interface. The Surface Go3 is the perfect representation of this problem. The touchscreen experience is better in Windows 11, but it’s still frustrating to use due to limited hardware and low battery.
The new Surface Go is a common layout of its predecessor, but it was introduced with Windows 11, the first named iteration of Microsoft’s OS since Windows 10 was launched in 2015. Touchscreen users, which can make this tablet attractive for casual readers and note takers. I just want the battery to last a little longer.
At first glance, it may not look like the Surface Go 3 is much different than its predecessor, but look at the bottom of the hood and … well, there’s still not much difference. The new tablets are powered by 10-generation Intel chips, a significant improvement over the eighth-generation processors used in the Surface Go 2. Relatively priced iPad.
The base model starts with 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM, though you’ll want more seating for each. I tested the Intel Core i3 model ($ 630) which comes with a 128-GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, which sometimes puts a bit of pressure on a normal working day. That’s what I don’t necessarily want to consider Poor Performance – except when using Chrome, but more later – I also had the best version of the Surface Go3 hardware. This should be kept in mind when deciding which model to buy.
Physically, the Surface Go3 is a lot like its predecessor. That’s a good thing. It maintains the same 10.5-inch display with the Goldilocks bezel যা small enough to feel minimal while giving you stiffness. It has a microSD card reader with a USB-C port under the fold-out kickstand and next to the headphone jack.
You can still stick the old Surface Pen models next to the Go 3 for convenience and charging, but the new Surface Slim Pen can’t be attached in the same way. It’s still compatible as a wireless pen and can be attached to a tablet, but you’ll need to charge it via USB-C at once. It’s frustrating, but hey, the Surface Pen works fine and is a bit cheaper than the Slim Pen. This is not a big loss.
A good tablet OS
The most notable change in the Surface Go on is not the hardware, but the simultaneous arrival of Windows 11. Microsoft has never been able to strike a balance between desktop and touchscreen interfaces, but this experience is by far the closest. The rebuild taskbar, more touch-friendly settings menu, and an updated File Explorer all work more intuitively with your finger than the tedious context menu and Windows 10’s tiny touch targets.
However, this is a growing improvement. There are still moments where the interface expects you to use the mouse. You can drag a window to the left or right of the screen to snap into the side-side view, but there’s no obvious way to use Windows 11’s newer, more useful Snap Group layout.