Microsoft unveils its $399 Surface Go tablet iPad competitor

Microsoft opens flagship Surface store in Taipei

Microsoft will launch an LTE version of the Surface Go later this year. Its performance wasn't awesome, but it was good enough for most common productivity tasks. All models include the gorgeous, 10-inch 1,800 x 1,200 touch display and Windows Hello biometric login via a 5-megapixel (1080p) webcam with an infrared sensor.

Microsoft has unveiled its challenger to the iPad.

To make the Surface Go a full laptop-replacement, one will also need to invest in a Type Cover. The part doubtless helps to keep the Surface Go's price low, but won't deliver stellar performance. All told, the Type Cover feels just as excellent as it has before - we would say 'only smaller, ' but it doesn't feel that much smaller when typing.

Microsoft's new Surface Go tablet. This means it'll be more than good enough for browsing the web, watching Netflix, and putting together a PowerPoint presentation. And, while the Pentium 4415Y processor is a few steps behind the latest Intel chips, it's plenty fast.

In terms of battery life, the Surface Go official numbers are slightly lower than those of the iPad: the Go is said to last up to 9 hours on a single charge, while the iPad can last up to 10 hours. Attaching a keyboard adds 0.5 pounds to the Surface's weight.

If you noticed a distinct lack of USB Type A connector, that isn't a mistake.

On the flipside, a Windows-powered tablet with a USB-C port and a micro SD expansion slot will be attractive to certain users (and it's likely that these are the sorts of users who will be better placed to navigate the complexity caused by the different RAM and Windows 10 options). But, honestly, there isn't much serious Android competition these days, especially now Apple has addressed the main reason someone might have looked elsewhere: price. It does have a headphone jack, though.

Today, the Redmond, Wash. -based company continued its streak of education announcements with the launch of the Surface Go, a version of the hybrid tablet that Microsoft aims to sell to schools.

First off, you're getting Windows. The cellular version will arrive later this year. You could say Apple is all about the consumer and Microsoft appeals to business users. The 10-inch touchscreen display offers an aspect ratio of 3:2 and a resolution of 1800 x 1200 pixels.

The Surface Go is Microsoft's smallest and cheapest Surface product to date.

In both cases, Microsoft is employing the same sales pitch as the rest of the Surface lineup.

The Surface Go that features an inbuilt kickstand looks like a smaller edition of the Surface Pro.

Make no mistake, Microsoft's Surface business in total is still a fraction of Apple's enormous hardware revenues. There's nearly a Surface for everyone; ranging from the exquisite and incredibly expensive Microsoft Surface Studio to the luxurious, powerful and portable Surface Laptop, with all sorts of variations in between.

Still, at $399, the Surface Go costs far less than the $699 starting price for the larger Surface Pro.

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