Microsoft expanded its line of Windows devices on July 9 with a new, more portable version of the Surface Pro with trimmer dimensions and a lower price tag.
Named Surface Go, the device sports a smaller 10-inch touch display—the screen on the larger Surface Pro measures 12.3 inches diagonally—a size that's ideal for the classroom, according to Panos Panay, chief product officer at Microsoft.
"In portrait mode, the screen was designed to render the page to the scale of most school textbooks, and in landscape mode, it can render pages side by side as if you were holding a paperback book in hand."
The Surface Go's display has a resolution of 1,800 by 1,200 pixels. And as with other Surface devices, it features a 2:3 aspect ratio that provides a more intuitive user experience while reading and working with documents, claims Microsoft.
It's not the first time Microsoft has targeted students with Surface hardware. In May 2017, during education-themed event in New York City, the company introduced the Surface Laptop. Among the 13.5-inch laptop's most distinguishing features is a keyboard wrapped in Alcantara, a suede-like synthetic fabric from Italy used in some luxury car interiors.
Inside, the Surface Go packs an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y processor and either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Storage options include 64GB of eMMC (Embedded Multimedia Card) or solid-state drives with either 128GB or 256GB of capacity. In terms of connectivity, the device supports WiFi connectivity (802.11 a/b/g/n/a) and an LTE-compatible version is in the works.
Measuring 9.6 inches by 6.9 inches and a third of an inch thick, the Surface Go comes close to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in terms of portability. It weighs 1.15 pounds and has a battery that can last up nine hours between charges, according to company testing. The included USB-C port offers users another data transfer and charging option besides Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect technology.
Microsoft's keyboard-cover combo, called the Type Cover has also been trimmed down for the Surface Go. It features backlit mechanical keys like the full-sized offering and a glass trackpad. Again, Microsoft returns Other accessories include the new Surface Mobile Mouse available in matching colors and the existing Surface Pen stylus.
Although the Surface Go arrives just in time for the back-to-school shopping season, Microsoft is also hoping to attract business buyers. "Being able to run Office apps on this device with its portability is one of the things that was critical to the experience we had in mind when we designed Surface Go – the productivity of having the apps you use for work and school with the flexibility to relax and read or watch a show on Netflix or Hulu," stated Panay.
Prices start at $399. For comparison's sake, the Surface Pro currently retails for $799. Microsoft is accepting preorders in select markets, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and other part of Europe, with an Aug. 2 ship date.