microsoft.com ■ Retail Price: Starting at $399. Accessories: Surface Mobile Mouse $34.99; Surface Go Signature Type Cover $129.99; Surface Pen $99. (Education discounts available.)
The Microsoft Surface Go is a 10-inch, ultra-portable two-in-one device that combines the portability of a tablet with optional accessories, including a keyboard, for a flexible laptop experience. The Surface Go is suitable for everyday tasks like email and Web surfing and includes office productivity software.
The device tested included an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid-state hard drive. Another model, with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state hard drive, is also available. The device is lightweight, coming in at a very portable 1.15 pounds (without the keyboard attachment) and boasts up to nine hours of battery life. The vibrant 10-inch, 1800x1200 resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display supports up to 10 multi-touch points.
Quality and Effectiveness: The Surface Go bridges the gap between tablets and laptops with a price point that’s affordable enough for classroom use. Teachers and students can use the device on its own, without any accessories, for necessities such as online research, productivity, and collaboration.
The optional detachable Type Cover Keyboard and Surface Pen increase productivity and creativity options. The Type Cover has a nice feel, with mechanical keys and a touch pad that rival those of a full-sized keyboard. The programmable, pressure-sensitive Surface Pen expands the tablet’s usefulness for a variety of classroom tasks, including taking notes and drawing directly on the screen. The Surface Pen and Type Cover both secure to the side of the device magnetically, so everything is portable.
The Surface Go has a single microphone as well as 5.0MP front-facing and 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus cameras that are capable of 1080p HD video. Videoconferencing, video, and still picture capture are of high quality. The two-watt Dolby Audio™ Premium stereo speakers make consuming multimedia enjoyable, and Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack allow for private listening.
Ease of Use: The Surface Go is very easy to use. It starts up quickly and login options include traditional passwords and facial recognition. For top performance, the device runs on Windows 10. The Surface Go is an excellent solution for districts that have adopted Microsoft Office 365 or any other Web-based programs. For optimum portability and effectiveness, the Surface Go’s speedy a/b/g/n/ac-compatible wireless card will connect to any school’s wireless network. The device also comes with the Microsoft Store so a school can add and manage apps for its entire fleet of devices.
Creative Use of Technology: This small portable device has configurable options to meet the needs of districts that require networkable devices to run the Windows operating system. The Surface Go’s multipoint screen allows for up to 10 touch points and gestures. With the Surface Pen and Microsoft’s OneNote software (or your preferred software for research and note taking), the Surface Go becomes a portable productivity powerhouse.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: The Surface Go combines the flexibility and portability of a tablet and a laptop and is a great solution for districts looking for a portable device to support Microsoft Office 365 or other cloud-based productivity programs. The optional accessories further expand options for a variety of classroom uses. The Surface Go also has ports and connectivity options for docking, connecting USB devices, and increasing storage with a memory card.
Microsoft has done an excellent job with the design and functionality of the Surface Go, which will meet a variety of classroom and curricular needs. Schools can build their fleets of Windows devices without breaking the bank or sacrificing features.
• The Surface Go’s size and weight make it an excellent Windows two-in-one device.
• The screen resolution is outstanding, with very good sound and responsive touch features.
• The Surface Pen and Type Cover Keyboard accessories turn the Surface Go into a true multi-use productivity device.