Surface Go - Thoughts? One way switch out of Windows - S - Awesome?

Discussion in 'Smart Phones and Devices' started by Elf_Boy, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    Saw an article on the Surface Go on CNN. Looks interesting for a real lightweight system, well until I saw the Windows S - then I saw that you can opt out of S mode (but not go back).

    On lunch at work right now. Anyone have a chance to look at specs and tell if it looks decent for the price? Will it run Crysis?

    Really not looking at something like this to run games. More interested if it is bundled with Office or do they expect ppl to slap down another $150 to use it?
     
  2. 0ptional

    0ptional Don't Trust Your Friends with Your Decanter

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    It's definitely not a device I can imagine using, I've got a Surface Pro, it's interesting it's not built as a companion device to the existing surface line up such as the iPad is positioned to iPhone/Mac ecosystem.
     
  3. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    The base $399 version uses eMMC storage, I think that's going to be the biggest problem for this device. I still have my Surface 3 from 3 years ago, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC and that storage is just slow. I still used the Surface 3 for web browsing, Netflix, OneNote and other light Office work and it's ok but again that eMMC storage just makes disk I/O slow. The $549 dollar version looks kind of compelling to me. With 8 GB RAM, a CPU that's about twice the speed of the one in the Surface 3 and even a bit better GPU performance than the Surface Pro 3, for something of its size and about 1.5 lbs with the Type Cover with no fan and what looks to be reasonable battery life, I think it could do very well in vertical markets. For the education market I think the $549 would be plenty of computing power, if were $100 to $200 cheaper and came with either the pen or Type Cover or both, price will be the issue there.

    Tempted to get the $549 version to replace my Surface 3. I really like the size and form factor especially for note taking and on the go when you want something more than a phone screen.
     
  4. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    I look forward to a future ARM version.
     
  5. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    So I'm inking out this message on my Atom based Surface 3, Edge open with six tabs, Word and OneNote 2016 running, doing the July Windows 10 1803 update and streaming Spotify over Bluetooth. Definitely chugging and it takes apps a few seconds to become responsive when brought into focus but it is usable, not something you'd want to do constantly for sure but useable.

    The 8 GB Surface Go should have easily twice the raw compute power and well over even that on the storage side with its SSD versus this crappy eMMC storage. I think the 8 GB should be a solid performer but I'm thinking the eMMC on the 4 GB version might disappoint.
     
  6. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Gawd

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    Yeah the $550 version seems to be the one to get. Shame it throws the value equation off.

    I like and support the idea of this product though. I feel like it would make even better sense with a few more node shrinks and power improvements.

    I really think Microsoft needs to push new Windows 10 additions alongside this product release. They would focus on streamlining Windows 10 UI for smaller screen on the go usability.

    If they don't push some quality of life improvements for Windows 10 and small devices, I really feel like they are missing the boat on this product release.
     
  7. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    The problem with something like this device is the overall design. 1.15 lbs. without the Type Cover, 8.3mm thick, x86 CPU, rated at 9 hours battery, I'm guessing 6 in real world continuous use, 8 GB RAM, 128 SSD storage and fanless with a magnesium chassis and variable kickstand and a great display. For what it is $550 is a good price but then the Type Cover and pen are another $200. That probably the toughest part in the proposition and probably we're there some padding in the margins.

    The next version of Windows 10 is adding back variable text sizing which should be of benefit to smaller and high-DPI screens. 10 works well on my Surface 3 tough currently I think, I don't have any problem with touch overall. File Explorer could definitely be improved in the touch department along with other things.
     
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  8. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    So after a weekend with this Go, here are my major thoughts.

    1. What makes this device cool is the size and weight. Just super portable.

    2. I've found performance to be surprising in a good way. For mainstream tasks like Office, web browsing, light gaming, video and audio playback and streaming, it's going to handle those tasks just fine. I was even able to run Visual Studio on it with some smaller projects. While not fast it wasn't frustratingly slow either. I wouldn't be a main development machine but could be on the go.

    A one caveat to performance. Chrome can chug on this thing where Edge will run much better. If one is tied to Chrome you might be unhappy with it. So for the best performing browsing experience you need to use Edge.

    3. Battery life is meh at best, about 6 hours in continuous use in my usage over the weekend. So that might be a deal breaker for some. However considering how light this thing is, packing a portable charger and charging through USB-C is an option. It does charge quickly on the plus side.

    4. I think the Type Cover typing and touchpad experience are amazing for something this size. I don't think it'll be a problem unless you have some really big hands.

    Overall conclusions:

    This could be a primary device for someone that has basic mainstream PC needs. Many will find the price of this thing with the Type Cover too much for just basic stuff. The defining feature of this device is portability. If that means nothing to you then there's really no point in the Go for you.

    I think the Go makes a better case for itself as a secondary machine when you need more than phone but want something that's way more portable than all but the lightest and smallest laptops. That's the reason I bought it in additional to a note taking device, for that purpose I'd say it's excellent due to the weight and responsive pen.

    No iPad killer, Windows simply doesn't have the tablet ecosystem but it is a solid option for 2 in 1 on the go productivity where this would have advantages over an iPad.
     
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  9. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    Thank you.

    Which model did you pick up?
     
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  10. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Thanks, just realized that I didn't mention that in the post, duh, 8 GB/128 GB.
     
  11. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    Oh, hey, heatlesssun, you're still around? Haven't seen you since the HP tm2z days!

    Back on topic: the Surface Go is a hard sell when I literally bought a first-gen Surface Pro 128 GB with a Touch Cover (ugh, would've preferred a Type Cover 2 or Power Cover), working AC adapter, but no box or pen for just $100 locally. At least then, I'm getting Wacom EMR instead of the crapfest that is N-trig/Microsoft Pen Protocol without that PixelSense Accelerator chip they put into the Surface Pro 2017 and later (but conspicuously left off of the cheaper models), paired with a pen that doesn't have ridiculously high initial activation force.

    The lack of pen wasn't much of a setback, aside from lack of magnetically clipping on like the official one; compatible pens can be had for like $10 on eBay with dual buttons and eraser, and I've still kept my decade-old Axiotron Studio Pen/UP911-E after all these years.

    In other words, the value proposition is stacked against the low-end Surfaces for anyone willing to buy used, because older Surface Pros have proper SSDs (albeit mSATA instead of NVMe for earlier generations) and possibly much better pen input if not going past Surface Pro 2. The only thing that sucks about the first two generations is that pesky 4 GB RAM limit, aside from Surface Pro 2 256/512 GB configurations (which have 8 GB of RAM)... okay, make that two with how the Surface Pro 1's kickstand doesn't kick back far enough for certain usage cases, it's either in or out.

    For that matter, even the high-end Surfaces post-Pro 3 failed to impress me 'til I tried some recent demo units at Micro Center and found the pen initial activation force was suddenly surprisingly acceptable for someone coming from Wacom. Didn't get a chance to check for tilt sensitivity or other features on those demo units, though, as installing the software that supports that generally requires admin privileges.

    And yes, my constantly harping on pen performance is everything when it comes to a tablet computer. These things are meant to replace pen and paper, after all, and digital artists need more affordable options than Wacom's egregiously-priced MobileStudio Pro lineup, or HP's Zbook X2. Possibly more portable options as well if you're expecting iPad Pro levels of portability.
     
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  12. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Good to hear from you! Good days the old HP tm2z. I still have that thing around somewhere but haven't turned it on in I don't know how long.

    As for the Go, I honestly couldn't be much happier with it overall. I already have a several Surface devices including my main mobile daily drive a Surface Book 2 15" 512 GB, great 2 in 1 laptop. But on the bulky side and I wanted something nice and light. For people look at the Go as secondary machine I think its size is a big draw. I'm not an artist but pen input if important to me mainly for note taking and in that regard the Go is very solid. There've been a number of YouTube videos on the subject of the Go's pen and they've been positive. Of course different people might see it differently.

    My biggest complaint is probably the battery life. Going in (pun intended) I was expecting about 6 hours of normal use based on Microsoft's 9 hour video test and that's about what I and others are reporting. Which many will see as bad for tablet, which it is, but for a Windows tablet of this size and performance level, well there's really not much else out there for the moment. My biggest happy surprise has been the performance. I have the 8 GB/128 GB and for mainstream tasks it runs great. Chrome is a bit laggy on it but Edge files. I'm even able to run Visual Studio on it and get a useable experience. It just isn't a dog performance wise like Windows tablets of this size often are.
     
  13. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    Damn, that is an awesome deal, and yes I'm jealous. I always wanted one of the original Surface devices, the ones they gave away free to the developers attending the Surface intro event long long ago, would still love to get one of those but they are so rare it's not even funny - read: if anyone out there has one and wants to give it a good home, I'll pay shipping. :)

    Haven't had a chance to get a hands on with the Surface Go but I suppose it'll be done soon enough. Still not a fan of the pricing personally but I can understand why it's at those points, and obviously the lower spec model is just not something that should have had eMMC in it, that's just an almost unforgivable thing in this day and age but based on some benchmarks it seems to be fairly quick. Even so, for $400 not putting an actual "normal" SSD in it, I gotta wonder WTF man.
     
  14. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    I had similar feelings about the 4 GB version and then I saw this:

    A $400 10" Windows tablet with the Surface design that weighs a bit over a pound that can do all of that? I get that from a specs only perspective on paper the Go doesn't look that good but things is SOOOOOOO much better than any smaller Windows tablet to date it's crazy.

    People often forget that Surface products are much about inspiring and putting pressure on OEMs to step it up and that might be the biggest success of Surface. There's been a lot of junk in the smaller Windows tablet space, Microsoft is a little guilty itself with the Surface 3 which while still better than most devices in that size just lacked too much performance punch to be interesting.