Microsoft takes aim at Apple with $399 Surface Go tablet

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What just happened? After the company all but confirmed that the device was about to be unveiled, Microsoft has lifted the lid on the Surface Go.

Unlike the latest $329 iPad, the optional keyboard includes a touchpad, so it's easy to move the cursor.

If you were expecting a Microsoft Surface with an ARM processor inside, this does not seem to be in the cards yet.

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The Surface Go is certainly an interesting device and builds on the foundation carved out by the existing Surface hardware, but as to whether it will do much to shift the needle with relation to market share or unit sales, I'm far from convinced. It weighs only 1.15 pounds, which means it's ideal for those spur-of-the-moment Netflix sessions. 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. The 10-inch touchscreen display offers an aspect ratio of 3:2 and a resolution of 1800 x 1200 pixels.

The built-in kickstand (something the iPad lacks) gives you 165 degrees of freedom along with just the right amount of friction. To be exact, it looks like a smaller version of the Surface Pro 3, which was released in 2014, according to The Verge. On the connectivity front, the new Surface tablets support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.

But just what is the Surface Go?

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If you are looking for a daily driver in the corporate space, you should still be considering the Pro, while this device does have a Pentium Gold CPU, performance will still fall well below that of the Core CPU lineup from Intel.

It runs a full version of Windows 10. But you can upgrade to regular Windows 10 for free, which is what I'd do, because I need to run apps like Chrome, which aren't in the Windows Store. It's also selling a version with 128GB of storage and double the memory for $549. Microsoft has added a USB-C 3.1 port, capable of charging the tablet or outputting video and data to external devices.

But now bear in mind what you get with the Surface Go. Microsoft also claims that this laptop can last up to 9 hours on a single charge which is pretty reasonable. Microsoft will also be offering a few nice accessories for the new tablet - a $35 wireless mouse, a $99 Type Cover, and the $99 Surface Pen. It was later revealed that base systems will come powered by a Gemini Lake-based Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor. However, the screen isn't great, and you get only 2GB of RAM. It's a direct question to Apple at this point, who have struggled to make compelling cases for tossing aside your laptop in favour of an iPad with a keyboard.

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Microsoft is simultaneously competing with its rivals and striking out alone with the Surface Go.

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