Note: I started this article exactly one month ago and it is just now getting posted. I made posts on social media about how I was going to upload it over the weekend and I failed in epic fashion … I don’t even have a valid excuse. I’m sorry to those who were looking forward to it for so long. The good news though is that this review will be much more thorough as I’ve had the device for several weeks.
I’m the type of person that does extensive research on a product before I make a purchase. I have been looking at the Microsoft Surface Go for a few months and weighing my options during that time. I debated on getting an iPad or a Chromebook as well. I made my ultimate decision on Thanksgiving Day while shopping at Best Buy to pick up the Surface Go. You can’t beat 18 Months no interest and $50 off the usual price so I went with it and have had no regrets.
Out of the box… it wasn’t quite the tablet of my dreams but after tweaking a few things here and there it has certainly risen to my expectations. I made sure to get the option with the most RAM and the most storage (8GB/128GB) because anything less would just not be worth it in my opinion.
So, in reference to the tweaking… let’s talk about Windows in S Mode. I HATE IT! I tried using it for about two days and then had to take it off. If you aren’t familiar, S Mode is a more locked down version of Windows that only allows you to download from the Windows App Store… I am not a fan of limitations. It’s one of the many reasons why as much as I like iOS I have always loved Android a little bit more. The ability to side-load applications is not something that should be taken for granted. The sad part is that my biggest issue with S Mode was not being able to use Google Chrome and therefore no Chrome applications.
I had heard from a few people that they experienced poor battery life after taking the tablet out of S Mode, but I got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and had to give it a try. I was surprised to find that the battery life saw little to no change. I could still watch about 5 hours of video and then get around 4+ more hours of general use doing things like playing games and browsing through social media. The fact that the only thing I downloaded outside of the Windows App Store was Google Chrome and BlueStacks was probably a huge factor for the battery life experience. If I had download multiple applications that have background processes it would likely be a different story.
I would also recommend splurging a little more for the keyboard accessory and the stylus pen. The touch keyboard is nice but leaves to a lot of fingerprints and unless you have hands like “Wreck It Ralph” it is large enough to do some light typing here and there. The touch pad is a great addition as well., and turned me off from getting an actual mouse. As for the pen, I was reluctant on that but again… fingerprints. Not having to touch the screen and then wipe off smudges is always a plus. I also love the pen shortcuts and the handwriting keyboard, although I think my favorite thing of all to use it for is hands down the adult coloring book applications. I found one where you can color using the pen as a paint brush or marker so it feels like you are actually doing the coloring just as if it was in a real coloring book (it’s awesome!).
This is definitely my new favorite tech toy, I’m actually a bit sad that it isn’t recommended more often when it comes down to tablets and hybrids. I realize that it may not give the iPad a run for it’s money in terms of specs but, overall it is perfect for my needs and puts a lot of android tablets to shame. I especially love the portability, as I recently took it on a trip over the Christmas holiday. It fits perfectly in the laptop pocket of both on the backpacks I use on a regular basis and most of my purses as well. I 100% recommend!