Surface Go 3 specs: Will new Intel processors be the difference maker?

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Surface GoSource: Microsoft

At the recent Microsoft Surface 2021 event, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Go 3, the third iteration of the ultra-portable tablet that has been shaking up the industry ever since the original was released in 2018. Thanks to its tiny 10-inch size and low price tag, the Surface Go line has been hugely beneficial for students, budget buyers, and people who need a device that’s extremely easy to carry.

Something that a lot of people don’t like about the Surface Go and Surface Go 2, however, is how limited its performance capabilities are. The Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y and 4425Y processors that the base models of previous Surface Go devices shipped with just weren’t powerful enough to provide an ideal user experience. The Surface Go 2’s optional Intel Core m3-8100Y helped, but the device’s performance still felt dated compared to many competing convertible laptops. This was somewhat expected given the Surface Go’s tiny chassis and rock-bottom price range, but it was still disappointing regardless.

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Surface Go 2 Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

With the Surface Go 3, Microsoft has addressed the CPU issues of previous generations by refreshing the Surface Go with two new processor options: the entry-level Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y and a 10th-Gen Intel Core i3-10100Y, both of which are significantly more capable than the Surface Go processors of yesteryear. Other improvements include a small bump to battery life (10 hours to 11 hours) and the presence of Wi-Fi 6, but beyond that, the Surface Go 3 isn’t very different from its predecessors. Have a look at the official specs below:

Category Surface Go 3
Operating system Windows 11
Display 10.5 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio
1920×1280 (220 PPI) resolution
Processor Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y
Intel Core i3-10100Y
Memory 4GB
8GB
Storage 64GB eMMC
128GB SSD
256GB SSD
Expandable storage microSD
Surface Pen 4,096 levels of pressure, tilt support
Camera 5MP front-facing with Windows Hello
8MP rear auto-focus
Security Windows Hello face sign-in
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax compatible, Bluetooth Wireless 5.0
LTE Advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem
Ports 1x USB-C, 1x Surface Connect, microSDXC card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
Audio 2W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
Battery Up to 11 hours
Dimensions 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches (245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm)
Price Starting at $399
The fact that Microsoft isn’t making any significant changes to the design of the Surface Go with this latest model may disappoint some, but did the Surface Go need any changes? As my colleague Daniel Rubino noted in his Surface Go 2 review, the design of the device was already impeccable. The issue was that Microsoft couldn’t find a way to get more CPU horsepower into the 10-inch chassis, but that problem has now been solved — on paper, at least. We won’t know how well the Surface Go 3 performs in practice until we get our hands on it, but all signs point to a significantly faster and smoother user experience.

Surface Go

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

The addition of more battery life and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility are nothing to scoff at, either. Even though these are minor improvements, an extra hour of battery life or a faster and more reliable Wi-Fi experience can be seriously helpful in situations where you’re going to be away from a charger for a long time or have sensitive work to do and can’t afford to deal with Wi-Fi connection mishaps.

What are your thoughts on the Surface Go 3? Do you think it could end up being one of the best Microsoft Surface PCs, or do you think that Microsoft should be doing more with this new version of the device? Let us know. Notably, Surface Go 3 preorders are now available with a starting price of $399.

The little Surface that could


Surface Go 2

Surface Go 3

The latest generation

The Surface Go 3 is the most advanced Surface Go yet, featuring snazzy modern Intel processors, improved battery life, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.

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