Our only complaint with the Surface Pro 9 (besides the nixed microSD slot) was the shorter battery life than the previous Surface Pro in our testing. Microsoft claims 15.5 hours of battery life with the Wi-Fi version while the 5G version will last 19 hours. We’re in the process of testing the latter and will share our thoughts soon.
Requirements: Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
The cheapest, smallest member of the Surface lineup is the 10.5-inch Surface Go 3. If your needs are limited, or you like small computers, this is the one to buy. Despite the small Intel chips, it gets the job done. This third-generation model doesn’t have the all-day battery life it launched on, but Windows 11 is a lot more fun for graphics.
Thanks to its excellent Surface Pen feature, the Go is great for writing. With the Cover Included, it’s surprisingly good, as a small, hybrid tablet and laptop. It can’t compete with the iPad Pro in terms of computing power, but the Go 3 is a great value and perfect for most college students, or anyone on the budget for a second, portable computer.
The $400 model has an interesting price tag, but it’s not the best choice if you want the Surface Go 3 to be your main computer. Its limited storage, limited storage and limited RAM can make many applications run very slowly. If you can, get the $630 configuration instead.
Like the Surface Pro, the Go 3 doesn’t include a Type Cover keyboard or Surface Pen, so remember to pack and buy your own tablet.
Requirements: Intel Core i3, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD
The Surface Laptop Studio (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is the powerhouse of the Surface line. Thanks to its smart hinge, you get a 2-in-1 laptop and tablet, and, if you can start, a drawing card. It’s that rare combination of power and flexibility that makes it such a compelling choice for designers.
The Studio Laptop is powered by an Intel i7 chip, which complements Nvidia’s GeForce RTX discrete graphics card. Prices go up to $2,100 for this upgrade, but if you plan to stream videos or play games, the extra power is worth the investment. Each model has a bright 14-inch screen with a 120-Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling. The haptic trackpad is one of the best touchpads we’ve tested.
The only compromise that the Surface Laptop Studio makes is weight. While the tablet’s form factor is great for taking notes and creating art, a 4-pound tablet isn’t something you want to carry around for long periods of time. It works great on a tablet or on your lap.
Requirements: Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce RTX
This is stripping, and I can say, beautiful a small laptop that belongs to the Premium Laptop category while the Surface Go 2 belongs to the Surface Pro. That is, the “Go” moniker means that the emphasis is on portability and value, not power. The Surface Laptop Go 2 won’t impress you in benchmark tests, but it’s simple and beautiful. And it’s fun to use.
It’s compact and sleek, with clean lines and a clean feel – something you won’t find at this price point. The top is aluminum, and the bottom is polycarbonate resin, which is stronger and stronger than your average plastic. It feels like a $1,000 laptop, but it makes some compromises to keep the price down, like the lack of a backlit keyboard. Battery life could also be better. Microsoft claims the Surface Go 2 can last up to 13.5 hours, but we only got about 7 hours on average. The biggest is the subpar display, which is not even HD (1080p). This means that text can appear as pixels.