Surface Go vs Surface Pro comparison

Microsoft has just announced a new addition to the Surface familiar of devices. But how does the new Surface Go with its smaller screen and lower price compare with the impressive Surface Pro from 2017?

For a comparison with Apple's latest, see iPad vs Microsoft Surface Go.

Surface Go vs Surface Pro: Price

One of the big differences here is that the new Surface Go is the most affordable in the range to date. It starts at £379/$399 with a higher spec model costing £509/$549. You can buy the Surface Go in the UK and in the US.

It launched on 2 August in the US and 22 August in the UK.

Meanwhile, the Surface Pro – as the name suggests – is much more expensive starting at £749/$799 but going all the way up to £2,419/$2,399 if you want the top-end model.

It's worth bearing in mind that the price doesn't include the keyboard Type Cover that you will inevitably want, need even to use the Surface to its full potential. Other accessories like the Surface Pen and a mouse are also sold separately.

Surface Go vs Surface Pro: Design and build

The Surface tablet (forgetting about the Laptop and Book) have always been design to be very portable, a hybrid tablet and laptop that can go anywhere with you.

We found the Surface Pro to very much meet this requirement but the Surface Go is the smallest to date. It's got a smaller screen so the device is more compact overall and is a little thinner, 8.3mm compared to 8.5mm, according to Microsoft.

The smaller size also means it's lighter at just 522g vs 766g so you'll barely notice it in your bag in comparison.

Surface Go size

With a thinner and more condensed design, it does mean the Surface Go has fewer ports on offer. The main difference is that the Surface Pro has a full-size USB port and Mini DisplayPort while the Go has USB-C.

Otherwise, you're getting the same Surface design we've become accustomed to with things like the adjustable kickstand and magnetic Type Cover.

Surface Go vs Surface Pro: Specs

The specs of the two Surface tablets are very different, as the price suggests they might be.
With the Surface Go you get a smaller 10in IPS screen (1800x1200) while the Pro has a larger 12.3in PixelSense Display with a higher 2736x1824. Both support the Surface Pen stylus, though.

Surface Pro 2017

The Pro also has much more powerful core specs but as pointed out earlier you'll pay a lot for the higher-end. It goes up to 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and an Intel Core i7. There's also Core i5 and Core m3 models.

Meanwhile, the Surface Go is more basic with a 1.6GHz Intel Pentium 4415Y. There's a choice of 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage or double each if you pay more.

As mentioned earlier, the Surface Go has fewer ports with namely USB-C but it still has a 5Mp camera that supports Windows Hello.

Battery life is different with the Surface Go offering up to nine hours but the Pro going a fair bit further, up to 13.5 hours.

Windows is also a big difference here as the Pro comes with Window 10, you've guessed it, Pro and the Surface Go has Windows 10 Home in S Mode.

Surface Go Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is a little like a reincarnation of Windows RT and has a number of restrictions. You have to use the Edge internet browser and you can only download and install apps from the Microsoft Store.

Overall then, it's clear that the Surface Go is for more casual users and the Surface Pro is there for those with more demanding needs.

Compare the specs of the Surface Go and Surface Pro:

  Surface Go Surface Pro (2017)
OS Windows 10 S (Home) Windows 10 Pro
Screen 10in PixelSense (1800x1200), 217ppi 12.3in PixelSense (2736x1824), 267ppi
Processor Intel Pentium 1.6GHz Pentium 4415Y Intel Core m3/i5/i7
Memory 4/8GB RAM 4/8/16GB RAM
Storage 64/128GBGB 128/256/512GB/1TB storage
Cameras 8Mp rear + 5Mp front 12Mp, f/1.8 with OIS
Wireless 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 11ac  Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Headphone jack Yes Yes
microSD card slot Yes Yes
Ports USB-C, Surface Connect Surface Connect, Mini DisplayPort, Full-size USB 3.0
Battery Up to 9 hours Up to 13.5 hours
Dimensions 245 x 175 x 8.3mm, 522g 292 x 201 x 8.5mm, 766g

Microsoft Surface Pro (2017): Specs

  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 12.3in PixelSense display, 2736x1824, 267ppi
  • Up to Intel Kaby Lake Core i7
  • Up to 16GB RAM
  • Up to 1TB storage
  • USB 3.0
  • Mini-DisplayPort
  • Micro-SD card reader
  • 11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 8Mp rear camera
  • 292x201x8.5mm
  • 786g
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 12.3in PixelSense display, 2736x1824, 267ppi
  • Up to Intel Kaby Lake Core i7
  • Up to 16GB RAM
  • Up to 1TB storage
  • USB 3.0
  • Mini-DisplayPort
  • Micro-SD card reader
  • 11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 8Mp rear camera
  • 292x201x8.5mm
  • 786g

SHOULD I BUY MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO (2017)?

We've not seen the Surface Go in the flesh yet but it's certainly an attractive device in terms of price and portability. However, it has drawbacks including the lack of full-size USB and the limitations of Windows 10 S.

Whether you need to spend a significant amount more on the Pro comes down to what you need the Surface to do. If you need to do anything beyond basic tasks then it's likely you will need to.

Bear in mind that neither comes with the Type Cover keyboard or other accessories.