Microsoft took its Surface line to a cheaper price point, with its $399 Surface Go described as its “smallest and most affordable” product in the line to date.
While the concept of a two-in-one device is not new to Surface, previously it was more of a premium proposition. Microsoft’s current product in this segment is the 12.3-inch screen Surface Pro, priced from $799, which is more of a rival to Apple’s iPad Pro line.
Microsoft’s last Surface device outside of the Pro segment was the $499 Surface 3.
In a statement, Panos Panay, chief product officer, said the aim of the 10-inch Surface Go is to be lightweight, productive and “affordable to more people”.
“Our products don’t do just one thing because people don’t do just one thing,” he said.
The low price does not include the touch cover needed to add a keypad to Surface Go – something of a must to take advantage of its productivity credentials. The Verge reported this adds $99 to the total, as does a Surface Pen.
Microsoft said support for Office apps was “one of the things that was critical to the experience we had in mind”.
But the $399 price point puts it in competition with Apple’s base $329 iPad, which has access to a large catalogue of apps optimised for the tablet.
Surface Go runs Windows 10 S, with a “one-way” switch to Windows 10 available. It features a PixelSense display with 1800×1200 resolution and ten-point multitouch.
Two configurations of the Intel-powered device are available: with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage (eMMC), or 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (SSD). It also has a built-in kickstand.
Orders are already being taken for a Wi-Fi version of Surface Go, with products available from 2 August. An LTE-enabled version will follow “later this year”.