Even though there aren’t any flashy tech launch events happening at the moment, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any products being launched. Microsoft has taken the wraps of their new cheap laptop-tablet hybrid and their top of the line laptops for 2020. The Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3 have been unveiled, promising improved performance and better ergonomics across the board.
Microsoft has also confirmed that Surface models will now become available in South Africa, although exact timelines are still unknown.
Surface Go 2
Let’s start with the Surface Go 2, Microsoft’s small tablet PC. The first version from 2018 brought Microsoft’s hardware into a brand new segment and sold well, yet it had some big flaws that held it back. It was extremely slow at times, just able to do the basics, and it only came with WiFi connectivity options.
The second iteration is a big step up. With a larger 10.5-inch screen (even with the same sized profile as before), an 8th generation Intel Core M processor and LTE Advanced connectivity it rounds out an impressive package for its price.
The base model costs the same as the previous version – $399 – although you’ll want to spend a bit more for accessories. You may also want to fork out a bit more for the Core M model, as the base model has a Pentium Gold 4425Y processor, which is a very minor upgrade from the prior model. The base model has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of SSD storage, where the higher-end model has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. You will pay $630 for the higher end model.
If you want a model with LTE connectivity, you will need to fork out $780 or more, depending on your storage capacity.
On the surface (see what we did there?) it looks like a really good option if you’re looking for a reliable, cheap Windows tablet PC.
Surface Book 3
Microsoft has been trying to take on the Macbook Pro series from Apple with its slim and sleek Surface Book range. The new versions are getting the full modern treatment, with Intel’s 10th generation processors and new NVIDIA graphics cards.
There are two sizes again this time around, with a 13.5-inch and 15-inch version. You can still pop out the screen with the touch of a button, mount it backwards on the keyboard base, or just use the display as a very large tablet. It still works really well with the Surface Pen (of course another accessory at additional cost).
Microsoft say it’s their “most powerful laptop ever,” which is to be expected, but will need to be tested properly in real world scenarios. It will have 50 percent more performance and up to 17.5 hours of battery life, according to the company.
RAM options vary from 8GB to 32GB, which means the laptop can cost anywhere from $1,600 for the lowest-end 13.5-inch version to $2,400 for the full spec 15-inch model.