In our testing, our only complaint about the Surface Pro 9 (besides the lack of a microSD slot) is that the battery life is less than that of the previous Surface Pro. Microsoft claims 15.5 hours of battery life on the Wi-Fi model and 19 hours on the 5G model. We’re testing the latter and will share our thoughts soon.
Specs to look for: Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
The most affordable and smallest member of the Surface family is the 10.5-inch Surface Go 3. If your needs are minimal, or you prefer a tiny computer, this is the one you should buy. Despite its slower Intel chip, it still gets the job done. This third-generation model lacks the all-day battery life of its predecessor, but Windows 11 is a more enjoyable touchscreen experience.
The Go is great for note-taking thanks to its excellent Surface Pen compatibility. Attach the Type Cover, and it’s a surprisingly good (if small) tablet-laptop hybrid. It might not be able to compete with the iPad Pro in terms of sheer computing power, but the Go 3 is affordable enough to satisfy most college students or anyone with the budget for a second laptop.
The $400 version is attractive, but if you need the Surface Go 3 as your main computer, it’s not a good choice. Its smaller, slower storage drive and limited RAM can make multitasking and demanding applications feel slower. If you can, go for the $630 configuration instead.
Like the Surface Pro, the Go 3 doesn’t include the Type Cover keyboard or the Surface Pen, so remember to choose them when you buy the tablet.
Specs to look for: Intel Core i3, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD
The Surface Laptop Studio (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a powerhouse transformer for the Surface line. Thanks to its clever hinge, you can get a 2-in-1 laptop and a tablet, and, if you like it, it’s the graphics card. It’s that rare combination of power and flexibility that makes it a solid choice for creative professionals.
It makes the most sense for the Laptop Studio to use an Intel i7 chip, which adds Nvidia’s GeForce RTX discrete graphics. The price jumps to $2,100 for this configuration, but if you plan to edit video or play games, the extra graphics power is worth the investment. Each version has a beautiful 14-inch touch display with a 120 Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling. The tactile trackpad is also one of the best we’ve tested.
One compromise the Surface Laptop Studio makes is weight. While tablet mode is great for taking notes and sketching, a 4-pound tablet isn’t something you want to hold around for long periods of time. It works best with a tablet on a desk or lap.
Specs to look for: Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce RTX
It’s a lite version, dare I say it, Lovely The small laptop is to the Surface Laptop what the Surface Go 2 is to the Surface Pro. That said, the “Go” moniker implies that the focus is on portability and price, not power. The Surface Laptop Go 2 won’t wow you with stellar benchmarks, but it’s very portable and stylish. It’s fun to use.
It’s small, has clean lines, and feels solid in the hand—a rarity at this price point. The top is aluminum and the bottom is polycarbonate resin, which is harder and stronger than typical laptop plastic. It feels like a $1,000 laptop, but it does make some compromises to keep the price so low, like no keyboard backlight. Battery life could be better, too. Microsoft claims the Surface Go 2 can last up to 13.5 hours, but we averaged closer to 7 hours. The biggest is a sub-par screen that doesn’t even have an HD (1080p) resolution. This means text may appear slightly pixelated.
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