Microsoft Surface Go 3 is the software giant’s latest iteration of the 10.5 ”Surface Go 2. It’s a refresh – slightly faster processor, Wi-Fi 6 and a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port for upstream charging, audio / video and data.
You buy it because it’s one of the smallest, fully functional Windows 11 tablets. The processor is not for heavy lifting, but it is perfect for Microsoft 365, browsing, audio and video content consumption, and it can drive two 4K @ 60Hz monitors and its monitor.
This is a mini-review of a min-tablet, so feel free to ask unanswered questions.
Microsoft Surface Go 3
|Models||Intel Pentium 6500Y 4/64 $ 628 and 8 / 128GB $ 846
Core i3-10100Y is still coming
Special prices for students and business
|Guarantee||12 month ACL|
|company||Microsoft is a US multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington. It develops, produces, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers and related services|
|More||Cybershack Microsoft News and Reviews|
Processor – fine for easy work
Choose from dual-core, low-watt (3.5-7W) Intel Pentium 6500Y 14nm 1.1 / 3.4GHz, Amber-Lake series (GeekBench 5 single / multi-core 767/1523) or Core i3-10100Y (GeekBench / 189090/5 9 9). Currently (29/11/21) the i3 is only available on its 4 / 64GB and 8 / 128GB Business website for $ 769/1039. Unless you need the extra power, the Pentium is fine.
RAM – 4 GB or 8 GB
Go for the latter, allowing for more multitasking and open browser tabs.
Storage space – 64 or 128 GB plus a microSD slot
64GB is eMMC flash and 128GB is SSD – again, go for the latter, but it also has a MicroSD slot for 1TB that is available as a disk drive.
Screen – 10.5: 1920 x 1280, 3: 2, touch, Gorilla Glass 3
It’s just the right size as a paper white Kindle reader (with the app) for a bright 400nit / 1500: 1 contrast HDR replay-compatible video content screen. It is 105% sRGB (the surface always has amazing screens) and very color accurate. The hinged signature Surface support foot folds back to 165 °.
Battery – 11 hours of use, but closer to 7-8 hours of office use
More importantly, the recharging time is about 2 hours using the Microsoft Surface Connector 25W charger. But it’s great for travelers, as you can also use a 5V / 3A cigarette lighter adapter – even if the charging time is doubled.
You can also use any USB-C PD 2.0 25W or more charger or a powerbank with at least 25W charging (most will handle 9V / 3A).
Wi-Fi 5 AX and Bluetooth 5.0 – fast
It connects to our NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200 AX1100 router at 2400 Mbps and keeps the signal strong at around 15 meters – it’s seriously fast. Bluetooth is good for about 25 meters.
Port – USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps, Surface Connect, Keyboard Pogo and 3.5 mm
To extend this, you can use a cheaper dongle like the ATEN USB-C Travel Dock UH3239 (review) or even an advanced plug-in Intel Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 docking station (backward compatible with USB-C 3.2 Gen 2).
Sound – 73dB and light vocals
It is quite comfortable for general music and clear voice, but the lack of bass (and can you blame the tiny speakers) means that it is far better to use a Bluetooth or wired headphones. This is loud and clear with good left / right stereo separation.
To learn more about measuring sound, read How to tell if you have good music (audio signature is the key).
Camera / microphone – excellent sharp and bright video images
- Back: 8MP sensor, fixed focus, 1080p @ 30fps
- Front page: 5MP with IR for Windows Hello logo and 1080p @ 30fps – great for Skype
- Microphones in two study classes that are sufficient for a distance of about 2m.
Keyboard / trackpad and stylus – at extra cost
You may not need the keyboard or pen if all you need is a Windows tablet. It has 1 mm throw and 30 g activation, so it is really not for experienced typists. The pen is the older Bluetooth barrel type, still with 4096 pressure levels and perfect for annotation and doodles.
- Type Cover $ 149.95
- Signature Type Cover $ 199.95
- Surface Pen $ 139.95
- Surface Go Sleeve $ 119.95
- Microsoft 365 1/6 people $ 99/129
Tip – as it’s fully compatible with the Surface Go / 2, check out eBay where you can find new and used from around $ 50. Ditto for the pen.
Cybershack View – Microsoft Surface Go 3 is a mighty little tablet
Buy it for what it is. A Windows 11 (comes in S mode that you can upgrade to Home for free) with expansion options and options to make it a perfect lightweight, small device for travelers, students and commuters. The stand is practical for ground tables in aircraft.
If you need more, check out our Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – a brand new device with Thunderbolt 4 (review).
Microsoft Surface Go 3
From $ 628
- Enough power for everyday tasks and content consumption
- Can be expanded to two 4K @ 60Hz screens
- Fair price for Windows 11 tablet
- No IP rating (few tablets have this)