Microsoft Surface Go puts Intel power in a $399 slate

After details leaked earlier this afternoon, Microsoft has revealed the full Monty of its next Surface: the Surface Go. This 10″ slate starts at $399. Unlike Redmond's past entry-level slates, it runs Windows 10 in S Mode on top of a two-core, four-thread Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU, according to The Verge. In theory, then, the Surface Go is a settings toggle away from native compatibility with the vast x86 app ecosystem—a stumbling block that has relegated past ARM-powered entry-level Surfaces to obscurity.

The Surface Go shows Windows to the world with a 3:2, 1800×1200 display. The base $399 model has 4 GB of RAM and a 64-GB SSD, while a $549 model bumps the RAM to 8 GB and solid-state storage to 128 GB. The Verge says the device has a Windows Hello-compatible front-facing camera, a USB Type-C port that can handle charging and data, and Microsoft's own Surface Connector for those with legacy chargers or docking accessories.

Like its other Surface devices, Microsoft doesn't pack a keyboard cover or pen in the Go's box. The Surface Go's trademark Alcantara Type Cover is still a $100-and-up extra, and its Surface Pen is another $100 on top of that. The Verge says Microsoft is also introducing a $35 Surface Mobile Mouse with Bluetooth connectivity, two buttons, and a scroll wheel to go with the Go. The mouse, Surface Pen, and Type Cover will be available in silver, red, and blue.

Wi-Fi versions of the Surface Go will begin shipping early next month, while LTE versions are coming later this year in an unspecified time frame.

Comments closed
    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 1 year ago

    None of you naysayers get it. With a color-calibrated 3:2 FHD screen, in two years these will be on fire sale and make excellent photo frames.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 1 year ago

    It’s way over priced. I got a Miix a few years ago for $550 from Costco and it came with 8GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD and a decent enough CPU for the price. Best part, the keyboard was included (even it it was rubbish until a few firmware updates).

    That said, it was a huge flop in the house. The oldest kiddo, now 6, didn’t like it. Why? Most of her home school apps weren’t available on the tablet. The ones that were all relied on web and Adobe Flash. To this day, Windows 10 still has a very sparse app store. What apps are there and decent often are shared on the XBox One (Plex, Netflix, Cuphead, etc.). As a “fun” device, the thing has no games that she liked. Bluestacks ran like garbage on it. There were a few games that were on her Android tablet as well as Windows Store, but, for some stupid reason, the Windows version ran like garbage on the newer, much more powerful Windows device.

    The chicken/egg time has come and gone. Only one of the two ever showed up. I LOVE this kind of device. I think it has a lot of potential. I’d love one for work (drawing in meetings FTW!). But until they get some real-world use cases for Windows in Tablet mode it’s just a solution looking for a problem, as it has been for years.

    • End User
    • 1 year ago

    The lower you go hardware wise the less relevant Windows 10 becomes.

    Windows 10 S is a dead product because UWP apps are crap. Remember the days when Windows was the app leader? iOS and Chrome OS (with Android apps) crush Windows store app numbers in both quantity and quality.

    Full Windows 10 is wasted on a device with only 4 GB of RAM and 64-GB of slow storage.

    And the keyboard is an additional $100! SAD!

    As an “educational device” I can only ask why you would deliberately hobble a child’s development by giving them this piece of crap?

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 1 year ago

    I’d like a product like this. It would be the same form factor as my aging iPad, but would run full Windows, allowing me to install normal games and software on it. The problem is that at the price point you start getting into the 2-in-1 offerings from the Dells of the world. It would be tough to justify paying $600 for this when you could have a more powerful device with a bigger screen that’s just not quite as nifty.

    I wish people would stop saying that it’s a $400 device and showing it with the keyboard and the pen because that’s a $600 device. This thing is really hamstrung without a keyboard. The whole promise of the device is that it will be a laptop and a tablet. Without the keyboard it’s just a tablet.

      • onlysublime
      • 1 year ago

      yes, if you buy everything at once, it’s not a $400 device. But a lot of us pay as we go. I don’t think of my desktop as a single price. It’s a money pit where I upgrade as I go, keeping old parts while adding new parts along the way. I didn’t start off buying 12 TB of storage for my desktop. When I upgraded my Surface Pro 4 to my Surface Pro 2017, I didn’t buy a new pen or keyboard right away. I kept using my old stuff and upgraded later on. Similarly, if you already have a Bluetooth keyboard from your iPad, you could use it on this machine. Or if you have a bluetooth mouse from your other PCs, you could use it here too. As for Dells, they save their nice displays for higher priced machines. the ones that are below $600 are all terrible with that bluish hue and poor brightness and poor viewing angles.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      I absolutely needed to be $400 in a usable form.

      eMMC is not acceptable at $400
      Using it without a keyboard is not acceptable at $400.

      It’s not only the hardware though; iOS has a robust ecosystem of apps that are touch-first, meaning that a $329 iPad is usable, without question. Is Windows 10 and it’s UWP ecosystem touch-first? I don’t think so. I think that keyboard is mandatory, putting the Suface Go’s minimum usable configuration at $499.

      $499 vs $329 – so the price you pay for deviating from Apple is a $170-shaped hole in your wallet and a pretty barren app store, just so that you can maybe pretend you have a W10 laptop yet one that still has only netbook specs.

      • LostCat
      • 1 year ago

      I already have a bluetooth keyboard, a USB hub for C to A, and many wired keyboards if I choose to use them. And a bluetooth mouse.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    This is some Apple-worthy crippling on the low-end model. eMMC storage and 4GB of memory is not going to be a pleasant experience.

      • blastdoor
      • 1 year ago

      Perhaps you have some other example in mind, but the current low-end of the iPad by now seems to me to be a very compelling performer. Part of that is due to the superior optimization of iOS, but whatever the reason, I don’t think this criticism applies.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        I’m mostly talking about low-end Macs. Like the Mac mini so old it could go out for a beer legally, or the entry-level iMac with a dual-core CPU. And both of those systems come with spinning storage.

        Also, I can’t seriously consider the low-end iPad as long as Apple insists on saving five cents by not including an anti-reflective coating on the display.

          • tipoo
          • 1 year ago

          Oh I agree on that, Apple needs to kill any HDD only model. At least the el cheapo 32GB NAND fusion drive to spruce those up.

          • blastdoor
          • 1 year ago

          Well, yeah…. the current Mac lineup is horribly out of date, but that applies to almost the entire lineup not just the low end :-/

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      Irony being Apple was the earliest to get their full mobile line past eMMC, first to NVMe, and generally led that pack for years, with Samsungs UFS being the step between that and eMMC. But yeah, RAM is most often their lagging tail.

        • blastdoor
        • 1 year ago

        There was a period of time when they stuck to 512 MB of RAM in iDevices, and that was pretty ridiculous.

        But these days it seems to me that while the amount of RAM they include might be awful for Windows, it actually works very well for iOS. Have you had some experiences on A9 and later devices where you’ve noticed performance issues that you suspect are due to RAM constraints?

          • tipoo
          • 1 year ago

          I mean, sticking to 1GB up to the iPhone 6 was dragging it out a bit, and it’s a noticeable userfeel difference over the A9 with 2GB, 6 reloaded safari tabs all the time. And the iPhone 8 is still 2GB today, which I wouldn’t say is a bad experience on yet, but you can start to feel its limits at the periphery on iOS11 (if 12 fixes all that, great). It feels like what will be the first limit to these devices performances.

          I just mean, for all their CPU core and often GPU leadership, the RAM usually sticks to the “just enough to be good now” amount in comparison, and history shows is often what becomes the bottleneck before the SoC (iPhone 4 vs iPad 1 support, that one iPod Touch with half the RAM, etc).

          It sounds like the next iPhones will move to 4GB, that’s great, but it always feels like the last capacity sticks it out one generation longer than one would want, like the 2GB iPad Pro and iPhone 8 Regular.

            • blastdoor
            • 1 year ago

            Good points — I guess they do seem to repeatedly stick with an amount of RAM that is a tad low for a little too long.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      I have a Braswell 4GB tablet with 64GB of eMMC right now, and it was $200 in 2017, including the magnetic keyboard cover.

        • NTMBK
        • 1 year ago

        Ah yes, the legacy of Intel’s great contra-revenue effort. They successfully devalued their own product, and now nobody wants to pay >$200 for an Intel tablet.

          • Chrispy_
          • 1 year ago

          I think the eMMC and low-end Braswell was the problem.

          Sure, it was half the price of an iPad, but it was also only half as nice to use.

    • LostCat
    • 1 year ago

    I preordered the thing to replace my iPad with something I’ll actually use.

    • tipoo
    • 1 year ago

    On sleeping on it, the problems exactly reflect the 2015 Surface 3.

    399 sounds great for a package like this. But the 399 package has 4GB of RAM compounded by slow eMMC storage, so that’s a skip.

    $549 model – much better, double the RAM and a real SSD controller. Also without a keyboard, another 130, so now you’re comparing a laptop with a Pentium Gold 4415Y to 680 dollar laptops, and before the Pen if you want that, and at that range we’re getting at some decent ultrabooks with Core M or U series instead.

    So whether you want that tablet part becomes the main decider, but that 549 package would have been a lot nicer as the base 399, even if the RAM shortage is to blame.

      • Eversor
      • 1 year ago

      The question is: what do you get for a similar price right now?

      Most laptops I see don’t really come with better SSDs but most have HDDs – so the eMMC is leaps ahead there. The CPU is also better than “Apollo Lake” parts, though I don’t understand why they wouldn’t go for “Gemini Lake”, as it should be similarly priced and the N5000 is 2000/6000 on GB4.
      Passmark is also 20%+ or so in favor of the N5000.

      There is a caveat though: my limited experience with an N3350 tells me they are much more prone to be working at the base clock than the Turbo clock, so the sustained performance may be in favor of the 4415y. Compared with Braswell cores, the newer ones seem to be very power hungry.

        • tipoo
        • 1 year ago

        Just on a quick look, number 3 looks promising – full 256GB SSD, Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, and the display is a slight step back on PPI but at least is a 1080P IPS, Windows 10 not-S-Club, allegedly similar battery life to the alleged battery life of the GO.

        [url<]https://laptopunderbudget.com/best-laptops-under-700-dollars/[/url<] And yeah my experience with the N3160 is the same, the *Mont family seems to have a different concept of turbo boost than the fuller cores which try to do it whenever needed if thermals allow, instead it's much more picky about when to break past base clock.

          • Eversor
          • 1 year ago

          I think the $549 model doesn’t make much sense with these CPUs but I also expect the build quality to be hard to match without lowering the specs (even the ASUS UX).

          I was mostly talking about the lower end models, which if you add the type cover to bring it to $500, I don’t think you can still find a decent screen on laptops at this price point. You’d have to also bring an N3060/N3350/Z8350 attached to it.

          I personally also found that 4GB is enough for most users – no one is expecting to do more than Facebook and Netflix on this, gamers will go for bigger laptops.

            • tipoo
            • 1 year ago

            I guess the cheaper model would actually fare better, though I mentally passed on it due to eMMC. The closest competition I could find was the Chromebook Flip, if Windows isn’t a requirement. If it is,well then that’s settled, but you can get a Intel Core m3-6Y30 in a flip-back design here, again 1080p, sub 3 lbs, but unlike the 700 dollar price point, the Surface Go’s CPU, RAM, and eMMC are just matched and not bested.

            [url<]https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371334,00.asp[/url<]

          • Vinceant
          • 1 year ago

          … but those are all laptops, and not tablets. This device isn’t competing with those devices. This device is competing with the Tab S3 and the iPad.

            • Chrispy_
            • 1 year ago

            Not quite.

            The Surface Go has to compete with laptops whilst trying to also be a tablet, because Microsoft’s app ecosystem is not touch-first. Nobody looking for a touch-based experience will ever choose Windows over Android or iOS, because if the apps are even on the UWP Windows store [i<]at all[/i<] they're generally less good because developers focus all of their attention on iOS and Android where 99.9% of their customers are. iOS and Android generally get the latest apps and updates too; If you are expecting a software fix or the latest new game, you might have to vent your frustration for 3-6 weeks whilst everyone else (and the version on your phone) get what your Surface Go does not. So yes, Microsoft are trying to position the Go as an iPad killer, but it is not because the iPad's success is the software ecosystem that Microsoft doesn't have. Microsoft's USP is native x86 support, and that means the Go is squarely positioned in competition with netbooks and ultrabooks.

          • Ninjitsu
          • 1 year ago

          Honestly speaking High DPI + Win32 is still not there yet. I have a T460 at work, and even a 1080p display on a 14″ screen still causes issues.

          • Spunjji
          • 1 year ago

          I’d theorise that it’s mostly because you really, really notice in a tablet when a CPU blasts through its thermal and power budgets, so the *mont cores have to spend more time behaving themselves. You see much the same in mobile with ARM chips.

          Meanwhile the *lake series are free to have “15W” SoCs that actually need more like 35W to run at anything near their turbo speeds for any length of time, because active cooling will cover all sorts of sins for long enough to run a benchmark.

            • tipoo
            • 1 year ago

            Could be the tablet aim, mine was in a Acer Chromebook 14″ though. I wished I could uncap it and let it boost more, since I had plenty of battery life to spare and I couldn’t find the remotest spot of heat on the metal chassis.

      • onlysublime
      • 1 year ago

      the Surface 3 had serious pricing issues, much worse than this machine. it was $499 with 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of eMMC storage, and an Atom processor. The 4 GB option with 128 GB storage added $100 to the price. And then you start adding the keyboard and the pen and it pushed into Surface Pro range with much poorer performance. This new Surface Go machine actually has decent performance. Then again, it’s 3 years newer.

    • Hsldn
    • 1 year ago

    This is a dead product. The main point of buying a windows tablet is to be able to use it as a laptop when necessary. 10″ is too small for windows environment. Maybe enough for tablet only use scenarios but why buy windows tablet then?

      • Thresher
      • 1 year ago

      I agree. It’s DOA.

      As a tablet, the iPad will be faster, as a laptop, it will be one of the slowest you can buy.

      I don’t see a niche this product can fill successfully.

      • sweatshopking
      • 1 year ago

      It’s aimed at education. Depending on what you’re doing it could be significantly better than some of the current devices schools are using. Certainly in terms of features and build quality it comes out ahead.

        • Voldenuit
        • 1 year ago

        [quote<]Certainly in terms of features and build quality it comes out ahead.[/quote<] I will be very surprised if the ifixit teardown shows this Surface Go as assembled via anything other than glue, and glue, and more glue. Just like all the other Surface products. Build quality my as-terisk.

      • Pancake
      • 1 year ago

      Dunno about that. I LOVED the form factor of my Asus Transformer T100 with 10″ screen if not the rubbish build quality. Perfect size – to me with my Trump-sized hands – for software development when travelling. So, there’s a sub-culture of weirdos who fetishize ultra-small Windows laptops and I am a loud, proud member.

      I just want one.

        • onlysublime
        • 1 year ago

        I had major problems with the T100 that wasn’t in Surface 3. You can’t have the device on your lap because the tablet was much heavier than the keyboard and would cause the machine to fall over backward. This never happened with any Surface machine on my lap. And even if the machine is on the desktop, if you tapped the screen with enough force, it caused the machine to tilt backward as well. also, with the T100, all the ports were in the keyboard base which meant that you couldn’t do something as simple as have a thumb drive plugged into the tablet and run a presentation off the flash drive in tablet mode. The size of the keys of the keyboard were ridiculous. No adult could quickly touch type with that keyboard. Hunt and peckers could tolerate it.

          • Pancake
          • 1 year ago

          Well, I have tiny, tiny Trump-like hands so typing on it was never a problem. It was quite usable on an economy-class flight or sitting on a table. I never got into using laptops on my lap. Yes, embarrassingly cheap shiny plastic case.

          I bought it on day-one release not because I needed a new laptop but because… BAYTRAIL!!! That was quite revolutionary at the time as Intel sat on their hands with the horribly slow Bonnell Atom core for far too many years. And then… SILVERMONT!!!

          Relatively speaking “wide” quad-core architecture with OOOP in tiny little low-power devices that lasted implausibly long times on their battery.

      • Zizy
      • 1 year ago

      It is not that bad, netbooks were fairly popular back in the day before tablets killed them.
      The big issue is price. 400$ isn’t too bad for what you get (minus stupid screen, why didn’t they keep 1920×1280? It shouldn’t cost that much more), but 500$ to have it with keyboard is. Sure, it is a high quality netbook, but nobody pays for quality. As a tablet you can use for drawing – iPad is cheaper.
      If there was a cheap keyboard available for this, it would do so much better. I imagine tons would be considering it for 500$ for the base config + pen + keyboard (that serves as a screen protector). Good enough for everything you can do on such a small screen.

        • Hsldn
        • 1 year ago

        it’s not that cheap. Add 100usd for keyboard, 100usd for pen and you are in the 600usd range.

        10″ keyboard is just too small for typing, most windows software don’t work nicely with 10″ screens either.
        Ipad is 9.7″ but it only has tablet apps, so it works for media consumption. Windows doesn’t even have youtube app for tablet mode.

        • EzioAs
        • 1 year ago

        [quote<]why didn't they keep 1920x1280?[/quote<] I'm guessing to get the 216 PPI (which is three times 72 PPI).

      • ron_nelson
      • 1 year ago

      I really liked my surface 3. It’s small, but that’s good for tablet use. and even for my size/hands (6’2″) I was able to use the keyboard fine. In fact longer legs make using it as a laptop work easier. <grin>

      I switched to a 4 pro and passed it on to my wife because of frustrations with the limits of the cpu, but with the bump in speed and x64 virtualization this might be able to work for me. I’ll wait for a Warehouse Club to bundle the keyboard for me, but will certainly be watching…

    • ermo
    • 1 year ago

    The difference between Win10 S and regular Win10 is that Win10 S only runs UWP apps sourced from the Windows Store, right?

    So the “only” thing you get from enabling regular Win10 is Win32 compability and the potentially negative tradeoffs for a HiDPI tablet this implies?

    I’m leaning towards Win10 S being the correct (default) choice for a device like this. Most users in the target audience of these things will probably never need to move beyond UWP apps.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 1 year ago

      I don’t know what this mythical target audience is, but decisions and pricing like this definitely prevents me from being a part of that audience, even though i’m curious about the other benefits of such a device.

      • onlysublime
      • 1 year ago

      say you’re in a school or corporate environment where you want to lock down the configuration of the PC and not have users be able to remove things or modify things. this is also what Windows 10 S is designed for. merely locking out admin rights isn’t enough because there are a lot of things people can still do with regular rights.

    • kvndoom
    • 1 year ago

    Not enough to make me move from my 9.7″ ipad (caught a good sale and got the tablet + a keyboard cover for $329).

    Now I’d be interested in the LTE Surface Go but I’m sure the price premium will be around $200 or so, and that’s more than I’m willing to spend.

    • blastdoor
    • 1 year ago

    According to Geekbench, this is way slower than the 6th generation iPad:

    [url<]https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/6952866[/url<] [url<]https://browser.geekbench.com/ios_devices/53[/url<] Single thread, iPad 1.7 times faster Multithread, iPad 1.5 times faster Does anybody have browser benchmarks for these two? How about GPU? (edit -- I should have clarified that Geekbench does not fairly demonstrate the innate awesomeness of Intel processors. You can see this if you look at the sub scores -- for every single one of them, with the exception of memory latency, the A10 wins by a large margin. This just shows how biased against Intel this benchmark is.)

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      Nice questions. Now answer this:

      1. Why does the A10 Miracle Chip at 2.34 Ghz have worse IPC (it should win by more than 1.7 times) than Intel’s most cut down non-AVX enabled Kaby Lake at only 1.6 Ghz… even in Geekbench?

      2. Why does Apple’s A10 Miracle chip have worse multi-core scaling than than Intel’s most cut down Kaby Lake with only 2 cores… even in Geekbench?

        • tipoo
        • 1 year ago

        “1. Why does the A10 Miracle Chip at 2.34 Ghz have worse IPC (it should win by more than 1.7 times) than Intel’s most cut down non-AVX enabled Kaby Lake at only 1.6 Ghz… even in Geekbench?”

        Why does “at only 1.6GHz” figure in when you’re talking about IPC? Which part are you looking at and did you correct for clocks, for the C part of IPC? And what is the turbo boost speed of the part you’re looking at, most of a GB4 run it would run at?

        Further, that’s not their newest part, A11 is –
        [url<]https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8956494[/url<] For point 2 I would guess hyperthreading, and it does seem like time for Apple to add it since they have an Intel-wide execution window already. (or just downvote neutral toned rational discussion, shouldn't have expected one from an Apple discussion)

          • BurntMyBacon
          • 1 year ago

          [quote=”tipoo”<]Why does "at only 1.6GHz" figure in when you're talking about IPC? Which part are you looking at and did you correct for clocks, for the C part of IPC?[/quote<] The "at only 1.6GHz" figures in because you have two absolute scores based on (disparate) clock rates. To resolve the score to IPC, or as you put it "correct for clocks", the fact that it is 1.6GHz absolutely figures in. Also, the fact that the Intel chip has a lower clock rate than the Apple chip sets the expectation that the Intel chip will look better relative to the Apple chip when evaluated by IPC than it does using the absolute score. That said, I'm not sure where 1.7x came from, as the stated A10 frequency of 2.34GHz is 1.46x the 1.6 GHz Intel chip. IPC equivalency in single threaded benchmarks should see the A10 scoring 1.46x the Intel chip. That said, this doesn't take into account non-linear scaling, bottlenecks in other parts of the system, benchmark biases, platform efficiencies, and other system or software impacts to the benchmark. [quote="tipoo"<]And what is the turbo boost speed of the part you're looking at, most of a GB4 run it would run at? [/quote<] According to the link in the article, there is no turbo on this chip.

        • soccergenius
        • 1 year ago

        1. How are you calculating that? Score/clockspeed? Doesn’t that put it ahead of the Intel part?

        2. The A10 is the smartphone SoC (Not the A10X). It has nearly identical Geekbench scores as the iPhone 7, which suggests similar power draw and thermal ceilings. (The A10 is also 2 high perf-cores, vs 3 high-perf cores for A10X. The A11 has just 2 high-perf cores but can use all 6 cores together.)

          • blastdoor
          • 1 year ago

          How is he calculating it? With AVX-512, of course!

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      GPU compute is 15K vs 12K for the iPad Budget, 30K for the iPad Pro. That A10X GPU is something, for the fanless space, and I’m curious to see what they can scale that up to be. It’s about up with a Iris Plus GPU from a 13″ rMBP, which has a fan or two model depending.

      [url<]https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/2482238[/url<] [url<]https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/2600606[/url<] [url<]https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/2600564[/url<]

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 1 year ago

        I’m a bit surprised that the Intel GPU does that well. I guess I need to adjust my evaluation of them. Intel has never really been know for great GPU performance, though the Iris Pro GPUs with discrete eDRAM chips put up a decent showing. I wonder if their integrated graphics will improve once they start selling discrete GPUs.

          • tipoo
          • 1 year ago

          This Iris Plus’s have eDRAM too btw, the 30K one has 64MB, and the one from the refresh yesterday has 128MB. Iris Pro seems dead in favor of the G package, but Plus has passed the old Pros performance.

          Intel IGPs are also lean compute heavy, so their Geekbench scores are better than their gaming performance would be in relative terms.

      • Goty
      • 1 year ago

      Unfortunately, even with common benchmarks, this is still an apples and oranges comparison. Also, the usual mantra that Geekbench is the furthest thing from a reliable benchmark still applies.

        • tipoo
        • 1 year ago

        If that mantra was more often followed with a reliable cross platform benchmark that would be great 😉

        GB4 also addressed many of the shortcomings of the previous, i.e now the mobile and desktop workloads are the same, the geometric mean prevents encryption from dragging cores up in score, etc, though I’d still like it to factor in boost clocks/throttling by running longer and without pauses.

          • blastdoor
          • 1 year ago

          Agreed — GB seems to favor processors that perform well for short bursts and then throttle. Both intel and Apple benefit from that, albeit in somewhat different ways.

          In this particular comparison though, but processors are forced to exist with in similar thermal constraints. So at least that is being held constant .

      • FireGryphon
      • 1 year ago

      Being a bit faster or slower is nice, but that’s not what would sway my decision from a Surface to an iPad or visa Vera’s. I mean, the G3 was faster than anything Intel could throw at it, but one didn’t choose Mac or PC based on CPU performance. Factors like OS, applications, games, etc. came into play, and that’s orobably the case for hear newer products as well.

        • Pancake
        • 1 year ago

        iMac G3? At the time I was working in R&D in image processing. I very much wanted the G3 to smash Intel as I hated the x86 architecture. But, surprisingly, the P3-450 absolutely mutilated the iMac G3 @ 266MHz (IIRC) by a factor of 3x on my image processing codes which I had favoured the G3 with in terms of code structure and data types. My home workstation – an Alpha 21164 @ 533MHz – completely annihilated the P3 being nearly 4x faster at the same task. Now, if you want to reminisce about ancient god-like CPUs of lore – the DEC Alpha.

          • tipoo
          • 1 year ago

          The G3/PPC750 lacked any form of SIMD at the time while x86 was adding it on, that was the biggest change going to the G4 as the first thing they had to address.

          Perhaps the G4 is what they meant, in some circumstances it did win more than the G3.

            • blastdoor
            • 1 year ago

            Here’s some classic benchmarking for ya:

            [url<]https://homepages.fhv.at/ku/karl/timings30.html[/url<] Apple's claims for the PPC back in the 90s always exaggerated the magnitude of the lead PPC had over x86, but there was a small lead at the same clock speed (maybe 10 to 20%). Once the K7 came out, though, any claims about superior PPC performance had to originate in fantasyland. edit -- I also meant to mention that there were some workloads, especially integer, where the G3 did very well thanks to its unusually large L2 cache. I seem to recall that the SETI client did very on the G3, for example.

            • Pancake
            • 1 year ago

            There were a couple of things in x86’s favour vs PPC. GCC was absolutely woeful for PPC. In comparison, gcc was pretty good for x86 (but not icc great and you had to pay lots to use Intel’s compiler). Cos most people used x86 boxes and lots of effort was spent making it good – much more than everything else. Also, for whatever reason unpacking and repacking packed 8-bit per component pixels to and from floats was horrible on G3 vs x86. And that’s a pretty important operation for image processing.

            GCC for the Alpha was also pretty craptacular but Compaq C Compiler (oh, the injustice still grates after all these years) was a free download and thanks to all the compiler boffins at DEC it emitted great code. And the Alpha ate floating point code like chips (1).

            (1) To North Americans: picture the cookie monster devouring a bucket of cookies. Chomp-chomp-chomp-chomp!

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    That’s pretty nice actually.

    Shame they’re asking $100 for the cover. I know they’re accessories keeping pricing in line with the rest of their Surface range, but it’s really out of place on a budget tablet.

    No matter, if bluetooth iPad keyboards don’t already have a docking slot long enough for the Surface, you can be sure that Logitech and a dozen other companies like Anker will be looking to tap that market soon.

    • odizzido
    • 1 year ago

    If they made these in a regular laptop format I would be way more interested.

    • Zizy
    • 1 year ago

    The base one is pretty decent. Want 😛 RAM doesn’t convince me to upgrade, nor does space, but I am wondering how horrible is that eMMC?

    Pen is quite expensive and fancy for simple note-taking, but at least there are many cheaper alternatives that should be decent enough (from as low as 20$).
    But, is there any cheap keyboard alternative that serves as a screen protector? (cheap = less than 50$). I know ordinary BT keyboard would work, but it wouldnt attach and cover the screen to protect it. MS should have retained that horrible touch keyboard as an option here, they just needed to make it cheaper at 50$.

    • NTMBK
    • 1 year ago

    25% on top for a flappy keyboard feels pretty steep. And I wish Microsoft would stop pushing S mode.

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 1 year ago

      The UWP apps really need to be the future though. Granular permissions and isolation are good things from a security perspective.

      The default Win32 userspace is too open and provides too much of an attack surface for regular users. I would like to see Microsoft encourage UWP heavily while leaving Win32 fully functional for users/apps that need it.

      To the extent that this is achieved by restricting basic devices to UWP apps, I support it. Most malware requires Win32 support to function, so there is a significant threat reduction from using one of these.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        UWP is good.

        Forcing adverts and Microsoft’s product stack (cortana onedrive skype bing) down consumer throats as part of the UWP delivery platform is the sticking point.

        Microsoft are actually poisoning UWP with the way they sell it to people, despite it being the superior option if you look at it from a technical/security standpoint.

      • onlysublime
      • 1 year ago

      S mode is good for an environment where you want to lock down the configuration and not have users tinker with the settings or apps. And if you ever run Windows 10 with no Win32 apps, battery life is amazing. Start adding things like Adobe Creative Suite and other mainstream Win32 apps, even if you aren’t using them, they suck up battery. I have a ton of stuff installed on my Surface Pro 2017 out of necessity, even though I know they use battery even if the program is just installed and not being actively used.

        • LostCat
        • 1 year ago

        You’re conflating installed and running there. Installing a win32 app doesn’t make it use up battery life. If it’s running in the background it certainly can. Or possibly if it installed services, drivers, or an updater/etc.

          • onlysublime
          • 1 year ago

          even if none of your adobe creative suite software is actively running, it will use up battery because of the background-related software. try it out. have a clean windows system. measure battery life over a couple days. install adobe creative suite and measure for a few days. it’s quite noticeable. same for most win32 software. even when they’re not running, they have associated services that will run in the background. this doesn’t happen with UWP or Metro apps.

            • LostCat
            • 1 year ago

            I don’t have Adobe CSS, and I did mention all the reasons it could do that.

            I prefer UWP myself for all those reasons, but most win32 software doesn’t use up the battery when not running.

    • hungarianhc
    • 1 year ago

    Hmmmm…

    The $399 model doesn’t appeal to me. I just can’t think of Windows with only 4GB of RAM…

    The $549 model sounds pretty nice, and if it were priced at $499, I might just jump the gun and buy one, as I’m in the market for a new tablet.

    I’ll wait and see what this next generation of iPads looks like. If they’re fantastic, I’ll get one of those. If they’re pretty good, well then something tells me it won’t be tough to find a Surface Go at a slight discount…

      • Chz
      • 1 year ago

      The sky-high RAM prices at the moment have made most cheaper laptops come with 4GB, and it happened to be the time my Mrs. needed a new one. So I can report on that.

      *So long as the storage is an SSD*, Windows 10 in 4GB of RAM is perfectly usable. With swap on a proper SSD (not that eMMC crap), 4GB is just dandy for most people’s uses. The Yoga I got her even had a Pentium Gold in it, though admittedly clocked a good 50% higher than this one, and performance is quite snappy.

        • bhtooefr
        • 1 year ago

        Although this thing is using LPDDR3, I wonder what prices are like on that (considering it’s phones and tablets adopting LPDDR4 that’s causing the DDR4 price squeeze).

        Could be that fabs are moving DDR3 production over to DDR4, though, to satisfy DDR4 demand, which would mean that LPDDR3 isn’t a bargain any more.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 1 year ago

    Intel didn’t have a newer CPU to use, that was released 2Q17. Still seems like a nice tablet though although accessories will quickly make the price jump.

    • DavidC1
    • 1 year ago

    Meh. S Mode can be upgraded to Home for free, or at least they plan to.

    Pentium Silver N5000 is 20-30% faster in ST, and over 50% faster in MT compared to the 4415Y. The GPU is quite a bit better on the 4415Y, as the HD 615 is 50-70% faster than HD 605. The N5000 is also more integrated and likely has lower platform average power(Atom based platforms always did over Core).

    4415Y doesn’t really justify the “Gold” naming. It should have been a variant of Silver.

    Trade-off. Some will find it worth it, some won’t. I think they could have easily gone the other way. Probably not a big deal for $399.

      • Chz
      • 1 year ago

      The N5000 can’t hold that speed for any length of time without decent cooling. Under any load lasting longer than a second or two, the Pentium Gold is going to be faster. Sometimes by quite a lot.

      And the Gold and Silver monikers are purely to differentiate Core-based Pentiums from Atom-based ones.

        • DavidC1
        • 1 year ago

        Maybe in MT, but due to 2x cores it’ll still be faster.

        [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/Acer-Swift-1-SF114-32-N5000-SSD-FHD-Laptop-Review.303606.0.html#toc-emissions-and-power-the-acer-swift-1-runs-quietly-possessing-a-lot-of-endurance[/url<] The review above shows it runs with *passive cooling* while the temperature for both the chassis and CPU is very well controlled. Throttling is minimal on extended Cinebench run. ST it'll be able to run close to its max clock nearly all the time and in MT, due to 2x the cores it'll maintain greater than 30% advantage even if throttling happens which is small.

    • tipoo
    • 1 year ago

    SSD as in actual SSD, not the horribad eMMC of the Surface 3?

    If so it looks pretty alright, that CPU is twice as fast per core as the Surface 3
    [url<]https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/compare/8943471?baseline=6952866[/url<] Edit: My sources indicate the 64GB is eMMC, the 128GB is a proper SSD.

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      I like your optimism. Not sure if it’s justified, but I like it!

      • sweatshopking
      • 1 year ago

      Your sources are correct.

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