Microsoft Surface Go 3 Review

by -73 views


The Surface Get 3 has seen minor improvements since its predecessor, with a CPU upgrade and Windows 11 improving the tablet experience. But there’southward little hither to make it more tempting than Apple’s iPad, especially once yous gene in the poor bombardment life and mediocre specs.


  • Boosted performance
  • Windows 11 improves the tablet feel
  • Nifty design, with built-in stand up


  • Minor improvements compared to Surface Go ii
  • Poor battery life
  • Type Cover costs extra
  • iPad is faster and has a improve screen


  • United kingdom
    RRP: £369
  • United states
    RRP: $399.99

Key Features

  • Improved CPU performance:
    Microsoft has upgraded the CPU for the Surface Go 3, boosting the functioning compared to its predecessor.

  • Pre-installed with Windows 11:
    Windows 11 enhances the tablet feel with a more than touch-friendly navigation and an improved app store.

  • Compatible with Type Cover:
    The Surface Go three tin can be connected to a detachable keyboard, turning into a makeshift laptop, merely you lot’ll demand to pay extra for this accessory.


The Surface Become iii is the latest entry in Microsoft’s range of tablets, which tin as well be turned into a makeshift laptop when paired with the sold-separately Type Cover.

It’due south an appealing form cistron for watching video and scrolling through social media, while besides being handy for writing duties with a prune-on keyboard.

But can information technology compete with Apple tree’s iPad or the more fordable Lenovo Chromebook Duet? I’m unconvinced, despite the additions of Windows 11 and a more powerful CPU making it a slightly improved experience compared to the Surface Go 2.


  • No changes to design since Surface Get 2
  • Type Embrace notwithstanding costs extra
  • Great build quality, and born stand up

The Surface Laptop 3 has the exact same blueprint as its predecessor. Even if you whip your ruler out and beginning meticulously measuring every edge, you’ll realise the dimensions are unchanged at just eight.3mm thick.

I personally don’t think this is an effect, equally the Surface Go 3 both looks and feels bang-up, with a metal build and a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen boasting a far college quality than say the cheaper Amazon Fire tablets.

The built-in stand is one of my favourite aspects of the Surface Go range, allowing yous to prop it upwardly on a table without the demand of a dissever accompaniment. The stand feels study too, and so should easily withstand the bumps of a railroad train journey.

It’s unfortunate that Microsoft doesn’t bundle the Type Embrace with the Go, which costs a whopping £99 – or an even more than plush £124.99 if you want an Ice Blue, Platinum or Poppy Reddish variations. It’s a similar story with Apple’s iPad, but the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is worth checking out if you lot desire everything arranged together at default.

The Surface Go Type Cover feels fine. It magnetically clips to the tablet’s underside, every bit well as the lesser bezel to create a comfortable slant. But the keys are rather shallow, and the keyboard’s deck is noticeably flimsy, causing the Type Cover to bounce upward and downwards as you hammer at the keys.

Microsoft's Type Cover

It’s fine for the likes of web browsing, writing emails or even completing brusk bursts of homework, but those who demand to write lots and lots of copy will likely want a proper keyboard instead.

You’ll find a few ports on the device’southward edge, including USB-C, a MicroSDXC menu reader, 3.5mm headphone jack and the Surface Connect port for ability delivery. I’d personally like to have at to the lowest degree one additional USB-C port, just can understand why Microsoft hasn’t been able to squeeze a USB-A onto its slender frame.

In that location’s also a 1080p webcam above the screen, which captures surprisingly decent video, at least for the likes of Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Information technology even supports Windows Howdy for facial recognition logins. A rear-facing 1080p photographic camera can also exist found round the dorsum of the device, although it’s nowhere almost the standard of flagship smartphone sensors, so I don’t recommend using it for your holiday snaps.


  • Full HD display is ideal for watching video
  • Has swell dissimilarity and a good range of colours
  • iPad boats superior specs and costs less

I’ve got no complaints with the x.5-inch screen. The 1920 x 1280 resolution is enough abrupt enough for a tablet this size, and it presented video with plenty of brightness and colour.

I enjoyed watching Netflix and the like on this tablet, proving to be a good device for portable watching. I was especially impressed to see how vivid the colours looked when watching cartoons such equally SpongeBob SquarePants, making it ideal for children.

SpongeBob on screen

I used a colorimeter to test the performance of the screen, and the results backed up my outset impressions. The 375-nit figure is easily vivid enough for use outdoors, while the 1368:1 recorded contrast is better than most laptop or tablet screens at this price, resulting in a pleasant video experience.

Color accurateness is high plenty for watching video and creating digital art, although you’ll want a greater range of colours hither for professional person piece of work – the Surface Become merely isn’t designed for such use cases.

But while I’m quietly pleased with the Surface Go iii’s display, information technology’s as well worth knowing yous can go better elsewhere. Apple’s entry-level iPad is non just cheaper, simply boasts a ten.2-inch screen with a 2160×1620 resolution and up to 500-nits of brightness. And the Surface Get 3 screen is no improvement on that of the £279.99 Lenovo Duet Chromebook either.


  • Ii processor options available
  • High-terminate chip offers reasonable speeds
  • Windows 11 improves the tablet experience

Performance is the simply area Microsoft has significantly improved the Surface Go 3 compared to its predecessor. You now get the option of ii fries: the dual-core Intel Pentium 6500Y (from £369) or the dual-core Intel Core i3-10100Y (from £569). Neither options are powerful plenty to compete with a high-terminate laptop, but they’re adequate for a tablet.

Microsoft sent me a unit with an i3-10100Y chip, which is the most powerful yous can currently get. The Surface Become 3 ran perfectly well with this flake, hopping from web folio to web page without much delay. But don’t look this tablet to ability through taxing applications, as it’s designed for bones day-to-twenty-four hour period tasks and little else.

Surface Go 3 Surface Go 2 Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Processor Intel Core i3-10100Y Intel Pentium Gold 442Y MediaTek Helio P60T
PCMark ten 2648 1888 Northward/A
Geekbench 5 single-core 907 427 263
Geekbench 5 multi-cadre 1596 970 915

The criterion results testify a sizable performance jump compared to the Surface Go ii, although that’s admittedly an unfair comparison since I’m using the results of the entry-level Surface Get 2 configuration. In Geekbench v, the iPad (9th Generation) greatly outpaces the Surface Become 3 with its 3330 multi-core score thanks to the power of the Bionic A13 chip – it’due south yet another surface area where Apple tree beats Microsoft.

Microsoft sadly hasn’t improved the storage capacity, with merely 64GB eMMC and 128GB SSD options available. That really isn’t much storage infinite at all, then you’ll probable need to brand a lot of utilise out of cloud services in gild to shop all of your documents, photos and videos.

The Surface Go 3 comes with Windows 11 preinstalled, and the new operating system makes for a far better tablet experience than Windows 10. The centralised taskbar and a focus on icons and widgets (opposed to claustrophobic menus) have all been designed with a touchscreen in mind. And the improved Windows xi app store is also a big boon for those who want to use the Surface Go 3 like a traditional tablet.

Surface Go 3

That all said, I still remember Windows xi lags behind the likes of iPadOS and ChromeOS for touchscreen use. The iPad simply offers a far more streamlined and user-friendly feel, with no extra fiddling required to get every homescreen and app optimised for prods and swipes. The Surface Become 3 is arguably more intuitive when used with a keyboard and mouse, but you’re better off buying a Chromebook or mid-range Windows laptop if that’south going to exist your master method of use.

It’s besides worth pointing out that Windows xi is available for free on any Windows laptop or tablet device, as long as it meets the system requirements. This means you lot can install Windows 11 on a Surface Become two, and so you’re non getting any benefits in terms of software by spending extra on the Surface Go three.

Battery life

  • Worse battery life than the Surface Go ii
  • Lasted just 7 hours and thirty minutes in benchmark test

The upgrade to a new processor has actually come at a cost for Surface Go 3, as benchmark results suggest it actually has worse stamina than the Surface Get ii.

After turning the brightness downwardly to 150 nits and running the PCMark ten office battery benchmark, the Surface Go three lasted only 7 hours and 30 minutes earlier shutting down. For comparison, the Surface Go 2 lasted nine hours and 13 minutes in the same examination.

Surface Go 3

That’south a major issue, as the Surface Go two already had an average battery life compared to the contest. The iPad (9th Generation) lasted around 10 hours during testing, while the Lenovo Chromebook Duet was capable of a far more impressive 13-60 minutes effigy.

The Surface Go 3’s poor battery life also means that y’all may be improve off sticking with the older Surface Get 2 instead, especially since information technology has been discounted this yr and will probable feature in the Blackness Friday sales.

Latest deals

Should you purchase information technology?

You want a Windows 11 tablet:
Windows 11 is a dainty step up on Windows 10 for tablets, with more affect-friendly icons making it far easier to navigate. Still, it’s worth pointing out that Windows 11 is available every bit an upgrade for the Surface Go ii besides.

You’re happy to become for an iPad or Chromebook:
The biggest outcome with the Surface Go three is that it doesn’t offer up an reward over the iPad, despite Apple tree’s tablet seeing a lower cost. Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet also represents superior value past bundling in the detachable keyboard.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard not to be disappointed by the Surface Become 3. The just real comeback here compared to the Surface Go 2 is a speedier processor, but that’south also been beginning past the shorter battery life.

This is still a good tablet, with a dandy design and lovely screen, but Apple’s iPad offers superior quality at a cheaper price, while the Lenovo Chromebook Duet represents far amend value since it bundles in the keyboard attachment complimentary of charge.

How we test

We exam every tablet we review thoroughly. Nosotros use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the tablet as our main device over the review period. Nosotros’ll ever tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a production.

Used as our principal tablet during exam period

Tested with constructed benchmarks and real world use

You might like…


Tin can you apply a mouse with Surface Go?

Yep, you lot’ll be able to use a wireless mouse since it features Bluetooth. Wired mice are a little more than tricky, as there’south no USB-A port, but you lot can plug an adaptor into the USB-C port instead.

Does the Surface go accept USB ports?

Yes, but only the latest USB-C standard. It does characteristic the quondam rectangle-shaped USB-A connection.

Does Microsoft Surface Become come with keyboard?

No, you lot’ll need to pay actress for the keyboard accessory, which has a starting cost of £99.99.

Trusted Reviews test data

Geekbench five multi cadre

Geekbench 5 single cadre

3DMark Time Spy

PCMark Battery (role)


Adobe RGB


White Visual Colour Temperature


Black level


CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed

CrystalDiskMark Read speed

PCMark 10

Surface Go 3




seven.five hrs

68.v %

66.2 %

94.nine %

6166 K


0.2741 nits

374.98 nits

256.36 MB/s

1618.58 MB/due south


Full specs

Britain RRP




Screen Size

Storage Capacity

Forepart Camera

Battery Hours

Size (Dimensions)



Operating Arrangement

Release Engagement

Beginning Reviewed Engagement


Refresh Rate






Display Applied science

Screen Technology

Touch Screen


Surface Become iii



Intel Pentium 6500Y / Intel Core i3-10100Y


10.5 inches



seven xxx

175 245 8.3 MM ten x

544 Grand


Windows eleven



1920 10 1280

lx Hz

1x USB-C, headphone jack, Surface Connect, MicroSDXC Carte du jour Reader

Intel UHD Graphics 615

4GB, 8GB

WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0





Not Applicable

Jargon buster

Refresh Rate

The number of times the screen refreshes itself per second.


The brightness level of a brandish. 300 nits is regarded as the minimum target for high-end screens.


The modern USB connector you’ll find on near Android phones, new laptops, cameras and games consoles. It’due south reversible and used for charging along with data-transfer.


Posted by: