Microsoft announce the Surface Book 3 & Surface Go 2

Updates to their convertible Laptop and smaller Tablet coming soon

Two products from Microsoft’s lineup of Surface devices just received new revisions, as today Microsoft has announced the Surface Book 3 & Surface Go 2. These updates are designed to refine the designs in subtle ways and bump up the internal specs with newer components. These professional focussed devices will be of interest to anyone looking for a new device to work remotely with.

Surface Book 3

The Surface Book is one of the most popular products in the Surface lineup, for many, it gets close to the promise of being both a good laptop and a good tablet in one. Rather than a kickstand and fold-out keyboard cover, the Surface Book comes as a full laptop in two parts, the detachable screen which can act independently as a standalone tablet, and the robust keyboard base, which the screen docks into. It’s a surprisingly elegant design, that makes it convenient to use in either tablet or laptop form. Surface devices with a kickstand are great for when you have a desk or flat surface to work on, but they’re trickier to use as a laptop actually on your lap, but the Surface Book paired with its keyboard base is much closer to the traditional laptop experience.

There are several GPU options that will be of interest to anyone hoping to do any kind of gaming or any other GPU intensive tasks when on the go. The baseline offers Iris Plus Graphics, which will be decent for basic games, but not much more. There are also configurations with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and Quadro RTX 3000. Note that these dedicated GPUs are contained within the keyboard base, so you will be restricted to onboard GPU whenever in tablet mode, which will not be suitable for gaming.

Microsoft has also doubled the maximum RAM configuration from 16GB to 32GB.

The range of CPUs offered in the Surface Book 3 has shifted from the 7th and 8th generation Intel chips in the Surface 2, over to newer 10th generation i5 and i5 options. These give a significant boost to performance and reduce the drain on the battery.

Beyond these welcome internal changes, there’s not much new to the Surface Book 3, it’s a straightforward refresh that makes the Surface Book 3 an obvious choice for anyone who was waiting for a refresh before opting for a Surface Book 2. There are not many other laptops out there that offer this kind of setup, but the Surface Book has successfully defined a product category that will make a lot of sense for some users.

The Surface Book 3 will be available from May 21, starting at $1599.

Surface Go 2

The Surface Go is designed to be lightweight and convenient to use in a professional or industrial setting and to be affordable. The original model was released back in 2018, so it was due to an update. This new revision gives improvements like increasing the screen size from 10 inches to 10.5 inches whilst maintaining the same physical dimensions, and the resolution is bumped up from 1800×1200 to 1920 x 1280.

They’re also offering it with updated, albeit still fairly low end, processors, where it now comes with a newer Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y, or an 8th Gen Intel Core m3 Processor. Neither of these processors is going to be great for any particularly processor-intensive work, but they do help keep the physical size and power demands on this tablet down.

Another new addition to the Surface Go 2 is Studio Mics, Microsoft’s microphone solution that’s been used in other Surface devices, designed to more clearly pick up your voice and reduce background noise during calls or video conferencing.

This is one of the smallest and lightest Windows tablets available now, so if you want access to Windows software in a tablet form factor, with the option of pairing with a type cover for convenient text entry, this is a great entry-level option.

The Surface Go 2 will be launching on May 12 starting at $399.

They’ve not reinvented the wheel with either of these refreshes, it’s mostly just a selection of expected component updates, minor refinements, and keeping them competitive with other new devices just released or releasing soon, but it’s great to see Microsoft maintaining a commitment to the broad selection of products in the Surface lineup. It’s not entirely clear which major device manufacturers will have had their plans for new announcements impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Microsoft seems to have not been too heavily affected by any disruptions to their workflow or supply chain.

Either of these machines appeals to you? Are there any other refreshes you’re waiting for in Microsoft’s Surface lineup? What else would you like to see in future updates of these models? Let us know in the comments.

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I skew Chaotic Good where possible, and love pressing buttons, viewing pixels and listening to sounds. I’ve written for publications like Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, VG247 and Kotaku UK, and spent 13 years running SavyGamer.co.uk. If you ever get the chance you should ask me to tell you the story about that time I had a fight with a snake on an island off the coast of Cambodia.

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