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The new Surface Go 3 flexes its Windows 11 tablet improvements

During Microsoft’s Surface event today, the company is finally pulled the wraps off of its much-rumored, next-gen Surface products. This includes the Surface Go 3, an update to the lightweight 2-in-1 meant to compete with lower-cost tablets like the $329 iPad.

The exterior is nearly identical to the Surface Go 2. The Surface Go 3 retains the same 10.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display with a 1080p display. The 5-megapixel front and 8-megapixel rear cameras are carried over as well, making it a solid choice for students and families.

Surface Go 3 with type cover and mouse.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Surface Go 3 also keeps all of the same ports, including a USB-C and Surface Connect, which helps maintain compatibility with existing Surface docks.

Internally, the Surface Go 3 received minor updates, but even these modest specs should handle Windows 11 well enough. You get a choice between a dual-core Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y processor or a quad-core 10th-gen Core i3-1011Y. Microsoft says upgrading to the Core i3 model makes it “60% faster.”

Storage options of 64GB eMMC and 128GB SSD remain, but Microsoft has also added a larger 256GB SSD storage option. You also have an option between either 4GB or 8GB of RAM.

Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and LTE Advanced using the same Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem as the Surface Go 2. Being a Surface device naturally means it has support for the Surface Pen and the Surface Type Cover. There’s also “enhanced hardware security,” which includes a TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise customers. All of this makes it more compatible with Windows 11 than some modern, high-end gaming rigs.

Surface Go 3 product shot with Surface Pen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The primary upside to the Surface Go 3 is how much better it will be running Windows 11 instead of Windows 10. Windows 11 implements new design changes that make it easier to use touch input. This includes being able to easily manipulate windows using your fingers, as well as redesigned controls such as volume and brightness that are also touch-friendly. Instead of tablet mode, the UI changes slightly to enable bigger buttons and icons. Changes like these make Windows 11 a more natural fit for the Surface line.

Like the Surface Go 2, the Surface Go 3 will run Windows 11 Home in S mode. This means apps can only be downloaded from the revamped Microsoft Store. That may not be such a bad thing considering that makes devices simpler, safer, and easier to manage in education settings. Combine that with the eventual addition of Android apps via the Amazon App Store, and you may have a potent little tablet that provides a compelling alternative to the iPad.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the Surface Go 3 starts at $400, and it’s available for pre-order starting today.

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David Matthews
David is a freelance journalist based just outside of Washington D.C. specializing in consumer technology and gaming. He has…
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