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Here are the best Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets
Microsoft launched its first Surface 2-in-1 laptop back in 2012, putting the creator of Windows into the PC hardware race for the first time. Many doubted Microsoft would make a true impact, but the company slowly gained traction in the crowded landscape. An exclusive deal with the NFL certainly helped, even if commentators often referred to the Surface as an iPad.
While the company also sells its Microsoft Studio line of all-in-one PCs, most Surface sales come from its tablet 2-in-1 products, convertible laptops, and standard notebook products. Here are the best Microsoft laptops currently available.
Buying the best Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets
Microsoft’s Surface lineup is a rather limited one. However, there are still enough options. Here’s a quick guide to the lineups.
- Surface — The classic hybrid tablet that plays well with a keyboard, quite like an iPad.
- Surface Go — The more affordable Surface tablets.
- Surface Pro — higher-end Pro Surface tablets.
- Surface Book — 2-in-1 devices with a little more focus on working as a proper laptop than the main Surface line.
- Surface Laptop — A proper laptop from Microsoft.
If you’re set on buying a Microsoft Surface device, chances are you already know what you want. To make the right buying choice, consider the following factors.
- Form factor — Surface devices usually come with the classic 2-in-1 form factor, except the Surface laptop, which has a typical laptop design.
- Screen size — Screen sizes don’t vary much here, but will definitely help you choose better. The Surface Go lineup is quite smaller than the others.
- Budget and specifications — These two go hand in hand. Your use cases will determine what specs you need, and you need to balance that with the budget to get the best value.
Once you have those two things nailed down, it should be pretty easy to make your choice. We have our best picks listed down below for you.
The best Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets regularly as new devices launch.
Microsoft Surface Go 3
The smallest and most affordable Surface is back in a big way. It’s rocking a larger screen and updated internals for an even better experience in the same portable package. Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 is the most direct successor of the original Surface family. The Surface Go 3 weighs just 1.18 pounds without the optional Type Cover keyboards, with a 10.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,280 touchscreen display.
Like all other Surface tablets, the Surface Go 3 comes with its own built-in kickstand for watching videos hands-free or working when you attach the Type Cover. It also comes with a Surface Connector for charging, a USB-C port for data transfer, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. Inside you will find an Intel Pentium Gold Processor and a battery that should last for up to 11 hours.
The Surface Go comes pre-installed with Windows 10 in S Mode. That means you can only use the tablet in the operating system’s touchscreen mode and only use apps from the Windows Store. You’re also limited to Microsoft’s Edge browser.
You can switch to a full Windows 10 OS at no cost from within the Surface Go 3, which would add additional access to the desktop and traditional Windows apps. Once the switch is made, you cannot go back to S Mode unless you factory reset the tablet.
The starting price for the Surface Go is around $399, and you can get it with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. You can spend more to increase the RAM to 8GB or the storage to 128GB. In addition, you can purchase a model with LTE wireless support.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Don’t care too much for laptop-tablet hybrids? Then your best choice is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. It’s the latest version of Microsoft’s traditional laptop — the display does not detach from the keyboard, nor does it rotate on a hinge as many other convertible notebooks do. However, the Surface Laptop 4 makes up for that with its elegant, modern design and practical features.
The Laptop 4 is a worthy successor to the Surface Laptop 3. The newest model comes in two sizes — 13.5 and 15-inch touchscreens, with resolutions of 2,256 x 1,504 and 2,496 x 1,664 respectively. The Laptop 4 also has a couple of other spec upgrades. Both versions come with 8, 16, or 32GB of RAM, while storage ranges from 256GB to 1TB SSD drives. The processors also jumped from 10th gen to 11th gen Core i5 and i7 processors. The bigger model even has an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU version.
Related: AMD vs Intel: Which is better?
The port selection is the same as the previous Surface Laptop 3, which is to say that it’s rather limited. Battery life is listed at between 16 and 19 hours, depending on your configuration. The keyboard, however, is possibly the best of any Surface device so far. So, if you don’t mind these faults and have the cash to spend, the Surface Laptop 4 is an excellent choice for a portable and elegant business laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
The latest Surface flagship comes in the form of the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 series. Just like their predecessor, these tablets can easily double up as powerful laptops thanks to their excellent specs and detachable keyboard.
The standard Pro 8 model comes in several configurations. You can choose between 8, 16, and 32GB of RAM, while SSD storage options range from 128GB to 1TB. The available processors are 11th Gen quad-core Intel i5 and quad-core i7, and both come with Intel Iris Xe graphics. All versions come with Windows 11 Home and, finally, a Thunderbolt 4 support. Battery life has also improved slightly compared to last year’s Surface Pro — the Pro 8 promises around 16 hours.
In terms of design, Microsoft has not made any compromises. The Pro 8 has the sleek look we have come to expect from Surface products and is updated with a 120Hz screen. However, the Pro 8 is not among the lightest Surface products, weighing 891g without any attachments. The keyboard/type cover is slim and compact, so it won’t weigh you down too much, but it’s unfortunately sold separately. The same applies to the stylus. This is the biggest problem with the Surface Pro lineup. It’s already expensive with a starting price of $,1099.99 for the lowest spec model and all of the extras add up.
The Surface Pro 8 lineup’s SSD’s up to 256GB are also user-removable, which we find pretty cool.
Microsoft Surface Book 3
The Microsoft Surface Book blew people away when the company revealed the first version. It was a full notebook, but you could detach the large screen from its keyboard (no Type Cover here) and use it as a massive tablet. The Surface Book 3 is the latest version of this high-end laptop that was launched in May 2020. You can get one with a 13.5-inch 3,000 x 2,000 resolution display, or one with a larger 15-inch 3,240 x 2,160 display. Both come with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB SDD options for storage, and the battery life should last up to 15.5 hours on the 13.5-inch option or 17.5 hours on the 15-inch model.
If you choose the 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 3, you can get it with either 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of RAM and either a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chip. You also get the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU if you pick the i7 model. The i5 version of the notebook weighs 3.38 pounds, while the i7 model weighs 3.62 pounds.
The 15-inch version comes with 16GB or 32GB of RAM, the 10th Gen Core i7 chip, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU. It weighs 4.20 pounds. Both the 13.5-inch and the 15-inch versions come with two USB ports, a USB-C port, two Surface Connect power ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a full SD card slot. You also get an 8MP rear camera, an 8MP front-facing camera, dual microphones, and front-facing stereo speakers.
As you might expect, all of this high-end hardware and features come at a high cost — check out pricing via the button below.
Microsoft Surface Pro X
The Surface Pro X is probably the most divisive product on this list. It is the lightest and thinnest Surface ever, but it comes with a number of compromises that might put some potential buyers off.
The Pro X is a 13-inch touchscreen 2-in-1 laptop with a detachable type cover and a 2,880 x 1,920 display. Unlike the Surface Pro 7, you don’t have to buy the cover or the stylus separately. Connectivity is where Microsoft has cut corners, unfortunately. The Surface Pro X might offer LTE Advanced Pro through a nano-SIM, but the device only has two USB-C ports and one Surface Connect port. No headphone jack or anything else.
Read next: Best Razer laptops you can buy right now
In terms of specs, the Pro X is on par with other Surface products. It comes with 8 or 16GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage. A major thing to note is that it sports the all-new SQ2 — essentially a non-5G version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 developed in conjunction with Microsoft. Unlike the previous edition SQ1 processor, the SQ2 can handle all manner of apps. That means you can fire up your 32bit, 64bit, or other applications with abandon.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
The latest member of the Surface notebook family is the Laptop Go. This has been designed to be the lightest traditional Surface notebook so far, at just 2.45 pounds. You still get a 12.4-inch 1,536 x 1,024 touch screen display, with a full keyboard and an aluminum top. Inside, you get an Intel 10th generation Core i5 processor 1035G1, with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and with 64, 128, or 256GB of storage options. The battery is supposed to last up to 13 hours on a typical charge, and you can get up to 80% of that total charge in just one hour.
Other features include a Fingerprint Power Button for one-touch sign-in on some models, along with a 720p HD camera. You also get a USB-C and a USB-A port. You even get your choice of colors with this notebook: Ice Blue, Sandstone, and Platinum.
The price of the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go begins at $550. If you want an inexpensive Surface device that’s an actual laptop and not a tablet with a detachable keyboard, this might be worth looking at.
Frequently asked questions
There are several Microsoft Surface computers available at different price points. Surface devices generally offer solid value for money, so it’s fair to say they’re worth it.
Microsoft’s Surface is a tablet-first device that can double as a laptop with a keyboard accessory, while the Surface Laptop aims to offer a proper laptop experience.
The Microsoft Surface itself is a tablet, but the Surface lineup also has laptops in it, like the Surface Laptop, and 2-in-1 devices like the Surface Book.
Microsoft’s Surface lineup has been rather successful, and there are currently no indications that Microsoft is planning on discontinuing Surface.
The best place to buy a Microsoft Surface is from Microsoft itself, or a trusted retailer like Amazon. Certified online and offline electronics retailers are also a safe bet.