In 2012, Microsoft launched its first Surface 2-in-1 laptop, putting the creator of the Windows OS into the PC hardware industry for the first time. Many doubted Microsoft would have much of an impact, but the company slowly gained traction for its Surface products. By October 2018, sales of Microsoft Surface computers helped it to enter the top five makers of all PC hardware companies in the US.
While the company also sells its Microsoft Studio line up of all-in-one PCs, most of its Surface sales come from its tablet 2-in-1 products, convertible laptops, and its standard notebook products. Here are the best Microsoft laptops currently available.
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.
1. Microsoft Surface Go
The current direct successor to the original Surface 2-in-1 from 2012 is the Surface Go. Launched in August 2018, this is the cheapest of the Surface laptop products you can buy.
Without the optional Type Cover keyboard, the Surface Go weighs just 1.15 pounds, with a 10-inch, 1,800 x 1,200 touchscreen display. Like all other Surface tablets, the Surface Go 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 Type-C port for data transfer, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. Inside you will find an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, and a battery that should last for up to nine 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 stuck with Microsoft’s Edge browser.
You can switch to a full Windows 10 OS at no cost from within the Surface Go, 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 $360, 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.
2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Don’t care too much for laptop-tablet hybrids? Then your best choice is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3. It’s a 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 3 makes up for that with its elegant, modern design and practical features.
The Laptop 3 is a worthy successor to the Surface Laptop 2. This year’s 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 3 also has a couple of other spec upgrades. Both versions come with either 8 or 16GB of RAM, while storage ranges from 128GB to 1TB SSD drives. The processors have also made the leap from 8th gen to 10th gen i5 (13.5-inch) and i7 (15-inch). The bigger model even has an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU version.
One of the most requested features has also made its way onto the Surface Laptop — a USB-C port. However, the overall port selection on the Laptop 3 remains pretty limited. Battery life isn’t terribly impressive either at around 11 hours. 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 3 is an excellent choice for a portable and elegant business laptop.
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
If you want to get a tablet that also works like a PC, the Surface Pro tablets from Microsoft have always been the best bet. The Surface Pro 6 weighs about 1.7 pounds without the optional Type Cover and comes with a big 12.3-inch display with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824.
The full Windows 10 device can have either 8GB or 16GB of RAM. SSDs in the tablet range from 128GB to 1TB. You can get either an 8th generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor.
Ports include the Surface Connect port for power, a microSD card slot, a Mini Display Port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB 3.0 port. As with the Surface Laptop 2, there’s no USB-C port here. The good news is that the battery life will last up to 13.5 hours on a single charge.
You can get the device in either Black or Platinum. You can also get the optional Type Cover for the Surface Pro 6 for around $85, which will help you get stuff done faster.
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The latest Surface flagship comes in the form of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. Just like its predecessor, it’s a tablet can easily double up as a powerful laptop thanks to its excellent specs and detachable keyboard.
This year’s model comes in a number of configurations. For RAM you can choose between 4, 8 and 16GB, while SSD storage options range from 128GB to 1TB. The available processors are 10th Gen dual-core Intel i3, quad-core i5, and quad-core i7. You can also get a graphics update on the i5 and i7 models since they sport Intel Iris Plus Graphics. All versions come with Windows 10 Home and, finally, a USB-C port. Battery life has also improved slightly compared to last year’s Surface Pro — the Pro 7 promises around 10 hours.
In terms of design, Microsoft has not made any compromises. The Pro 7 has the sleek look we have come to expect from Surface products — the device has a premium metal unibody and reasonably sized bezels around its 12.3-inch display. However, the Pro 7 is not among the lightest Surface products, weighing between 775 and 790g 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 7. It’s already expensive with a starting price of $749.00 for the lowest spec model and all of the extras add up. So, if you already own the Pro 6, we’d suggest not upgrading just yet. If don’t own the previous gen, the Surface Pro 7 is still a good choice, but there are other products that offer better value for money.
5. Microsoft Surface Book 2
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 2 is the latest version of this high-end laptop that was launched in October 2017. It’s the only Surface PC with two screen size options. 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 17 hours.
If you choose the 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 2, you can get it with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM and either a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 chip or an 8th Gen Core i7 processor. You also get the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 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 only comes with 16GB of RAM and the 8th Gen Core i7 chip, along with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 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.
6. Microsoft Surface Pro X
The Surface Pro X is probably the most divisive product on this list. It is the lightest and thinnest Surface yet, 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.
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 storage. A major thing to note is that it sports the SQ1 — a new 3GHz processor developed by Microsoft and Qualcomm. While that might sound good on paper, the SQ1 can’t run 64-bit Windows programs, which can create a lot of issues if this is your main work or business device. However, if you plan on mainly using it to perform tasks in Microsoft Office and browse the web, the Surface Pro X is still not a bad choice considering you don’t have to spend extra cash on its accessories.
There you have it — these are the best Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets you can get your hands on. We’ll make sure to add new models to the list once they are released.