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Microsoft Surface Go 3 Tablet (2021)

MSRP 400 USDNEX score 58%

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Product Overview

Microsoft Surface Go 3 is an entry-level tablet powered by Windows 11. An incremental update of the Surface Go 2 from last year, the Surface Go 3 still uses underpowered Intel processors with limited computing power and storage space.
Other let-downs include the same FHD+ touch display that receives no upgrade, the omission of cellular data, and the absence of feature updates.
This highlights the inherent dual personality of this tablet: On the one hand, it is missing all the latest features (except Windows 11); on the other hand, Microsoft continues to encase the device in an magnesium alloy chassis.
It is an ok option for children in education use cases, though to what extent children should be educated on a tablet is a decision that parent should make.

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Ratings

What we found**

Pros
  • Beautiful 3:2 display
  • Long battery life
  • Surface Pen included
  • Bright and colorful display
Cons
  • Mediocre performance
  • Only one USB-C port

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 58% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Good performance
  • Great display
  • Decent build quality
Cons
  • Slow processor
  • Weak speakers
  • Weak keyboard
  • Lackluster performance
  • Mediocre battery life
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Connectivity

Ports
1x USB-C + 1x microSD + 1x 3.5mm Audio jack + 1x Surface Connect port
Wireless Connectivity
WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0

Construction

Battery | Capacity
28 Wh
Camera | Front
5.0MP
Camera | Rear
8.0MP
Colors
Platinum
Form Factor
Tablet with full-friction multi-position hinge to 165 degrees and kickstand
Material
Magnesium body + Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Microphone
Enhanced dual far-field Studio Mics
Speakers
2W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio

Dimensions

Size | Height
8.3 mm / 0.33"
Size | Length
245 mm / 9.65"
Size | Width
175 mm / 6.9"
Weight
544 g / 1.2 lbs

Display

Aspect Ratio
3:2
Contrast Ratio
1500:1
Display Diagonal
10.5"
Display Type
IPS, PixelSense Display
Pixel Density
220 ppi
Resolution
FHD+, 1920 x 1280

Function

Graphics
Intel UHD Graphics 615
Operating System
Windows 11
Processor
Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y or 10th-gen Intel Core i3-10100Y
Security
Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in, Firmware TPM 2.0
Sensor
Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
Touch Screen
10-point multi-touch
Video Recording
FHD

Performance

Battery Life
Up to 11 hours
Memory | Capacity
4 or 8 GB
Memory | Type
LPDDR3
Power Supply
24 W
Storage
64 GB eMMC or 128 GB SSD

Production

Accessory
Keyboard: Surface Go Type Cover (sold separately for $130)

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External Reviews

ndtv[1]

Sentiment Score 58%
Reviewers from ndtv have found the following***:
The Microsoft Surface Go 3 easily functions as a productivity machine once you attach the keyboard. Windows is a bit of a pain to use without a stylus, and the lack of good tablet-friendly apps in the Windows Store doesn't help its case either. Casual games ran well, but anything with heavy 3D graphics struggled. Audio from the stereo speakers is loud and clear, and video is clean even in a dimly lit room.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Decent build quality
  • Decent performance
  • Good battery life
  • Good speakers
Cons
  • Weak keyboard
  • Weak speakers

gizmodo[2]

Sentiment Score 56%
Reviewers from gizmodo have found the following***:
The Surface Go 3 is available with two different dual-core chip configurations. In Geekbench 5, the Go 3 scored in line with mid-range Android devices like the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. In WebXPRT, it tested comparably to Apple's latest 9th-gen iPad. The key is to figure out how you prefer to use it.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Solid performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

digitaltrends[3]

Sentiment Score 65%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following***:
Packed inside the tiny Surface Go 3's chassis is a 28 watt-hour battery. Overall, I'd have to rate battery life as mediocre at best. You're not likely to get through a full working day without plugging in unless you're watching video. There's no way to block or turn off the webcam, which is an increasingly common privacy feature.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Great display
  • Solid performance
  • Comfortable keyboard
Cons
  • Mediocre battery life

laptopmag[4]

Sentiment Score 55%
Reviewers from laptopmag have found the following***:
The Microsoft Surface Go 3 comes with Windows 11 Home without all the third-party bloatware. The Go 3 doesn't come with anything but Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 (which you can opt-out of), the Edge browser, and Xbox Game Bar. There's also MS Paint, Whiteboard, and the typical apps you get in Windows.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Bright, colorful display
  • Good battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
Cons
  • Underwhelming performance
  • Underwhelming keyboard

notebookcheck[5]

Sentiment Score 62%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following***:
Microsoft's small convertible is more versatile with the new Windows 11. The Surface Go 3 only manages 7 hours in the Wi-Fi test (or 4:41 hours in full brightness) An upgrade from the Surface Go 2 is not worth it, because the new Core i3 processor does not offer any additional performance. For many users, current tablets from Samsung or Apple might be better.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Very compact design
  • Very good WLAN performance
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • Mediocre performance
  • No SD card reader

pcmag[6]

Sentiment Score 47%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following***:
Microsoft's Surface Go 3 is the best 2-in-1 tablet on the strictest of budgets. But with scarcely enough power to enjoy a robust computing experience, the Go 3 isn't necessarily the best detachable for the job. Unless you need Windows, or especially want to try the new OS in tablet format, you'll probably be better off with an iPad, or a detachable Chromebook tablet.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Decent performance for the price
Cons
  • Lackluster performance
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

pcworld[7]

Sentiment Score 65%
Reviewers from pcworld have found the following***:
We run four performance tests: PCMark 10, Cinebench R15, Handbrake, and 3DMark. With the power mode’s performance setting turned up to best performance, the Go 3 records a score of 2,804. The older Surface Go 2 report higher scores than the Surface Go 3, both in multithreaded and single-threaded applications.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Good battery life
  • Good performance
Cons
  • No LTE option
  • Only one USB Type-C port

techradar[8]

Sentiment Score 75%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following***:
Microsoft has clearly put a lot of thought into making the video calling experience excellent on the Surface Go 3. The webcam on this thing is absolutely amazing, easily capturing all the detail in our face without washing out colors. The microphone is also simply excellent, capturing our voice without any distortion. And of course the webcam supports Windows Hello, and it is the best integration we've seen yet.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Beautiful design
  • Excellent webcam
  • Great value for money
Cons
  • Battery life could be better
  • No Windows 11 support

theverge[9]

Sentiment Score 64%
Reviewers from theverge have found the following***:
The Surface Go 3 has a 10.5-inch touchscreen and costs $399.99 with a Y-series processor. It's possible to get all those Windows benefits without making all the compromises the Go 3 demands. If you don't need Windows, there are plenty of computers that are just slightly larger but offer way better value.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Sleek, light design
  • Long battery life
  • Lots of ports
Cons
  • No Arm-based processor
  • Keyboard is flimsy

tomsguide[10]

Sentiment Score 42%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following***:
On Geekbench 5 general performance benchmark, the Surface Go 3 posted a rather mediocre 1,571. The U-series Intel Core i7-1185G7 chip in the Surface Pro 8 kicked out a 5,347. The Surface Go's10.5-inch screen is a tad too small to make use of the snap spacing.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Great performance
  • Attractive design
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Mediocre keyboard
  • Slow processor

wired[11]

Sentiment Score 55%
Reviewers from wired have found the following***:
Surface Go 3 launches alongside Windows 11, the first-named iteration of Microsoft's OS since Windows 10 launched in 2015. That update brings a lot of quality-of-life upgrades for touchscreen users, which might make this tablet appealing for casual readers and note-takers. On the other hand, if you're looking for a more casual device for reading, watching YouTube, or occasionally taking notes, this could be a great tablet.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Slim Pen is still compatible as a wireless pen
  • Good battery life
  • Decent performance
Cons
  • Battery life could be better

User Reviews

References

1. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 Review: A Compact Tablet With Laptop Aspirations. [ndtv]. https://gadgets.ndtv.com/laptops/reviews/microsoft-surface-go-3-price-in-india-review-2694696. 2022-01-07. Retrieved 2022-01-09.
2. ^ I Love the Idea of a Windows 11 Tablet, but the Surface Go 3 Is Just OK. [gizmodo]. https://gizmodo.com/i-love-the-idea-of-a-windows-11-tablet-but-the-surface-1847798042. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
3. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 review: Third time’s a charm. [digitaltrends]. https://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-reviews/microsoft-surface-go-3-review/. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
4. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 review. [laptopmag]. https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/microsoft-surface-go-3-review. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-14.
5. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 in review - The compact convertible now with Windows 11. [notebookcheck]. https://www.notebookcheck.net/Microsoft-Surface-Go-3-in-review-The-compact-convertible-now-with-Windows-11.573340.0.html. 2021-10-16. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
6. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 Review. [pcmag]. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/microsoft-surface-go-3. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
7. ^ Surface Go 3 review: A lateral upgrade for Microsoft’s uniquely affordable tablet. [pcworld]. https://www.pcworld.com/article/549103/surface-go-3-review-a-cost-of-living-increase-over-the-surface-go-2.html. 2021-11-18. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
8. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 review. [techradar]. https://www.techradar.com/reviews/microsoft-surface-go-3. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
9. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 review: left behind. [theverge]. https://www.theverge.com/22713963/microsoft-surface-go-3-review. 2021-10-07. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
10. ^ Microsoft Surface Go 3 review. [tomsguide]. https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/microsoft-surface-go-3. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
11. ^ Review: Microsoft Surface Go 3. [wired]. https://www.wired.com/review/microsoft-surface-go-3/. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-14.

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