Surface Go: A posh netbook and a gateway drug
One phrase wouldn’t leave my mind after reading about Microsoft’s new Surface Go tablet: ‘posh netbook.’
Ten years ago, the netbook craze was just kicking off. The joy of having a tiny little PC you could carry anywhere, running full Windows XP (perfectly acceptable for the time!) was incredible. Just as coffee shops were multiplying at an insane rate across the UK, here was the perfect computer form factor to take with you and do some work while you sipped your grande cappuccino.
The novelty wore off, as netbooks simply weren’t powerful enough for sustained use. And as smartphones took off, people found they could do most of what they used a netbook for – and more – on an iOS or Android device.
The Surface Go updates that 'desirable, underpowered PC’ idea for 2018. It looks gorgeous, and Microsoft has taken learnings from both its own Surface line of devices and Apple’s iPad to develop an appealing little tablet at an accessible price. Don’t forget to add an extra $99-$120 for a keyboard cover, though.
You certainly won’t be running high-end games on it, but as a way to carry a lightweight PC around wherever you go, it looks very tempting indeed.
But that 'netbook’ analogy just won’t go away. Will its slow processor end up frustrating users? We’ll have to wait for the first reviews, but for Microsoft, maybe it doesn’t matter. Surface Go has another purpose – it’s the perfect 'gateway drug’ for Windows 10.
There are many people out there tempted by one of Microsoft’s pricey premium Surface devices, but the idea of Windows puts them off. Will it keep them as productive as MacOS on their trusty MacBook Pro? It’s too risky to find out.
At $399, Surface Go is a low-priced way of dipping your toe back into the Windows ecosystem if you’ve not tried it for a few years. And if you like it, Microsoft has a range of premium, full-price computers waiting to replace your Mac.