Best Microsoft Surface: Which Models to Buy or Avoid (2023)

Specs to search for: Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce RTX

This is a stripped-down, and dare I say, cute little laptop computer that’s to the Surface Laptop because the Surface Go 2 is to the Surface Pro. That is, the “Go” moniker means the emphasis is on portability and worth, not energy. The Surface Laptop Go 2 will not wow you by acing benchmark assessments, however it is rather transportable and trendy. And it is a number of enjoyable to use.

It’s small and svelte, with clear strains and a pleasant strong really feel—one thing that is uncommon at this worth. The prime is aluminum, and the underside is polycarbonate resin, which is stiffer and stronger than your typical laptop computer plastic. It looks like a $1,000 laptop computer, but it surely does make some compromises to maintain the value so low, like the shortage of a keyboard backlight. Battery life may very well be higher too. Microsoft claims the Surface Go 2 can final up to 13.5 hours, however we reached nearer to 7 hours on common. The greatest is the subpar display screen, which isn’t even HD (1080p) decision. That means textual content can seem barely pixelated.

Still, should you just like the portability of the Surface Go hybrid however need the extra conventional clamshell design, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is a superb choice. It’s additionally an awesome different to contemplate if, like us, you are not impressed by the upgrades on the Laptop 5 however are wanting to get a clamshell Surface gadget. You’ll additionally avoid wasting cash, too. There are three configurations out there, all utilizing the identical Intel Core i5 chip, however various in RAM and SSD dimension. The center choice is the perfect worth, providing 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 128-gigabyte SSD.

Specs to search for: Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD

The all-in-one PC for graphic designers, the Studio 2+ doesn’t differ all that a lot from its predecessor, which launched 4 years in the past. It packs a 28-inch touchscreen show (4500 x 3000 pixel decision) with a versatile hinge and stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos. You’ll additionally get three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, a 3.5-mm headphone jack, and a 1-gigabit Ethernet connector. With exterior show help, it’s also possible to join the Surface Studio 2+ to three 4K UHD screens with up to a 60-Hz refresh fee. 

Under the hood is the Eleventh-gen Intel Core i7 11370H processor working Windows 11. It’s not the newest chipset available on the market, however Microsoft says it provides 50 p.c quicker CPU efficiency than the Surface Studio 2. There’s additionally a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, which the corporate claims provides double the graphics efficiency. Of course, we’ll have to put it by its paces to see whether or not these numbers maintain up. And whereas it’s an expensive machine, it does additionally include a Surface Pen, Surface Keyboard, and Surface Mouse. We’ll share our ideas on the Studio 2+ quickly.

Surface Pro 7

Photograph: Microsoft

  • Surface Pro 8 ($900 with Type Cover): The 2021 Pro 8 packs a majority of the identical options because the Pro 9. It’s nonetheless a wonderful alternative should you do not want the newest processor (the Eleventh-gen Intel continues to be lots highly effective) or 5G connectivity. There’s a excessive likelihood it should go on sale this vacation season.
  • Surface Pro 7 ($641 with Type Cover): The 2019 Pro 7 is a strong 2-in-1 alternative. It’s much less highly effective, but it surely does have higher life than the Pro 8 and can possible even be on sale this vacation season. If you may rating a very good deal (for instance, underneath $800), this one is value contemplating.
  • Surface Go 2 ($421 for Intel Core m3): The Go 2 was a enjoyable little machine and, just like the Pro 7, bought higher battery life than its successor. That mentioned, the battery life is about the one factor it has going for it versus the newer mannequin. Wait to discover it on sale.
  • Surface Book 3: There should still be a number of of those on the market, however Microsoft has discontinued the Surface Book. The Surface Laptop Studio covers the identical floor.
  • Older Surfaces: We don’t advocate paying a lot of something for Surface laptops or 2-in-1s older than these.

Things That May Annoy You

Microsoft has made Surface gadgets for almost a decade now, however there are nonetheless imperfections that will affect your enjoyment. You might begin to get irritated from the second you add a tool to your cart and order it. If you are grabbing a Surface hoping to use the well-known, fabulous Surface Pen with it, you may want to purchase it individually. In years previous, the Surface Pro and the Surface Book included the Pen, however that is now not the case.

Ports are one other blended bag for Surface gadgets. You’ll discover USB-C ports all through the Surface line, and the most recent variations help Thunderbolt 4. Despite the USB-C ports, Microsoft caught with its magnetic Surface Connect charger. (Confusingly, you can cost with USB-C too.) This is probably not a nasty factor, but it surely feels unusual with the Thunderbolt help there as properly.

Great Surface Accessories

Photograph: Microsoft

We briefly point out a number of Surface equipment above. But as we mentioned earlier than, you’ll have to buy these individually (except they’re out there as a bundle)—on prime of shelling out cash for the gadget itself. Below, we break down a few of these aforementioned add-ons from Microsoft, in addition to extra reasonably priced third-party choices.

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