Microsoft on Wednesday bumped up the display size of its mid-range tablet, just as Apple did last year. The newly-announced Surface Go 2 has a 10.5-inch screen, as does the iPad Air 3.
And this Windows tablet has a range of other enhancements to allow it to better compete with its iPadOS rival. But it doesn’t often come out ahead.
Surface Go 2 brings a jump in screen size and performance
The original Surface Go had a 10-inch display, but that jumps up to 10.5 inches in the latest version. The change doesn’t increase the dimensions of the tablet, so accessories for the first-gen device fit the new one.
Microsoft’s latest tablet has a 1920-by-1280-pixel screen resolution, giving it 220 ppi. The third-generation iPad Air also has a 10.5-inch display, but this is 1668 by 2224 pixels, so it has 265 ppi.
The base model of the Surface Go 2 uses an Intel dual-core 1600Mhz Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y. This chip gets a Geekbench score of 886. For comparison, the 2019 iPad Air is built around an Apple hexa-core 2.49GHz A12 Bionic processor. This tablet scores 2875 on Geekbench.
Microsoft’s new model starts with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The base model iPad Air 3 has 3GB RAM and 64GB of capacity.
The new Windows device includes a USB-C port, the proprietary Surface Connect port and a microSDXC card reader. Connectivity has never been an iPad strength, so Apple’s tablet has just a Lightning port.
iPad Air comes in second on price
While the Surface Go 2 has a lower-resolution screen and slower processor, at $399.99 it does undercut the cost of Apple’s tablet by $100.
Microsoft’s offering can be upgraded to an 8th-gen Core m3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. But that adds $130 to the cost.
The Microsoft Surface Go 2 scheduled release date is May 12, 2020. Apple iPad Air 3 debuted last spring.
Neither tablet comes with a clip-on keyboard. Microsoft sells the Surface Go Signature Type Cover for $129.99.