Surface Go 3

There is a small bump for the Surface Go line, going from version 2 to version 3. The Surface Go is the smallest, lightest, and least expensive Surface device in the lineup, but has suffered from anemic performance compared to the rest of the devices. The only significant change to the Surface Go 3 is that there is now an optional Core i3-10100Y processor, which is a higher speed bin of the venerable Amber Lake-Y dual core SoC that Microsoft used in the Surface Go 2. The base offering still comes with a Pentium dual-core, though the Pentium Gold 6500Y used here is a big step up in some ways since it can turbo to 3.4GHz, whereas the Go 2's Pentium 4425Y lacked turbo altogether.

Meanwhile the base model still ships with just 64 GB of eMMC storage, although 128 and 256 GB SSDs are available, with the latter being only on the commercial lineup. Luckily the price didn’t change, with the Surface Go 3 still starting at just $400, although that model with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC storage would feel awfully slow for most people.

Surface Duo 2

The second-generation Microsoft-designed folding phone is also being announced and adds performance and usability to help it compete in the high-end of the mobile phone space. Now shipping with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, the Surface Duo 2 adds a lot to its camera department with the inclusion of a triple-camera for wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto photos.

The folding display also gets a size bump from 5.6-inch individual screens to 5.8-inch panels, which provides an effective display size of 8.3-inches when both are opened. The Surface team also took the opportunity to add 5G support, which is also expected in 2021.

For multi-tasking, there is 8 GB of LPDDR5 memory, and storage options are 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB.

The Surface Duo 2 is really supposed to showcase Microsoft’s Android app suite for Office, and with the updates, it should do a much better job considering the high-entry price of $1500.


In addition to the devices, Microsoft is also releasing a couple of new accessories. The Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse is made from 20% recycled ocean plastic and is just $25.

The Surface Adaptive Kit, designed in partnership with people with disabilities, is a set of textured labels which can be attached to the keyboard and ports to make it easier to identify what they are by touch and color.


Microsoft’s Surface team has grown from just designing a couple of devices, to a wide swath of devices covering a large part of the PC market, and they have expanded beyond those borders too with the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2. Looking at the devices holistically, the design team generally tries to offer something with a slight twist compared to the other designs on the market, and some are more successful design wins than others. The Surface Pro, as an example, as created an entire genre of devices that mimic it, and the update being announced today is a solid refresh of that design which should allow Surface Pro to continue to be the industry leader.

The Surface Laptop Studio is an interesting design, and while not a completely new concept, it looks to be a well-executed take on the convertible laptop. From the specifications, it appears to be taking over from the Surface Book, which was their previous performance-laptop. It is less complicated than the Surface Book, which should lead to an overall better product.

The Surface Pro X certainly did not see very much love, and Windows on Arm did not get advanced at all on the hardware front today. The Surface Pro 8 now gets the same 13-inch display, which is good for the Pro 8, but does diminish the Pro X. Surface Go 3 also got just the tiniest of updates and is still a somewhat awkward device. The base model is inexpensive, but unimpressive, and when the necessary options are chosen, the price creeps up. It is still a well-built device, with a wonderful magnesium allow chassis and individually calibrated display, which sounds great for $400, but the $400 model is significantly more disappointing than the upgraded models sadly.

Microsoft tends to update their hardware at almost random intervals, but quibbles aside, these updates are all welcome, with some really excellent changes, such as the addition of Thunderbolt 4. I look forward to being able to try some of these devices out in the future and see how much the changes impact the device experience.

Microsoft Resurfaces The Surface Lineup For 2021: New Devices, New Designs
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • p1esk - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    What are those monitors?
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    Hm if the Laptop Studio was already on the H series, I wonder why there was no option to go to 8 cores. In 4 pounds, you can definitely get 8 cores elsewhere, whether Intel TGL or AMD.
  • jeremyshaw - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    Intel diluted the H series with 11th gen. Now hotted up U parts can have the H name.

    Technically was called H35 series, but you won't see that on Intel's own product page:
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 23, 2021 - link

    Ah I get it now. So these are the 15W chips they juiced up to 35W for tepid gains, and so there isn't 8 cores in the line.
  • Frenetic Pony - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    Another bad joke. At this point I don't know why you wouldn't get an Ipad unless you desperately needed to play games on a mediocre laptop. Heck there's efforts to hack the M1 so even that case won't be true much longer.

    I remember when Surface was top of the line, great specs and innovative designs and good for the price. Now MS only cares about how much money out can squeeze out of you, in an ironic twist they've become what Apple is for everything but it's Ipad lineup.
  • Kangal - Thursday, September 23, 2021 - link

    I wonder if we will get the 13inch iPad Pro (M1), to have it jailbroken.
    And then have it flashed with macOS. I would love to see it run some (32bit and 64bit) x86-based programs from OS X. And be able to use it with a tough/hard keyboard with a trackpad.

    Otherwise, Apple can just make a 360' hinge MacBook for me, with a touchscreen. So that I can use it as a Tablet, and as a Laptop. The Windows options have been good, but I want great, and I think the AppStore and optimised UI / Apps might achieve this. Fingers crossed, but I won't be holding my breath for it :'(
  • Prestissimo - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    Interesting... So basically everything else besides the new Surface Pro is a total bust, got it.
    Well the SP8 was the only device I was interested in anyways, I just don't like that Flat Stylus.
  • vegaskew - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    It's "erred on the side of caution", not "aired on the side of caution"
  • Lavkesh - Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - link

    Surface Pro was the worst computer and tablet I ever owned. The fan's would be on constantly even while browsing the web, it wasnt powerful enough for anything else either and it was a horrible tablet because of the same reason and the fact that windows OS is a clusterfuck even a desktop operating system. Its like buying the worst of both world's. And I never ever trust Microsoft with software. Their selling point is office 365 when its worst office productivity suite I know.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, September 23, 2021 - link

    Hmmm. Something tells me that you just don't like MS.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now