How does the new Surface Pro 7 compare to the Surface Go?

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Latest Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

From $883 at Amazon

Pros

Far better performance for intensive tasks
Larger, higher-res touch display
Now with USB-C port
Works with older Type Covers
Available in black and platinum
Cons

No optional LTE
Not as portable
More expensive
The Surface Pro 7 costs significantly more than the Surface Go, but if you need a performance 2-in-1, this is it. 10th Gen Intel Core “Ice Lake” CPU options and LPDDR4x RAM offer impressive speed, and you get a larger display with inking capabilities. It’s not as portable and doesn’t have optional LTE, but this is the pick for power users.

Lighter, less powerful 2-in-1

Microsoft Surface Go

From $389 at Amazon

Pros

More portable than the Pro 7
Much more affordable
Optional LTE available
USB-C port included
High-res touch display
Cons

Not as powerful as the Pro 7
Battery life not as impressive
You’ll save a lot of money by going with the Surface Go, but it’s more of a 2-in-1 intended for casual use. It still has a high-res touch display with inking, optional LTE is available, and it has a USB-C port, but it won’t match the performance or battery life you’ll find in the Pro 7.

These two Surface devices both live up to a high expectation of quality and design. Though they’re both portable, the Go is undoubtedly meant to be a device you can tuck under your arm for casual computing, while the Pro 7 is more of a powerhouse 2-in-1 that promotes versatile performance. Let’s take a look at the specs to see how these two devices differ.

If you’re searching out deep discounts on PCs this Black Friday, keep in mind that the older Surface Go is more likely to go on sale at major retailers, including Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, and Best Buy. The Pro 7 might see a bit of a discount, but you’ll likely see a far better deal on the older models, including the Pro 6 and Go.

Surface Pro 7 vs. Surface Go tech specs

Surface Pro 7
Surface Go
OS
Windows 10
Windows 10
Processor
10th Gen IntelCore i3-1005G1Core i5-1035G4Core i7-1065G7
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
RAM
4GB, 8GB, 16GB LPDDR4x
4GB, 8GB LPDDR3
Storage
128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
64GB eMMC128GB SSD
Display size
12.3 inchesTouch
10 inchesTouch
Display resolution
2736×1824267 PPI
1800×1200217 PPI
Aspect ratio
3:2
3:2
Graphics
Intel UHD (i3)Intel Iris Plus (i5, i7)
Intel HD Graphics 615
Ports
USB-C 3.1USB-A3.5mm audioSurface ConnectmicroSD card reader
USB-C 3.1microSD card reader3.5mm audioSurface Connect
LTE
No
Optional
Camera
Front-facing 5MP (1080p)Rear-facing 8MP (1080p)
Front-facing 5MP (1080p)Rear-facing 8MP (1080p)
Biometrics
IR camera
IR camera
Battery
Up to 10.5 hours
Up to 9 hours26Wh
Dimensions
11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches(292mm x 201mm x 8.5mm)
9.65 x 6.90 x 0.33 inches(245mm x 175mm x 8.3mm)
Weight
From 1.7 pounds (775g)
From 1.15 pounds (522g)
Design and features

The Surface Pro 7 doesn’t stray far from the Pro design we’ve come to expect. It brings a slim tablet chassis with folding kickstand on the back, removable Type Cover keyboard and Precision touchpad, and brilliant touch display with inking support for the Surface Pen.

Most of the real changes to the Pro 7 come on the inside, though one advancement we’re welcoming is the addition of a USB-C port for added connectivity. The Pro 7 still holds onto a USB-A port (which the Go lacks), as well as Surface Connect, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Surface Go is a smaller, more portable version of the Pro. It sacrifices performance and battery life for portability, but it’s still a premium Surface device that lives up to the set standard. It’s the same thickness as the Pro 7, which makes it seem a bit chunkier due to the overall smaller footprint, and it has a rotating kickstand on the back to prop up the tablet. It also works with a Type Cover if you’d like to add a Precision touchpad and keyboard, and the high-res touch display is compatible with the Surface Pen for a great inking experience.

The Pro 7 does not have optional LTE connectivity for staying in touch wherever you go. For that feature, you’ll have to opt for the LTE-enabled Surface Go, which costs about $679. Thanks to the 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs, the Pro 7 does offer Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for blistering wireless speeds where available.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for the most portable 2-in-1 between these two Surface products, the Go is your best bet. However, if you’re interested in optimal performance or the best inking experience possible, the Pro 7 can’t lose.

Display and inking

The Pro 7’s 12.3-inch display is essentially the same as the Pro 6, with a 3:2 aspect ratio, 267 PPI, and 2736×1824 resolution. It offers a brilliant picture, and the larger size allows for easier multitasking compared to the Go. The Surface Pen with the Pro 7 offers a natural inking experience, with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt function. It is also compatible with the Surface Dial, but only for off-screen interactions.

The Go’s smaller 10-inch touch display is no slouch, with a 3:2 aspect ratio, 217 PPI, and 1800×1200 resolution. It also offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support, as well as off-screen Surface Dial interactions. The Go does not have the same co-processor for lower latency, however, so the overall inking experience isn’t going to match up with the larger, pricier Surface Pro 7. The Go is great for jotting notes and making sketches, but for those with serious artistic ambition in mind, the Pro 7 should be a much better fit.

Performance and price

The portable Surface Go isn’t meant to be a powerhouse, and the hardware options reflect that. The Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU is a dual-core chip that’s cut out for productivity and some light gaming, but it’s not going to get you into any specialized work. To compare, it performs just below a Surface Pro 4 with Core m3 CPU in terms of raw processing power.

You can add 4GB or 8GB of RAM to the Go depending on your budget and performance needs, and there’s likewise the option for 64GB of eMMC storage or a 128GB SSD. The eMMC storage is quite slow, so if you have room in the budget, we recommend jumping up to the 128GB mark. The baseline Go, with 64GB storage, 4GB of RAM, and Pentium CPU costs about $389, far less than the entry Pro 7 model. If you’re interested in 128GB of SSD storage, 8GB of RAM, and LTE connectivity, the price jumps up to about $679.

Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)

Device
CPU
Single core
Multi core
Surface Pro 7
i5-1035G4
1,191
4,441
Surface Pro 6
i7-8650U
1,113
3,519
Surface Pro 6
i5-8250U
904
3,440
Surface Laptop 3
Ryzen 5
769
2,720
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390
i7-1065G7
1,209
3,571
Dell XPS 15 7590
i9-9980HK
1,176
7,624
Geekbench 4

Geekbench 4.0 (CPU) (higher is better)

Device
CPU
Single core
Multi core
Surface Pro 7
i5-1035G4
5,245
17,350
Surface Go
Pentium
2,078
3,934
Surface Pro 6
i7-8650U
5,037
13,864
Surface Pro 6
i5-8250U
4,287
14,031
Surface Pro 5
i5-7300U
4,302
8,482
Surface Pro 5
i7-7660U
4,513
9,346
Surface Pro 4
i5-6300U
3,319
6,950
PCMark

PCMark 10

Device
Score
Surface Pro 7 i5
3,992
Surface Pro 6 i7
3,644
Surface Pro 6 i5
3,501
Surface Laptop 3 15
4,006
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390
4,427
Dell XPS 15 7590
5,521
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390
4,427
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1
3,764
HP Pavilion x360 14
3,558
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s
3,468
GPU

Geekbench 5.0 OpenCL (higher is better)

Device
GPU
Compute score
Surface Pro 7
Iris Plus
7,613
Surface Pro 6
Intel UHD 620
5,396
Surface Laptop 3 15
Vega 9
11,334
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390
Iris Plus
10,406
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1
Intel HD
5,632
Dell Precision 3541
NVIDIA Quadro P620
12,469
SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

Device
Read
Write
Surface Pro 7
2,040 MB/s
809 MB/s
Surface Go (SSD)
1,185 MB/s
133 MB/s
Surface Go (eMMC)
260 MB/s
145 MB/s
Surface Pro 6
1,632 MB/s
814 MB/s
Surface Pro 5
847MB/s
801 MB/s
Surface Laptop 3
2,028 MB/s
806 MB/s
Surface Laptop 2
1,509 MB/s
811 MB/s
Surface Laptop
486 MB/s
244 MB/s
Surface Book
1,018 MB/s
967 MB/s
.

The Surface Pro 7, which starts at about $883, is much better cut out for heavy multitasking, gaming, and even some specialized work. 10th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 “Ice Lake” CPUs are going to offer the best performance (Iris Plus graphics are impressive), but if you’re on a tight budget, the Core i3 model will still beat out the Pentium Gold chip in the Go.

You can outfit a Pro 7 with up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, making it much more prepared for life as your only device. Price does play a far more obvious role here, though, as decked-out models with Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD cost about $2,300. Battery life from the Core i5 Pro 7 hits eight hours from a charge.

Go with the Surface Pro 7 for best performance

Thanks to 10th Gen Intel Core “Ice Lake” CPUs, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to a 1TB SSD, the Surface Pro 7 is ready to tackle a heavy workload. It also delivers a better inking experience, and its larger display is better designed for multitasking. However, it does cost quite a bit more than the Go and does not include optional LTE connectivity.

Powerful 2-in-1 Surface

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Now with USB-C and 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs

From $883 at Amazon $2299 at Best Buy

The Surface Pro 7 has been refreshed with 10th Gen Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 “Ice Lake” CPU options for improved performance, and it offers USB-C for added connectivity.

The Surface Go offers ideal portability

The Surface Go might not offer the same level of performance or quite the same inking experience, but it costs a lot less and still reigns as an ultraportable 2-in-1 with optional LTE connectivity. It’s likely best used as a secondary device — one that you can shove in a bag or under an arm when heading out the door — but it can certainly as your lone companion if you’re mostly tackling productivity work.

Small and light

Microsoft Surface Go

The portable Surface option

From $389 at Amazon $385 at Walmart

The Surface Go offers LTE connectivity and a beautiful touch display, all wrapped up in a compact chassis. It doesn’t come near the Pro 7 in terms of raw performance, but that’s OK for those always on the move.

How to find the best Black Friday deals on Surface PCs

Black Friday is a great time to save on premium PCs, including those in Microsoft’s Surface lineup. The Surface Pro 7, the latest in the Pro line, isn’t as likely to go on sale as the older Surface Go, but for many people, the smaller 2-in-1 will make a perfect fit. It can be tough to choose, which is why we put together comparisons like these. If you don’t find a great deal on a Pro 7 and can’t live with the Go, be sure to keep an eye on the Surface Pro 6, which has many of the same quality features as the Pro 7. Considering its age, it’s also far more likely to see a deep discount for Black Friday.

We expect to see major retailers — including Microsoft, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart — to offer discounts on Surface products for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which we’ll feature here at Windows Central. Check back often, so you don’t miss out on a great deal!

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