Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 Is an Affordable Windows 11 iPad Rival

Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 Is an Affordable Windows 11 iPad Rival
The Surface Go 3 is for getting work done on Windows 11 while you're out and about. (Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo)

Microsoft’s lightest and most portable Surface is officially here.

The Surface Go 3 is an affordable Windows 11 tablet akin in size and price to a mid-range Android tablet or education-first Chromebook. It weighs in at 0 kg and starts at $US400 ($553) (similar to the last-generation Surface Go 2).

The Surface Go 3 sports a dual-core Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y processor and 4GB of RAM, though there’s an option to upgrade to a quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i3-10100Y processor with 8GB of RAM (though that model competes with more capable devices like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2). Still, the Surface Go 3 is actually smaller than other Chromebooks that feature the same Core i3 chip.

The main appeal of the Surface Go 3 is that it has all the convertible magic of the other Surface devices. The 10.5-inch display is a touchscreen with an adjustable kickstand that’s compatible with the Surface Pen, so you can draw, write, and sketch as you need with compatible Windows apps. You will need the TypeCover (which is sold separately) to type, however.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

The Surface Go 3 has a kickstand to prop up the screen so you can type or watch videos.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

There are physical volume and power buttons on the side of the Surface Go 3.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

The Surface Go 3 features a 10.5-inch touchscreen display.

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo, In-House Art

The Surface Pen can attach to the side of the Surface Go 3 with magnets

The Surface Go 3 also packs in a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and an 8-MP rear-facing camera. Photographers can easily pop in an SD card via the integrated MicroSDXC card reader, and there’s a Surface Connect port for compatible adapters. If you opt for the LTE version, the Surface Go 3 will also have a nano-SIM tray.

As we noted in our review of the Surface Go 2, the Go line’s size makes it an excellent second-tier device for use on the go or somewhere else in the house. The Surface Go 3 might have a better chance of replacing your laptop simply because it’ll run Windows 11, which is more streamlined for convertible devices. Microsoft also promises an all-day battery on the Surface Go 3, another pain point of its predecessor.

The wifi-only version of the Surface Go 3 is available for preorder now in select markets. The LTE version will be available in the coming months.