Microsoft is preparing for its upcoming Surface hardware event, and the Surface Go 4 is expected to be one of the big reveals, with Microsoft touted to refresh the internals of the 2-in-1 PC device.
The Surface Go range is made up of Windows-powered tablets, which can be used as a laptop once paired with an external Type Cover accessory. Early reports the Microsoft Surface Go 4 will adopt the same design as its predecessors, but with refreshed specs including a new processor.
We’ve created this guide to keep you informed of all of the most trustworthy rumours and reports regarding the Microsoft Surface 4. Keep on reading for everything we know so far.
Table of Contents
Release date and price
The Microsoft Surface Go 4 is widely expected to be unveiled on stage during the Surface hardware event on 21st September 2023 event. The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 and Surface Laptop Go 3 are also expected to make an appearance.
However, we don’t know when the Microsoft Surface Go 4 will be available to buy. Microsoft has previously shipped new Surface devices a few weeks after the initial announcement, although there has been the odd occasion when new devices don’t arrive in the UK until the following year.
In terms of price, Windows Central has suggested that Microsoft will scrap the cheapest 4GB RAM configuration, therefore upping the cost of the base price. The original launch price for the Surface Go 3 with 4GB RAM was £369/$399, but you’d need to spend at least £499/$549.99 to upgrade to an 8GB model.
There are no credible reports on how much the Surface Go 4 will cost just yet, but we expect Microsoft to opt for a starting price around the £499/$549.99 mark.
This will be disappointing, yet not very surprising, if accurate. The Intel N200 is an entry-level processor that’s only powerful enough for basic tasks such as web browsing, video streaming and word processing. That fits the use case of a tablet, but will struggle with heavy workloads when used as a laptop.
Windows Central reports that Microsoft is ditching the base 4GB RAM configuration for the Surface Laptop Go 4, forcing users to buy the default 8GB model instead. There reportedly won’t be an option to upgrade to 16GB of RAM.
It’s also been suggested that the Microsoft Surface Go 4 will be available with a range of storage options, including 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Again, that’s not really enough storage space for a productivity laptop, but does fall in line with what’s available on other tablets such as the Apple iPad.
Windows Central also claims that Microsoft is improving its sustainability efforts by introducing a replaceable battery, kickstand, display and motherboard. This should hopefully make the tablet easier to repair, reducing the likelihood you’ll be forced to scrap the tablet and buy a replacement.
The Microsoft Surface Go 4 is expected to be powered by Windows 11. When reviewing previous models, we found this to be a significant issue since Windows isn’t well optimised for tablets, resulting in a clunky and compromised experience, especially when compared to iOS on iPad.
Design and features
Microsoft has a frustrating habit of only refreshing the internals when it comes to updating Surface hardware, and 2023 looks to be no different.
Most (if not all) reports indicate that Microsoft is likely to stick with the same design as previous Surface Go tablets. That means the Surface Go 4 will probably feature a 10.5-inch touchscreen display with a 1920×1280 resolution.
Those are perfectly fine specs for the touted price point, but we do wish Microsoft would shave down the size of the chunky screen bezel for a more modern look and slightly larger screen. The USB-C port and 1080p webcam are expected to be retained too.
One of our biggest issues with the Surface Go series is that they do not come bundled with the Type Cover keyboard by default, despite the Go being heavily marketed as a 2-in-1 device. The Type Cover costs a mighty £99.99/$99.99 when purchased separately, considerably upping the total cost.
Microsoft is expected to continue with this frustrating strategy, so don’t expect to find the Type Cover included with the Surface Go 4 without paying extra.
The Trusted Take
If reports are to be believed, the Surface Go 4 looks to be a seriously underwhelming upgrade. I criticised the Surface Go 3 for being an iterative successor, and yet Microsoft is seemingly continuing this trend by simply upgrading the processor and making it easier to repair.
The Surface Go is plagued with issues with the outdated design, clunky software and meagre performance holding it back from challenging the iPad. I can’t see the Surface Go 4 bucking that trend unless Microsoft surprises us all and announces a new feature that nobody expected.