The ever-growing and wildly popular Microsoft Surface family has welcomed three new generations of devices this October: the Surface Go 4, Surface Laptop Go 3, and Surface Laptop Studio 2.
We know the question you’re already asking – are these new devices actually better than their predecessors, or are they simply more of the same? We think you’ll be happy with our verdict.
Before we jump in, there are two key features to highlight which transcend the current range.
While some repairable devices were introduced in the range last year, in this latest launch all Surface devices now have a number of replaceable parts, including the motherboard and battery. This makes repairs more accessible and cost-effective – whether this is done onsite or offsite – further extending the device’s lifespan.
Microsoft’s commitment to security shines through in all Surface devices by prioritising security from the ground up. As secured-core PC’s, the Surface family delivers the highest level of Windows 11 protection and chip-to-cloud security.
Users have multiple secure sign-in options, including Windows Hello with facial recognition or biometrics, secure PIN, or multi-factor authentication. On the IT front, management reaches down to the firmware layer via the cloud using Microsoft Endpoint Manager. The advantage of Microsoft overseeing both the operating system and hardware design cannot be overstated. This true zero-trust approach, deeply integrated into the core, ensures that investing in Surface devices means proactive prevention of attacks rather than reactive responses, setting them apart from devices by other manufacturers.
Now let’s get into what makes each of these devices different.
The smallest Surface all-in-one business device is back with new portability, security and collaboration features. What remains the same is the intuitive touch-and-digital pen experience (that users have grown to love), and the chassis, so existing users will have a seamless transition.
The Surface Go 4 is designed for businesses and frontline workers in healthcare, retail and education. While it’s not designed for intensive graphics workloads, if the end user needs a device that adapts to their dynamic work environment and won’t weigh them down as they move about, the Surface Go 4 more than fits the bill.
The latest generation of Surface Go 4 is really all about performance. Not only is it the fastest in its series, but the beefy four-core Intel Processor N200 makes it 4.5 times faster than the original Surface Go. This translates to far more efficient handling when multitasking or working with demanding workloads.
Having a device that can last the entire workday without needing a recharge is essential for on-the-go workers. With an estimated battery life of up to 12.5 hours and Fast Charging through Surface Connect or USB-C, it’s easy to see why it’s the most mobile Surface yet.
Like generations before, Surface Go 4 has been designed to handle the rigours of daily use, providing value through longevity. There are also more ways than ever to further extend your device’s life, including new repairability features and the Designed for Surface range of rugged accessories that will ensure your Surface Go 4 is resilient into the future.
Another notable benefit is that the Surface Go 4’s chassis remains largely the same as the previous model, meaning existing Surface Go accessories like type covers or rugged cases are still fully compatible.
The third-generation model of the popular Laptop Go series is an affordable and lightweight 12.4-inch notebook with the similar elegant stylings of previous models – it certainly attracts comments in meetings! Although it’s not a powerhouse like the Laptop Studio line-up, it certainly delivers the professional-grade performance needed to get through everyday office-type tasks.
This is a highly portable device (1.13kg) made for general office workers, travellers and educators. You can multitask with ease, and the video and collaboration specs are more than most need. Like all Surface devices made for portability, it can handle the odd bump and drop thanks to a robust aluminium cover.
This time around Surface Laptop Go 3 has been given a significant speed boost with the Intel Core i5 processor giving it 88% more power than the original Laptop Go model. There’s also up to 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage – the last iteration topped out at 256 GB.
Like performance, battery life has been given a boost reaching a generous 15 hours and supported by Fast Charging, ensuring that productivity can keep pace with busy schedules.
A full-size soft touch keyboard offers comfortable typing while the large, precision trackpad makes it easy to navigate, scroll and select – essentially, travelling workers won’t have to compromise their laptop experience on the go. Like previous models – and in alignment with the affordability factor – Surface Laptop Go 3 is not Pen Compatible and the keyboard is not backlit. There is however a fingerprint-integrated power button.
There is no compromise on the audio-visual experience. Surface Laptop Go 3 features:
Support for different abilities
Laptop Go 3 has been thoughtfully designed to enhance support for individuals with diverse abilities. It’s fully compatible with Microsoft Adaptive Accessories and the Surface Adaptive Kit. Additionally, it harnesses the built-in accessibility features of Windows 11, including voice input for tasks like voice dictation, navigation, and action launching, allowing individuals to achieve greater functionality.
Surface Laptop Studio 2 is the workhorse of the Surface family and the most powerful device of the line-up. It merges top-tier enterprise-level performance with a versatile design that effortlessly transitions from a touchscreen laptop to an optimal collaborative display position, to a versatile canvas for creative brainstorming and note-taking.
Engineers, data scientists, creatives and users running specialised industry applications will love the look, feel and top-of-the-line power of the Surface Laptop Studio 2. The significantly increased CPU, GPU, and RAM, plus advanced NVIDIA commercial graphics, work together to tackle whatever task you throw its way. Surface Laptop Studio 2 supports the most intensive, business-critical desktop software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Autodesk, AutoCAD, and more.
Surface Laptop Studio 2 has significantly improved performance, offering more than double the power of the original Surface Laptop Studio. This enhancement is made possible through the integration of the latest 13th Gen Intel Core processors, part of the Intel Evo platform, and a range of NVIDIA GPU options that will be supported by up to 64GB of RAM.
Whether your teams are engaged in design, engineering, rendering, or content creation, the GPU options will have you covered, with the range including NVIDIA RTX 2000 Ada Generation GPU for product development, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 and 4060 Laptop GPUs for speedy content creation and editing. Note that the price difference between chipsets can be up to AU$1k.
The added Intel Visual Processing Unit also gives you access to AI-enhanced Studio effects like we’ve previously only seen on the Surface Pro 9. However, these enhanced features mean the Laptop Studio 2 is only available with Windows 11 due to the new generation drivers needed to support AI processing loads.
Microsoft listened to feedback on the original Laptop Studio, and have restructured the new device’s chassis to include a USB-A port and a microSD card slot. This simplifies connectivity and ensures users can stay productive without the need for extra dongles or adapters.
You would think with all that power, you would have to sacrifice battery life, right? But improved thermal capabilities have helped extend battery life up to 18 or 19 hours with typical usage – though the fine print mentions it does vary based on a number of factors including graphics models.
Users will consistently present their best selves during meetings and calls thanks to the AI-enhanced field of view provided by the full HD Studio Camera that ensures face-to-face video calls take on a more natural feel. Features such as Eye Contact correction and Automatic Framing work seamlessly to ensure that users are always at the centre of the frame, making interactions feel more personal and engaging. When it comes to the audio, Omnisonic speakers and far-field Studio Mics with Voice Clarity remove background noise and capture voices crisply and clearly.
Data#3 is your go-to partner for end-to-end support, maintenance, and training for all your Surface fleet requirements. Request a demo to see how we can transform your team with the Surface suite at the best possible prices, or pre-order now for when stock hits the shelves this month.
*On-site repair not available for all new devices until early 2024.