Should I get another Surface tablet?

Beebo Brink

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I love my Surface RT tablet -- which I've had now for 6 years -- and it still works, but the software isn't updated any more and the browser is so old that more and more web pages are failing to load properly. Since I mainly use it for browsing the internet (while sitting in the living room watching TV with Mrs. Beebo) the loss of a functional browser is a deal-breaker.

So it's time to upgrade to the Surface Go 2... or leap onto another platform entirely. I'm inclined toward the Surface Go because it's familiar, but most of the reasons I bought a Surface in the first place aren't valid anymore. I used it as a portable Windows device that synced with my home computer, very handy when I traveled, and it was an absolute life-saver when I was in the hospital for two months. With the keyboard accessory, I was able to keep up with the SLU forums, post commentary, check emails, update my spreadsheets or OneNote.

That was then. I set aside the keyboard several years ago, I don't use any of the Microsoft software (except, rarely, OneNote); I just browse the internet or play games. I'm open to suggestions on whether a different tablet in the 10-11" screen size range would offer unrecognized advantages. Price is not a major concern, but I'd like to keep it under $700-800.

I'm also looking at a pair of Surface Headphones 2, which pair easily with the tablet, so that's another plus for the Surface Go 2. Although I suppose they would pair with any Bluetooth device.

ETA: It looks like the closest comparable model would be the new 10.5" Apple iPad Air.
 
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Beebo Brink

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Since last night I've been obsessively reading app reviews for IOS and so far I can't find any iPad-only app that would tip the scales toward the iPad Air. So looks like Surface Go 2 is the default winner.
 

Beebo Brink

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In the face of overwhelming silence and lack of feedback, I've talked myself out of the Surface Go 2 and into the Surface Pro 7. Larger screen (with the tradeoff of being slightly heavier), faster processor, and Windows Home OS instead of the restricted Windows-S. And of course, more expensive. I never seem to talk myself into less expensive....
 

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Apologies for missing this thread.

I looked at the surface line and bought the HP x2 10-P018WM instead. It's got a much better keyboard that firmly attaches to the tablet, 4G RAM and 64G internal flash, Micro SD card slot, mini-HDMI video out, two USB ports (USB-C and USB-A 3.0). Windows Home.

 
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Eunoli

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I had Surface Pros up until version 4. I was happy with that one and kept it for a few years - just long enough for it to get the "surface pro flicker issue" that basically killed the tablet - and which was not covered by Microsoft. It is now a piece of abandoned hardware in my closet. I just couldn't bring myself to pay for another one after that - even though it was out of warranty when it happened. Microsoft knew it was a hardware flaw. They should have replaced those units that had it.
 
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Beebo Brink

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I looked at the surface line and bought the HP x2 10-P018WM instead. It's got a much better keyboard that firmly attaches to the tablet, 4G RAM and 64G internal flash, Micro SD card slot, mini-HDMI video out, two USB ports (USB-C and USB-A 3.0). Windows Home.
Sounds good for you, but I've skipped the keyboard entirely -- haven't used mine for years now -- and I don't have the need for any kind of ports, so more of those is not an inducement. The Surface Pro 7 is probably overkill, closer to a laptop than the tablet I wanted, but my eyesight isn't getting any better so the larger screen was too tempting to pass up. Well, actually, I was going to pass it up because I'm miserly to a fault; Mrs. Beebo knows this and badgered me to indulge myself. I lost all reason and got the pen, too.
 
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My previous Windows tablet didn't have a keyboard and I found it super frustrating. And that was Windows 8.1 which was easier to use without a keyboard than Windows 10 is.

I had also gotten one of those floppy tablet keyboards for my iPad Mini and it was useless, I don't even know where it is now. I can see why you'd quit bothering with it.

A real keyboard that you can attach solidly without worrying about it pulling off accidentally is a whole different experience from a Surface keyboard.

My HP x2 came with the pen. I don't use it.
 

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I've a Surface 3 just sitting in the stack of tech I don't use. It was ok. It has a uag hard case on it, doubling the weight but has a nice keyboard that folds up over the front to protect the screen. It is an earlier (only slightly different verion of this)
Urban Armor Gear Case for Microsoft Surface Pro (Black)
 

Beebo Brink

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A real keyboard that you can attach solidly without worrying about it pulling off accidentally is a whole different experience from a Surface keyboard.
I have to disagree there. I loved the Surface keyboard when I had a use for it -- which I did for the first few years. It was great for taking notes when I sat in a convention room, and it was my lifeline to SLU after my open heart surgery; I could pull out the keyboard when I had enough strength to type. But I don't travel anymore, so I don't need it as a portable laptop anymore. I use it solely in tablet mode to browse the internet, or play solitaire, when I'm in the living room sitting in a comfy chair. If I want to type something, I go to my desktop computer in the next room.

My only complaint with the Surface Go 2 was the screen size was just a smidgeon too small. If I was on a tight budget, I'd have been perfectly content to keep squinting. But -- as Mrs. Beebo keeps reminding me -- "You can't take it with you" so I splurged on the extra screen space.
 

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Ah. Different use cases. My desktop computer is a Mac and the machines in my server room run BSD, Linux, or ESXi, so this is my only Windows box when I actually need to run Windows*. So not being able to use all of Windows isn't an option. It's also more conveniently sized for my messenger bag, so it turns out I mostly use it remotely and again that means I need a good keyboard. I can't use a flappyboard on my lap.

But for your use case I normally grab my iPad first. It's not a laptop replacement, and it's frustrating to do real work on it because you're at Apple's mercy for how you can share data. Somewhere on my iPad are gigabytes of cat macros I've downloaded but can't find.

But for just mucking about online, it's really nice.

* I also theoretically have a gaming laptop but that one's generally monopolized by all other members of the household including the cats.
 
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Beebo Brink

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But for your use case I normally grab my iPad first.
That's basically what I was wondering about -- would this be a good time to jump over to an iPad. But from all the reviews I read, the iPad and Surface models I was looking at were basically equivalent (give or take a few specs either way). So it came down to apps, and those weren't (for my uses) any different either. With all things being equal, it was just easier to go with Microsoft again.
 

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Have you considered an Android tablet? Or do you need Windows for some reason?
 

Beebo Brink

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Have you considered an Android tablet? Or do you need Windows for some reason?
That was basically why I posted, to get some feedback on alternatives to the Surface. What was I missing? The answer appears to be: not much. There's no deal-breaker app on Android or IOS, so I decided to stay with Windows. It's what I know, and the Surface syncs with my desktop and laptop. That compatibility wasn't a must-have, but with all other things equal it tipped the scales in favor of Microsoft.
 

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I have a Surface Go.

If you decide to buy the Surface Go 2, the main factor is going to be speed. As in, how fast things load, run, etc. This is an area I'd say the Surface compares badly with the iPad Air, since the latter is pretty optimized to work with the OS and apps in its ecosystem. As you're used to the Surface RT, we'll assume you already prepared for this.

The base model of the Go 2 (running a Pentium 4425-Y) is not much of an improvement over the original Go (Pentium 4415-Y). I don't think the changes are even measured in percentages!

If you jump up to the configuration with 128GB of storage that'll improves things indirectly. The 64GB is on eMMC flash, but the 128GB is an SSD, which is not just doubling storage but improving overall file access speeds. Since this config also doubles the RAM (4GB to 8GB), there's improvements to what and how much you can run at one time; but again, that CPU can be a bottleneck. Of course, choosing this config adds $150 USD to the cost.

If I was upgrading my Go, I might...go with the Core M3 version. It adds yet another $30 to the price tag, but once you're willing to take the near 40% hit with the doubled-up configuration, the CPU upgrade is far more worth it.

Whatever config you choose, I envy you those slimmed down bezels...
 
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Argent Stonecutter

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OK, let's see:

* Windows 10 doesn't work as well as Windows 8, Android, or iOS in a tablet form factor.

* Windows 10 is more resource-hungry, so you need a faster processor, more RAM and flash. I previously had the 32G/2G version of my HP x2 and it was completely unusable. 4G is basically the minimum and you don't want to do much browsing in Chrome. iOS and Android are OK with 2G, and 3G is plenty.

* Windows has more apps but most are not touch based. Both Android and iOS have more touch based apps. iOS touch apps are nicer, Android touch apps are more powerful.

* Kindle on Windows is awful. Less functionality than Kindle on Android. I don't know what Amazon was thinking writing a scratch new app instead of porting Mobibook Reader to another new platform. It won't even open an azw or prc file from the file system which was like a standard feature on PalmOS in 2000.
 

Beebo Brink

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If you decide to buy the Surface Go 2...
For better or worse, I've placed an order for the Surface Pro 7.

Given that I've been quite happy with the Surface RT, with specs well below just about everything anyone has proposed as an option, pretty much anything I could buy would be amazing. Differences in performance, peripheral ports, file storage, RAM -- none of these are much of a concern because even the clunky old RT easily met all my usage demands. The Surface Pro 7 is my equivalent of an Audi that I drive to the local grocery store and back. But you know, my life has contracted so much lately that I'm looking forward to a new tech toy that brightens up a corner of my very small universe.
 

Beebo Brink

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Thank you very much to everyone who provided comments. I really did read them and consider the points raised, and you helped me hone in on what was important to my situation and what wasn't (pretty much all the performance specs).

Even though I didn't choose the same device you all chose, you did guide me to choosing the one I think is best for me.
 

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That was basically why I posted, to get some feedback on alternatives to the Surface. What was I missing? The answer appears to be: not much. There's no deal-breaker app on Android or IOS, so I decided to stay with Windows. It's what I know, and the Surface syncs with my desktop and laptop. That compatibility wasn't a must-have, but with all other things equal it tipped the scales in favor of Microsoft.
Yeah, you're best to go with what you know. Me, I'm a heavy user of the Google ecosystem, so Android made perfect sense for me. Except for occasionally using Windows on my computer, I really don't use any Microsoft products. There's also more apps available for Android than there are for Windows Mobile, though I think the major ones are covered by both.
 
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Sorry I was late to the thread. Been transporting the Father to attend a nephew's wedding. My Surface Book, with detachable laptop-like keyboard, is still going strong running Windows 10. You were wise to think in terms of needing something iOS-related to force migration to the iPad. I made a similar decision at work when they offered me this or and iPad. We have to use Windows on our desktops so it seemed silly to pit myself against the middle trying to use both depending on where I was at the time. Enjoy your new machine Beebo!
 
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