Microsoft’s Surface Go 4 gets a much-needed performance boost

Microsoft has announced the Surface Go 4 — the latest version of its affordable 2-in-1 laptop series — at its Surface device launch event today. The new Go 4 features some minor performance upgrades over its predecessor, but it won’t be sold to consumers — the company says it’s specifically targeted at businesses and frontline workers. As WinFuture leaked last week, the official Surface Go 4 specifications reveal that the two-core Intel Pentium processor featured on the Surface Go 3 has now been replaced with a new, slightly beefier four-core Intel N200 chip.

Microsoft has also ditched the 4GB RAM configuration that’s been available on previous models, which means the Surface Go 4 will now only be available with 8GB of LPDDR5 memory. Even with the Surface Go range primarily targeting the business and education market, that’s a welcome change, considering 4GB is barely capable of handling every multitasking duty these days. Storage starts at 64GB, with additional options available for 128GB and 256GB.

No real design changes to see here, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
Image: Microsoft

Otherwise, the exterior design remains largely unchanged. The Surface Go 4 provides the same USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and microSD card reader as the Go 3 and still features two 1080p cameras and a 10.5-inch 1920 x 1280 display. On the inside, however, some of the Surface Go 4’s components like the battery, kickstand, motherboard, and display have now been designed to be more easily repairable or replaceable.

The additional sustainability is a nice touch — especially as these devices are marketed to businesses that will need to keep them running for a few years. But the overall design being near-identical to its predecessor doesn’t particularly bode well for the Surface Go 4. In our review of the Surface Go 3, The Verge lambasted the convertible device for its flimsy build quality, poor battery life, and being too expensive for what you’re actually getting.

A quick hands-on test of the Surface Go 4 confirmed our suspicions. Performance was slow when running through some everyday tasks like web browsing and took embarrassingly long to switch between display orientations. Still, Microsoft is claiming that performance on the Windows 11 Pro version of the Surface Go 4 should be 80 percent faster than its predecessor.

Microsoft has told The Verge that the Surface Go 4 will be released on October 3rd, with prices starting from $579 for the 64GB storage model. It also said in a press release that the device will be “available exclusively for organizations,” though, so you won’t be able to get your hands on one unless you meet those requirements.

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