back to article You're indestructible, always believe in 'cause you are Go! Microsoft reinvents netbook with US$399 ‘Surface Go’

Microsoft has revealed its long-rumoured smaller Surface device – and to The Register’s mind it looks a lot like the re-invention of the netbook. The new US$399 “Surface Go” has a ten-inch screen and comes in a tablet form factor. A Surface Go Signature Type Cover will set you back another $99, but includes a touchpad so you …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

    Not buying the latest Surface, or an Xbox one, or a Win-10 laptop / desktop PC... I used to buy at least one device a year, and sometimes 5 or 10 or even 20 for other family members and colleagues too. But I haven't bought a single Microsoft infested device since 2012. Just nursing Win7 for now, and installing Mint when its the only other option.

    Dear Microsoft Chairman, the Slurpage has to stop. My family and friends closed Facebook / Gmail this year. Our Android phones are now decontaminated and just run Signal / Firefox Klar. You can thank the likes of Vizio-SmartTV & Facebook for this! If there's no other choice we simply won't buy anything. Why? We wholesale reject the Surveillance-economy!

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

      Better stop using computers completely then, or stay off the internet. Onwards! Onwards to the past!

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

      Well aren't you sweet. I very much doubt you will even be missed.

      While I have my reservations about the "Surveillance-economy" as well, you just might as well support it since the Genie has poped out of the Phablet, and has henceforth since refuesd to return. This agurment should however never extend so far as to encapsulate Windows OS. There is a clear line here, and MicroSoft have clearly crossed it. But, for the sake of an argument in kind. Where was the outrage when Canonical thought it was such a great idea to bundle your File Searches with Amazon results?

      If you really genuinely feel this way, why are you even on the Intertubes? Do you not think that the reassuringly tasty cookies this very Website serves up, doesn't also invade your pivacy again when you leave it? And, where there such an aurgument that this Site would never pertake in something so loathsome, then what about the next Website your get off to?

      There is a fine line between being woke, and an outright Tinfoil Hat nutter. And, your Post cleary places you into the later.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

        Well aren't you sweet. I very much doubt you will even be missed.

        While I have my reservations about the "Surveillance-economy"...

        Hold it. Did you miss the memo? In the "Surveillance-economy", there is no reservation. That's because you're not the customer, you're the product.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

          Hold it. Did you miss the memo? In the "Surveillance-economy", there is no reservation. That's because you're not the customer, you're the product.

          You're right it's not a reservation. it's more a zoo or petri-dish, at best a river with fishing rights to any corp that can manage to cast a tracking line into the water or tempt the fishies with an IOT morsel.

          It's well passed time the fish bit back.

        2. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

          Nope I got the Memo, alright along with the T-Shirt to prove it. The fact of the matter is no matter how loathsome Facebook might be. It clearly has a small use factor when it directs me to like minded Politicians. With a mind of giving these No-Go-Zones a right swift kick up the backside. Then I start to question if Facebook just might be worthwhile after all.

          Alas the local Populace being as open boarderly minded as the are vehemently ended up voting for the SPD incumbent instead. As was sadly expected.

          So it's not all just Pepe the Cat memes over there.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

        Where was the outrage when Canonical thought it was such a great idea to bundle your File Searches with Amazon results?

        I seem to remember quite a bit of outrage. Too much, considering how easy it was to switch off (and stayed off once off, unlike Windows, which I hear tends to get reactivated on updates).

        I thought it was potentially an interest feature, but it never returned anything useful (probably because the results were not matched out against your shopping profile and hence totally anonymous result wise), and embedding it in file search was certainly the wrong place - you search for files, you want files, not lipstick offers and other bargain bucket tat from amazon.com.

        By the logic of 'genie already out, give it up' - we might as well not try to fix any of societies woes and just retreat to our castles if we have them and let civilisation burn - people have looted raped and pillaged for centuries, why fight it? People have pick-pocketed and corps have ripped off consumers and abused their positions of power - we just let them continue?

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

          "By the logic of 'genie already out, give it up' - we might as well not try to fix any of societies woes and just retreat to our castles if we have them and let civilisation burn - people have looted raped and pillaged for centuries, why fight it? People have pick-pocketed and corps have ripped off consumers and abused their positions of power - we just let them continue?"

          Very much this^ - have an upvote.

          But also, going back to the post that mentions the genie being already out:

          "Do you not think that the reassuringly tasty cookies this very Website serves up, doesn't also invade your pivacy again when you leave it? And, where there such an aurgument that this Site would never pertake in something so loathsome, then what about the next Website your get off to?"

          Your browser, perhaps with the help of third party applications, almost certainly offers you controls that can curtail this - mine does. Learn to use those controls, and limit the potential invasion of privacy. The more people who do this, the less data those cookies provide, and the more worthless they become.

          But if you take the "the genie is already out" attitude, you may as well drop your trousers and adopt the position ready for the next round.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Your browser perhaps with the help of third party applications, almost certainly offers you controls

            "Your browser, perhaps with the help of third party applications, almost certainly offers you controls that can curtail this - mine does. Learn to use those controls, and limit the potential invasion of privacy. The more people who do this, the less data those cookies provide, and the more worthless they become."

            The tricky part is, Web-Tracking always just morphs... Browser Cookies are only a small symptom of the larger problem. Read up on how Travel-Companies share valuable 'passenger booking data' Server-Side for example. Fixation on local cookie blocking or adblockers is just not enough to counter this sadly.

      3. Flywheel Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

        Oooh, the shill-ing is intense today!

        Some of us stopped being The Product some time ago, and personally I'm happy with that. Did you know that Ubuntu is not only flavour of (GNU) Linux? You might want to check out Ublock Origin, and if you run any sort of techie setup at home, pi-hole. That really helps. Why not try stepping over the line just once in a while and see what it's like out of the herd?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'Some of us stopped being The Product some time ago'

          Self-Delusion is wonderful. Firms upload their accurate CRM databases as part of advertising on Facebook / Google. Data Brokers trade financial datasets with Facebook / Google (Experian). Hospitals share health info now with Facebook / Google. Shadow Profiles get created from Email / Phonebooks of anyone you've ever crossed paths with. Your home setup can never cut it. Mobile and on the move? The Reg recently reported how Google keeps tracking you even with Location-Services off. Face it, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT - NO ESCAPE!

          1. Flywheel Silver badge

            Re: 'Some of us stopped being The Product some time ago'

            No self-delusion here: I'm well aware of what the "free" service providers are up to and although as you imply it's not totally possible to escape, I go the extra mile to mitigate the effects. I no longer do Faecebook, Twitter, and there's minimal use of Google. VPN and Tor all the time I'm mobile. Again, its mitigation - if they want my data/metadata they're going to have work for it.

            What I find sad is the number of people that just roll over and accept what is offered demanded, all in the name of "free".

          2. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: 'Some of us stopped being The Product some time ago'

            We're doomed I tell you, aye doomed.

            Alternatively switch away from Google, Facebook, Microsoft et al. You might like it.

        2. soulrideruk Bronze badge

          Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

          I hereby propose the 'Shill Law'.

          On any given tech site with an online discussion forum frequented by technical people, in an article about a major tech company, the probability of someone ranting about paid shills approaches 1 as the discussion grows.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

      Your friends have all done this too? How did you manage that, did you just stop being friends with anyone who didn't follow your edicts?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'Your friends have all done this too? How did you manage that'

        @DougS

        Lots of tech heads on here have been the 'go to tech guys' for family / friends / colleagues for years. From fixing botched updates to cleaning viruses or recovering files. Many of us, like it or not have basically been Microsoft outsourced support. But we're heroes for helping. So when those you help ask 'what should I do about privacy'? How hard is switching from WhatsApp to Signal, or from Google to Startpage? Its nothing!

        @Michael Habel - @Geoffrey W

        Sure, be smug or over-confident if you like. But it feels like parents are condemning their kids to some god awful future Stasi-like state-surveillance / interference... For what? Some convenience / cheap tech today. Its a pretty dangerous tradeoff. But if this is utopia to you, be happy, you're winning!

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: 'Your friends have all done this too? How did you manage that'

          I'm not so bothered about the surveillance of such thing as much as the proprietary lock-in of things like faecebook as opposed to web standards like www and smtp.

          If faecebook had apis that allowed it to share across social media platforms instead of trying to become the dominant defacto web then I wouldn't feel it was so evil.

          Not that anyone cares when they are busy attention seeking and showing off their breakfast while reading the latest piece of long since debunked fake news which they will add "OMG" to and share it on for more thickos to repeat.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'Your friends have all done this too? How did you manage that'

            In my circle it wasn't easy, just 'easier' after users read this:

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44702483

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44642569

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44466213

    4. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: The Microsoft Slurpage has to STOP!

      Lovely shiny hat you've got there....

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Bargain ?

    The same price as my Yoga Miix 700 with 8Gb / 256 Gb. a higher res screen, faster processor and Windows10 pro

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: Bargain ?

      @YACC... Lenovo doesn't seem to think so. The Miix 700 starts at $850, apparently (MSRP, of course). And thats with 4GB and 128GB, not 8 & 256, and Win10 Home, not Pro.

      Now, the Miix 320 is cheaper (at $349), but there's a reason for that (64GB eMMC, etc).

    2. joed Silver badge

      Re: Bargain ?

      I bet that for 400$ one can get something with proper keyboard that can stand on its own, better screen, CPU, user replaceable system drive and maybe even expandable RAM. Really no reason to suffer (not even a fruit logo to cater to true believers;).

      1. Joe Werner

        Re: Bargain ?

        Well... where do I start?

        The screen resolution is aready high. No need to go higher, not on a 10" device. I would say this is already higher than one would really need.

        And about the CPU: if you want to do stuff like vidoe editing get something else. I guess (I know from experience) that for most of the daily needs[1] this is good enough. Faster CPUs are also almost alway more power hungry, and for a device that has been designed to be portable this is a no-no.

        But yes, it is interesting that they are now bringing back the netbook - when my old one broke (after almost five years of daily use on the commute to wok) I could not get something with: decent battery life (8 hours), decent storage (500 GB), and 10" screen - which was by then even more important to me than before: ever tried working on a plane with a laptop? Ever seen those people trying to open a 17" monster in Economy class (even on the European regular carriers = not Ryanair, Norwegian,...)? And then after an hour or so they run out of battery. With the old Samsung netbook I had about 8 hours of battery life: enough for airport + flight or a full day at a conference. And a real (but smallish) keyboard.

        [1] heck, I was developing statistical methods on a two core AMD-underpowered Lenovo - during the weekend commute and in the evenings when playing around with new ideas. That was... a bit demanding, but the heavy lifting (=the evaluation with real data) was done on a cluster anyway. The only thing that really sucked was using Inkscape, for this I would have liked another 8GB of RAM and a faster CPU. I mostly managed to do that stuff in the office, so no problem there.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Bargain ?

          Joe Werner talks sense.

          I can do 90% of what I need on a 3 year old £150 HD screen chromebook that lasts 10 hours on a charge, wieighs next to nothing and runs ubuntu.

          1. Orv Silver badge

            Re: Bargain ?

            Same here.

            The main thing that would keep me from getting this device is the kickstand + detachable keyboard form factor. I often stretch out on the couch with my netbook in my lap, and I don't think a setup like this would be stable in that situation.

  3. Boohoo4u

    I’m curious about the Qualcomm offering. But an underpowered Intel? No thanks!

    LTE should be standard on every laptop or tablet...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree, with the codicil that there is a physical switch that stops all internet connectivity and cannot be circumvented. Barring the old standard RJ45 which can be unplugged, but that too should have a physical switch. Many of us may not want the connection woke via LAN.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're clearly copying Apple.

    It must be be about crystal to everyone by now they're trying out Apple's business model marketing 'premium' devices with healthy margins.

    They're tyring to associate MS with high-end hardware, and assiciated prices. I wouldn't be at all surprised if a magnesium Win10S Phone surfaces in the near future.

    That said, that 15" Surface Book 2 is a cracker, slurpage or not;

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

      I wouldn't be at all surprised if a magnesium Win10S Phone surfaces in the near future.

      Remind me what the definition of insanity was again? They even have gone as far as to distrory the only single western manufacture of Mobes while attempting to flog this crap that apperently nobody in their right skulls would ever want.

      So yes your right the Win10s Phone should land any day now. I look forward to the trusted review of it to appear in this rag when it does.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

      They're not only copying Apple's business strategy as you say they're also copying Google's by adding data collection "features" into Windows 10 to try to monetize user information.

      I think they don't understand that you can't do both. One of Apple's main value propositions to help justify their pricing is that they make money off the hardware so they don't need to sell you to the highest bidder like Google. One of Google's main value propositions is that they make money off your personal information so they provide their services to you for free unlike Apple. Microsoft wants to charge premium prices for hardware, then collect and sell your personal info!

      They've already tried and failed to copy Apple before (Zune, Windows Phone) and Google before (Bing and buying Acquantive) but I guess they think taking two incompatible strategies and combining them will succeed where they have failed before...

      1. Danny 5

        Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

        Just because Apple doesn't sell your data (yet) doesn't mean they aren't harvesting your info just as much as everyone else.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          @Danny 5

          I don't suppose you have proof of your claim? Thought not.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

        One of Google's main value propositions

        Do Google even have a value proposition (on the hardware front, to a consumer) anymore, now that the pixel line is at 'VIP luxury ringtone' prices?

        Not to mention dropping services quicker than party election promises?

      3. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

        This Surface "Go" isn't an iPad copy - it's a continuation of a form-factor that Microsoft themselves invented. Against the iPad, it wins on connectivity (there's an LTE model in the Surface Go range too), storage, and the ability to run an enormous catalogue of existing Win32 line-of-business applications; it loses by not having a large catalogue of touch-enabled software, and not being "instant-on".

        I'd contend that Apple's days of being product inspiration are more behind it than ahead of it. What is the iPad Pro with its clip-on keyboard and pen(cil) if not a response to market acceptance of the 2-in-1 concept that Microsoft launched with Surface? And what about me-too efforts like Apple Music (Spotify), Watch (Fitbit, Android Wear), HomeKit (Nest) or Home Pods (Echo)? Actually, when was the last Apple product that couldn't be described as "a concept you can already get elsewhere, but with an Apple logo on it"? I think the answer to that question is "iPad", but that's nearly a decade ago now.

        And despite what's commonly claimed, Microsoft is not copying Google's data collection strategy. It has basically the same user data-collection model as Apple, albeit the scale of Apple's data gathering from iOS dwarfs anything that Microsoft does.

        And unlike iOS, Windows 10 also lets you see exactly what telemetry is being sent, and remove things you're unhappy with ("Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics and Feedback") - they were too late in introducing this, true, but it is there now. I've looked through what my Win10 system sends, and I'm happy that it's what it says it is: performance, load and fault data from drivers and applications.

        Basically - If you tell Windows 10 to not share information about your activity, then it does not share information about your activity. It's that simple. I'd like the other major OSes and application vendors to follow suit: let users choose, and If they choose not to share, respect that choice.

        In general, I really struggle to see a business need for a corporation to hold records of where I've been every day for the last two years (Tesla knows where all of its customers have driven to - am I the only person who finds this to be creepy?). Data mining is data mining - leaving it in a vault doesn't remove the temptation to sell it later. I used to work for Apple; after that, I used to develop software for Apple platforms; I have learned from both experiences that what Apple promises today can be gone on a whim.

        And it's not like Apple has made a noble stand, here: remember when the company tried to get into online advertising with its iAds platform? Yes, they would rather you had forgotten about it, but that venture was impossible to realise without using the user data gathered from iOS users to build advertising profiles, which were used to sell advertising. iAds was finally shut down in December 2016, so up to that point, Apple was monetizing user data with third parties. Exactly what Google does, in other words.

        1. IHateWearingATie

          Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

          "actually, when was the last Apple product that couldn't be described as a concept you can already get elsewhere, but with an Apple logo on it?"

          I thought that's Apple's explicit product development approach? See a segment, wait for others to make mistakes, pick so good ideas and make them work better, develop a better product, charge *a lot* more for it.

        2. Orv Silver badge

          Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

          And unlike iOS, Windows 10 also lets you see exactly what telemetry is being sent, and remove things you're unhappy with...

          Although, unless you have the Enterprise edition, they still won't let you turn it off completely.

        3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: They're clearly copying Apple.

          > the ability to run an enormous catalogue of existing Win32 line-of-business applications;

          Not when it comes with Win10S. 'Upgrade' to Win10Pro or so may be available but may cost more.

          > What is the iPad Pro with its clip-on keyboard and pen(cil) if not a response to market acceptance of the 2-in-1 concept that Microsoft launched with Surface?

          Clip-on keyboard/covers were available for iPad for years before Surface 'invented' them. It just happens that they weren't Apple branded but were Logitech or others. Apple seemed happy to let other companies have some revenue too.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Obvious questions that will be asked

    Apart from the usual

    "But does it run Crysis?"

    there is the

    "Is the bootloader locked so I can't install Ubuntu on it?"

    The answer to the first is 'who cares' but the second is good to know.

    Provided MS has learned from the H/W issues that have afflicted several (or even all) other Surface models and made sure that this device does not suffer from then, it might be a good Linux platform.

    No slurpage or forced updates so what is not to like...? {don't answer that, we know the answer}

    See Icon as there were several choppers buzzing around yesterday as the Farnborough Air Show got underway. I can see the displays from my office window.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Obvious questions that will be asked

      Provided MS has learned from the H/W issues that have afflicted several (or even all) other Surface models and made sure that this device does not suffer from then, it might be a good Linux platform.

      This device's predecessor, Surface 3 (Atom), was a stable hardware platform. The higher-end models fell down by using cutting-edge components, which generally need brand-new drivers, which inevitably have bugs in them. This one, on the other hand, should be using lots of parts that are functionally identical to older components.

      Like all previous Intel Surface models, I fully expect it will be unlocked: UEFI, yes, but UEFI is not a boot-locker (it's sad that this even needs saying...). Microsoft really doesn't care if you buy one and put Linux on it; you still gave them money in the process. But it's worth remembering that Microsoft also doesn't care if there are no Linux drivers for some of the hardware (webcam, touch-screen, Wifi, BluetoothLE, modem...)

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Obvious questions that will be asked

        " Microsoft really doesn't care if you buy one and put Linux on it; you still gave them money in the process"

        And I don't mind paying a hardware manufacturer for their hardware.

        The drivers are likely to be generated in fairly short order if the hardware is any good.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Obvious questions that will be asked

          Exactly. Although it's not a matter of the hardware being "good" or "bad", but rather it using known components for which there's already a compatible, or nearly-compatible, Linux driver. The cheaper a PC is, the more likely it is to use tried-and-true parts, and so the more likely it is to have Linux support (this is why Chromebooks make such easy Linux conversions)

          The only problem with running Linux on previous Surface (Intel) devices was that there wasn't Linux support for some of the hardware. Booting and installing Linux on every previous Intel-based Surface was the same as on any other PC: make the USB image, plug it in, reboot the system, let it boot off the stick.

          Where the "dream" fell down was that the system would boot, but not all the features worked. Same as installing Linux on a Mac, really...

          Personally, I don't see the point in paying Surface prices and then replacing the OS with one that can't use the all of the hardware's features. And as this is the PC market, there are many other makers who offer similar specced hardware, and some (like Dell) contribute to Linux driver support for that hardware too.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Obvious questions that will be asked

        > Microsoft really doesn't care if you buy one and put Linux on it; you still gave them money in the process.

        The whole point of Win10S (which this device has) it that _all_ software purchases will be through the MS store. MS want to make 30% (or so) of all software revenue. They will not get this if Linux is installed. They also won't get the slurp which they want to monetize.

  6. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    So it's just the (none pro) Surface 3 with slightly better processor?

    Paint me unimpressed. Also.... This obsession with the Surface form factor... It's crap for using on public transport (unless you're in love with the on screen keyboard). Then there's the app store. I think Windows 10S is a fine idea in principle, but what percentage of buyers can survive entirely on the contents of Microsoft's app store?

    Edit: Oh, and the usual promise of an LTE version, for later, that will doubtless be as rare as rocking horse shit.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: So it's just the (none pro) Surface 3 with slightly better processor?

      Depends upon your use case. My wife uses a Surface 3 (old, not pro) as she needs a smallish device that can print and fit in her instrument case (optician stuff). Mostly used as a tablet to read text books, but also needs to type to send emails.

      This looks ideal if her Surface 3 dies.

      On the other hand, it's no good to me at all. I work at a desk with 3 monitors and a proper keyboard. Just because it doesn't work for me doesn't mean there's no use for anyone else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So it's just the (none pro) Surface 3 with slightly better processor?

        Depends upon your use case. My wife uses a Surface 3 (old, not pro) as she needs a smallish device that can print and fit in her instrument case (optician stuff). Mostly used as a tablet to read text books, but also needs to type to send emails.

        Not judging the surface use case or your wife, but if your wife has a smartphone/ tablet, she 'could' use it to read text books, print, type email with a Bluetooth keyboard, while the device will likely fit in her "instrument case".

        I'm just saying because her use case seems to be very limited where mobile device could meet all of her requirements.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abandoned in

    5.4.3.2.1

    New product released to replace that last failed experiment we no longer talk about...

    Who even buys these things????

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Abandoned in

      "Who even buys these things????"

      Well most execs / senior managers get Surface Pros instead of ipads these days so I expect this will find market space somewhere above Chrome based crapbooks.

  8. Bavaria Blu

    Chromebooks for schools and light home users

    I have a Lenovo Yoga andI never use the touch screen, and it is too heavy to be used as a tablet. These form factors and computing power are different.

    Also $400 is not exactly cheap, so this is going to be competing with lots of laptops already available.

    For me - either a powerful laptop, or a light tablet or a chromebook where the processing power is in the cloud.

    1. gfx

      Re: Chromebooks for schools and light home users

      $400 is a bit in the iPad range. I have a surface pro 4 but $99 for the pen is ridicules. It needs a AAAA battery every year which won't come out easy. Wacom pens have a coil for the power.

  9. Fat_Tony

    to The Register’s mind it looks a lot like the re-invention of the netbook.

    Not sure it's a reinvention, and doubt the name is an accident either - one of the first attempts at something like a tablet in the 80s was called Go. Think MS skewered the company that made it (there's a decent book by Jerry Kaplan called Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure, read it ages ago but forget the specifics)

  10. James 51 Silver badge

    That will be over £300 for the tablet and another close to £100 for the keyboard and the same for the stylus. £450 these days can get you a lot of laptop. saveonlaptops have a Lenovo Miix 510 with the keyboard and stylus and an iCore3 for £450 or if you need a 10" screen a Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 320 for £240. This is simply too expensive once you include the cost of the keyboard/cover and the stylus. It would need to be at most £400 all in to have a hope.

    *Edit - Still getting to grips with my new Gemini but think I'll have even less reason to buy something like this when my old 13" Toshiba dies (long war makes it hit its thermal limit so think that day is sooner than it would be).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can get a Lenovo T440 i7 with 12G ram for about 500 Canadian at a local shop and that comes with a 1 year, maybe it's 3 months, warranty. Potentially very different use case I know, but drop your favourite Linux distro on it and it runs great. The T420 I'm using right now now has Mint Cinnamon and antiX 17.1 on it and both work wonderfully. The antiX distro still puts out 32 bit non-pae and pae version as well for anyone with really old equipment.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Yea, if you're prepared to put up with a little bulk from a year or two ago you can get more for your money but this is firmly in the too thin to fix category.

  11. stephanh Silver badge

    somehow $399 becomes €499

    At least according to winfuture.de .

    http://winfuture.mobi/news/104047

    And then you still need to buy the keyboard, so you end up spending €600 for a laptop with a pathetic CPU and 64GB eMCC. Not my idea of a bargain.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: somehow $399 becomes €499

      The article you link to (danke!) has since been corrected to €449, which is more like the right price.

      Current exchange-rates suggest $399 is €330, but you also have to add in the 19% German USt. to this, because US prices are always quoted without sales-taxes. With tax, we get €403.

      The other €50, or about €40 pre-tax, is for localisation and marketing costs and the additional customer support that a product sold in the EU must offer. There's no way around this: it's simply more expensive to sell a product in a market with twenty different languages, three AC-socket types, and multiple, geographically-isolated retail chains than it is to sell it in the USA.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: somehow $399 becomes €499

        Yes, and £400 as well.

        Actually £500, as what good is a laptop with no keyboard?

        And how much cheek is that? £100 for £20 of keyboard cover?

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: somehow $399 becomes €449

          Except that €450 is £400 these days... pricing is finally catching up to the realities of the £/$ exchange rate. That rate has been around £1 = €1.10 = $1.30 or so since the Brexit vote two years ago, and recent events aren't instilling any additional confidence that businesses will need to buy lots of Pounds in future.

          The Surface Type Cove covers are more like £50 worth of keyboard than £20 - they're pretty good. Better than the latest laptop keyboards from Apple (okay, most things are), and a galaxy better than the comparably expensive iPad "Smart" keyboard.

          (And while I could pick one up cheap when abroad, I'd gladly pay the extra money not to have a horrible US-layout keyboard)

          I don't like how stuff is 15-20% more expensive in Europe, but it is more expensive to do business here. To sell in the US, you go to national chains like WallMart, BestBuy, etc and you're distributed across the entire 350-million market with only a few deals. Try that in Europe, where every country of 30-60 million has two or three big retailers that have little-or-no presence elsewhere, and you see the cost climb up.

          While most standards have now been harmonised, so the same physical product can at least be sold across any EU country, you still need to advertise it in fifteen to twenty languages, and offer customer support in those too (and British English is a separate language for these purposes). We have stronger consumer law than the US does, and that costs too. Finally, add in structural costs like the higher payroll and health-insurance taxes paid by every worker in the chain, and it's not surprising stuff costs more here.

          I'd like stuff to be cheaper, but I understand why it isn't, and some of those reasons are pretty good ones: saving €50 off a laptop on the odd time I'd buy one isn't worth being at risk of dying from treatable diseases if I were to lose my job, for instance...

          1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

            Re: somehow $399 becomes €449

            It's not the $-£ equivalence I care about (too old, too weary), but £500 for an underpowered tablet seems a bit much.

            1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

              Re: somehow $399 becomes €449, becomes £379

              Official pricing starts at £379, for what it's worth: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/surface/8V9DP4LNKNSZ?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

              That's cheaper than the Euro pricing, which is confirmed at €449

              I'm not so sure about "underpowered" either. It's never going to be a gaming rig or a dev workstation, but based on benchmarks, the Pentium Gold CPU used in this isn't as bad as the name "Pentium" would suggest. In compute benchmarks it almost matches the more expensive Core m3 used by both Microsoft and Apple at the entry level of more expensive laptop ranges (but m3 has lower TDP and bigger caches). I have the Surface 3, with Atom, and that is underpowered when it comes to some web-browsing (i.e., the kind where you have to download a quarter megabyte of JavaScript just to read a 2,000-word news article), but this model's CPU isn't as far down the rankings as that one's was at launch.

              The direct competition for this is the Retina iPad at £319/£409 (32/128G), which isn't exactly a powerhouse either - the iPad Pro is a huge leap up in performance, but at £619 for the 10" model, it's also £240 more expensive than the Surface Go.

  12. Malcolm 1

    A good windows ink device?

    I realise that looking for any positive feedback on a Microsoft product here at El Reg is a fool's errand, but I wonder how good this would be a digitial notebook? I've always been quite interested in the idea OneNote + Stylus combo for digital notetaking but lugging but a 13" tablet costing > £800 seemed a bit excessive.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: A good windows ink device?

      One of the onyx note series or something from remarkable sounds like it would do what you want.

      1. stephanh Silver badge

        Re: A good windows ink device?

        Or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, which is now around €480 but that includes the pen. Very nice screen.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: A good windows ink device?

        I don't think Remarkable does handwriting recognition - yet.

        That would be the obvious next step (and have me buying one in a flash) - even if they went via a third party and used another service to do the heavy lifting. I'm thinking about how the rather lovely Livescribe smart pen integrates with Evernote's handwriting recognition to produce text.

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: A good windows ink device?

          As they run android you could use onenote or evernote although google have been cutting off ereader access to the play store so you might want to wait a bit till they get that sorted.

  13. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Microsoft re-invents netbook?

    Doctor Frankenstein strikes again - not long after intentionally or unintentionally killing the form factor by convincing OEMS to ram windows on netbooks, suddenly a reanimated corpse is unveiled.

    £300-£400 used to get you a good netbook, this thing is just a (still expensive) tablet minus the keyboard, and the pen is an extra too I notice.

  14. Salestard

    On previous form...

    ..of Microsoft and devices, I think I'll give this one a miss.

    Surface RT - good idea, terrible execution, product dropped.

    Band & Band 2 - great spec, terrible execution, product dropped.

    Lumia 950/950XL - murdered WP in one fell swoop, badly made, product dropped.

    I'd love to find a replacement to my dead Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 that doesn't cost an arm and several legs, but don't think this is £500 gamble I'm willing to take.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi
      Thumb Up

      Re: On previous form...

      I recently picked up a HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 that’s similar to the ThinkPad Tablet 2.

      Haswell + SSD + touchscreen w/ a real keyboard (revolving on a hinge).

      And it cost me $160 on eBay.

      Not a ThinkPad but I think it works.

  15. LDS Silver badge

    Now Micrsoft needs only to decide what UI to display for touch/pen use...

    ... which it must understand needs to be different from that for keyboard/mouse use, and vice versa.

    A unified UI is just wishful thinking - it has to develop an OS and applications that can switch to the UE needed for the input method chosen.

    Windows 8 was OK for touch/pen use on a small screen, but bad when used with keyboard/mouse on a big screen. Windows 10 is usable in the latter mode, but it's a big step back in tablet mode.

    Let's see how many iterations MS will need to understand what is just in front of it...

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Now Micrsoft needs only to decide what UI to display for touch/pen use...

      but it's a big step back in tablet mode.

      At least it’s still night-and-day-better than anything Linux can get. I’m afraid what might eventually get me to reinstall Windows 10.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Now Micrsoft needs only to decide what UI to display for touch/pen use...

        I've even abandoned excellent XP and Win7 for Linux Mate, mint desktop and modified "Traditional OK" theme. Cold Turkey for 18 months now.

        I do have some Win 10 stuff to show people using Win7 how bad it is.

        I've not need to boot up the XP or Win7 for any actual work.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi

          Re: Now Micrsoft needs only to decide what UI to display for touch/pen use...

          I've even abandoned excellent XP and Win7 for Linux Mate, mint desktop and modified "Traditional OK" theme. Cold Turkey for 18 months now.

          I do have some Win 10 stuff to show people using Win7 how bad it is.

          I've not need to boot up the XP or Win7 for any actual work.

          Do you do that with a touchscreen?

          1. fung0

            Re: Now Micrsoft needs only to decide what UI to display for touch/pen use...

            I'm using Linux Mint (Mate) on an Acer ChromeBook, and the touch-screen has always worked perfectly.

  16. steelpillow Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Netbooks

    When the netbook first arrived Linux was pretty much the only OS the hardware was capable of supporting (the original Psion "Netbook" was more a statement of intent that the genuine article). Its first flush of success was stifled by typical M$ tactics - leaning on manufacturers and outlets alike to pull their Linux toys or lose their M$ franchise, bringing out shite "prototypes" with impossibly unreasonable spec sheets, throwing sueballs at anybody who told tales, etc.

    Now, 20 years down the line, M$ have finally reached a convergence of hardware performance and software streamlining that makes it sort of do-able. Meanwhile that same evolutionary curve is delivering a second wave of Linux kernels in Google's "Chromebook" netbooks that leave this shite in the dust every which way imaginable and some that aren't.

    Only a poo icon can express what M$ have created, so here's the next best thing.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't wait to spot someone using one of these.

    It'll be Audrey on 'Coronation Street', of course.

  18. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    Yay..

    ..another underspec'd, over-hyped, not repairable, barely usable, likely unreliable, fairly useless device from Microsoft.

    Spend the same or slightly more and get a much better machine from Asus, Dell, even Acer, with more than one pathetic USB port and a keyboard that doesn't feel like a pizza box lid when you try to type on it, and won't set you back an extra C-note.

  19. James 51 Silver badge
    Gimp

    Juding from the consistent number of downvotes on the negative posts seems like there's a few fans of the surface out today. Any change of some feed back on why you like it instead of just a silent thumbs down?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I'm not sure anyone much cares about upvotes/downvotes. Nobody over 12 anyway. As the proud owner of 2600+ downvotes I can honestly say that I don't give a shit.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        It would just be interesting to hear why some people disagree with the consensus that quickly appeared but didn’t care enough to vent their spleen. Is it just pique or do they have something to say? Or is it marketing bots trying to put some infective spin out there?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          It would just be interesting to hear why some people disagree with the consensus that quickly appeared but didn’t care enough to vent their spleen. Is it just pique or do they have something to say? Or is it marketing bots trying to put some infective spin out there?

          I know a moderator on a very large and well known forum, he told me that there is a core of weirdos that downvote everything. In fact some just log on and start downvoting and do nothing else.

          So it really doesn't matter, I think it is just that some wimpier types feel like the vote buttons gives them a bit of importance.

          1. Orv Silver badge

            I know a moderator on a very large and well known forum, he told me that there is a core of weirdos that downvote everything. In fact some just log on and start downvoting and do nothing else.

            That always happens to me on YouTube. I start reading the comments and go into IDIOTS, IDIOTS EVERYWHERE mode and downvote everything.

            It's really my fault for reading the comments, of course.

        2. Patrician

          Most of the negative posts aren't aimed at the device but more at the manufacturer of said device; the device it's self is no better, or worse, than a PixelC or Chromebook, and at least isn't an Apple device which I wouldn't touch with somebody elses barge-pole.

          Bottom line, it's a 10 inch tablet and the price isn't far off the Android and iOS equivalent; it runs Windows which does mean that it could be attractive for field engineers, for example, where Windows is a requirement due to software.

      2. Timmy B Silver badge

        "I'm not sure anyone much cares about upvotes/downvotes. Nobody over 12 anyway. As the proud owner of 2600+ downvotes I can honestly say that I don't give a shit."

        I've only got 2300+. I must try harder!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe negative posts show just bias against it because it's Microsoft?

      A lot of negative posts aren't about shortcomings of the Surface - are against Microsoft just because it's Microsoft.

      Then there's the "xxxx" is better - when it's a different hardware maybe with no touch or pen input.

      Others about the form factor - yes, it's a small device for people who need something small and light yet able to run full Windows, and double as a tablet.

      I've been using a Surface 2 Pro for five years, and it's an excellent tablet *and* laptop replacement. I've desktop systems at home and at the office, but when I'm on the road, or I'm not at my desktop, I found the Surface an excellent versatile device, and its pen input especially valuable in many situations.

      Sure, selling the keyboard and the pen separately at those prices makes you scratch your head (and I prefer the Wacom digitizer of earlier Surfaces). And Windows is still looking for an identity on hybrid devices.

      But blaming it just because it's from MS and cheap enouh for those who looks to live out of pocket money - probably with some envy (look at those dreaming to install Linux on it...) it's not really productive.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guess I'll be running my Toughbook CF-74 for a while longer. Windows 7 runs fine on this, it has more CPU and more storage, and if I feel like touching the touch screen, I use it, otherwise the attached mouse, works just fine. No, it's not new or the latest, but it works and isn't compatible with Windows 10, so I won't have to deal with that on my CF-74. I was curious, as I wanted to see what specs this had. It will be interesting to see how this sells, in comparison to past Surface devices with Arm Chips and the limited version of Windows they had.

  21. steviebuk Silver badge

    Windows 10 S...

    Windows 10 Shit mode. Considering the Windows Store is shockingly lacking this is doomed to fail.

    1. stephanh Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 S...

      Apparently you can switch to Windows 10 Home at zero cost. (According to winfuture.de.)

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. 0laf Silver badge

    No, just no

    With the UK/Brexit markup that'll be £500 for a 10" netbook with a non-servicable battery plus the windows 10S upgrade 'fee'.

    I can a half decent full fat laptop for less than that. It'll not be much heavier and I can swap batteries. I'm sure the MS equivalent of Mac mini buyers are out there but usually they're not as blinkered as Apple customers.

  24. Howard Hanek
    Happy

    Inventory

    What are they going to do with the warehouses full of their old fondleslabs going back to the original?

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Inventory

      Buried with the ET cartridges.

  25. Mage Silver badge
    FAIL

    US$399 “Surface Go” has a ten-inch screen

    But costs $180 extra to have fully functional netbook replacement. Plus who knows how many hours to debug Linux on it. Because I have win10 on an x86 10" tablet with a keyboard dock. It's nearly unusable. Actually I have two. Debian will install, but the screen rotation needs a script to rotate the touch screen, touch pad and mouse.

    The $99 of keyboard is mad. I got an excellent physical USB keyboard cover for an Android Tablet (works W10 too) for under €10 inc postage. Decent keys.

    $99 is mad for pen.

    $399 for a bare 10" tablet may be cheap compared to Apple, but it would need to be very high spec. You can get decent tablets for 1/2 that.

    This isn't a netbook, or a re-invention of one. It's an attempt to sell MS HW to MS Office Addicts at a price averaging the sum of normal and Apple.

    I got a very nice "nearly Ultra book Lenovo" for about that money.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: US$399 “Surface Go” has a ten-inch screen

      I'm pretty sure the pen is $99 because the Apple Pen is $99.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: US$399 “Surface Go” has a ten-inch screen

        Other way around, as Microsoft's product was first by a good few years.

        You can actually get compatible pens for Surface from about $30 if you want to try one out, and can do without tilt recognition. Search "n-Trig pen" and pick according to your budget. Not as accurate as the $100 one from Microsoft, and no tilt or eraser (I really thought this was a gimmick, but it's actually a brilliant idea in use), but you can at least get something cheap if all you need is "a pen".

        For an iPad, your options are basically give $100 to Apple or do without, but that shouldn't be a surprise anymore to Apple customers.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: US$399 “Surface Go” has a ten-inch screen

          > Other way around, as Microsoft's product was first by a good few years.

          Surface was first released October 2012.

          """ Release date Surface: October 26, 2012"

          Here's a keyboard/ cover for iPad from 2010:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=315V47Mijk8

          Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover was released early 2012 (before surface released):

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy6onCQS_5k

          Here is a review of several keyboards and keyboard/covers from mid 2012 (before surface released), some of which cater for portrait mode too. It is about choice.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMVMv_GyATg

  26. mm0zct

    New Surface3 - Better Ports, Worse Screen?

    As a very happy owner of a Surface 3 (128GB/4GB model) this looked like it could be a good replacement in their lineup, but it seems a shame to drop the screen size and resolution to the point that it's less then 1920 wide. The original S3 has a 1920x1280 display, which is perfect for 1920x1080 video content!

    The USB-C connector is welcome, but the S3 charged with micro USB anyway, which matches all my other portable devices and batter packs at the moment.

    If you want a cheaper pen then old S3 and SP4 pens should work fine on the newer surface devices. You lose the tilt sensitivity but IMHO the S3/SP3 and SP4 pens are both perfectly fine for most users, especially if you are using it for writing / rough diagrams rather than professional art production. (When the new Surface pen came out I picked up a second hand SP4 pen for £30 to compare with my S3 pen. In some ways I prefer the original S3 pen, but it's a matter of personal taste)

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: New Surface3 - Better Ports, Worse Screen?

      I hear you about the display resolution, but realistically unless you're an eagle you're not likely to notice downscaling at this screen size.

  27. Sonic531

    The register sure love their song based pounds for titles now

    Two articles in a row. I think I'm a clone now and this. Now I have those two songs as earworms. Thanks

  28. James 51 Silver badge

    Just took a peek at the preorder prices. £380 for the basic model or £510 for the 8gb ram/256gb ssd model. £100 for the keyboard, £90 for the pen and £30 for the mouse. Don't know that they're smoking but it must be some reality warping stuff if they think those are competitive prices for what they are offering.

  29. AlastairBlakey

    Is there a seperate page for comments about the MS Surface Go?

    This page seems to be just for uninteresting flamewar...

    I wanted to mention that I hope MS will now revert to having Windows Journal be a fully supported application. It's _the_ solution for handwriting input: OneNote is not a good tool in that space.

    Also interesting that, now that they have a 10" offering again, MS can admit that that is the optimum size for handwriting input.

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