The Microsoft Surface Go family may not be the most exciting of laptops, but it has some undeniable merits. These devices bring features like a Full HD+ 3:2 display, a 1080p webcam (and another one on the back), and Windows Hello facial recognition to a very affordable price point, which is commendable. The Surface Go 3 is naturally the best entry in the series, and in our review, we found it to be a great option if you’re looking for an affordable tablet. But it’s been over a year since it launched, and we’re looking forward to what’s next — a potential Surface Go 4.
The Surface Go 3 launched in late 2021, and while we haven’t heard of an imminent release for a successor, there are some things we’re looking forward to when a Surface Go 4 does come to fruition. Let’s take a look at what might happen when Microsoft does introduce a new budget tablet.
When is the release date for the Surface Go 4?
The Surface Go series is one of Microsoft’s newer Surface families, and so far, it hasn’t been the most consistent with releases. The first Surface Go launched in August 2018, and it took almost two years for the Surface Go 2 to release as an upgraded version. The Surface Go 3 only took just under a year and a half to release after that, so it has varied a bit. From what we’ve heard, the next iteration is likely coming in the fall this year, which lines up with the intervals from previous launches.
Since this is a relatively low-end device, it doesn’t need to be refreshed as often, plus the latest iteration already has pretty good entry-level hardware. According to a recent report, it seems likely that the Surface Go 4 will launch in the fall alongside a new 11-inch Surface Pro model, likely to be called the Surface Pro 10. This isn’t too far from what we’d expect based on past launches, so it makes a lot of sense.
What new features will the Surface Go 4 have?
Being an entry-level option, Microsoft hasn’t really gone too crazy with new features for the Surface Go family after its initial launch. The Surface Go 2 slightly increased the screen size to 10.5 inches, resulting in smaller bezels, but otherwise, not much has changed. And while we wouldn’t expect a ton of changes in terms of major features, there are bound to be some changes, at least on the inside.
One of the things we’re very likely to see is, of course, a spec bump. The Surface Go 3 comes with an Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y or a Core i3-10100Y, but from what we’ve heard, the next model may feature a Qualcomm processor for the first time. Microsoft is reportedly planning to use a Qualcomm CPU, seemingly from the Snapdragon 7c series, inside the Surface Go 4, which fans have been anticipating for a long time. We’ve heard this reported a couple of times now, so it’s looking very likely.
That said, reports also point to there being Intel-based models for those that do prefer them. After all, Intel processors still offer the most seamless experience for most users, since there’s no need for emulation or anything like that. You also don’t have to worry about compatibility issues as you might with an Arm-based processor.
Will there be any other changes?
We wouldn’t expect many changes in terms of the design or features, but one thing that might change has to do with the Surface Pen. Microsoft has begun transitioning to the Surface Slim Pen design with the Surface Pro 8, Pro X, and Laptop Studio, but the Surface Go 3 is still using the traditional Surface Pen. As time goes on, though, it’s likely all Surface devices will support the Surface Slim Pen instead, and that could happen with the Surface Go 4.
However, it’s worth noting that neither the Surface Laptop 5 nor the Surface Studio 2+ — which were launched a year after the Surface Slim Pen 2 — support the new features it introduced, and they’re not designed to store and charge it either. That is to say, it might be a while longer before this new pen becomes the standard, especially on cheaper devices. Microsoft has also been using a redesigned keyboard connector with the Surface Pro 8 and 9, and it should eventually be standardized for the Surface Go family, too. Again, it’s hard to say if and when that will happen.
What you shouldn’t expect from future iterations is a 120Hz display or Thunderbolt support like Microsoft’s premium devices have. Those are very premium features that wouldn’t fit the Surface Go’s entry-level pricing.
How much will it cost?
Pricing for the Surface Go family has been very consistent with each generation, and it seems likely that will continue to be the case in the future. The base price will likely be just under $400, excluding the keyboard and pen accessories. Depending on your upgrades, it may be in the range of $800. There are a total of five Surface Go 3 configurations, ranging from $399.99 to $729.99, excluding any accessories. Things shouldn’t be too different with the Surface Go 4, but it’s worth noting that costs have been increasing across the industry, so it may be inevitable that prices will go up slightly.
The pen and keyboard price may vary depending on whether Microsoft decides to transition to the Surface Slim Pen form factor. This pen has typically been more expensive, but the company could use a more affordable version for the Surface Go.
That’s all we can say about the Surface Go 4 right now, and we may still have a few months to wait for it to release considering we don’t know a specific timeframe for it yet. The Surface Go 3 is still a solid choice if you want an affordable Windows tablet right now, and there are also options like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5i, which are a little more expensive but significantly better in many ways. You can also check out our list of the best Surface PCs if you have a bigger budget, or just take a look at the best laptops in general if you don’t think Surface is for you.