Microsoft offers five types of device within its Surface portfolio: the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, Surface Book, Surface Studio, and Surface Go.

Each Surface has a touchscreen, but only four of them are truly "mobile", as one of them, the Surface Studio, is an eye-catching all-in-one meant to sit on a desk, while another, the Surface Go, which also happens to be the latest Surface device to launch, is a 10-inch touchscreen tablet designed to be portable and user-friendly for all types of people who, quite literally, work on the go.

Confused about which one might be the one for you? No worries. It's not as complicated as it first seems, and to help you figure out the differences between them all we've compared each of the Surface devices, spec-by-spec, to give you a better idea of which is best for you.

Quick summary

The Surface Go is a 10-inch touchscreen tablet that, at first look, looks like a smaller Surface Pro, but Microsoft has insisted in its marketing materials that it re-engineered the tablet's size, weight, design, and more, in order to make it more portable. Microsoft is targeting Apple iPad users and Chromebook users with this device, as it's the smallest Surface available and the cheapest.

The Surface Pro 6 is a Windows 10 Pro 2-in-1 PC with a detachable keyboard, but it's definitely not for people who want a conventional laptop. It retains the same design as the last couple of generations but the internals have been updated. 

The Surface Laptop 2 (which has just replaced the Surface Laptop) is more expensive than the Surface Pro. It's a traditional clamshell laptop; Microsoft's only Surface device that doesn't have a tablet component.

The Surface Book 2 is a professional-grade laptop available in 13.5 or 15-inch sizes. Like all other Surface devices, it has a touchscreen. What makes it standout, however, is its solid base and a discrete GPU option. It's bigger and more expensive than the Surface Laptop, but it offers more in terms of performance.

The Surface Studio 2 (replacing the older Surface Studio) is the most expensive Surface device, and it's primarily for creatives. It's a gorgeous all-in-one Windows 10 PC with a Zero Gravity Hinge. With a light push, it can be pushed down to a tablet-like position and then used with the included Surface Pen or even the optional Surface Dial to sketch. The Surface Studio 2 is not yet available in the UK, but the original Surface Studio is. 

Which Microsoft Surface is best for you?

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Microsoft Surface Go

  • Price: From £379 from Microsoft UK | From $399 from Microsoft US
  • Dimensions: 637.4 x 438.9 x 12.5mm, 522g weight
  • Display: 10-inch PixelSense display; 1800 x 1200 resolution (217dpi), 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Connections: 1 x USB-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 x Surface Connect port, Surface Type Cover Port, 1 x MicroSDXC Card Reader
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
  • Accessories: Type Cover, Surface Dial, Microsoft Office, and Surface Pen (all sold separately)

The Surface Go is the entry-level Surface, newly introduced for 2018. It's based around an Intel Pentium Gold processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage. There is one other model of the Surface Go available, with 8GB of memory alongside 128GB of storage for $549 or £510.

Both models work with the £99/$99 Surface Pen and really do need that as well as the also £99/$99 Surface Type Cover.

That built-in kickstand can extend up to 165 degrees, while there's a 5-megapixel HD camera, rear auto-focus 8-megapixel HD camera, support for Wi-Fi (LTE option coming this autumn), and Windows Hello. There's also a USB-C (non-Thunderbolt) port, a Surface Connect port for charging and a micro SD expansion slot under the kickstand.

Surface Go's Type Cover comes in standard black (plastic), or you can get it in Alcantara fabric in the following colours: Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, or Platinum. The Surface Mobile Mouse, which has Bluetooth pairing, also comes in Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, or Platinum.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6

  • Price: From £879 on Microsoft UK | From $899 on Microsoft US
  • Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm, from 775g
  • Display: 12.3-inch PixelSense display; 2,736 x 1,824 resolution (267ppi)
  • Connections: 1x USB 3.0, microSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Up to 13.5 hours
  • Accessories: Surface Pen, Signature Type Cover, Surface Dock (all sold separately)

The Surface Pro is a Windows 10 Pro 2-in-1 hybrid laptop. It's not for people who want a conventional laptop.

The latest Surface Pro 6 has an under-the-hood update this year, with no external changes from last year's Surface Pro 5 aside from the fact it's available in black as well as charcoal. There's not even a single USB-C port. We guess we'll have to wait until 2019 for Microsoft to make the change there. 

However, you do get the latest generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and UHD 620 Graphics. 

Surface Pro works with a detachable Type Cover and Surface Pen, as well as the Surface Dock that transforms it into a desktop PC that can be used with two external monitors, mouse and printer.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

  • Price: From £979 on Microsoft UK | From $999 on Microsoft US
  • Dimensions: 308.1 x 223.27 x 14.48mm, from 1.25kg weight
  • Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense display; 2256 x 1504 resolution (201ppi)
  • Connections: One USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Up to 14.5 hours
  • Accessories: Surface Arc Mouse, Surface Dock, Surface Dial, Surface Pen (all sold separately)

The new Surface Laptop 2 replaces last year's Surface Laptop with upgraded internals - the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are on board, just as they are with the new Surface Pro 6. The Surface Laptop 2 does have a bit of flair, offering up an Alcantara fabric keyboard, while there's a new black finish to add to the existing platinum, burgundy and colbalt blue.  

The Surface Laptop user values the ability to work on the go. This isn't really a business PC (again there's no USB-C). It's a cross between a MacBook Air and a Chromebook. The Surface Laptop doesn't transform into a tablet, but it does have an excellent full touchscreen and decent battery life as we found in our review of the original Surface Laptop.

It's still a Windows 10 S PC (OK, Windows 10 in S Mode as it's now known) so will only install apps from the Windows Store out of the box - we recommend you turn this off right away because the choice of apps in the Windows Store remains poor.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2

  • Price: 13-inch from £1,149, $1,199 | 15-inch from £2,149, $2,499.
  • Dimensions: 312 x 232 x 13mm to 23 mm, from 1.53kg in weight
  • Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense display; 3000 x 2000 resolution (267ppi)
  • Connections: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB Type-C, Full-size SD card reader (SDXC), Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Up to 17 hours
  • Accessories: Surface Pen, Surface Dial, Surface Dock (all sold separately)

The Surface Book 2 succeeds the original Surface Book and it is a 2-in-1 convertible device that's also a professional laptop, thanks to its solid base and a discrete GPU option. It's bigger than the Surface Laptop, but it offers much more in the performance department.

The Surface Book 2 is a high-powered, touchscreen laptop that graphics professionals, in particular, will appreciate for work. It's the right Surface for anyone that needs a mobile workhouse that'll last all day, though it isn't cheap.

The base model features the Intel Core i5 processor with dual core performance, Intel HD Graphics 620, 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, though this is configurable up to the Intel Core i7 processor with quad-core power, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPU with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory, 1TB of SSD and 16GB of RAM. The top end 15-inch model features GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 graphics plus 1TB of SSD storage.

All models have Windows Hello face authentication, a 5-megapixel front camera, 8-megapixel rear camera, dual microphones and front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium.

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Microsoft Surface Studio

  • Price: From £2,399 on Microsoft UK | From £2,999 on Microsoft US
  • Dimensions: 637.4 x 438.9 x 12.5mm (display), 250 x 220 x 32.2 mm (base), 9.56kg weight
  • Display: 28-inch PixelSense display; 4,500 x 3,000 resolution (192dpi)
  • Connections: 4 x USB 3.0, Full size SD reader (SDXC), Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Power cord with grip-release cable
  • Accessories: Surface Pen (included); Surface Dial (sold separately)

Even though it's replaced with the Surface Studio 2 (see below), the Surface Studio is still available in some places including the UK. It's a desktop Windows 10 PC aimed at creative professionals who have a big budget. Similar to Apple's iMac, the Surface Studio is an upright, all-in-one desktop computer, but it features a Zero Gravity Hinge that transforms it into Studio mode.

With a light push, the Surface Studio can be pushed down to a tablet-like position after which users can then use the included Surface Pen or even the optional Surface Dial to sketch, colour, and mark-up on the screen.

The base model features the Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics with 2GB memory, 1TB Rapid Hybrid Drive and 8GB of RAM. It is configurable up to an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics with 4GB memory, 2TB Rapid Hybrid Drive and 32GB of RAM but you're talking a huge price tag for this top-specced model.

The Surface Studio is the first of its kind and a showstopper machine but its price tag means it targets a niche market so unless you have a lot of cash, one of the other Surface devices might be better suited for you.

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Microsoft Surface Studio 2

  • Price: From $3,499 on Microsoft US
  • Dimensions: 637.4 x 438.9 x 12.5mm (display), 250 x 220 x 32.2 mm (base), 9.56kg weight
  • Display: 28-inch PixelSense display; 4500 x 3000 resolution (192dpi)
  • Connections: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, Full size SD reader (SDXC), Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Power cord with grip-release cable
  • Accessories: Surface Pen (included); Surface Dial (sold separately)

Microsoft has announced the Surface Studio 2 for the US market - expect it to come to the UK and elsewhere in 2019 (and to replace the original Surface Studio). It features beefed-up core specs but the same design. There is a solitary USB-C port now as well thankfully (why is Microsoft so down on including USB-C?). Microsoft goes with a seventh generation Core i7 for the Surface Studio 2 but it's the graphics that have been given a serious boost with Nvidia's Pascal-based GTX 1060 and 1070 GPUs featuring 6 or 8GB of GDDR5 memory. This thing will fly; we can't wait to review it.