Microsoft offers five different devices within its Surface portfolio: the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, Surface Book, Surface Studio, and Surface Go.
Last year saw four updates to the range including a new Surface Studio 2, the Surface Laptop 2, Surface Pro 6 and all-new Surface Go sitting at the bottom of the range - a 10-inch touchscreen tablet for all types of people who 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 to give you a better idea of which is best for you.
The Surface Go is a 10-inch touchscreen tablet that, at first look, looks like a smaller Surface Pro, but Microsoft has insisted 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 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. What makes it stand out, however, is its detachable screen that can act as an independent tablet PC. There's also the option of a discrete GPU. 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 desk position and then used with the included Surface Pen or even the optional Surface Dial to sketch.
Which Microsoft Surface is best for you?
Microsoft Surface Go
- 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, introduced in mid-2018. It's based around an Intel Pentium Gold processor - so isn't performance-orientated - while there's 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. There's one other model of the Surface Go available, with 8GB of memory alongside 128GB of storage. There's also a USB-C (non-Thunderbolt) port, a Surface Connect port for charging and a micro SD expansion slot under the kickstand.
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 and Windows Hello.
Both models work with the £99/$99 Surface Pen and really do need that as well as the also £99/$99 Surface Type Cover.
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.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- 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 had an under-the-hood update in 2018, with no external changes from the 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.
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.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
- 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 2017'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 screen is terrific and there's a superb spec sheet, too. However, as with the Surface Pro 6, the Laptop 2 still has no USB-C. This is a bit of a letdown for such an expensive device and we're looking forward to a refinement of the design later this year.
Microsoft Surface Book 2
- 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.
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.
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)
The Surface Studio 2 features beefed-up core specs but the same design as the original Surface Studio. It's not a portable machine, instead the Surface Studio is an all-in-one performance PC along the lines of the iMac but with a pivoting display that means the device can almost fold flat on the desk.
There's a solitary USB-C port in this version thankfully (why is Microsoft so down on including USB-C?). There's a seventh-generation Core i7 under the hood this time around 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.