Mobile connectivity gives Microsoft tablet a fresh look.
During the summer, while we were all sweltering amid what would eventually turn out to be the joint hottest on record, Microsoft launched a tablet that could genuinely be seen as an alternative to Apple’s iPad (and Google’s Chromebooks, to boot).
The light Surface Go tablet featured Windows 10, decent battery life, was - as Microsoft’s own marketing messages proudly boasted - ‘Built for Office 365’, and had support for an optional detachable keyboard. Crucially, all of this came at a winning sub-£400 price. At £379, this was generally regarded as a welcome move, providing an affordable device under the Surface brand that should attract a wider audience as a result.
We wrote at the time that we felt that the Surface Go was a potentially strong companion device for business users, and now Microsoft has gone one step further and given its Surface Go tablet an important new feature: mobile connectivity. Recently launchd, the 4G LTE-enabled version targets what Microsoft is labelling as ‘Firstline Workers’ out in the field who are in direct contact with customers. Microsoft describes these workers as “the people behind the counter, on the phone, in the clinics, on the shop floor, and in the field. They are often the first to engage customers, the first to represent a company’s brand, and the first to see products and services in action”.
The idea, then, is that as a truly mobile device, the Surface Go tablet will be able to be adopted by organisations looking to get their ideas out in front of potential customers and to carry out important work away from the office. As an example, Microsoft suggests that the construction site could be a typical example of a workplace environment that could benefit, with project managers able to input real-time data and progress updates directly into a cloud system. Without reliance on stationary WiFi networks, workers could potentially be empowered to work more productively and efficiently, benefitting the entire organisation and customer experience as a result.
Having a 4G-enabled tablet also presents potential opportunities for a more secure working environment, reducing risks from unsecured networks and enabling IT administrators to roll out IT updates to an always-connected device.
The Surface Go with 4G LTE comes with the same 128GB solid-state drive storage, 8GB RAM and Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor as the top-end WiFi-only model and the price of going mobile is an extra £110. That makes the mobile tablet £619 including VAT, which does position it slightly above Apple’s similarly specced standard iPad tablet.
However, if you haven’t given the Surface Go proper consideration before, now could be a fine time to reconsider. This is a light, bright tablet that deserves its place competing for the business, home user and education markets. It supports the Surface Pen, which is great for presentations, has some genuinely surprising features such as Windows Hello face authentication, and it’s a productive, premium-feel device at a budget cost.
The device comes with Windows 10 in S mode as standard, but reviews online suggest that switching this off for the full Windows 10 experience is preferable, opening up the options for which applications you wish to install. ‘Built for Office 365’, the Surface Go has great potential for the workplace environment, and we’ve read great things about working on the tablet, particularly with the Type Cover attached.
Office 365 perfectly complements the Surface range. If you're not already using it in your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how it can aid your productivity and efficiency.