Washington-headquartered Microsoft launched its most portable and affordable Surface product to date Surface Go, further intensifying the competition between the three tech titans (Apple, Google and Microsoft) within the education market.
The $399 device has Intel’s seventh-generation Intel Pentium, which balances power consumption with performance for a battery life of nine hours. It is small and light at just 1.15 pounds and is 10 inches long and 8.3 mm thick.
The Surface Go has Microsoft’s high-resolution PixelSense screen technology, including support for the Surface Pen stylus, by combining the full functions of a laptop with the convenience of a tablet.
Panos Panay, chief product officer for Microsoft said: “Our smallest, lightest, and most affordable Surface yet. When we designed this device, we had to ask ourselves what people want and need from a 10” Surface. The answers seem obvious – lightweight, productive, and accessible to more people. I’m pumped to introduce you to Surface Go, because it’s all those things, and so much more”.
The launch of Surface Go comes as the global sales of mobile computing devices for the K-12 sector increased by 4% in the first quarter of 2018, reaching 5.8 million units, up from 5.5 million in the first quarter of 2017. The largest growth came from the Asia Pacific and European regions, according to a new report released last month by the British consulting and research firm Futuresource.
The report stated that the sales of tablets, Chromebooks, and other low-cost mobile computing devices in the US increased by 10% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period last year.
Google, Microsoft and Apple are competing in the sub-$300 price category of classroom devices, especially after the tech giants have made a stronger push in recent months to challenge Google’s low-cost Chromebook which has a starting price of $159, while Apple released an iPad for schools priced at $329 in March.
Surface Go is available for pre-order since July 10 in more than 21 markets including US, Canada, UK, and others, with products beginning to hit shelves on August. An LTE model will be arriving later this year.