Microsoft Surface Go Has A Smaller Internal Battery Than Similarly-Sized Tablets

Microsoft Surface Go Teardown
Photo from iFixit

Last month, Microsoft released the cheaper, smaller Surface Go tablet to compete with Apple’s iPads. The tablet is designed for students and teachers in the education market, which the standard version costs only $399 USD. However, as the Surface Go started shipping and reviews were published. The tablet is criticized with mediocre performance and subpar battery life.

The Surface Go has a 10-inch 1800×1200 screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. All models are equipped with a 7th generation Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 615. You get 4 GB or 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. According to iFixit’s Surface Go teardown, there is no visible screw on the tablet. Just like any other larger Surface tablet, heat is required to loosen up the adhesive around the display assembly. Most components are soldered and cannot be replaced by users easily.

Microsoft Surface Go Teardown
Top right is the 5th Generation Surface Pro, Bottom Left is the Surface Go

The 1.6 GHz Pentium CPU is only cooled by a piece of thin copper shield with no heatpipes and fans. The lack of cooling may be the reason of choosing a non-turbo, 6 watts processor for the Surface Go. In comparison, the 5th Generation Surface Pro has two relatively large copper heatpipes running across most components.

Microsoft Surface Go TeardownSurprisingly, the Surface Go does not have decent battery life (around 6 hours), even with that low-power processor. The Surface Go only packs a tiny 26.1 Wh Li-ion battery, while similarly-sized iPad 9.7-inch (2018) has a 32.9 Wh battery and iPad Pro 10.5-inch has a 30.8 Wh battery.

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