Microsoft introduced the Surface Go from $399

Microsoft’s $399 Surface Go is announced at last

Microsoft unveils smaller, cheaper Surface tablet

Microsoft has officially launched the most affordable (by Microsoft) 2-in-1 notebook aka Microsoft Surface Go in the US to compete against the likes of the Apple's 6th Gen iPad with Apple Pencil support.

And sorry if you own a type cover from an earlier Surface, since its larger size makes it a no-go on the Surface Go.

Long-rumoured, recent weeks have seen leaks on Reddit and reported filings with the FCC, suggesting the appearance of a new tablet from the Silicon Valley giant was imminent. It's now available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store in most European countries and will expand to others within the coming weeks. An LTE model will come out later this year. Because of this, it's August release window is an incredibly smart one as it picks up right when people are looking to purchase "back to school" goods. Apple's iPad poses another formidable challenge - Surface Go is closer in price to the entry-level ($329) iPad than the more robust iPad Pro.

Prices for the Surface Go start at $399 (around £300) but no upper limit has now been stated.

Out of the box, the Surface Go also runs Windows 10 S. This means that, until you upgrade it to Windows 10 proper, it'll only have access to the Edge web browser and select Microsoft Store apps.

Both the Go and Pro support Microsoft's Surface Pen stylus, as well as the company's various wireless keyboard and mouse options.

Pre-orders start Tuesday; Surface Go hits stores on August 2.

The technology bellwether on Tuesday announced the Surface Go, a toned-down version of its signature mobile computing line, yet promises not to compromise on power and performance. Microsoft is promising up to nine hours of battery life for local playback. The Surface Go Signature Type Cover boasts ergonomic key pitch and a five-point multi-touch Windows Precision Touchpad for when you want to use it as a laptop. The tablet also sports a built-in kickstand with full friction hinge that extends to 165 degrees.

And the tablet has a single USB-C port, memory card slot, headphone jack and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect port that you might use to hook up an optional Surface hub. It's smaller than the Surface Pro, though, at 244 x 8.3 x 175mm (WDH), and it's lighter too, weighing 521g.

When do pre-orders open?

Apple's iPad Mini 4 is slightly smaller than the new Surface, with a 7.9-inch screen, and carries a $399 price tag for 128 GB of storage.

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