1. Al Sacco's Avatar
    Hey hey. So one of the biggest questions I had before buying Surface Go was how I'd like using it as a tablet, without a keyboard. I kind of thought I knew the answer, but I wasn't sure. It's a great size and weight for a tablet. But ... the tablet experience on Windows is, to put it nicely, lacking. After using it for a couple of weeks, I pretty much feel exactly the same way I thought I would. And I'm not using it as a tablet very much at all. That said, I love the device ... but I need that keyboard.

    There are some related articles on Windows Central, from Zac Bowden and by Jez Corden. And they mostly feel the same way I do. But what say you? Has your experience been any different? And if so, how do you use your Go as a tablet?
    09-19-2018 07:30 AM
  2. jnjroach's Avatar
    I use it as a tablet 90% of the time, but I primarily use it for productivity, web browsing and reading so Windows 10 is perfect for that. I'm toying with idea of making it my primary machine and turning in my Surface Book 2 15" but I also want to leave it in S Mode so I will most likely keep using both.

    I don't like iOS and Android is fine on my phone but I never took much of a liking to my Android Tablet. I guess it mainly comes down to what you want the tablet to do, if you want apps and mobile gaming Windows 10 is lacking, but for me I need a browser (I like Edge), Office 365, OneNote, PDF Annotator, eBook Reader (I still use the UWP Kindle App), Twitter Client, the rest of apps I use only occasionally.

    I used my Go for 2 weeks before buying the Type Cover, and that is mainly for screen protection and occasionally using it as a laptop.

    I will also confess, I'm weird...I used straight tablets using XP Tablet PC Edition, Vista and Windows 7....I loved Windows 8.x (I actually used my RT as my main machine as an IT Consultant for a year and then switched to a Surface 2). I do like Windows 10, but seldom ever use Tablet Mode.
    fatclue_98 likes this.
    09-19-2018 09:34 AM
  3. Zeem Frostmaw's Avatar
    It's kinda like asking whether Windows 10 Mobile is any good as a smartphone - it'll absolutely function as one, the experience works, but you'll have to ask yourself if the app selection is good enough to make it worthwhile over the competition.
    09-19-2018 10:24 AM
  4. Drael646464's Avatar
    I've been using a slightly smaller windows 10 tablet for years (9.7 inch). Used plenty of androids before that. Scaled up the UI, installed plenty of apps and games, and the only time I ever feel like using a mouse or keyboard is if I am playing non-touch games or writing something long.

    But you know FB, twitter, insta, Netflix, spotify all that, it's golden. Got kodi, lotsa shows, a bunch of touch games. Keeps me busy every time I have to take a bus.

    The new swipe touch keyboard in windows is a bit buggy. It stops triggering sometimes. I'd like that to be fixed. It's good to have shape writing, but it's a shame it only works some times. PITA to to individual keys for a FB post or something. Other than that, the only other thing I would change is to get instant on. When there's windows on ARM tablets, I'll probably get one just for that.

    But for consumption it's perfect. With the go, you can of course use the pen as a mouse as well. Which because it does "mouse over" opens things up a bit too.

    My only thing with windows as a tablet, is that you gotta get it scaled right, get all the software set up, and avoid those older legacy apps that don't scale right.

    You know run edge, not chrome. Run FB app, not the website. Run Kodi from the store, not the legacy version. Fruity loops not ableton. Stuff that is touch oriented. If your on a windows tablet, you gotta get in the habit of using your device in "the touch way". And if you don't already, that means digging into the store and getting all the right apps.

    There's no way you just want to use the exact same software as laptop style (you need to have UWP apps etc from the store in tablet mode), and you shouldn't use it at default scaling or resolution - you want all those icons, tabs etc to be big enough.
    Bump it up. 150. 200. 250 - until it's comfortable to hit that top right x without using the edge of your finger.

    I don't personally use tablet mode.

    I love it compared to android because I can use a desktop teir browser, switch tasks easier, multiple tabs easy - I can play desktop teir games like civ V, trine 2 etc, do professional apps touch only like FL studio, and illustrator - just has a whole lot of power, way more periperals and basically none of those pesky ads.

    For me it's like - in a tablet these days, people want something more laptop teir - something that can do more than a phone, more feature rich. ipad or windows depends on which way you swing.

    But yeah, I think it's a good experience, so long as you change your habits on the device, to match touch input (barring the virtual keyboard which still needs tweaking - the again, if you have the stylus, you could just use that?).

    Stuff that doesn't scale well to touch, you can't do on other tablets anyway. But for me, you know, I never used to use windows store apps. Now I use them even on my desktop. Like every day, all the time. But switching to that way of doing things, using the edge browser, these were all habit adjustments.
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-20-2018 07:47 AM
  5. pallentx's Avatar
    I see a lot of comments about Windows lacking as a tablet, but never specifcs of what they are missing. What do other tablets have that make them better?
    I don't have a Surface Go, but I use my SP4 in tablet mode almost exclusively at home. Pretty much any time I'm not typing, I'll have the keyboard popped off and in tablet mode. Playing music, Mail, Web Browsing, Netflix, social media, reading, games - the Surface handles all of these as a tablet just fine. Yes, more apps would be better, but that's not really about Windows being good as a tablet OS. That's more about Windows as a mobile platform.
    HeyCori and timotim27 like this.
    09-28-2018 11:33 AM
  6. netmann's Avatar
    Only at NFL games similar to Pro...
    09-28-2018 12:16 PM
  7. BanditoTR's Avatar
    I used it as an iPad replacement and it works just perfect for me. If an app is not on the MS store I just use the web app if one is available.

    That was only one problem and that app was Robinhood. All I do on my old iPad was read emails, watch videos (web), Twitter (I use the web app because it's just perfect with the processor it had, in phones doesn't work as well as I like too in comparison to the version from the App Store) and Wunderlist (I change to MS Todo) and music.
    All of those I can do easily on the Surface Go except the Robinhood functionality that again it can be done on the web app.

    I don't game as much and if I do it's ony PC/Switch and that works fine for me.

    I bought a Logitech keyboard (way cheaper and works just perfect) in case I have to do a extensive web search or write something (e ail, document etc) and I seldom use it.

    Its the touch experience as good as the iPad? No, but for me it works as good. I always have it in Tablet mode because I dislike the desktop experience when using the touch.
    timotim27 likes this.
    09-28-2018 01:37 PM
  8. SvenJ's Avatar
    This isn't a question about the Surface Go. It is more about whether Windows 10 can function without a keyboard, either in desktop or tablet mode. The answer is of course, yes. It has an on screen keyboard, and the apps from the store generally acknowledge you may be interacting with touch. Is it the best tablet experience? That's subjective. Is it good enough? Again subjective. Do the benefits of the rest of Windows mitigate the real or imagined failings as a tablet? I think so. The Go has a lot of pluses that make it a compelling device to me, but a lot of them are based on its use beyond being a tablet. On it's own, the form factor is great as a tablet. The benefit is when you need more. You can easily extend it with a keyboard, mouse, even external (extended) display. External storage is inherently supported. I could take it, by itself, on a short trip and be sure I could do anything I needed to, and the tablet experience is not bad. I couldn't do that with an iPad, though the tablet experience might be somewhat better. That's just me.
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-28-2018 02:50 PM
  9. ochhanz's Avatar
    Have you scaled up the interface OP? Cause personally I find that helps quite a bit with Windows tablets. Also if you enable tablet mode you can let the taskbar auto-hide (is more screen space and you use gestures anyway to show task view /switch apps), also not entirely sure but turning on tablet mode also seems to make the onscreen keyboard popup more reliable.
    Windows 10 start menu is great for tablet usage but to get the best out of it you need to customize/organize it a bit.

    Tip: if you want more gestures (e.g. for app switching or closing a window/app) you can install the open source program Gesture Sign, it is easy to use and works quite good.

    I think what Windows 10 as a tablet mainly misses is a File Explorer that fits tablet usage and some apps for banking etc (and mobile games if you are into that, though there are plenty of playable GOG and Steam games, a few like Shadowrun even playable without using a keyboard). Also Edge could use a bit more options but it is already quite good.
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-28-2018 03:50 PM
  10. DJCBS's Avatar
    I use it mostly as a tablet as I bought it to replace a Surface RT that was lagging way too much.

    For the first week I even kept it on S Mode to give it a shot and see if I could keep it that way. Well, needless to say after a week, S Mode had to go and that's mainly because Microsoft Edge is just a colossal piece of garbage.

    That said, I still have the Go opening directly into the Tile mode (Full Start Screen or whatever they call it) and yeah...the experience is kinda bad compared to Windows 8 RT. But it's usable. I only use it for watching videos, playing the odd mindless game or drawing.

    During the first week I also didn't use it with the Type Cover. In fact, I didn't buy the type cover at all when I bought it.

    But I eventually had to get it. Not because I type on it a lot, I don't. I use the Surface Pro, a Spectre or my desktop for that. But Windows Hello failed so often and forced me to type in the pass code so much that it became mandatory to have it. Specially because the virtual keyboard seldom opened when I needed it.

    So because that experience was a disaster, I ended up getting a type cover to never EVER have to deal with the horrible touch screen keyboard Microsoft built into Windows 10.

    I subscribe to Zac's article. They should just pick up Windows 8 UI and turn that into Window's tablet mode.
    09-28-2018 08:48 PM
  11. Bill Leeman's Avatar
    Like you, I use mine as a tablet 90% of the time as well. I don't use it for productivity as much as I do as a web browser, eReader (I'm using the Nook app. I couldn't find the UWP Kindle APP. Where is it located?), email and casual gaming (Solitaire, Mahjong, etc.). I do have the Type Cover as well for the same reasons as you. Like you I also started out on the XP Tablet Edition on the HP4200 and 4400 machines. I also loved Windows 8.x and had the Surface RT as well. I don't particularly like Windows 10's implementation of Tablet Mode either. I felt they took a big step backwards after Windows 8. One of my biggest disappointments.

    I currently have a Surface PRO 2017 as my main machine, but it's now pretty much functioning as my desktop. I retired after 40 years in IT and while the PRO was perfect in that environment, my goal now is to replace it with a real desktop so that I can use it for gaming. If I could have done that with the PRO I would have kept it. The nice thing is I can still use all of my PRO accessories (Dock, Dial, etc.) with my GO because the Surface Connector allows me to plug it into the Dock. It's rather weird when I do that as I have a 34" monitor connected to the dock. So I have this tiny "mini me" PRO in front of this HUGE monitor
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-29-2018 04:27 AM
  12. Mattemt294's Avatar
    I've been using my surface go as a supplement to my surface book 2 for law school and I love it. I use it regularly as a tablet to view cases, highlight, take notes by hand, social media. Media consumption and other tasks. It works great as a tablet and it's no different than any other Android tablet I own. I do use the keyboard in class from time to time.
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-29-2018 11:10 AM
  13. Wevenhuis's Avatar
    I can't speak for the surface go. For me the surface pro first gen and 2017 gen "5" have been great tablet pcs. For the latest gen surface pro, the software has to date been the sorepoint in the exprience and productivity not the hardware.
    There's been a long discussion on this matter here via the microsoft community:

    HeyCori likes this.
    09-29-2018 12:02 PM
  14. EspHack's Avatar
    just keep using desktop mode, tablet mode brings no benefit whatsoever, all it does is freeze some apps when not in foreground wasting precious seconds and messing up their state when you go back to it, most apps have a back button at the top left corner anyway

    here's a list of annoying stuff using w10 purely as a tablet OS:

    -swyping on that keyboard? taskview and actioncenter gestures getting in the way every time you swype from A or L
    -did i mention that swypy keyboard? good luck making it show up with a 100% certainty like... 99% of the rest of touch devices in existence today? keep the kb button on the taskbar would be my advice
    -worse even, making it show up AND the app adjusting to fit it so you can see what you're typing instead of just blocking half the screen
    -long pressing to get context menus only works on good days on some UWP apps, i can almost guarantee you the devs have no power over this, as usual
    -context menus sometimes show up in big touch-friendly fashion, yes, sometimes
    -tapping, lots of tapping, remember how w8 made everything a gesture with very pleasing animations? enjoy that taskview and actioncenter swypes, thats all there is, and they are preset animations that dont even conform to your actual gesture

    if you still "dont get it" remove that keyboard, get a w8 or even android tablet and compare it side by side, you will see how everything just glides and works as expected whereas that w10 UI just looks like its going to fall apart at every tap
    09-29-2018 01:10 PM
  15. anon(10524160)'s Avatar
    Using my Go in S mode for a couple of weeks now. I start and run it in full tablet mode, have no physical key board, use S mode and browse with Edge.

    Only annoying issue I noticed is that sometimes the key board does not pop up automatically. But a quick to on the keyboard logo fixes that. Also have a problem importing several mail accounts from google to Windows mail, but I am not sure that is a Google problem or Microsoft problem.

    Office 365 runs good as well.

    Surface Go , 4GB ram , 64GB storage , Win 10 in S mode , Edge , Office 365 , No physical keyboard , No mouse.
    09-29-2018 04:57 PM
  16. peevyrj's Avatar
    I don't use mine in tablet mode very often because I have an iPad for that. However, I will every now and then take the keyboard off of it and mess around with it just to give it a chance. It's not a terrible experience, and I do love the Surface Go overall, but I already have a device that fits that niche so I just don't see much need for it.
    10-01-2018 07:29 PM
  17. ochhanz's Avatar
    Using my Go in S mode for a couple of weeks now. I start and run it in full tablet mode, have no physical key board, use S mode and browse with Edge.

    Only annoying issue I noticed is that sometimes the key board does not pop up automatically.
    , try tapping a 2 / 3 times on the inputbox to force the keyboard to show up. Sometimes that works for me.
    10-02-2018 05:24 AM
  18. aggrophobic's Avatar
    I have thought long and hard about buying one of these for several tasks. Mostly I want a Windows compatible PC I can use to write code while I'm sitting in bed watching TV. I have a powerful desktop PC for running multiple IDEs etc, i just need something that I can use to knock out python / ruby code in a decent editor. With the discount everyone qualifies for (education / veteran) the basic Surface Go comes in at around $380 + tax. HD size is irrelevant, I have a 1 terabyte cloud storage account with my Office 365 sub and high speed 128 GB SD cards are cheap.

    Alternatively I could get this:


    Its processor is not quite as good - it's close but a slightly older model Pentium, otherwise the specs are identical (RAM, storage, ports), it comes with a keyboard because its a laptop and it's also ink compatible. The current price is $280 + tax.

    The downside is weight, it's about 3lbs, nearly twice as heavy as the Surface Go.

    So I've been sitting at the "buy" screen on both the Microsoft and Acer sites for hours, not sure what to buy..
    10-02-2018 11:25 AM
  19. t1gsp's Avatar
    The Kindle Windows 8 App is at:


    I found it in MyLibrary on my Microsoft Store account.

    I had to scroll through my "purchased" apps.

    You can't find it by searching through the store anymore because Amazon has deprecated it.

    Hope this direct link works for others and not just my copy.

    When I reinstall it I recall needing to contact Amazon chat help for a temporary password to let me log in.

    Still superior to the PC app imho.

    Hope this works for you and everybody else
    Insti Gator likes this.
    10-02-2018 03:24 PM
  20. ochhanz's Avatar
    I have thought long and hard about buying one of these for several tasks. Mostly I want a Windows compatible PC I can use to write code while I'm sitting in bed watching TV. I have a powerful desktop PC for running multiple IDEs etc, i just need something that I can use to knock out python / ruby code in a decent editor. `
    , the Go has a 3;2 screen which is nice for coding however if you are going to use it in bed than I think a laptop types better than a tablet with a kickstand. Perhaps try to get an older small laptop with a square like screen or a 16:10 screen for a few bucks 2nd handed.
    There are also (new) cheap small 2-1 laptops with a 16;10 screen. 16:9 on a small screen is just kind of crap for productivity.
    10-04-2018 05:33 PM
  21. hangman89's Avatar
    when apple released the ipad 2018 i was interested in getting it, as i have an iphone, as a larger companion to the phone and a more portable companion to my laptop (dell xps 15 at home and lenovo t470 at work). while the integration between phone and tablet would have been great with an ipad, as a companion to a windows laptop it would have made things difficult

    how would this inexpensive surface go be alongside a proper computing machine? i use the laptop for large photo edits or coding or other intensive work but i would want a tablet for travelling, reading, quick on the go photo editing and sharing...stuff like that. i have the xps for gaming, so that's covered. at work i'd use the tablet for notes or sketches which i'd like to send to my work laptop.

    all the reviews i've seen treat this tablet as a full windows laptop, which i don't think it is...
    10-10-2018 08:27 AM

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