Microsoft Surface Go 2 could crush iPad Air with this big upgrade

Microsoft Surface Go
The 2018 Microsoft Surface Go. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Microsoft's Surface Go 2 is likely to launch in the next few weeks, featuring upgrades that include improved connectivity and battery life according to the latest leaks. Apple and its iPad Air should take notes.

A new FCC filing was spotted by WindowsLatest (via Laptop Mag and TechRadar), which bears a model number that is believed to relate to the new version of the Surface family's smallest member. And it contains some details about the Surface Go 2.

The important takeaway from this document is the confirmation of LTE for the Go 2, and reconfirmation of Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, thanks to Intel's Wi-Fi 6 AX200 network adapter. This both means that you'll be able to get 4G connectivity on the Go 2 if you want to pay for the relevant model, and that all versions will have access to the fastest and most reliable WiFi speeds available, assuming you've got a Wi-Fi 6 router.

The Intel adapter will hopefully translate into more battery life for the Go 2 thanks to its Target Wake Time function. This allows the adapter to consume power only when it's required to transmit data, leading to lower overall power consumption. The original Surface Go had a particularly short battery life  — a little more than 6 hours in total, but hopefully these changes will improve things. 

The most relevant comparison to the Surface Go is Apple's iPad Air, which prioritizes portability over other key factors. It can last around 10 hours on a single charge, which meant it was a far better pick than the Go for users wanting something they could reliably work on all day. However, these changes may mean the iPad Air no longer gets such an easy longevity win over its Microsoft counterpart — at least until Apple's rumored iPad Air update comes out.

We're likely to see the Surface Go 2 debut in May or June, as part of a series of major Microsoft announcements. These announcements may also include the Surface Headphones 2, and the much-anticipated Xbox Series X.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • Jbelkin
    Uh no. Microsoft is dead as a consumer brand. Plus their corporate ego pricing means SURFACE will never be more tan another boondoggle ... $500mm sponsorship with the NFL and nearly everyone calls it an iPad.