Surface Go plus iPad Pro Combination

Adelphos33

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 13, 2012
956
558
I work in an industry where most people work on Windows during the day. In the past, a lot of these people were on iPads, but now, various Surface devices seem to dominate. As my signature indicates, I have a MacBook and an iPad that could use updating. I am seriously considering adding a Surface Go instead (mainly so I can have access to proper Microsoft Office as well as remote log-in while traveling) and also upgrading my iPad to stay connected to the iOS world. I usually travel with my MacBook and iPad, which is a fairly heavy combo. Instead of upgrading my MacBook, I can keep that at home and then use a Surface Go / iPad Combo on the road and stay light.

Make sense?
 

muzzy996

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
654
589
Makes sense and you'd shed a couple of pounds . . if it were me though (which it was for a while) I'd just run Windows on my Macbook Pro using Parallels or something similar.
 
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Momof9

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2018
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I was thinking of doing this , but my husband said the Go would be too slow. One day at Best Buy , I tried to play with one, butit was taking forever to start
 
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Adelphos33

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 13, 2012
956
558
I was thinking of doing this , but my husband said the Go would be too slow. One day at Best Buy , I tried to play with one, butit was taking forever to start
From what I understand, 8G of ram is a must
 

wmadan

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2013
46
37
From what I understand, 8G of ram is a must
I had the Surface G 8gb/128gb SSD. I loved the size but found the performance of the Pentium Gold chip and low battery life were dealbreakers. But, I run specialized software that requires more than the Go could give. I love the size of the Go (same as an iPad Pro 11), the kickstand, and type cover. I replaced the Go with an iPad Pro 11 and concluded that the need to run the specialized software on a smaller, less performing device was not necessary.
 

Booji

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2011
650
361
Tokyo
I think the Surface Go is an awesome device as a secondary use for running light duty Windows apps like the Office Suite. The modern day equivalent of the Netbook.
 
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sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
2,389
408
New Orleans
Im not a fan of the Go, mostly because the hardware is netbook-class, and those bezels! But if all you need is MS office, and you are willing to carry around a second device for it, then I think the go would be good.

I wish microsoft would just release a full version of MS office for iOS with all of the features the PC version has. But until then, Ive started embracing iWork. Its alright once you get used to it, but a pain if you want to send those to someone who uses office exclusively.
 
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DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,961
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Philadelphia, PA
The Surface Go is junk. I'd keep your MacBook and run Windows that way if needed and potentially upgrade your iPad to the 11 inch Pro. Depending on what you need Microsoft Office for, it may make sense to keep your MacBook as a backup and try to use just a new iPad Pro as your primary machine.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,666
3,268
I'm doubtful that your 2015 Macbook really needs upgrading. Things simply haven't advanced all that much in the laptop form factor in the past 3 years. I would be inclined to keep that for a couple more years.

Besides the major speed downgrade you'd see with the Surface Go, I'd be even more concerned about the screen size. I travel with a Windows laptop and an iPad (X1 Carbon). I tried switching to a Surface Pro alone for a few years before finding it was better to have the two best tools rather than one tool compromised for both uses. I find that 12" is about the minimum screen size I can do efficient work in Windows. 10" would be incredibly cramped.

If you really want to slim down and stay efficient on the road, I would consider a 12" Macbook or the new Macbook Air. If you need Windows, dual boot or virtualize. A 12" Macbook, sharing the same usb-c charger as your new iPad would shed approximately 2lbs from your current load.
 
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Non-Polar

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2017
106
220
The Surface Go is junk. I'd keep your MacBook and run Windows that way if needed and potentially upgrade your iPad to the 11 inch Pro. Depending on what you need Microsoft Office for, it may make sense to keep your MacBook as a backup and try to use just a new iPad Pro as your primary machine.
Why is it junk?
 

Dave-Z

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2012
808
1,321
Touchscreen issues, bad battery life and performance, dated design - stuff like that. It just doesn't worth buying in my opinion. I'd go for the Surface Pro if I was looking for that type of computer.
Is the design all that bad? The CPU sucks for sure. The thing with the Go is that one has to get the higher model because of the faster storage and increased RAM, but once you add in the type cover to that a cheap laptop ends up being a better option... IMO.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,666
3,268
Is the design all that bad? The CPU sucks for sure. The thing with the Go is that one has to get the higher model because of the faster storage and increased RAM, but once you add in the type cover to that a cheap laptop ends up being a better option... IMO.
The Surface line had comically large bezels before the release of the new iPP.
 

masotime

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2012
2,332
1,884
San Jose, CA
....(mainly so I can have access to proper Microsoft Office as well as remote log-in while traveling)....upgrading my iPad to stay connected to the iOS world..... MacBook and iPad, which is a fairly heavy combo.
Couple of questions:
  • What is it about the MacOS version of Microsoft Office that isn't "proper"?
  • What kind of remote login are you using that only works with Windows (I'm guessing that's what you mean)?
  • What is it about your current iPad that isn't "connected to the iOS world"?
You have the 12.9" iPad Pro and the 13" MacBook Pro. If weight is an issue, maybe you should just get a 13" MacBook Air instead, get a smaller and lighter iPad (10.5" or 11"?) and as others suggest, dual boot into Windows?
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,961
10,065
Philadelphia, PA
Is the design all that bad? The CPU sucks for sure. The thing with the Go is that one has to get the higher model because of the faster storage and increased RAM, but once you add in the type cover to that a cheap laptop ends up being a better option... IMO.
It is for me, the bezels make it look a little cartoon-y. Just a preference I suppose. Yea I don't really get the appeal of the Surface line at all, to be honest. It's an okay laptop and a crappy tablet. There are plenty of Windows laptops that are probably better for cheaper.
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
687
272
Key West FL
The Surface Go, as a Windows machine for travel, does make sense. It's only real limitations are screen size and processor preformance. Battery life is good, but it's not an all-day device.

I've only had my Go for about a week, but find it quite functional. For me, it is mostly a comsumption/entertainment device, but it is serviceable for remote connections (via Teamviewer) to either my work iMac or my home Dell XPS box. The Go's processor hasn't been a limiting factor for me. My Ps and Lr work on the Go is limited to small web targeted images and not the 2-10gb Ps files that I deal with at work. Likewise, my doc and spreadsheet needs are modest, no massively complex spreadsheet calculations to bog things down.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND opting for the 8gb/128gb model. The storage is significantly faster; it's a true SSD as opposed to the eMMC storage in the 64gb model. Also, 8gb RAM will improve performance over the 4gb if you keep multiple apps open.

If you get a Go, I would recommend that you pickup a 45-60w USB-C charger so you can leave the low wattage Apple iPad charger and the special Surface chargers at home and have a single charger for traveling. The Go wants a 27w charger and, as I understand it, the charger for the new iPP is too wimpy for the job. If you're using an older iPP, there are 3rd party chargers that have both a USB-C port (for the Go) and a USB-A port (for a USB>Lightning cable for the iPad).
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
2,728
1,130
Go: Underpowered for the software
iPad: Overpowered for the software

We need a Gopad. And iPad the runs Mac OS and Bootcamp!
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
809
458
If you really want to slim down and stay efficient on the road, I would consider a 12" Macbook or the new Macbook Air. If you need Windows, dual boot or virtualize. A 12" Macbook, sharing the same usb-c charger as your new iPad would shed approximately 2lbs from your current load.
I think so too. This is the combination I use when traveling. Having a true laptop and a true tablet is better than having a half laptop/tablet and true tablet.
 

chrism_scotland

macrumors member
Nov 11, 2018
70
34
The Surface Go is far from being rubbish - the 8GB one is a decent performer, far better than it should be, I used one for a few weeks and found it great for work and general browsing, etc - but it was a work device.

I’m considering one as a accompaniment to my new iPad Pro 12.9 as there are times when Windows is invaluable (I do a lot of O365/Azure stuff) - in the long run I’ll probably build a Windows Desktop Server at home and just remote back into it.
 

LibbyLA

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2017
434
308
I have a Surface Go (8/128, keyboard and pen) and three iPad Pros (11” is the one I use most). Horses for courses. I have work-related tasks that require Windows software and the Go works great for that. I’ve recorded Camtasia videos with it (although I edit them on my Win desktop). I have wanted a Windows computer in that form factor for years. It’s small but not too small (8” Win tablet is usable, but barely).

When I’m away from home, I take both with me. I use the iPad more, but there are some things I just can’t do with it.
 
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flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,191
922
What is it about the MacOS version of Microsoft Office that isn't "proper"?
I can’t speak for the OP, but MacOS Office doesn’t function for macros. They added macro capability but trying to code in it is painful to the point of being unusable. I could never do the work I do for my corporate job on a Mac. My SP4 handles it fine.

I don’t see the iPad getting parity with Windows Office until Macs do. Hopefully Microsoft will get on that, but given that they’d be cannibalizing their own device sales by creating parity, I don’t know that they will.
 

sosumi99

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2003
360
317
I can’t speak for the OP, but MacOS Office doesn’t function for macros. They added macro capability but trying to code in it is painful to the point of being unusable. I could never do the work I do for my corporate job on a Mac. My SP4 handles it fine.

I don’t see the iPad getting parity with Windows Office until Macs do. Hopefully Microsoft will get on that, but given that they’d be cannibalizing their own device sales by creating parity, I don’t know that they will.
I’ll second this. I have to wrangle large Word and Excel files with many embedded images, tons of tracked changes, and VB add-ons. The Windows version, even running on a Surface Go, handles these files just fine. The Mac version corrupts images, messes up comments, aren’t compatible with business extensions, and generally crashes horribly on large files. There are also features in Windows Office that are preserved if you open the files on a Mac but can’t modify them. And the Mac version is leagues and leagues better than the iOS version.

Unforunately, Macs will always be second-class citizens in Office land, and iOS devices third-class.
 

muzzy996

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
654
589
Yup, been there done that. Office for Mac is great when I work alone but if I'm collaborating with others that are on Windows machine and the documents are tracking changes and using lots of styles and/or macros I'm better off sticking with the Windows platform.
 

pedregosa

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2010
171
140
The Surface Go, as a Windows machine for travel, does make sense. It's only real limitations are screen size and processor preformance. Battery life is good, but it's not an all-day device.

I've only had my Go for about a week, but find it quite functional. For me, it is mostly a comsumption/entertainment device, but it is serviceable for remote connections (via Teamviewer) to either my work iMac or my home Dell XPS box. The Go's processor hasn't been a limiting factor for me. My Ps and Lr work on the Go is limited to small web targeted images and not the 2-10gb Ps files that I deal with at work. Likewise, my doc and spreadsheet needs are modest, no massively complex spreadsheet calculations to bog things down.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND opting for the 8gb/128gb model. The storage is significantly faster; it's a true SSD as opposed to the eMMC storage in the 64gb model. Also, 8gb RAM will improve performance over the 4gb if you keep multiple apps open.

If you get a Go, I would recommend that you pickup a 45-60w USB-C charger so you can leave the low wattage Apple iPad charger and the special Surface chargers at home and have a single charger for traveling. The Go wants a 27w charger and, as I understand it, the charger for the new iPP is too wimpy for the job. If you're using an older iPP, there are 3rd party chargers that have both a USB-C port (for the Go) and a USB-A port (for a USB>Lightning cable for the iPad).
One compromise is to go for the Costco option, which uses the faster 128GB SSD but only 4GB of RAM (not a stock configuration). It’s on sale right now for $50 off their already reduced bundle. Been toying with picking one up.
 
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