Should you buy a Surface tablet in 2022?

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Should you buy a Surface tablet in 2022?
Microsoft's Surface 2-in-1s combine the capabilities of Windows 11 with the portability and flexibility of a tablet. But with Apple's iPad tablets being such convenient, flexible, popular performance champs, and many Android tablets being way more affordable – should you really buy a Surface tablet instead?

What models are there to choose from, and what will you gain or lose in turn, by buying a Surface tablet over an iPad or Android one? Let's find out!

Which Surface tablets are best to buy right now?

Let's start by looking over Microsoft's most current and popular Surface tablets, and see if one of those may be right for you.

Surface Go 3

Surface Go 3

10.5” Touch-Screen – Intel Pentium Gold – 8GB Memory -128GB SSD - Device Only (Latest Model)
$499 99
$549 99
Buy at BestBuy

This is the latest model from Microsoft's popular Surface Go line, and it is its most popular mainly due to the reasonably low price. Starting at $400 (and often getting discounted), the Surface Go 3 is your one and only affordable, yet premium-feeling Windows tablet choice out there, in case you've always wanted to try out the concept without breaking the bank.

Speaking from experience – you should not expect great performance, so if you're coming from an iPad, prepare to be patient, as Windows can get a bit slow to respond on occasions.

You won't be gaming with newer or heavier titles either, and as for older ones – you'll need to pair the Surface Go 3 with an Xbox controller, or consider buying the Surface Go Type Cover keyboard. The latter conveniently snaps to the bottom of the Surface Go, feels nice, has a backlight, and does not need charging.

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But let's face it – this device is mostly suitable for media consumption, and its built-in kickstand makes that a perfectly convenient experience. Watching YouTube videos and movies on the Surface Go 3 is a joy, because its 10.5-inch screen does offer nice colors and contrast, plus we even get forward-facing stereo speakers, and that's a rare sight!

In addition, for light office work or school work, this tablet will handle things reasonably well too. You can either get the aforementioned keyboard separately, or buy the Surface Pen stylus and do your work or school-related writing the old fashioned way.

The base $400 Surface Go 3 starts with just 4GB of RAM and the Intel Penium 6500Y processor, but you can spec that up to 8GB + Intel Core i3, although the price then jumps significantly, at which point it's best to consider one of the next, more capable Surface tablets we're about to take a look at…

Surface Pro 7+

Surface Pro 7+

12.3” Touch Screen – Intel Core i3 – 8GB Memory – 128GB SSD with Black Type Cover (Latest Model)
$699 99
$929 99
Buy at BestBuy

This is the most well-rounded Surface to buy right now, as it comes bundled with a keyboard. So whether you want to use it as a tablet, or as a laptop – it's ready to do both; no need to buy anything extra.

As you can probably guess from the Pro name, this Surface tablet does come with a better processor than the Go model, and more RAM too. In addition, Microsoft claims up to 15 hours of battery life on a single charge, but take that with a grain of salt; it's realistically about up to 12. Which is still quite impressive, nonetheless.

The base Surface Pro 7+ costs $600 and packs an 11th-gen Intel Core i3 + 8GB of RAM, but you can spec that up to a Core i5 for $200 extra. Once again, this isn't going to be your productivity beast, but it's a well more suited tablet for office work than the Go, with its included keyboard, Core i3 at the least, long battery life, a very competent 5 megapixel 1080 webcam for your video calls, 8 megapixel rear camera for scanning documents and what not, and Surface Pen stylus support (sold separately).

Surface Pro 9

Surface Pro 9

13" Touch Screen – Intel Evo Platform Core i7- 16GB Memory – 256GB SSD – Device Only (Latest Model)

Right now, this is the Surface tablet Microsoft wants you to buy, as it's its best and most capable one. Offering laptop power, tablet flexibility, this one comes at a hefty $1000 starting price for the base 12th-gen Core i5 Platinum variant with 8GB of RAM, but as always, you can go higher.

Now, again, if you're planning to do some serious work and want something portable, this tablet is definitely the best Microsoft can offer you, and it is indeed not only reasonably capable, but looks the most premium too, with the thinnest display bezels.

It's lighter than many laptops at just 879 grams, has a big and beautiful 13-inch Gorilla Glass 5-covered touchscreen, two USB-C ports for charging and docking, and long battery life, between 15 and 19 hours, depending on which model you end up picking.

That gorgeous, high resolution (2880-by-1920), high refresh rate (120Hz) display definitely steals the show here, making this not only a suitable work and gaming device, but arguably the best Windows tablet ever for watching movies and videos.

So although the price is steep, if you can afford it and want the best 2-in-1 Surface tablet Microsoft has to offer – the Pro 9 is definitely worth your consideration.

When is the best time to buy a Surface tablet?

Luckily for any potential buyers, Surface tablets often get discounted. However, the best time of the year to buy one will definitely be during Black Friday, which is on its way!

Check out our Black Friday deals page, as well as our Cyber Monday deals one, and bookmark them! Once those shopping events start, on November 25th and 28th respectively, we'll have the best deals and discounts on Surface tablets right there for you! Stay tuned!

Should you buy a Surface tablet? Can a Surface tablet replace your PC?

You should buy a Surface tablet, if you need the Windows operating system, and use desktop apps that are not available on Android or iOS. You should also consider buying a Surface tablet, particularly a Go, if you want an affordable Windows device for content consumption, as opposed to a standard budget laptop. Main reason to do so – the Surface Go is more premium-built, with a better screen and better speakers than most budget laptops out there. So it's the smarter choice.

Alternatively, perhaps you simply want to try something new and portable, that can both work as your fully-capable Windows 11 PC, while also being able to transform into a media consumption tablet on the fly. For that, the versatility of the Surface Pro tablets, combined with all the things Windows 11 offers, cannot be understated.

You should not buy a Surface tablet, if you simply want a purely media consumption device, as lots of cheap Android tablets can already do that for you, and will do it quicker. You should also avoid the cheaper Surface Go if you need to do some heavy lifting like video editing, image editing or drawing, as even the cheapest iPad will crush it in terms of performance, and thus, is way better for doing those things on a budget.

And last, but most definitely not least, you should not buy a Surface tablet purely for gaming, especially triple-A gaming, because that's not what those devices are meant for at all. Instead, consider one of the many gaming laptops out there, which can sometimes be found for less than what the Surface Pro 9 costs, yet will offer you a much, much better gaming experience.

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