For many students, part of going back to school season includes buying a new laptop. While we’ve already highlighted some of the best laptops from Microsoft’s partners, as well as some accessories, we want to turn our attention now to Microsoft’s own devices. Here’s a look at the best Surface devices for students!
At the top of the list is the Surface Pro 8. This is the best Surface device for most students. We say this because it’s the most versatile Surface Pro yet, and also one of the most beautiful. It sports slim bezels, support for a new Surface Pen that has haptic feedback, and it’s quite thin and light. When paired with the Type Cover, this Surface will also be lighter than a traditional laptop and is easy to carry around and prop up anywhere for watching movies, or use as a tablet thanks to the built-in kickstand. Our Kareem Anderson has a full review of the Surface Pro 8 if you’d like to learn more.
Next on our list is the Surface Laptop Studio. This Surface is Microsoft’s most powerful Surface yet, featuring Nvidia’s RTX 3050 Ti graphics, which is great for gaming as well as data science and engineering. It also has a new convertible form factor, where you can pull the screen out towards you in a “Stage Mode” for showcasing presentations or even drawing. Like the Surface Pro 8, it also supports haptics with the Surface Pen, making it great for drawing. Our full review has more on why this is a good pick.
Students might not really want a device that’s a tablet, or something that’s quite as powerful as the Surface Laptop Studio. If it’s a MacBook-like device they want, then that’s where the Surface Laptop 4 comes into play. You can consider this Microsoft’s MacBook device. It’s a traditional laptop, with an amazing keyboard, a touch screen that supports drawing, and a really good battery life. Surface Laptop 4 comes in 13 inches and 15 inches, too, so you can pick a size that’s right for you. Our Kareem Anderson reviewed the Surface Laptop 4 and found that it was a charm.
A lot of the Surface devices we’ve suggested so far are well over $1,000. If you’re on a budget for school, then the Surface Laptop Go 2 is a better option. We have yet to review one, but we reviewed last year’s model. The newer model brings a lot to the table. You’re getting a faster CPU, better webcam, and the same great design that many people have loved. Many things on Laptop Go 2, like the keyboard, are the same as the Surface Laptop. Of course, you’ll miss out on things like support for Surface Pen, a higher-resolution display, or even keyboard backlights, but this is still a great device for note-taking and day-to-day use in school.
If you’re a student or know someone who really wants the convertible form factor of a Windows tablet, but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, the Surface Go 3 is for you. Unlike its bigger siblings, prices start on this device at $380. That leaves you extra money for buying the Type Cover and Surface Slim Pen and completing your setup. As for the performance, though? Well, the budget-friendly Intel Pentium processors on board aren’t all that bad. We’ve yet to review it, but we did review last year’s Surface Go 2, which had an older CPU.
We’ll end our list of best Surface devices with the Surface Pro X. This Surface device is powered by an ARM-based chip. That means it might not work with a lot of the apps you typically use, as they will be emulated. That doesn’t mean that it’s all a loss, though. The Surface Pro X features LTE connectivity, so you can school from places where Wi-Fi isn’t available. As a fanless device, and also with a low-wattage chip, the Surface Pro X also gets good battery life, too. So if you’re mainly doing web-based work, you’ll get all-day battery out of this device.