Which Microsoft Surface tablet is best?

Microsoft Surface tablets are often overlooked in favor of other traditional tablets, but they’re perfect for anyone who wants a lightweight device that can function as a laptop.

Microsoft Surface tablets are high-powered and excellent for all kinds of computing tasks. There are several models, but Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the best of them all, thanks to its dazzling display and ultra-fast processor.

What to know before you buy a Microsoft Surface tablet

Screen size

Although they’re marketed as two-in-one devices, Microsoft Surface tablets primarily function as tablets. They’re designed to be sleek, lightweight and portable, so they don’t have the screen sizes you typically see on laptops.

The average tablet screen size is 9-13 inches, but Surface tablets are only available in 10-inch and 13-inch models. A larger screen is better for working or streaming movies and TV shows, but it’s not as lightweight or thin as a small screen.


Microsoft Surface tablets all come with the Windows 11 operating system preinstalled. It allows them to function similarly to traditional PCs and is usually the preferred software for those who use their device for work or intensive school projects.

If you’re used to using a different operating system, you might find it challenging to transition to Windows 11, as there’s somewhat of a learning curve for anyone unfamiliar with it.

Battery life

Tablets are meant to be used from viable power sources, so they should last a long time in standby mode. It depends on the duration and type of usage, but a quality tablet lasts around 8 hours on a full charge. Applications vary in power consumption, so naturally, programs that require more will drain a tablet’s battery faster.

What to look for in a quality Microsoft Surface tablet


While many laptops use hard disk drives for storage, all Surface tablets use solid-state drives. Accessing files on an SSD is faster, making them ideal for tablets.

If you plan to use your tablet for simple tasks like browsing or streaming content, you can opt for a tablet with 64 or 128 gigabytes of storage. However, if you want to use your tablet for work or school, the more storage you have to work with, the better, making models with 256GB or higher more suitable.

Once your tablet’s SSD storage capacity is full, you’ll have to delete or move files if you want to store other data.


A fast central processing unit is crucial for running applications that require lots of power. You don’t need to worry about this if you plan to use your tablet for light tasks, but it’s an important consideration for anybody looking to use their device for running high-powered programs. However, be advised that the more powerful a tablet’s processor, the more expensive it is.

Random access memory

The more random access memory a device has, the more applications you can run simultaneously without noticing a performance decrease. 4GB of RAM is sufficient for simple browsing and running light applications, but high-powered computing tasks require a minimum of 8GB of RAM to run efficiently.

How much you can expect to spend on a Microsoft Surface tablet

Because of the many different specs that can be customized, the price of a Surface tablet can vary greatly. The entry-level model of the Surface Go 3 is the cheapest at $400, while the Surface Pro 8 with the most high-end specs goes for $1,999.

Microsoft Surface tablet FAQ

Can Surface tablets connect to LTE networks?

A. All models can connect to the internet through Wi-Fi, but some also have cellular/LTE network capabilities for using the internet while on the go. However, you’ll have to contact a network carrier and purchase a data plan if you wish to do so.

Is the Surface Pen accessory necessary?

A. It’s not necessary whatsoever, but it makes games and tasks such as note-taking and drawing on your tablet much more accessible.

What’s the best Microsoft Surface tablet to buy?

Top Microsoft Surface tablet

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

What you need to know: It’s hands-down the best Surface tablet, as it boasts the best battery life, graphics and delivers superior performance for all kinds of tasks.

What you’ll love: The base model of this tablet comes equipped with 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and an Intel Core i5 processor. It has a stunning 13-inch touchscreen display, a kickstand, offers a 120Hz frame refresh rate and supports Fast Charging.

What you should consider: Some find the 8GB of RAM on the base model insufficient for an expensive, high-end tablet.

Where to buy: Sold by Staples and Amazon

Top Microsoft Surface tablet for the money

Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3

What you need to know: If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of processing power, this tablet is an excellent budget-friendly alternative to the Pro 8.

What you’ll love: The base model of this tablet has 4GB of RAM, 64GB SSD and an Intel Core i3 processor. It lasts 8.5 hours on a full charge and has a 10.5-inch touchscreen display, making it lightweight and suitable for traveling.

What you should consider: The screen size is great for streaming media but not as good for those looking for a fully functional computing device.

Where to buy: Sold by Staples and Amazon

Worth checking out

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Microsoft Surface Pro X

What you need to know: It’s an excellent mid-level tablet with less processing power than the Pro 8 but with similar specs in most other areas.

What you’ll love: The entry-level Pro X model comes with 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and a Microsoft SQ1 processor. It’s fast enough for effective multitasking, and although it has a 13-inch display, it’s lightweight, thanks to a 7.3-millimeter thickness design.

What you should consider: Some complained it’s not compatible with many popular programs. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.