Microsoft has confirmed that the Surface Go will come to India soon, though the company has not issued when it will arrive. Surface Go is the entry-level tablet from the company that was launched in July at a starting price of $399 (approximately Rs 27,000). The Surface Book 2 and Surface Laptop are priced higher in India, starting at Rs 1,37,999 and Rs 86,999 respectively. The top-end variants of both laptops cost more than Rs 2 lakh in India.
According to Jason Trump, the commercial sales lead for Microsoft Surface across Asia, the company will introduce more Surface devices in India, including the Go. He said that Microsoft looks at the data in the market to see consumption patterns before deciding on the products to launch.
“Surface is in the high-end segment. We don’t apologise for that. Abroad, we have customers who want premium devices for their staff. It starts with the executives, then middle managers. Surface Go will certainly address some of the first line workers. Right now though we think the Surface Laptop will appeal to those who want the more traditional experience,” Trump said in an interaction with journalists on the sidelines of the launch of the new Surface range.
When asked why the entry-level model of Surface Laptop – which could have been $200 lower – was not launched in India, he explained that the idea with the device was not just offering high-end specifications, but offering high value.
“This is not an entry-level laptop. I look at devices, which we often get compared with, and the specifications are similar. But once you go deeper, you can see the difference. Look at screen resolution, materials of construction. Then there’s battery life, which includes not only daily usage, but also the overall lifetime. In the Surface Laptop that’s 1200-1400 recharge cycles. In the end, Surface Laptop is better value,” he said.
According to Trump, with the Surface Laptop, the value does come at a cost.
“The engineering that goes into this is staggering. It feels light, strong, but has a lot of power. A corresponding device would feel different and does not offer that kind on the value,” he said.
Microsoft is also hoping to woo more enterprises with its high-end Surface products, and that’s a strategy which has worked abroad. However, he admitted that while companies abroad are differentiating between devices when it comes to their executives and even to retain employees, India still lagged.
“That conversation is not happening in India yet. We will see that trend taking place here as well soon,” he added.
Speaking about the design and performance of the new Surface devices, he said, “Our balancing act is getting the right mix between performance, weight, and battery life when it comes to Surface Laptop. The Surface Book 2 on the other hand offers more battery life.” Surface Laptop promises 14 hours of battery life, while Surface Book 2 has 17 hours of battery life.
Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 has a screen that is detachable and can be used as a tablet. Both the Surface Book 2 and Surface Laptop support the Surface Pen as well. Trump explained that with the Surface Laptop, they will not support external GPUs (Graphic Processing Unit) via the ThunderBolt 3 port. He pointed out that for those who want that extra bit of productivity and more from the GPU, the company viewed the Surface Book 2 as the device, since it came with NVIDIA’s GTX 1050/1060 depending on the model.
However, Microsoft is only adding the NVIDI GPU on the Core i7 variants of the Surface Book 2.
When asked when Microsoft would bring the different colours of the Surface Laptop and the Surface Book 2 to India, he added said that for now the company would only introduce the Platinum variant. Microsoft Surface Laptop when it was launched last year came in an array of colours like burgundy, blue, etc.