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Linux on Surface Go

Surface Go is an excellent, lightweight and inexpensive tablet/netbook solution.

It weighs in at half a kilogram (522g) but the typecover is another 245g (and $100-130 USD). Still, this means a 767g 10" tablet/netbook with 4/8gb of ram and 64/128gb SDD. The 8gb/128 GB model looks the most impressive as sale prices put it at $400 USD or with a signature type cover at $500. Even the 4gb/64gb model with a type cover is $400 USD, which is $100 USD more than a 4gb/16gb Asus C101PA. Besides the ram/storage, the hardware specs are nearly the same, except for the hinged convertible hardware of the Asus and the additional ~100g (the Asus comes in at 1.9 lbs which is 861 grams). Of course the difference in storage is substantial even with the low-end Surface Go at 64gb vs. 16gb (10 usable).

Operating System Support for Surface Go

The other major difference is the ability to run both Linux and Android apps under ChromeOS (though both still are limited in terms of access to hardware, such as being unable to use Calibre under Linux to access the USB drives (and read/write ebooks), though there are work-arounds such as disabling . For the Surface Go, Windows Home comes included. This isn't a great operating system, though it is widely available. We prefer Linux, though to be honest when using a desktop such as Cinnamon, the need for 8gb ram and substantial storage is about the same, though most applications are slimmer.

Really it should be a matter of using Mate, LXDE, XFCE, or something equally as lightweight. This makes using 4gb ram actually feasible, though for some applications, more ram would be an advantage.

It seems that there should be some project that lets Android apps run inside of Linux. That would put all the benefit over in the Linux column. Ah, yes, there are a few:

Linux on Surface Go

  • Ubuntu on a Surface Go
  • Jakeday Linux kernel for Surface
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