"Pre-order the new 10" Surface Go, starting from A$599.0

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The newly introduced Microsoft Surface Go is smallest and leanest 2-in-1 Surface series hybrid PC-cum-tablets.

Microsoft has unveiled the new Surface Go, which is set to compete with the likes of Apple's iPad and Google Chromebooks who hold the majority of the education market. Industry watchers expected the device, dubbed the Surface Mini, to be released in 2014, but it never materialized. The new tablet weighs 1.15 pounds, far lighter than existing Surface products.

The Verge disagrees with that verdict, however, arguing that the Surface Go "isn't really a direct iPad competitor" as the sole goal of Apple's device is to serve as a tablet, while the Go is closer to a full computer system.

There is also a new Surface Go Signature Type Cover, custom-made for the Surface Go, so that typing can be ergonomic. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board flash storage. It's a smaller device at 10-inches at its broadest point, where the Surface Pro measures11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33-inches.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m. ET: Microsoft jumped the gun and announced the Surface Go late Monday.

But just what is the Surface Go? Though I only got brief hands-on time with Surface Go, these are attractive and solid tablets, sold at a reasonable price, discounting the fact that many of you will want to pile on a $99 keyboard accessory.

The Surface Go has a custom-built high-resolution PixelSense Display supporting Surface Pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, low pen parallax, low latency, and precision for accurate note taking, drawing and computer-aided design. An LTE-enabled model will then follow later in the year.

In terms of ports, the Surface Go comes with a microSDXC card reader, 3.5mm headset jack, a USB Type-C slot and a proprietary Surface Connector port used for charging.

The Surface Go comes with a carrying case which doubles as a keypad and a tracker.

The Surface Go has a 10-inch screen, about the same size as the entry-level iPad.

Surface Go supports the Windows Hello feature that lets you use the front-facing camera of the tablet to sign in with your mug. For the target market, that shouldn't matter too much, but Microsoft has still pushed for parity with other Surface family members by supporting a Type Cover for Surface Go, the Surface Pen and Surface Mobile Mouse. Next up is the version with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of solid-state storage and costs $549.

Initially, only the Surface Go with Wi-Fi will be available for pre-order with products beginning to hit shelves on August 2.

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