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Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020)
Microsoft Surface Go (2018)
See Top Ranked Traditional Laptops

Apple MacBook Air (early-2020) vs Microsoft Surface Go (2018)

Analysis:

The Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) is one of the very best Traditional Laptops that one can get for around $1,100. The Microsoft Surface Go (2018), however, while a very good choice at its $370 price point, falls just short of being remarkable.

The Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) got praised by Wirecutter and PCmag - two highly trusted sources that perform in-depth hands-on testing. It was awarded the "Top Pick" title from Wirecutter and "Best for Frequent Travelers, Everyday Computing" from PCmag in their respective Traditional Laptop roundups.

Moving on to the Microsoft Surface Go (2018): it was loved by Techradar and Laptop Mag - two reliable sources that conduct their own in-depth testing. In fact, it was named "Best overall tablet with keyboard" and "The best budget touch screen laptop" in their respective roundups, which points to it being a product worthy of consideration.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Traditional Laptops, WIRED and PCmag preferred the Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020), whereas reviewers at Techradar liked the Microsoft Surface Go (2018) better. The Verge and Tom's Hardware gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) rating came from hardwarezone.com.sg, whereas the Microsoft Surface Go (2018) most impressed reviewers at Techradar; they earned scores of 9 and 9, respectively.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020), with its 8.3 average, performed considerably better than most Traditional Laptops - the mean score for the product category being 7.6 out of 10 - while the Microsoft Surface Go (2018) managed an average of 7.5.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020) vs. Microsoft Surface Go (2018) review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
Wirecutter
Notebookcheck.net
Tom's Guide
Laptop Mag
CNET
The Verge
Techradar
TechSpot
Reviewed
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple MacBook Air i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (early-2020)
$1,248
Microsoft Surface Go (2018)
$379
Reddit Threads (0)
No Data
Reddit Threads (14)
Sentiment analysis from Youtube reviewers
No Data
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Frequent Travelers, Everyday Computing
in “2020 Apple MacBooks Compared: Air or Pro, Which Model Is Right for You ?” 
Last updated: a month ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for college: Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more compared” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
The Verge
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best cheap Apple laptop
in “Best laptop 2020: our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year” 
Last updated: 2 days ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 8
in “The Best Laptops Under $1,000 of 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
nytimes.com
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Everyday Computing Under macOS
in “The Best Ultraportable Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best MacBook for most people
in “Best laptops of 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best student laptops 2020: all the best options for school” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
nytimes.com
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “Tested: The Lightest Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Laptop Mag
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The most affordable MacBook
in “Best Ultrabooks in 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “The Best Battery Life Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptops for graphic design 2020: top picks for graphic designers” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Basic Productivity
in “The Best Laptops for College Students in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 6
in “Best laptops for kids 2020: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Laptops for College Students” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best graduation gifts to buy for 2020” 
Last updated: 2 days ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “These are our favorite gifts for grads in 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best business Mac in 2020: best laptop, all-in-one, workstation, mobile workstation and laptop replacement” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Recommended by trusted experts
Notebookcheck.net
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Notebookcheck's Top 10 Laptops under 500 Euros” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for kids: The best notebooks for children still in stock” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptops under $500: the best budget laptops around” 
Last updated: 21 Feb 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best cheap laptops you can buy” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Budget Laptops: 6 of the best for around £500” 
Last updated: 23 Mar 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Microsoft Surface” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best tablets and accessories for Christmas gifts: Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface, Amazon Fire and more” 
Last updated: 13 Dec 2018
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 8
in “The Best Tablets of 2020” 
Last updated: 14 Jan 2020
Top Ten Reviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for college” 
Last updated: 12 Jul 2019
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Windows Tablets” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Best Tablet
in “Best Laptop for Photo Editing” 
Notebookcheck.net
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.3 out of 10
in “Notebookcheck's Top 10 Convertibles (2-in-1 Tablets)” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best tablet with keyboard 2020: top tablets you can type on” 
Last updated: 2 Nov 2019
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “Best laptop for students 2020” 
Last updated: 20 Apr 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 7
in “Best tablet 2020: The top iOS, Windows and Chrome OS tablets available now” 
Last updated: 19 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Tracing Tannenbaum: the best cheap tablets for artists this Christmas” 
Last updated: 11 Dec 2018
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 10
in “Best student laptop 2020: A notebook for every budget” 
Last updated: 14 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best laptops for kids 2020: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “Best Windows tablet 2019” 
Last updated: 2 Jan 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Windows laptop for students
in “Best Windows laptop 2020: the top Windows 10 laptops money can buy” 
Last updated: 9 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “Best tablets for seniors in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Feb 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 10
in “The best student laptops 2020: all the best options for school” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 10
in “Best business tablets of 2020: top picks for productivity slates” 
Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 7: The Best Pro Tablets” 
Last updated: 27 Apr 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Laptops in 2020” 
Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
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