Windows 11 has been around for a few months now, but even though my personal Windows 10 computer is eligible for the free upgrade, I haven’t made the plunge yet. I am tempted to try out the new operating system, but I didn’t want to risk running into any issues after the upgrade.
So when I was offered a chance to review Windows 11 with the Microsoft Surface Go 3, I was more than eager to give it a shot. After spending quite some time with the new operating system, I do like it, though I won’t be upgrading to Windows 11 on my personal computer just yet – more on this further down this article.
Sleeker, More Modern Design
Compared to Windows 10’s sharp lines, Windows 11 has rounded corners instead, making for a more modern-looking interface. Of course, there are also more colours throughout the interface to give the operating system a sleeker, more aesthetically pleasing look.
I’m quite a fan of the centred taskbar too. It is a little bit jarring at first – and quite reminiscent of macOS – but having the apps I want to open in the middle of the screen instead of the corner makes much more sense. If you don’t like this, no worries: you can set the taskbar back to the left-hand side of the screen if you so desire.
I’m also happy to see the removal of Live Tiles in the Start menu. I rarely find this feature useful in Windows 10, so it was more of a visual clutter than anything. Now that it’s been ditched, it makes for a much cleaner, more focused interface.
This may not be something folks pay attention to, but I absolutely love the sound design of Windows 11. It’s tough to put it in words, but it just sounds…modern. In Windows 10, for example, I’m annoyed at the sound of error pop-ups, but Windows 11 offers a more pleasant chime.
Multitasking is better than ever on Windows 11. If you hover your pointer over the maximise button on most apps, you can select to “snap” said apps to a certain part of the screen. This new feature is called Snap Assist, which makes it much easier to arrange multiple windows.
It’s worth mentioning that the ability to snap windows to different parts of the screen have always been an integral part of Windows; it’s just a lot more visible and intuitive to perform now. It’s great that a feature only “power” users regularly use is now much easier to access to a regular user.
Better Touchscreen Experience
I’ve reviewed many Windows devices that had a touchscreen, but rarely do I use it throughout the review period. Sure, it can be convenient sometimes, but most of the time, using the trackpad to navigate around is an easier, fuss-free affair.
But with Windows 11, I do find myself using the touchscreen a lot more, thanks to the addition of new touch gestures. For example, I can perform a three-finger swipe sideways to switch between different apps, or even swipe downwards with three fingers to get back to the desktop.
What if you use more than one desktop? Well, you can just perform a four-finger sideways swipe to switch between virtual desktops. If these gestures sound familiar to you, that’s because these are the exact same touchpad gestures found in Windows 10 – they’re just implemented to the touchscreen now.
This isn’t exactly a groundbreaking feature, but it’s a very welcome one for a more intuitive user experience, especially on Windows tablets like the Surface Go 3.
Some Features Are Not Available
But as much as I love the looks, multitasking capability, and touchscreen integration of Windows 11, there are still a number of features that have not been implemented yet. Granted, Microsoft has added universal mute and Dynamic Refresh Rate since launch to Windows 11, but support for Android apps have not arrived yet.
Aside from that, it’s also not possible to change the position of the taskbar in Windows 11; the most you can do is to move it back to the bottom left side. While this isn’t a big issue to me, I’m sure there are folks that think otherwise.
Although this isn’t something I personally faced on the Surface Go 3, there are many reports of performance issues on Windows 11. In the first couple of months alone, there were issues with AMD CPUs and slow performances with certain SSDs running on the new operating system
Thankfully, these issues have been addressed through patches, but they don’t exactly inspire confidence.
Should You Upgrade?
If you want a fresh new operating system with an equally fresh new look, then yes, Windows 11 is definitely worth upgrading. But if you don’t want to deal with performance issues or missing features (like not being able to move the taskbar around), then no, it may be a good idea to stick with Windows 10 for now.
Of course, Microsoft will eventually roll out fixes to these issues, but whether or not you’re willing to put up with them while waiting for the fix is something you have to consider before upgrading. Personally, I’ll wait for a couple more months before I make the jump to Windows 11 on my personal computer, even if I do enjoy using it.