- Michael Grothaus , Know Your Mobile
The Surface 2 is a nice attempt by Microsoft to create one hybrid device that has the potential to appeal to both laptop and tablet users.
- Jon Phillips , PCWorld
Microsoft's second attempt at an entry-level Surface tablet includes negligible spec bumps, and not much more
With the less than stellar launch of the original Surface RT, Microsoft appears to be working to fix many of the common complaints with the Surface 2. Reviews of the new Windows 8.1 RT-powered tablet are generally positive. Kevin Lee of TechRadar says "It's still too early to say if the Microsoft Surface 2 is a safe Windows 8.1 RT tablet to stick with, especially after getting burned by the first semi-capable Surface RT. There's definitely a decent pairing of hardware compared to all the 10-inch tablets.”
The device is powered by a 1.7-GHz quad-core Tegra 4 processor and features a 1080p screen for improved clarity and detail over the original surface. It comes from the factory with a full copy of Microsoft Office RT and 200GB of Skydrive cloud storage space for two years. For students or those looking for a tablet geared toward productivity, those offerings could be tempting.
Other improvements include redesigned Touch and Type covers, a dual-angle kickstand and a front-facing camera featuring a ⅓ -inch sensor for improved low-light performance. Kevin Lee calls the new covers “the most impressive pieces of tech to come out of the new Surface line.” The Touch cover features Swype-like capabilities while the tactile feel of the Type cover appears to have been improved as well.
All of these improvements are packed into a device that is roughly the same size and weight of any major competitors. Daniel Perez of UberGizmo notes that the Surface 2 “felt much lighter than the Surface Pro 2 as it resembled a weight that many of us who are familiar with tablets, such as the iPad or Galaxy Tab, many would be comfortable with.” This is due to the two-piece magnesium shell of the tablet.
All things considered, reviews indicate that this is a capable device that will hopefully help Microsoft recover from the mistakes of the original Surface RT. Multi-tasking capabilities, full Office productivity, outstanding visuals and a light-weight design help to add to the list of reasons to the consider it. Michelle of TechRadar was “impressed with what Microsoft put forth.”
The Good: 1080p display, light-weight design, sturdy construction, excellent multi-tasking capabilities and included Microsoft Office RT.
The Bad: Dependence on the Microsoft Store, lack of docking support and extra price for covers.
Reviews (7.4/10 Avg. rating)
A hybrid device that has the potential to appeal to both laptop and tablet users
Beautiful, responsive screen with strong, sturdy design but Windows RT still lacks apps
When it comes to any Microsoft Surfaces device, progress is slow. The Surface 2 is a clear improvement over the first-generation, but it suffers from the same shortcomings, almost all of which are software-based. The user experience is responsive and in places, very slick, but it can get convoluted really easily and leaves us wanting more (maybe just full Windows?).
Time has helped the Windows app store grow, but it’s still nowhere near big enough, leaving us with some great hardware that can’t be used to its fullest. The strangest part of all this is that Microsoft&r... Full review
Thinner, lighter, faster.. but still no apps
An improvement on the original Surface, but its rivals have moved on
Full Windows 8.1 needs to be let loose on the Surface 2 to make it a real alternative to the attractiveness of iOS and Android tablets.
Until then, this is something of a poor man’s iPad.
There’s no doubt the Surface 2 is more geared to work-related use and if this is what you want from a tablet, then it’s a tidy option that offers decent entertainment features for playtime.
But we’re in the sound-and-vision business and, with only mediocre picture quality and disappointing sound, the Surface 2 can’t tempt our wallet form our po... Full review
Good tablet if you must have the full Office experience on the go
If you use Office day in, day out and want a lighter, more portable alternative to a laptop then the Surface 2 is worth a punt. But the sad truth is that, despite the Surface 2’s many qualities, Office RT 2013 is its only true selling point. It’s the only reason to buy one. And, believe it or not, the large majority of the world doesn’t need Office that much, and those that do probably need other desktop apps as well.
Elsewhere the Surface 2 is a solid but unspectacular tablet. The screen is good, but the speakers are dire; the design is nice, but it’s bul... Full review
Bound to remain a niche product - full of character but not quite hitting the bar yet set by Google and Apple tablets
A year and an OS update later, we still have the same feeling. The Microsoft Surface 2 is a fine piece of hardware, held back by an OS which is stuck in no man's land between Windows Phone and full-blown Windows 8.1 territory. Intel Bay Trail powered tablets manage the same battery life so it's understandable that Microsoft's hardware partners have slowly quit making Windows RT hardware altogether.
Things can be very different for the tablet, should Microsoft marry its ARM hardware with the constantly growing Windows Phone 8 library of apps. Until then, the Surface 2 is bound to... Full review
Vastly better hardware, but Windows RT 8.1 still feels too restrictive
A stylish performer
New screen, improved kickstand, much-better battery life
Microsoft is making some of the best PC hardware around and Surface 2 is an even better example of the combination tablet-you-can-use-like-a-notebook than the first Surface.
The new screen, the improved kickstand, the much-better battery life and software with far fewer rough edges add up to an impressive product.
But Windows RT is still a problem. Things just aren't quite joined up yet because of the limited app support. However much you think you won't need desktop apps, you will undoubtedly find something that compromises your experience. And that's a real shame, as the h... Full review
Microsoft’s productivity tablet dreams finally come true
The Surface 2 proves that all of Microsoft’s latest moves aren’t completely crazy. It shows that there’s a need for a touch-enabled operating system and multifunctional hybrid computers. And even if the apps aren’t there yet, it’s still plenty capable on its own.
At the same time, it’s not a device that I would unabashedly recommend to anyone. But for those of you dreaming of an ideal productivity tablet, it’s functional enough to be useful without wanting to throw it out the window like the first Surface.
For Microsoft, that&r... Full review
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