Specs summary

Screen
10.6"

The Microsoft Surface 2's screen is 10.6 inches with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.7 GHz

There is a NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad core 1.7 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Windows RT 8.1 operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 3+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
Unknown

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Microsoft's performance ratings are 15 days standby time.



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.

- Michael Grothaus , Know Your Mobile 


Microsoft's second attempt at an entry-level Surface tablet includes negligible spec bumps, and not much more

- Jon Phillips , PCWorld 

Reviews summary

7.4/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 27 reviews

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.

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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)


Know Your Mobile

A hybrid device that has the potential to appeal to both laptop and tablet users

from Know Your Mobile

One last nice thing I want to mention about the Surface 2 is the optional Touch Cover, which allows you to snap on a flat backlit keyboard/cover combo. Though the pressure sensitive keys take some getting used to, you quickly realize how much easier tablets would be to use – and how much mo...More

One last nice thing I want to mention about the Surface 2 is the optional Touch Cover, which allows you to snap on a flat backlit keyboard/cover combo. Though the pressure sensitive keys take some getting used to, you quickly realize how much easier tablets would be to use – and how much more productive they can become – when you’ve got a keyboard at your disposal.

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Recombu

Beautiful, responsive screen with strong, sturdy design but Windows RT still lacks apps

from Recombu

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?)...

More

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’s forté – the software leaves us wanting more, whilst the hardware, an area Microsoft has in the past been less hands-on with, is great.

The Surface 2 will cover all the bases when it comes to fundamental computing needs: email, Skype, YouTube, web browsing, social networking, light office work and so on, but that skill set is available from any number of tablets, including some significantly cheaper ones. For twice the price you can get the more useful Surface Pro 2 or for around than £60 extra you could pick up a powerful Android offering like the Asus Transformer Book TF701T. 

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Digital Versus

Thinner, lighter, faster.. but still no apps

from Digital Versus

With a stylish, well-built body, Full HD resolution and good battery life, the Surface 2 is a choice buy for anyone looking for a tablet that does (pretty much) everything. It does still lag behind some of the competing high-end iOS and Android tablets, however, due in large part to the heinous s...More

With a stylish, well-built body, Full HD resolution and good battery life, the Surface 2 is a choice buy for anyone looking for a tablet that does (pretty much) everything. It does still lag behind some of the competing high-end iOS and Android tablets, however, due in large part to the heinous shortage of apps in the Windows Store. All the same, it would be an excellent fit at the office.

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What Hi-Fi

An improvement on the original Surface, but its rivals have moved on

from What Hi-Fi

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...

More

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 pocket.

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TrustedReviews

Good tablet if you must have the full Office experience on the go

from TrustedReviews

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...

More

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 bulky and less refined than the iPad Air; Windows RT has many bright points, but it’s rough around the edges and lacks apps. There are just too many niggles to recommend a Surface 2 over the numerous alternatives out there, not least when the Asus Transformer Book T100 offers similar performance and battery life for around £100 less and with full Windows 8.1 in tow.

As with many Microsoft products at present, the Surface 2 has great potential that’s yet to be realised. It bodes well for Microsoft (and consumers) in the future, but it doesn’t make a great argument for taking a risk now.

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GSM Arena

Bound to remain a niche product - full of character but not quite hitting the bar yet set by Google and Apple tablets

from GSM Arena

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...

More

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 remain a niche product - full of character but not quite hitting the bar yet set by Google and Apple tablets.

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Expert Reviews

Vastly better hardware, but Windows RT 8.1 still feels too restrictive

from Expert Reviews

With a far superior screen, more powerful internals and a more mature operating system than its predecessor, Microsoft has improved the Surface 2 in almost every area. For anyone looking for a cheap tablet or laptop solely for Office, then this is certainly a bargain, but software limitations mea...More

With a far superior screen, more powerful internals and a more mature operating system than its predecessor, Microsoft has improved the Surface 2 in almost every area. For anyone looking for a cheap tablet or laptop solely for Office, then this is certainly a bargain, but software limitations mean most would be better off with a budget laptop instead.

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Tech Advisor

A stylish performer

from Tech Advisor

There's nothing wrong with the Surface 2, and there's a lot that is very right about it. But it's not a full Windows device, despite appearances. Given that, it's a well put together and stylish Windows consumption device, a tablet with some unique and cool features, and a powerful performer.

Read full review

There's nothing wrong with the Surface 2, and there's a lot that is very right about it. But it's not a full Windows device, despite appearances. Given that, it's a well put together and stylish Windows consumption device, a tablet with some unique and cool features, and a powerful performer.

Read full review

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TechRadar

New screen, improved kickstand, much-better battery life

from TechRadar

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...

More

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 hardware is superb.

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Venture Beat

Microsoft’s productivity tablet dreams finally come true

from Venture Beat

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...

More

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’s progress.

Read full review

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Full Specs

Overview
Release date October 22, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows RT 8.1

Compare Windows Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad core 1.7 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 32/64 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity No
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time 10 hours
Wi-Fi Surfing Time Unknown
3G Surfing Time No
4G Surfing Time No
Reading Time No
Standby Time 15 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Magnesium
Dimensions [H x W x D] 17.3 x 27.5 x 0.9 cm (6.8 x 10.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 676 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Pixel density 208 pixels
Size 10.6 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Unknown
Multiple Numbers Per Contact No
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Panorama
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
3+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface 2 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Surface 2
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