The "1-Minute" Review
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.