Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review
Microsoft is taking another try at the tablet market with the introduction of the new Surface Pro 2. The new tablet looks almost completely identical to its predecessor, but Microsoft claims the Pro 2 is so powerful that it will make you think twice about buying your next laptop.
The Surface Pro is a 10.6-inch tablet running Intel’s latest Haswell chip, which will give it some appreciable speed and battery life. We took a spin with the new Surface Pro 2 to see if it’s really worth its $899 starting price.
In hand, the Surface 2 feels a lot like the old model. Aside from being slightly thinner, there aren’t many new added. But looking like the old Surface Pro isn’t entirely a bad thing.
It’s a hefty device for sure, and there’s nothing chintzy about the Pro 2’s magnesium body. It even keeps the slightly soft finish to give you plenty of grip.
Turning on the device takes you to the Surface Pro 2’s 1920 x 1080 resolution screen. It’s the same as the original Surface Pro’s resolution, though Microsoft claimed the tablet can support external resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 pixels.
HD screen combined with the speed of the on-board Core i5 chip make for a smooth Windows 8.1 ride. Modern style tiles glide across the screen and applications snap into view
The whole experience on Surface Pro 2 was just snappier than we’ve experienced on a Surface before. We would say it was almost as fast as an Ultrabook, which does fit into Microsoft’s strategy of trying to pack a full-blown PC into a tablet.
Once we had the tablet set up with a battery cover and the docking station, it really was like being back at a workstation, albeit with a much smaller screen.
Power isn’t the only thing the Surface Pro 2 has going for it. The new Intel chip will also help keep the tablet running faster plus more efficiently. A Microsoft representative told us that the up to 75% battery boost could yield seven hours of operation time for the Pro 2, a time that can be further extended with the machine’s new battery cover.
The Power Cover accessory is said to be capable of adding up to 60% more battery life to the device, though our source said the Pro 2 does have enough to go up to 12.5 hours with the cover.
Overall, the Surface Pro 2 comes across as another device being taken through the yearly refresh process. It’s received some reactive, though not unwelcome, updates to keep up with the completion. It’s a solid device, but so was the Surface Pro.
The added upgrades can’t be ignored. With far greater power and much improved battery life, the Surface Pro 2 should be on the top of your buy list if you’re in the market for a Windows 8.1 tablet. The price is steep, but you do get plenty of machine for your money.