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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review

Better battery life, keyboard, kickstand
Wed Nov 06 2013, 13:26

Product Microsoft Surface Pro 2
Specifications 10.6in 1920x1080 resolution Cleartype Display, Intel Haswell 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U CPU, 4GB or 8GB RAM, 64GB/128GB/256GB/512GB internal storage options, MicroSD card slot, 3.5MP HD 1080p rear-facing and HD 720p front-facing cameras, 42WH battery, Windows 8.1 operating system, 274x173x13.5mm, 907g
Price From £720

TABLET UPSTART Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 2 tablet last month, the sequel to its Surface Pro device, in what the Redmond firm hopes will bring better luck after a dismal year of poor tablet sales.

Aimed at being a more productive machine for users, Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 has been updated by improving its kickstand and giving it "dual angle" support so it sits better on surfaces.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 in purple

Microsoft touts the Surface Pro 2 as "faster than 95 percent of laptops today" and claims it offers a 20 percent increase in general performance, with its graphics expected to deliver 50 percent better performance compared to the original Surface Pro. With these improvements, if they are real, the Surface Pro 2 might deliver the updates users missed in the Surface Pro to increase its successor's chances of success.

Design and build
When comparing the Surface Pro 2 to its successor, there aren't any major visual changes in design. The tablet features the same metal chassis and even has identical button and port placements.

The good news is that Microsoft has hung onto the Surface's high quality design and has again produced a device that not only has a stylish edge with its "dark titanium" brushed metal chassis, but also feels very strong with robust build quality, giving the impression that it will withstand a knock or two.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 front

As we found with the original, grabbing each end of the tablet and twisting in opposite directions there was no give in the chassis, with the Surface Pro 2 remaining exceptionally rigid. As a result, the tablet is a reasonably rugged device for portability and traveling.

However, it's a shame Microsoft hasn't managed to make the Surface Pro 2 slimmer than the original as it retains the same bulky thickness, measuring 13mm. It's also the same weight as the original Surface Pro, which we found rather heavy for a tablet, weighing 900g.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 right side

While its thickness adds to its overall sturdiness and its weight isn't the heaviest we've encountered in a tablet this size, a slimmer, lighter design would have been better for portability.

Next: Kickstand and display.


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