Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Review Round-Up

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Surface Pro 2

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 reviews appeared online today. I’ve collected some conclusions from those reviews from popular websites. While many of these reviews are not so convinced with Microsoft’s argument that Surface Pro 2 can replace both your Ultrabook and tablet, they are happy over the improved battery life with Haswell processor.  Read the full reviews by clicking the title of the blogs/websites below.

AnandTech:

Surface Pro 2 is a good improvement over its predecessor. The platform is quicker, quieter and boasts longer battery life as well. The new kickstand is awesome, as are the new touch/type covers, and the new display is a big step in the right direction. If you were tempted by the original Surface Pro, its successor is a solid evolution and that much more tempting.

I really like using Surface Pro 2 and Windows 8.1 in general as a productivity focused tablet OS. When Surface Pro first launched, it wasn’t just a good device, it was arguably the best Ultrabook on the market. Surface Pro 2 launches into a much more competitive marketplace. I don’t know if I can make the same statement about it vs. Ultrabooks today. That’s not a bad thing as it is still a very different type of device, but it does make for a more difficult buying decision.

Surface Pro 2 isn’t the perfect notebook and it isn’t the perfect tablet. It’s a compromise in between. Each generation, that compromise becomes smaller.

Engadget:

Pros

  • Attractive, well-built hardware
  • Great display
  • Even faster performance
  • Improved battery life
  • More comfortable to use in the lap

Cons

  • Still heavy as a standalone tablet
  • Typing experience hasn’t improved much, despite new keyboard covers

Bottom Line

The new Surface Pro is more viable as a laptop replacement, but it hasn’t made much progress as a standalone tablet. Ultimately, the Pro is at its best in laptop mode, but it’s still not always as comfortable to use as a proper Ultrabook.

Gizmodo:

Should You Buy It?

If you found nothing compelling about the Surface Pro, there’s little here to change your mind. The appeal is still pretty niche. This device is largely for professionals who have some sort of specific need for ultra-portability mixed with a full-featured OS. That or a pressure-sensitive screen with a good stylus. In those fields the Surface Pro succeeds, and the Pro 2 is a better Surface.

For most folks though, it’s probably not worth it. The Surface Pro starts at $900, which doesn’t include the addition of the $120 and $130 Touch or Type Cover. Consider too that if you already own a tablet, the Surface Pro 2’s tabletness almost definitely not better than what you’ve already got. It’s got more power, sure. But there are precious few opportunities to use it.

The Surface Pro 2, like the Surface Pro before it, aspires to be All Things to All People. But you are not All People. You are A Person, and there are a wealth of options out there that can and probably do fit your exact needs more specifically. Surface may still very well be the future. That just doesn’t do you much good today.

The Verge:

Good Stuff

  • A super fast Windows PC
  • Improved battery life
  • Combination of touch, keyboard, mouse, and pen

Bad Stuff

  • Heavy and thick for a tablet
  • Not perfect on your lap for a laptop
  • Lack of apps for tablet use

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • tomakali

    Why the heck do all techblogs review it in a wrong direction?

    Surface obviously is not a tablet not a laptop
    its a hybrid in-between.
    to be more clear…
    its a better productive tablet and a better productive laptop
    its certainly a not good fun tablet and a full functional laptop

    if i have to review iPad

    Pros:
    fun to use
    kids have a plenty of entertainment
    good features for entertainment

    Cons:
    Not much productivity
    Too fragile build
    Lack of compatibility with Windows World
    0% Compatibility to use windows software or apps

    • techieg

      Surface is a tablet that happens to have an innovative cover that also doubles as a keyboard/touchpad. This is the point all these lousy so called “techies” don’t get. If they can’t get that simple premise, then they must be really dumb.

      • donzebe

        They are dump for sure. They are afraid to call the surface a tablet because in their mind the only tablet out there is the ipad. I have a name for the surface for them, just call it “Convertible Tablet.”

        • Guest

          It is a bad sign when follows on a Microsoft fan site can agree on what the product is!

          • donzebe

            Microsoft fans know what it is. It is the bloggers / tech journalist that do not know in what category of tablet the Surface pro belong. Many a time they have wrongly compare it with the ipad – a more subpar tablet compare to surface prof.

          • SategB

            That is the problem the average Joe or Jane is not a MSFT fan or hater they just want a product the does a job and if confused they don’t buy.

        • Bugbog

          Hybrid Tablet PC!

      • Sharkit

        Yeah, but…. it’s far too heavy in comparison to todays’ tablets like the iPad. I am very tempted by it, don’t get me wrong, but think I might be better off getting an 11″ ultrabook and a 5-6″ Windows Phone for tablet activity – and (im)patiently wait for the store to be merged.

    • nohone

      The tech media cannot think without Apple’s approval. Apple has not yet told them that they should think “outside the box” (I hate that phrase, but it works here) about how you can use your computer, and so they will pigeon hole every device into a Apple centric world. And so they try to force Surface Pro into a market that Apple is a major failure in – the desktop computer, and then claim that Microsoft is a failure themselves at it, when it is Microsoft who is the success in defining what the desktop is.

      • Guest

        I am not sure your right. I remember the iPhone and iPad was both received strong criticism from the press when they was introduced.
        They both became hugely popular because buyers disagreed with the reviewers. Let’s hope this is the case for Surface!

        • Bugbog

          Thousands of people Joined paid to to get in with Madoff; that doesn’t make them right!?

          The iPad is the phablet form of an iPhone, it Still hasn’t changed improved (productivity-wise) in the 4years since it’s introduction!

          The Microsoft Surface RT, conversely, is recognized as an enhanced productivity tablet, but as with any other new Microsoft product, doesn’t get the public’s buying love!

          • Guest

            My point was not to validate iPod sales but to point out tech journalist has been hard on new Apple products too.

          • Bugbog

            The difference being that if we dislike a Microsoft/PC product, we vote with our wallets and choose that of another OEM, or don’t buy at all (I’m currently wavering between a Dell Venue 8 Pro or nothing at all, till the Surface Mini arrives next year!).

            In the case of Apple fans/users; I was watching the PocketNow podcast of the Apple event, and despite most of them acknowledging that the event was flat and the new products uninspiring (not to mention over-priced), most were still indicating that they were going to get one item or the other of the new products!?

          • Guest

            Sorry guys to stir up such anger I guess pointing out the truth is not welcome here.

          • nohone

            The rally cry of the Apple fanboy – when they put out their version of the “truth” and someone disagrees, then start claiming that people are too blind to see the “truth” and then blame the site.
            From my post:
            Do the media cheer during Apple press conferences? Yes, I was reading the Engadget live blog today, and they called out ever time there was applause, cheering, etc.
            Do the media claim that devices such as Surface Pro does not support as much as Apple products? True. TheVerge gave Surface Pro 2 a 9 score for ecosystem, while they gave the first iPad Mini a 10. Surface Pro has literally millions and millions of software packages that can be run, and 100s of thousands of devices that can be plugged in through USB, and support with Bluetooth. iPad Mini has less than one million apps, and a sizable, but in comparison a very small set of pluggable devices and supports the same number of Bluetooth devices. And they compare the two because they are both tablets.
            From BugBog’s post:
            New iPad and iPad Mini both have upgraded processors, and in the case of the mini, and upgraded screen. The iPad is thinner. Surface 2 has an upgraded processor, upgraded screen, and is thinner. The media has called the Surface 2 not a very upgrade, but in the write-ups they are singing the praises of iPad [mini] but the word among even the biggest of Apple fanboy web sites there is not much excitement.
            But I guess it is us who don’t want the truth, eh?

          • nohone

            Oh please, tech journalists are hard on Apple? Apple has their little media circus presentation, and the tech journalists applaud, cheer, hoot and holler. You really think that is ballanced reporting, that they have the slighest ability to report on an Apple product and give us the real pros/cons of that device objectively?
            Anything Microsoft releases is immediately, before even trying it, dismissed as junk. Surface Pro 2 is getting bad reviews on some sites, with claims that there is no software or hardware for it. Even though it can run millions of apps, has tens of thousands of devices available, somehow those don’t count. Apple upgrades the pixel density, adds a faster CPU, and immediately it is the greatest thing ever, 10/10 rating. And that pink case they created for “The New iPad 123 Air3GS”, that means the add on product market is stuffed with options.

    • free

      its a better productive tablet and a better productive laptop
      its certainly a not good fun tablet and a full functional laptop

      So who’s it for.
      Many people buy tablets for their children. Some just to browse the web.
      A software developer writing thousands of lines of code a day or an author.

      With the surface the compromise is just too big.

  • Farmer Pancho

    Wow gizmodo be hating, Lack of apps for tablet use? You got all the full featured legacy apps those mobile version apps are based off

    • donzebe

      There are no objective reviews these days from tech bloggers/journalist because most of them already have a mind set that the ipad iPhone and mac air are the best and nothing comes close.

    • koenshaku

      That was actually from the verge not engadget and those remarks from them should come as a surprise to no one that has ever read even of their Microsoft articles.

  • donzebe

    All these tech journalists will never accept that something is better than their ipad and mac air, especially when it comes from Microsoft.

  • robertwade

    I find it interesting what some people call “niche”. I don’t find “being productive” to be niche. I find it to be critical. Okay, so the iSheep, who typically do very LITTLE that’s actually productive, are always going to be quite happy with their iPads. But foolishly ignorant people like those at gizmodo like to, in one breath, trumpet the “post-PC era” and then malign the devices, the OS and the company that, late to the party or not, is purposefully working to embrace ALL form factors in a unified approach.
    I’ll absolutely grant that Microsoft has been making some really boneheaded decisions, beginning with kicking out WP7 when WP8 was being worked on at the same time–and was ultimately their goal. While I count myself among the early adopters who absolutely fell in love with the completely fresh approach, I’m also among those who were frustrated by the “reboot of the reboot”. And when the Surface came out, I was very enthusiastic as to where this was going, along with Windows 8 itself (I’ve gotten to where I despise the tired old desktop)—but the devices came in WAY overpriced and underpowered. When I can get a good notebook for half the price and twice the power, the Surface just didn’t make sense.
    I completely disagree with those who tag onto the “post-PC era”. I believe it’s more accurate to simply recognize that computing devices have simply expanded to encompass multiple form factors, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. I read the reviews of people complaining about Windows 8 or the Surface, and those same people absolutely REFUSE to acknowledge how significantly limited things like the iPad are. Android tablets have more productive capability than an iPad, period. But the kinds of programs I need to run, the kinds of things I need to do can only fully be done on Windows-based machines. So, I’m encouraged that Microsoft recognizes this and is trying to move in a direction that ultimately means the devices simply becomes an appliance to access my data and media and process it in a manner that makes sense. Ubiquitous access. There’s nothing “niche” about me being able to start work on one device and seamlessly continue across devices.

  • Christ Ni

    Why does everybody needs to push devices in a specific category? Why in the hell is it important if a device is kind of a tablet, but also kind of a notebook or a ultrabook or a netbook or a newCoolDeviceCategory? Why just see things as they are and estimate what use cases a device has, what it can do and what it can’t. Isn’t a good device a device that you can use exactly for the things you want in a way you like it?

  • Andreas Luebbers

    The same her in german pc magazines: the Surface Devices didn’t get an objective chance against the apple and android world. I love the Surfaces and hope that the customers are more clever than the media world. I hope Microsoft makes enough advertisements to let the customers know of the cool possibilities against the other tablets and Ultrabooks.

  • koenshaku

    So Engadget was skipped in favor of apple and google thumping Verge? Poor choice of reviewers if you ask me.

  • free

    The responses to this post show the fundamental problem with Microsoft and their fanbois. The unified implementation that Microsoft are pushing is neither the best consumption or enterprise device. Its too big&bulky and windows 8 modern ui apps are slow and just generally poor. Certainly not the best consumer device available. I looked at a pro as an enterprise device but after a few days traded in for a macbook air. You put surface on your lap and try and be productive. It just doesn’t work.

    Trying to unify the consumer with enterprise is a noble idea but really how much of a market is there for this. Clearly its something as an IT professional I would like but for most others. Ballmer made a huge mistake with this unified strategy dumping fanatically innovative products like the courier. I would have bought that in a heartbeat.

    Instead of blowing smoke up Microsoft’s ass over what is clearly a flawed product the Microsoft community need to call them out on the issues. Otherwise its just going to be more of the same, second rate ill-conceived products.

    • GG002

      You seem like a bitter backward-looking person. Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to enjoy the next gen computing that Apple is sure to copy in the future. Sure, Surface (Pro) isn’t perfect, but being at the forefront of technology never is, and if you for one second think Apple and their computing devices have always been perfect, then I have nothing more to say to you.

    • nohone

      This is the problem with Apple/Android fanbois – they will continuously claim that something from Microsoft is a failure, until Apple/Google/Samsung introduces the same exact thing, then it is great. WP was criticized for the flat UI, Apple introduces iOS7 and suddenly a flat, text based UI is the best thing ever. There used to be a guy around here going by the name Duel (the two of you have a similar writing style), he would talk endlessly about how Surface is a failure because nobody wants a keyboard for their tablet, they want to use a tablet as a tablet and offering a keyboard (even though Apple recommends a keyboard when you buy a iPad [mini] on their web site) is a sign that Microsoft has failed. Today they are running a news story on a Mac fanboy web site, talking about how the big surprise tomorrow is that the new iPad [mini] covers will include a keyboard just like the covers for Surface, and wow, it is a great idea that Apple created and they cannot wait to line up to buy their new keyboard cover.
      Next thing you know, Apple will have a commercial with a bunch of 12 year old schoolgirls dancing while clicking in the keyboard cover onto their iPad, and the Apple fanboys will blow smoke up Apple’s ass over an exact copy of what they currenly call a failure, calling that copy the greatest thing ever even though Apple’s version will be an over priced, second rate copy. Cupertino, start your photocopiers!

      • free

        yawn, lets get the name calling outta the way. Funny how that’s always the first response of fanbois. So I am a bitter backward person who is an Apple and Android fanboi by the name of Duel. I love the way you guys don’t let the point I am making or the facts get in the way of name calling. Maybe you should try and prove that I am Duel or let me see some documentation that shows you are somehow a forensic expert in writing styles that lets you make such a claim. I doubt that though since its pretty obvious its just a naked ‘poisoning the well’ fallacy that quite simply is so irrational its laughable.

        Now the ultimate fanboi claim, Oh they are copying us. As far as keyboard covers are concerned you are talking nonsense. I have used keyboard covers for the iPad where dime a dozen before Microsoft even release the Surface. Though I doubt you will want to mention how Microsoft copied basic gestures such as the one described in patent 7479949. Guess what Apple, Google etc copy other products. Guess what Microsoft do also. Flogging that dead horse makes it look like you don’t know how the software industry works.

        Now another nonsense claim Microsoft and flat. Its just more trash talk. Microsoft called it originally metro as they where inspired(copied) metro signs(in Seattle I believe) which was identical to KLM’s in-flight entertainment center. Both of which where based on Swiss design which is over 100 years old and has been used in magazines web sites since then.

        Its almost funny the lame excuses and finger pointing and wagging done by fanbois to avoid the truth. The surface was a failure.

        Its was a disaster after disaster. The fact that you could not preorder one until 4 months after its announcement. No pricing information no release date. The people that where interested(including me, yes I have a pro) Microsoft didn’t take their money. If you can’t get a launch right what hope has the product got.

        • nohone

          So you are talking about us, calling us “fanbois” so I call those who support Apple/Google fanbois, you get upset about the name calling by calling me a name, fanboi? Wow, that takes a lot of nerve.
          Apple likes to drag into court anybody that makes anything that slightly resembles their products. Samsung makes an icon with a phone that is green, Apple takes them to court. They will file patents on rounded corners (gee, isn’t that a Squircle, you know, that shape Microsoft was attacked for?). Apple puts up banners accusing Microsoft of copying – “Redmond, Start your photocopiers.” And the Apple fanboys, which I assume you are one of being how upset you are over this, scream and yell about how companies are stealing left and right from Apple’s hard work, and it needs to stop. But when Apple steals idea after idea from Windows Phone and puts it into iOS7, the RDF goes up, and all companies copy, it is OK to borrow from one another.

          • free

            Here’s the difference between you and I. I buy a product that suits my needs not because I blindly follow or support some company. I have a macbook air as I can run mac os x and windows natively(work requirement). A nexus 4 as I use apps that require proper third party background processes. I tried a surface pro and traded for mac-book air as its not a great productivity device. I have a windows 8 based desktop duel booting with linux and a Samsung arm chromebook. So if by fanboi you mean use products I am a fanboi of all the major companies. Though if you mean fanboi as some sort of one company zealot then clearly you are wrong I am quite happy to switch to what suits me.

            The fact that Apple and Microsoft have a cross license patent deal is an admission that they copy each other and both parties agree to it. Why would Microsoft make such a deal if they had no intention of copying Apple or vice versa. Microsoft have no moral position to cry about copying. Regardless if you paid to do so or not its still copying. Hello did you read the part where I mentioned how the software industry works.

            BS your observation you don’t even have the good grace to admit you can’t back that Duel innuendo up and its just petty nonsense.

            The ‘poison the well’ fallacy is a well know technique sometimes call shoot the messenger. Where people try to discredit the message by discrediting the messenger. Reading the posts on here the only reasons I can see why my claim that the surface was a failure is I am an Apple/Google fanboi who writes in the style of Duel according to some forensic writing style expert. Then off course to back that up further Apple copied Microsoft despite signing a cross license deal and copying Apple. Ahh that explains why the Surface was not a failure.

          • nohone

            Here is the problem with that – I have an iPad, had the original one, received it on the Saturday they shipped. I gave that one to my parents, and now I have an iPad 3. I had 3 of the original iPhones, 2 of the, were bricked during updates. Apple claimed I tried to jailbreak them (I didn’t). I have a mini, it is stuck on an older version of OSX because after 3 years Apple stopped supporting it. I will be getting a new one when they update to Haswell. I have had 4 iPod touches, a 4th gen 64GB that replaced my Zune HD and I use the iPod daily. I have had 3 iPod minis, one I keep at work in case I forget the touch at home. I have written apps on put on the iTunes store.
            So you can rant all you wish about how I hate Apple. The truth is, I find my Surface Pro and Surface RT more flexible for my needs than the Mac or iPad. My Nokia 920 is the best phone I ever had. And if they still made a Zune HD, I would have bought a new one when my old one was dropped in a toilet. You can make all the assumptions about me that you want, but you know what they say when you assume.

          • Guest

            Then why don’t you get lost you Apple iSheep troll!

          • free

            I never bought an iPad and have no intention of buying one. However we have several versions of it at work and many people there own one. Though here is what I do know. iPads top just about every consumer table for reliability going. I find it further ironic that you are trying to claim the iPad is weak when infact its one of its strong points. Especially while promoting the surface RT. Which no only suffers from low sales but high return rates. So much so that Microsoft was forced to change its return policy.

            As for stopped supporting I could mention all those left in the wilderness with wp7.

      • SategB

        Acturally
        across the board critics was quite complimentary to the WP/Metro/Tile/What-r-they-calling-it-now flat design. Most like me found it quite interesting and attractive.

        Complaints was not over design but being late to the market lack of Apps and forcing it on Desktop.

        I am too frustrated about all of the bad reviews Surface getting and how poorly it is selling but lets not let our frustration cause us to misrepresent the facts. It makes us sound like whiny victims.

        • Asgard

          I don’t care if other people use Android or iOS tablets. They are the only ones who loose anyway :) Actually its good for me because MS has to do more work.