I really appreciate Microsoft’s stubbornness when it comes to Surface . After the launch of the original Surface, which got mixed reviews (read ours here ) , so they chose not to build from scratch , but to refine its vision for a powerful tablet . The result is Surface second
Big Screen, Windows RT 8.1 is easier to use than previous versions , operating Outlook , Office 2013 is free, comes with microSD expansion port , good battery life , they have been listening to a lot of criticism and it has resulted in a clear step up from the original version , Marketplace continues to grow.
Windows RT is still a bit of a confusing experience , still lacks app support that rivals have , odd aspect ratio for a tablet , you need to buy a keyboard to get the best experience , no mobile connection.
Surface is back
It has only been a year since the original Surface RT landed in stores and we were pretty chocked over Microsoft ambitions with its new hardware. A tablet that wanted to take the throne from laptops – a super good idea. But though an idea that brought with it a risk. Windows 8 RT bastion came with few apps and had a bit of an identity crisis that meant you did not understand if it wanted to be a PC or a tablet ?
Now the Surface 2 here , and Microsoft has done something bizarre : it has ignored “RT” in the name. The tablet si running a ARM – based Windows RT 8.1 , so not a full Windows 8.1 as the more powerful Surface Pro 2. Therefore , and as with its predecessor, the RT then Surface 2 limitations to what can be installed using the operating system.
In the past year since RT was launched , we have hoped to see a resurgence in the app support in the Windows Marketplace . But it is something that takes time to build up and to be honest , you will find the most esentiella apps in the Windows Marketplace but not as much of the other. In terms of hardware Microsoft has made all the improvements you should do. It is ” thinner, lighter , faster ,” but in an interface that is still limiting for a broad user base, does it matter if it is thinner, lighter and faster? Surface 2 is a hardware device that takes two steps forward, but it does so in a software that is two steps behind ?
The design of the Surface 2 is cruel and exudes quality . You have trimmed off some fat from the original, which made it 4g lighter and 0.5 mm narrower. No super difference, but you will notice it. Something I really like is that they kept the Surface 2 in pure magnesium or as they call it , ” VaporMg ” . The clean, brushed and silvery magnesium looks really nice and exclusive. I have received many looks and positive comments when I sat and worked with Surface 2 out on various cafés.
From fat to muscle
Surface 2 has a new 10.6 – inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS display – the same as is found in Surface Pro 2 – and one two position stand for a wider range of viewing angles and that my friends is a big plus. The viewing angle was something I was critical of the last edition of the Surface. It was not ideal for any situation. I’m 1.93m tall and the previous angle meant that I had to drop down a bit in the chair to get a comfortable view of the screen, at the same time that it was impossible to have it comfortably in your lap. It was a criticism that I was not the only one to give the previous-generation Surface. But Microsoft was responsive and took action and has now developed a combination of two good angles.
They have also brought some more fire power with a Tegra 4 processor under the hood, along with Windows RT 8.1 it makes Surface 2 really fast . A concrete step forward is the new Outlook app that comes as part of the RT Office package , which is included free. Office suite is truly one of Surface 2s big advantages that give an extra width against competitors. With Surface 2, you can actually work in real life and if you do not need any heavy programs like Photoshop or similar , well, then Surface 2 is a tablet pc you ‘re doing fine with .
Something I ‘m happy about is that the input level of the Surface 2 comes with a good screen , IPS screen is truly a sight to behold , but as a dedicated tablet, then the aspect ratio is a little odd at times. It ‘s very wide, or high ( if you turn it on) in your hands. You will not be able to go and use it with your thumb , which perhaps an iPad mini is optimal for, so there is no tablet for those who are on the go … but that’s not true either! Surely you can not use it optimally as you walk around town , but it is not the purpose of the Surface . It is not a one handed machine that one can argue that the iPad mini is, but it is a tablet that can actually replace or supplement your regular PC in many ways. The main difference between a Surface 2 and an iPad, if you’re going to be really straight forward, is the fact that a Surface 2, is something you actually can work on.
That is something you cant do on a iPad. Now , many claim that the iPad is also great for “work” , there’s keynote etc. . but it is nowhere near the same experience you get from a full office and outlook. I have an iPad at home and it is exclusively a media machine for me. I read newspapers and watch Netflix. But Surface , I’ve managed to work on almost exclusively. It is only when you need a particular program that is only desktop based as it is malfunctioning . But if you are traveling , just need to answer emails , edit in an excel or word document , yes, then Surface 2 is absolutely excellent.
However, it must be said that the virtual keyboard does not deliver a fast typing experience and when it shows up in the window it feels like it is really in the way. The solution to the problem is the keyboard called Touch Cover. If the virtual keyboard does not really hold , so instead Touch Cover the best option I’ve tested for a tablet.
Touch Cover 2
New Touch Cover 2 really is a fantastic example of how to make a small, simple keyboard, but still fully functional. The only downside is that you have to buy it for 1069kr.
But nothing could be more worth it.
Touch Cover 2 is a super-thin keyboard with backlit keys , which also is a protective case . It is mounted in the bottom of the Surface 2 via a magnetized contact and it’s just as simple as it sounds, “click” and you are running. Not only is it thinner than the Touch Cover that came with the previous generation , it was almost triple the amount of sensors, in order to provide a more precise typing experience. If you thought the Touch Cases brought to mind a bit of a typewriter , then tocuh Cover 2:01 a.m. delight. The entire panel can also be used as a two – finger ” gesture ” surface to scroll through documents or up and down the sites, not just limited to the TouchPad.
If you want an even better keyboard feel there Type Cover 2nd Type Cover 2 is backlit so you can work under all lighting conditions like Touch Cover 2nd However, with the major difference that it is a mechanical keyboard , which allows you to type at the same speed as on a standard keyboard , but in a super-slim , lightweight design . Type Cover 2 weighs only 255 grams.
In this test, so I used the Touch Cover 2, but I have since the old one Type Cover (1st).
What is the price?
From a price perspective, Surface 2 is more affordable than the original RT model. It now comes as a 32GB version for 3895kr and a 64GB version for 4795kr. Previous Surface RT 32GB without keyboard cost 4495 SEK at launch. It is a strategic choice by Microsoft, putting it just under the iPad 4 of the price. Unlike Apples device, Microsoft didn’t restricting you from an expansion, you can expand with a 64GB microSD card in the slot which is hidden under the fold back, making it more or less invisible.
Microsoft even throw in a two year subscription SkyDrive, which gives you 200GB of additional storage space online.
Windows RT 8.1
In short, it is the RT version supposed to be more app-based rather than telling you to run heavy applications. Which means that Surface 2 can only install applications from the Windows Marketplace.
For Surface 2 , this means that you can work with your e- mail , online storage in the cloud, read the news, keep an eye on the weather, work with Office RT and then they can tailor your tile- based view of the user interface with apps that are available in Marketplace. It works just like your iPad or your Google nexus … You have some apps that come with and then there is a marketplace where some programs cost and some are free . As I said earlier , the majority of tablets – based things you want to do , even though the Marketplace is not completely the breadth of apps available on the Android and iOS counterparts.
There’s a desktop app to give you a desktop experience and it reminds you of a full Windows. However, it does not work as a full version of Windows, but you can easily save files and map the way you are used to doing .
Nvidia Tegra 4 systems have become popular with many tablet manufacturers. Surface 2 is one of the units have Tegra 4 and it pulls really using all the power that Tegra 4 has to offer. 1.7Ghz processor with 2GB of RAM makes under. To compare with a competitor so the force is roughly on par with an iPhone 4. So it is quite enough for everything that is available from the Marketplace – from playing movie files, easy editing, or playing games and browsing experience is smooth and flawless . Video playback may be limited because of codec support, but it is just to download a VLC player from Marketplace then the problem is gone.
But the best part is what happened to life. Tegra 4 is so incredibly gentle on the battery , which means you can run your Surface 2 active in 10 – hours per charge. This is great! Turn off Wi – Fi, fog screen and a full long-haul flight with the film is not likely to be a problem at all.
That made for Skype : a
The first generation Surface cameras were not too good, this is Microsoft Exchange and la now in a 5 – megapixel camera at the rear and a 3.5 – megapixel to the front, which is a huge boost for Surface 2 , making it optimal for Skype.
Surface 2 is thinner, lighter and faster than before. Microsoft has created for himself out of the criticism they received during the previous version’s launch , and I think you are on the right track. Many people still think it is too heavy, too big and confusing. The lack of apps is still there, but what does it really mather? I see Surface as more than a tablet, namely a tablet you can work on . You may not have the app library that you get in the iOS or Android talbets, and certainly it is not as easy as an iPad 4 , but I think it’s like comparing apples with pears. Sure, they say the part of Microsoft that it’s a tablet , but I would insist that this is a class apart. For it is not a regular tablet, it is not for those who want to keep it in one hand while swishing out on the town with a ” Latte” in hand, nor is it for you to play through an endless catalog with games. No, Surface is for those who want to be ultra – mobile in their work. Add a keyboard and it’s actually an experience that in many ways will allow you to leave your computer at home. I see Surface as a tablet and a businessman, someone who wants to have a lightweight, rigid and sleek machine with them on the trip. Not working with the heaviest projects , but still be able to write emails, edit documents , plug in a TV and give a presentation “on the fly ” . That’s what Surface is for me and I think that Microsoft has succeeded.