Undaunted and still hungry for a chunk of the tablet market, Microsoft recently revealed its second generation of Surface tablets, the Surface 2 Pro, which runs the full version of Windows 8.1, and the Surface 2 (that we’re reviewing here today), which runs Windows RT 8.1.
Microsoft really needs its Surface 2 tablets to do brisk business, because other manufacturers have been bailing, or at least souring, on the Windows RT platform. And not without good reason; Windows RT didn't quite live up to expectations. In this case, though, slightly missing the mark is not like falling short and ending up with something that’s still pretty great. It’s more like jumping between two cliffs and not quite making it.
But let's take a look at the new Surface 2 and see how Microsoft has advanced the platform and offering.
In the box:
|Windows RT 8.1, Microsoft Office 2013 RT
Dimensions: 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.35 in
Weight: 1.49 lbs
2 GB RAM
Screen: 10.6 inch
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (widescreen)
Touch: 5-point multi-touch
NVIDIA Tegra 4 (1.71 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0 technology
Up to 10 hours
7-15 days idle life
Charges in 2-4 hours with included power supply
Two video cameras on front and back
3.5 megapixel front-facing camera
5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera
Full-size USB 3.0
microSDXC card reader
HD video out port
Ambient light sensor
1-year limited hardware warranty
Surface 2 with Windows RT 8.1
24W power supply
Safety and warranty documents
($579 with Type Cover 2)
The Surface 2 also features 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, two microphones, stereo speakers, a headphone jack, HD video out, a microSDXC reader, and a Cover port (for accessories), and the list of sensors includes an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and a magnetometer. We should also note that the Surface Pen is not supported on the Surface 2.
Windows RT 8.1 is on board, and Microsoft includes its spate of Office 2013 RT apps--Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Outlook--as well as Skype with unlimited minutes to landlines and free calls over WiFi for a year and 200GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years.