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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review

8.4/10 AVG.
RATING



8.4/10
Informr score
The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 currently has an Informr score of 8.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 15 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

When it comes to sheer flexibility, power and equipment options, Microsoft is throwing everything it has at the Surface 2 Pro. With up to 256GB of internal storage, up to 8GB of RAM, the latest Haswell i5-4200 processor, multiple covers and an optional dock, Microsoft has made it clear that it aims to dominate the tablet market.

Microsoft claims that the new Haswell processor in the device offers improved battery life over the original by 75%. Combine this with the new Power Cover, a keyboard with embedded battery, and all-day use on a single charge is possible. All of this with performance that rivals many desktop PCs. PCWorld says “the Surface Pro 2 is definitely a gaming machine of some sort. Microsoft showed off World of Warcraft and Portal 2 running smoothly—yes, these games are several years old, but they do run, and well.” With a full version of Windows 8.1 included, you can run any of your favorite Windows applications or games as well.

Another major change is the docking station. Sliding the device into the docking station provides a mini DisplayPort, 3 additional USB 2.0 ports, an ethernet port and one USB 3.0 port. Matt Safford of Digital Trends says the dock “will do-doubt be an important accessory for those looking to use the Surface Pro 2 as their main PC. And its ports are at the back, with the exception of the 3.0 port on the left side, which should help keep your setup looking clean.” Many other reviews agree that, with the docking station, the new device could be an ideal hybrid workstation for all but the most power hungry of users.

That is not to say that there are not any concerns. The first thing that many reviewers noted was the weight. At nearly two pounds, it’s heavier than some ultrabooks, nevermind tablets. While the dock offers additional ports, it’s not adjustable. This means that you’re forced to a single viewing angle.

Then there is the price. Each cover adds to the total, as well as the docking station. Digital Trends notes “even if cloud storage lets you live with the $900 base model plus keyboard, the Pro 2 is a $1,000+ device. And beyond business users, we wonder how many consumers are still willing to even consider spending that much on a computing device. For those who like the form factor of the Surface, who need to run regular or ‘legacy’ Windows software, we’d like to see Microsoft ship a lower-priced option of the Surface Pro 2.”

Overall, this tablet offers cutting-edge technology but with the trade-off of cutting-edge prices.

The Good: Unrivaled tablet performance, docking station support, good battery life and plenty of configuration options.

The Bad: Bulky design, high price.


Operating system
Windows
Processor
1.6 GHz
Screen Size
10.6"
Camera
1+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TechRadar

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 still straddles the middle ground between laptop and tablet, but a lack of identity doesn't mean that it should be shunned - far from it. The traditional lines between device form factors are increasingly blurred, and those seeking a fresh form factor that offers real pro...

- Kane Fulton, TechRadar
TabletPCReview

The Surface Pro 2 is a first-rate device. Its combination of mobility, power, and design matches and even slightly outperforms topnotch Ultrabooks with similar size and specs. Unfortunately, like those Ultrabooks, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is also expensive, especially when paired with a second-ge...

- Jamison Cush, TabletPCReview
Reviewed

It's easy to pooh-pooh the first iteration of a line of tablets, especially since they usually have a lot of rough edges to smooth out. With the Surface 2, Microsoft heard the critiques and addressed old issues. The Surface 2 still can't compete with the iPad and other Android tablets for media cons...

- Chris Thomas, Reviewed
The Inquirer

The Surface Pro 2 brings some welcome improvements to the design of the original Surface Pro, with Microsoft retaining the tablet's high quality design while improving it in the places it needed most, namely the double-angle kickstand, more responsive keyboard, and best of all, longer battery life.W...

- Lee Bell, The Inquirer
PCWorld

Clearly, Microsoft has lots of refinement left to do. But despite all the Surface Pro 2’s flaws, there’s something alluring about it. No other touchscreen laptop or convertible device plays the hybrid game as well as the Surface Pro 2 does. The kickstand is a brilliant flourish that comp...

- Jared Newman, PCWorld


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Screen Size
10.6"

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2's screen size is 10.6 inches with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.6 GHz

There is a Intel Core i5-4200U Dual core 1.6 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Windows 8.1 Pro operating system (OS).

Camera
1+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 1+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
64/128/256/512 GB

Internal memory is 64/128/ 256/512 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery.

Surface Pro 2 Specs

Overview
Release date October 22, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro

Compare Windows Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Intel Core i5-4200U Dual core 1.6 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 64/128/ 256/512 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Stylus
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity Unknown
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Up to: 15 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Dark Titanium
Dimensions [H x W x D] 17.3 x 27.5 x 1.3 cm (6.8 x 10.8 x 0.5 in)
Weight 907 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Pixel density 208 pixels
Size 10.6 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Unknown
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Panorama
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack Yes
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

256/512 GB models have 8 GB of RAM

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Surface Pro 2
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Critic Reviews


TechRadar

Improved OS, vibrant display, and solid magnesium body

from TechRadar

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 still straddles the middle ground between laptop and tablet, but a lack of identity doesn't mean that it should be shunned - far from it. The traditional lines between device form factors are increasingly blurred, and those seeking a fresh form factor that offers real productivity gains (in addition to on-hand entertainment) will find lots to love with the Surface Pro 2...

More

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 still straddles the middle ground between laptop and tablet, but a lack of identity doesn't mean that it should be shunned - far from it. The traditional lines between device form factors are increasingly blurred, and those seeking a fresh form factor that offers real productivity gains (in addition to on-hand entertainment) will find lots to love with the Surface Pro 2.

That said, it's an incremental upgrade from the Surface Pro, so if you didn't fancy what it had to offer the first around, there isn't anything drastically new that will have you reaching for the Surface Pro 2 this time. 

Read full review

Less

TabletPCReview

A powerful tablet with an amazing design

from TabletPCReview

The Surface Pro 2 is a first-rate device. Its combination of mobility, power, and design matches and even slightly outperforms topnotch Ultrabooks with similar size and specs. Unfortunately, like those Ultrabooks, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is also expensive, especially when paired with a second...More

The Surface Pro 2 is a first-rate device. Its combination of mobility, power, and design matches and even slightly outperforms topnotch Ultrabooks with similar size and specs. Unfortunately, like those Ultrabooks, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is also expensive, especially when paired with a second-generation Type or Touch Cover, and users pay a premium for its style and unrivaled design.

Read full review

Less

Reviewed

A solid Microsoft tablet finally surfaces

from Reviewed

It's easy to pooh-pooh the first iteration of a line of tablets, especially since they usually have a lot of rough edges to smooth out. With the Surface 2, Microsoft heard the critiques and addressed old issues. The Surface 2 still can't compete with the iPad and other Android tablets for media consumption, but it's in a class of its own when it comes to productivity software...

More

It's easy to pooh-pooh the first iteration of a line of tablets, especially since they usually have a lot of rough edges to smooth out. With the Surface 2, Microsoft heard the critiques and addressed old issues. The Surface 2 still can't compete with the iPad and other Android tablets for media consumption, but it's in a class of its own when it comes to productivity software.

Critics of the Surface are absolutely right to point out that the tablet still isn't exactly on-par with the low end of laptops in terms of both performance and price, so you may be better off springing for a slim laptop instead. However, many people enjoy the Surface for the experience it provides. Though it's lacking in the dedicated app department, it doesn't suffer the same content library problems of Android, as it can access many services through the web.

If you're looking to dip your toes into the mobile world with a new tablet, I'd normally suggest something with iOS on it. However, there are far more Windows users out there, and this would be the logical first step for someone used to the Microsoft ecosystem. The Surface 2 isn't a perfect mix of laptop and tablet, but it's a solid solution for Windows disciples who have room in the budget for a $449.99+ expense. 

Read full review

Less

The Inquirer

Aimed at being a more productive machine for users

from The Inquirer

The Surface Pro 2 brings some welcome improvements to the design of the original Surface Pro, with Microsoft retaining the tablet's high quality design while improving it in the places it needed most, namely the double-angle kickstand, more responsive keyboard, and best of all, longer battery life...

More

The Surface Pro 2 brings some welcome improvements to the design of the original Surface Pro, with Microsoft retaining the tablet's high quality design while improving it in the places it needed most, namely the double-angle kickstand, more responsive keyboard, and best of all, longer battery life.

Whether it's due to the performance tweaks of the Surface Pro 2 or the updated software, Windows 8.1 is a much nicer and responsive OS to use on the tablet, making it much better for productivity as well as entertainment and general everyday tasks.

Though we were disappointed that Microsoft didn't build all this into a slimmer or lighter frame this time around, or make it a little cheaper, the Surface Pro 2 brings the power of a PC to a tablet device, which can't be said for many tablet devices on the market at present.

Read full review

Less

PCWorld

This is the Windows tablet you're looking for

from PCWorld

Clearly, Microsoft has lots of refinement left to do. But despite all the Surface Pro 2’s flaws, there’s something alluring about it. No other touchscreen laptop or convertible device plays the hybrid game as well as the Surface Pro 2 does. The kickstand is a brilliant flourish that c...More

Clearly, Microsoft has lots of refinement left to do. But despite all the Surface Pro 2’s flaws, there’s something alluring about it. No other touchscreen laptop or convertible device plays the hybrid game as well as the Surface Pro 2 does. The kickstand is a brilliant flourish that compensates for the tablet’s weight while solving for the top-heaviness you find in other detachable hybrids. The Touch and Type Covers are so thin and light that you can keep them attached, and the total package still feels light enough to rival the slickest laptops.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

It’s expensive, but the Surface Pro 2 is the best Windows 8 tablet we’ve ever seen

from Expert Reviews

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is a huge improvement over its predecessor and it remains the best Windows 8 tablet around. It’s very expensive, but when most other Ultrabook convertibles will set you back more than £1,000, the Surface Pro 2 is both cheaper and more convenient than many o...More

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is a huge improvement over its predecessor and it remains the best Windows 8 tablet around. It’s very expensive, but when most other Ultrabook convertibles will set you back more than £1,000, the Surface Pro 2 is both cheaper and more convenient than many of its hybrid rivals. It’s a shame it doesn’t come with a keyboard cover at this price, but its improved battery life and graphics performance finally make it an attractive alternative to an ultraportable laptop. If you want a great-looking tablet with the speed and power of a laptop, the Surface Pro 2 is for you.

Read full review

Less

GottaBeMobile

Microsoft’s tablet becomes an even better laptop

from GottaBeMobile

Despite these flaws and shortcomings, in the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft is creating one of the most solidly designed computing experiences with a strong emphasis on high build quality and construction. Magnetic ports and versatile, but optional, keyboard covers and docks make the Surface Pro 2 stan...More

Despite these flaws and shortcomings, in the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft is creating one of the most solidly designed computing experiences with a strong emphasis on high build quality and construction. Magnetic ports and versatile, but optional, keyboard covers and docks make the Surface Pro 2 stand out from the crowd. In the Surface Pro 2, thanks to Haswell’s battery life, Microsoft has finally realized its ambitions for the Tablet PC market–a no compromise tablet that provides power, long battery life, inking capabilities, and versatility to take from the desk to the road to the home. It’s a one device fits all strategy that Microsoft hopes will replace your home PC, your laptop, and your tablet.

Read full review

Less

PhoneArena

It’s simply a powerful platform that carefully blends the elements of the old Windows experience

from PhoneArena

It’s really tough to say what we think about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. On one hand, it’s a powerful computing machine that would run circles around most of the flagship tablets out there, but on the other, we can’t help but think about how it’s trying to be a PC at the...More

It’s really tough to say what we think about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. On one hand, it’s a powerful computing machine that would run circles around most of the flagship tablets out there, but on the other, we can’t help but think about how it’s trying to be a PC at the same time. As a tablet, it’s like being the smartest kid in a class that’s filled with students a few years younger than it. And as a laptop/ultrabook, the Surface Pro 2 is more like the underachiever in the group. Honestly, it’s rather difficult finding that perfect medium for this particular device.

Read full review

Less

TechRadar

It can simply do more thanks to increased battery life, RAM, storage and improved graphics

from TechRadar

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 still straddles the middle ground between laptop and tablet, but a lack of identity doesn't mean that it should be shunned - far from it. The traditional lines between device form factors are increasingly blurred, and those seeking a fresh form factor that offers real...More

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 still straddles the middle ground between laptop and tablet, but a lack of identity doesn't mean that it should be shunned - far from it. The traditional lines between device form factors are increasingly blurred, and those seeking a fresh form factor that offers real productivity gains (in addition to on-hand entertainment) will find lots to love with the Surface Pro 2.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

A compact Ultrabook laptop and tablet with compromises

from Tech Advisor

The Surface Pro 2 crams a serious amount of power into a compact frame - enough to worry the latest Ultrabooks. Its design may be spot on for some but we can't help feel that instead of being the best of both laptop and tablet worlds, it's neither. The price quickly rises if you veer away from th...More

The Surface Pro 2 crams a serious amount of power into a compact frame - enough to worry the latest Ultrabooks. Its design may be spot on for some but we can't help feel that instead of being the best of both laptop and tablet worlds, it's neither. The price quickly rises if you veer away from the base model - many people would be better off with a separate laptop and tablet, and you might even save money. Those less bothered about the tablet side of things should consider a convertible device.

Read full review

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