ALL WORK and no play...

Makes Mi­crosoft’s new Sur­face tablets as as ever

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Will Oremus

NEW YORK — Mi­crosoft has un­veiled two new tablets aimed at so­lid­i­fy­ing the com­pany’s hold on a key niche mar­ket: peo­ple who hate fun.

The Sur­face 2 and Sur­face Pro 2 are jam- packed with pro­duc­tiv­ity fea­tures guar­an­teed to make you feel guilty for us­ing the de­vices for any­thing other than work. The big up­grades over the last Sur­face tablets no one en­joyed lie in the tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions: faster pro­ces­sor, faster bus, bet­ter bat­tery life, more cores on the GPU, etc. The new ones also both come with the full Mi­crosoft Of­fice suite, in­clud­ing Out­look, en­sur­ing your cal­en­dar alerts are the first thing you’ll see when you sit back on the couch and pick up your tablet. Oh, and about that sit­ting­backon- the- couch thing: Mi­crosoft has fixed that, too, tweak­ing the kick­stand to make it eas­ier to type away at that Ex­cel spread­sheet while hold­ing the tablet on your lap or sit­ting at a desk. Who needs to lean back and re­lax when you can use your tablet just like a PC?

Did I men­tion the new Sur­face 2 is made from two pieces of mag­ne­sium in­stead of three? Be­cause Panos Panay, the Sur­face prod­uct man­ager who in­tro­duced the de­vice, sure did. With the new de­sign, he en­thused, “You can see the true mag­ne­sium of the prod­uct com­ing out.” Whoo- ee! Are we hav­ing a good time yet?

And get this: Not only can you run Mi­crosoft Of­fice apps on the Sur­face 2 — this is the one aimed at the con­sumer mar­ket, mind you — but you can run all four Mi­crosoft Of­fice apps at the same time. In fact, as Panay demon­strated, you can even run those Mi­crosoft Of­fice apps on one- half of your screen while play­ing Xbox games on the other! Can’t do that with an iPad, can you?

OK, so per­haps dou­bling the bus speed and re­duc­ing the num­ber of pieces of mag­ne­sium by one- third won’t sway many of the con­sumers who have been choos­ing

MARK LEN­NI­HAN / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face Pro 2 shows Mi­crosoft sees per­sonal com­put­ers to be the com­pe­ti­tion for its tablets.

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