Microsoft surface 2
Back in April last year, Microsoft unveiled the Surface RT, which arrived in a stylish, sturdy form factor, alongside an ARM-powered Windows RT OS that placed greater importance on the touchdriven Modern interface than the traditional desktop environment. Now, six months after making its U.S. debut in September 2013, the Surface 2 was finally launched on our side of the pond. Want to know what’s new and what’s changed other than the dropped ‘RT’ moniker?
On the outset, the Surface 2 appears relatively unchanged, with Microsoft opting for the same wide black bezel, tapered edges and rounded corners, save for the matte silver-gray VaporMg chassis that adorned the rear surface (pun intended). Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but it is also highly resistant to prints and smudges. The built-in kickstand, which folds out from the back while the keyboard cover lies flat, now inclines down to a low 55-degree angle (in addition to the original 22-degree), which works great on a table and just as well on your lap.
Despite being 0.5mm thinner at 8.9mm and weighing 4g less than its predecessor, the Surface 2 is still a tad heavier than other tablets in its class, but it makes up for it in terms of a more balanced weight distribution. Nestled underneath the kickstand is the microSDXC reader, while the much-welcomed USB 3.0 port, mini-HDMI port, volume rocker, power button and the cover port share near-identical layout to the Surface RT.
Performance-wise, the Surface 2 benefits from the improvements in processing power and battery efficiency of the NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. While the memory remains unchanged at 2GB RAM, the display received a muchneeded Full HD upgrade, resulting in sharper, crisper text, excellent contrast and brighter, vivid colors. The improved viewing angles also make watching HD videos a treat, while the built-in stereo speakers produce clean, decent sound for its size, but at the expense of bass quality. It’s always good to have a pair of headphones with you when you’re out and about. Running on Windows RT 8.1, the Start button returns, bringing with it new tile sizes, improved search, OneDrive integration and more. Multitasking feels snappier than ever, and it’s incredibly natural to slide recently opened apps into view with your finger.
Speaking of finger, both the Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 are now armed with backlit keys, along with other significant upgrades over the original keyboards. Typing feels completely natural and is, in fact, quieter on the Type Cover 2, though we weren’t exactly thrilled with the removal of the physical trackpad. On the other hand, the 2.75mm-thin Touch Cover 2 feels a lot more sensitive, given that it’s imbued with 1,100 sensors, which allows for two-finger and spacebar gestures, but it’s just not as tactile as the Type Cover 2.
All in all, the Surface 2 surpasses the original Surface RT in almost every way. We were able to squeeze close to nine hours out of the tablet, while the cameras are markedly improved over the previous 1.2MP offerings. Plus, you also get Office 2013 RT and Outlook 2013 RT right out of the box. That’s value right there.
SPECIFICATIONS PROCESSOR NVIDIA Tegra 4 (T40) 1.7GHz Quad Core // CONNECTIVITy 3.5mm stereo audio, USB 3.0, microSDXC card reader, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 LE, HD video out, cover port // MEMORy 2GB RAM, 32GB or 64GB internal storage // COLORS Magnesium (Silver) // DIMENSIONS 275 x 173 x 8.9 mm //
WEIGHT 676g // BATTERy 4,200mAh Li-Ion (nonremovable) // WARRANTy 1-year // CONTACT Microsoft (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd // TELEPHONE (03) 2179 6838 // URL www.microsoft.com/en-my
In addition to the USB 3.0 port, the Surface 2’s built-in kickstand can be tilted to a lower 55-degree angle.