MI­CROSOFT SUR­FACE 2

Long bat­tery life. In­te­grated kick­stand. Full­sized USB 3.0 port. Bulky. Limited apps in Win­dows Store.

HWM (Singapore) - - Test -

The over­all de­sign of the Sur­face 2 re­mains un­changed; it is still a piece of beau­ti­ful hard­ware with a matte in­dus­trial sil­ver-gray fin­ish that is eye-catch­ing and stylish. The ma­te­rial used is cus­tom-made mag­ne­sium al­loy (known as Va­porMg), which is fin­ger­print re­sis­tant and hides scratches pretty well. Due to im­proved con­nec­tiv­ity ports and big­ger 10.6-inch dis­play, the Sur­face 2 is the thick­est and heav­i­est tablet in our shootout at 8.9mm and 676g re­spec­tively.

Like its pre­de­ces­sor (Sur­face RT), the Sur­face 2 has a built-in kick­stand that folds out and lets you stand it up on a ta­ble. How­ever, we love the im­prove­ments made to the kick­stand as it can now be used at two an­gles: the orig­i­nal 22-de­gree an­gle which we found to be too up­right, and a lower 55-de­gree an­gle that pro­vides the per­fect view­ing an­gle for use on your lap or desk; it is also more sta­ble thanks to its wider base.

The Sur­face 2 re­ceived an up­grade in dis­play res­o­lu­tion; it comes with a new full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pix­els) dis­play which is brighter and sharper than the Sur­face RT. Com­pared to the Air and Tab Pro 10.1, clar­ity isn’t as good al­though it should suf­fice for most users.

The Sur­face 2 is one of the few tablets to be equipped with NVIDIA Te­gra 4 quad-core 1.7GHz chipset and 2GB RAM. Nav­i­ga­tion was smooth and re­spon­sive­ness has been no­tably im­proved from its pre­de­ces­sor.

Mi­crosoft preloads the lat­est Win­dows 8.1 RT plat­form on the Sur­face 2, which in­cludes the full ver­sion of Of­fice RT and an en­hanced mul­ti­task­ing win­dow for run­ning three apps at the same time. Pro­duc­tiv­ity-wise, Of­fice RT looks al­most iden­ti­cal to the desk­top ver­sion so users should have no is­sues at all adapt­ing the Sur­face 2 as a mo­bile work­horse. As a gen­eral pur­pose tablet though, the Win­dows Store is still lack­ing and at time of writ­ing, there are still glar­ing omis­sions for what we’d con­sider bread and but­ter apps such as of­fi­cial apps for YouTube and In­sta­gram.

Un­like the Air and Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, only the Wi-Fi vari­ant of the Sur­face 2 is sold in Sin­ga­pore. You do get two stor­age op­tions though, 32GB or 64GB, and it has a mi­croSD slot that sup­ports mem­ory cards up to 64GB.

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