MICROSOFT SURFACE 2
Long battery life. Integrated kickstand. Fullsized USB 3.0 port. Bulky. Limited apps in Windows Store.
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.